There are no prizes for guessing what will be leading the election news this evening: Gordon Brown’s open mic gaffe, during which he labelled an ordinary Labour-supporting woman who he’d stopped to speak to a ‘bigot’.
66-year-old Gillian Duffy challenged the prime minister on a number of issues – lax crime enforcement, tuition fees, immigration, to be met by as much smarm as this charmless man could muster. She was basically an old school party supporter, who put her concerns reasonably enough, not hectoring but with an air of resigned scepticism. When he thought the mics and cameras were out of sight, he talked contemptuously of her, calling her ‘just a bigoted woman.’
We should be grateful for small incidents like these. They reveal the true extent of the distaste for the masses which can be found in all corners of the political and media class. Anybody who has worries about immigration or crime (ie 75% of the country) and expresses them in public should be used by now to being so smeared: just watch Question Time to see it in action. What was appalling about the instance this morning was the fact that it was said ‘behind closed doors’ and therefore illustrates a far more alarming truth: those who govern us are not just trying to stifle public debate for expediency’s sake, but really do hold the concerns of ordinary people in complete contempt.