Wednesday 28 April 2010

What will the gaffe mean ?

I just saw Mandy on Sky trying to undo the damage of what has come to be known as ‘bigot-gate’ (see the blog post below).

He was saying the most upsetting thing for Brown was that he had hurt the feelings of another person.

Really? Even more upsetting than the possibility his gaffe has derailed his election campaign? Hmm.

But putting that aside – along with the spin contest that is seeing parties bid to take control of the story – there could be some nasty consequences to this.

Immigration is a huge issue in certain areas of the country which were once Labour strongholds – places I’ve travelled through during this campaign.

In those places – like Stoke, Amber Valley in Derbyshire and Ashfield in Notts – lots of people feel totally detached from the party that once represented them.

Thousands will hold similar fears about immigration as those expressed by Gillian Duffy – some of those have already deserted Labour for the BNP or other parties that talk tough on the issue.

Brown’s comments will work to convince those who hold those fears but have remained loyal to Labour, that the PM does not think immigration is a big problem and that he sees as racist those people who raise it.

All the talk of a "Australian points-based immigration system" will be forgotten. Instead people will remember that Gordon Brown thinks people who are worried about immigration are bigoted.

Yes it was a private conversation. But I never understood how that was a defence – voters understand that people say what they really think in private.

I’ll be tweeting from a hustings in Ashfield tonight and I’ve no doubt this is going to feature.


Catosays said...

The only thing Brown's upset about is that he got caught!

Andy said...

Nothing to see here. Using phrases like 'eastern Europeans flocking over here' isn't a rational worry about immigration, it's bigotry.

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