I think that Gordon Brown has been a terrible chancellor, and is a terrible prime minister. He has stolen from the taxpayer, and got away with it (those not at the top would have found themselves prosecuted). Yet I still feel sorry for him in this latest furore, which erupted after Mr. Brown forgot to remove a microphone, and so was overheard labelling a woman a bigot after she had complained to him about immigration.
Politicians, especially party leaders, are scrutinised all the time. The media obsess over errors, or potential errors, which leads to meaningless sound bites and staged apologies, while larger issues are left in the background. I didnâ€™t bother to watch either of the leadersâ€™ debates because I knew no usual information would come out of them, which is a sad reflection on how issues are debated in this country. This story is now the main headline on the BBC news website, and doubtless is so for other media outlets. But this shouldn’t be a big story.
Gordon Brown got annoyed with someone. I do. You do. Everyone does. He voiced his frustrations in private (or so he thought), and was rude. He has probably been rude about member of the public, but hasn’t bothered to make a public apology, which shows how contrived the whole episode was. People rightly hold politicians to certain standards on issues such as expenses, but we shouldn’t expect them to be immune to emotions like annoyance and fatigue, especially in private, unless they themselves avoid such pitfalls.
(For a humorous take on the matter, see this mock twitter feed)
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