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Posts Tagged: Give The Man a Break

Leaving the Microphone On

Thursday 29th April 2010

I intend to write a fuller post about politics tomorrow. Actually I’ve already started it, but I can’t be bothered to finish it right now so I’ll attack it as and when and post it tomorrow at some time.

In the mean time though I can’t help but comment on bigotgate. I hate the -gate suffix. It’s used all the bloody time in F1 (spygate, liegate, crashgate, Buttongate, diffusergate) and it sounds ridiculous.

Anyway. I am far from being Gordon Brown’s biggest fan. I think he was a poor chancellor, a disastrous PM, and a liability for the Labour party. I honestly don’t know why they didn’t boot him a few months ago, put Harman or Miliband in charge and then shamelessly promote themselves as a changed party. I still wouldn’t have voted for them, but I think they would’ve at least looked respectable then…

I’m not a fan of Brown, but I can’t help but feel sorry for him in this case. I think it was clearly wrong to call her a bigot, because from what I’ve seen she isn’t one, and it’s only right that he’s apologised. But it’s an election campaign. The leaders are all working ridiculously hard to campaign, and I imagine the stress (especially for Brown, who is losing) must be fairly high. Brown doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being a people-person (as this delightful clip illustrates), so I’m not surprised if he’s more irritable during the campaign.

That’s not an excuse, of course, but I think it’s unfair to slate him so much for such a stupid mistake. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a hilarious mistake. But I would put money on Brown not being the only politician to privately say unflattering things about people he’s just met.

Additionally, it annoys me that it’s been built up as much as it has been. The focus of politics should be on the issues. If we’re going to criticise Brown (or Clegg, or Cameron, or any politician for that matter) then it should be based on the things they say they will do if they are elected (or indeed the things they’ve already done, in Brown’s case). We may learn a bit about Brown’s personality from things like this, but should this really sway anyone’s vote?

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