Today the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain made a gaffe by branding a woman he came across while campaigning a bigot, albeit in the privacy of his car, although stupidly with his mic still switched on. The whole episode has been referred to rather unoriginally as ‘bigot-gate’ making one wonder how long some of these British journalists spent studying their art.
The media more than anyone else has been up in arms about the incident with Sky News covering nothing else for a good part of the afternoon and evening much to ordinary people’s irritation. Rupert Murdoch’s band of merry men and women went to town with their public lynching of the Prime Minister. The video and audio of the incident has been played and replayed with subtitles, and various people analysing what the incident says about him. We had the supposedly impartial former conservative spin doctor, a journalist from the Spectator and several other not so gainfully employed pundits all give their take on what this meant for Gordon and for the election. One concluded that his reaction was as a result of Gordon Brown’s deep dislike for people. Yes that’s right folks; the Prime Minister is now a people- hating –gaffe-prone oddbod. He is also, we learned today often quick to blame other people and never himself. And finally we were told by the Sky News reporter that this is evidence that Gordon should not say anything in private that he would not say in public. Mais bien sur...that’s exactly what we upright citizens do isn’t it?
I can only hope that reasonably minded people will appreciate that although he did not handle the situation well and more than anything else it proved that one of his idiotic aides should get the boot for not spotting the microphone thing, it by no means warranted this level of media coverage. And to be frank, someone who makes a comment like ‘These Eastern Europeans, I don’t know where they’re flocking from’ is indeed a BIGOT of the highest order. Were she asking a constructive question about Immigration which is a legitimate campaign issue albeit one I feel is always used to score points with the prejudiced masses; I would sympathise with her and argue that Mr Brown should have discussed the issue with her sensibly and with respect. Instead she chose to go down the line of blaming these foreigners. Lest we forget not so long ago it was the Blacks who were coming here and taking our jobs, now it’s those Eastern Europeans. As Mr Brown sensibly pointed out, there may be a million of the Eastern Europeans in this country but there are equally 1 million or more British people in various parts of Europe exercising their right of freedom of movement as European Union citizens. In some cases their arrival en masse has resulted in countless difficulties for the local population. In many parts of France for instance, the British influx has meant an increase in house prices resulting in many French people not being able to buy property in their own home towns. In Spain the British have created mini-Blighty in parts like the Costa del Sol, becoming renowned for their excessive drinking and their inability to hold their liquor. Spain recently tried to rebrand itself in order to shake off the image of lager louts and tarts eating fish chips and throwing up in their once peaceful towns.
So, yes it does work both ways and if we’re really honest with ourselves, we will admit that many of the Eastern Europeans who come and work here do jobs that many of us will not want to do or they work for themselves in fields like construction. I appreciate that the experience of other people may vary but I work in a company that has over 100 staff and not 1 is Eastern European unless of course you count the contracted cleaners who arrive as we leave in the evenings. The representation of foreigners will vary from one sector to the other but before we make this election about ‘hanging’ the immigrants, let’s remind ourselves that outside of the United Kingdom, we too our immigrants. If the bigoted Mrs Duffy, who spouted her nonsense at Gordon Brown today would only agree to stay put in this country and encourage her grandchildren who we learned were stuck in Australia (perish the thought), if they could just stay here and not go to those foreign lands then perhaps we could all have a bit more sympathy for her. Until then I hope someone finds the courage to call a spade a spade in public when someone expresses narrow-minded views without fear of what shameless media houses like Sky News and the Daily Mail who would have us believe the immigrants are all out to get us, would have to say.