Prescott’s accusations WRONG. Bigotgate was Labour’s doing, not Murdoch’s

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    29th April 2010

    In case you missed it –

    Gordon Brown and “Bigoted Woman” IN FULL – Rochdale 28 April 2010

    Her parting remarks – “and the education system in Rochdale, I will congratulate it.”

    “Good, Good” says Gordon… “that was all down to Tony’s education, education, education priority.” (Sorry, he forgot to say that last bit.)

    The twitterers are at it over ‘Bigotgate’.

    First, some knee-jerk stuff from John Prescott – ( ) –

    You can’t buy our election, Murdoch #GordonBrown #gillianduffy

    Prescott points to his article at GoFourth

    My thoughts: This morning one of the Sky News journos said that the reason Brown was wearing a Sky microphone was that Labour had asked them for one. Common practice, according to The Telegraph here. But Tony Blair and his people were too wise for this, even in 1997. They always used their own.

    So was it a Sky stitch-up? Who do you believe? Prescott or the SkyNews broadcasting journalist? And what does this tell you about the professionalism of the present PM’s campaign?

    Second choice tweet –  from John Rentoul – ( ) –

    Gillian Duffy an admirer of Tony Blair. Will the Blair-Brown feud never stop? #bigotgate

    Another question, John, to which the answer is – NO?

    Rentoul points to this by Iain Martin

    Iain Martin, Wall Street Journal Europe – ( ) re-tweets this from Guido, as have I.

    guidofawkes At this moment Cherie and Tony are on a yacht somewhere sunny, sipping chilled wine and crying with laughter.

    Mr Martin also has this “exclusive” on the chat between Gillian & Gordon

    And fourthly there’s this from Laura K ( ) –

    Gillian Duffy’s neighbours calling their home in Rochdale ‘the street that brought Gordon Brown down’

    (Blair Supporter is on Twitter and Facebook.)

    Squirming time for Gordon Brown as he hears his own words on the “bigot” on Radio 2 Jeremy Vine programme.

    I DO have some sympathy for the man. Not a lot, but some. I have more questions on the equilibrium of his thinking if this woman is considered “bigoted”. And Mrs Duffy didn’t even mention Asian immigration, where clearly a foreign culture is impacting on British society. If her words on East Europeans were bigoted – East Europeans who come and go where and when the work is – there’s no hope.

    I also have some questions on Brown’s  campaign team’s ability to manage his mic.  Or I would have, if I were a Labour party member.


    1. Steve Richards asks: Why did Brown make this blunder? – In releasing his frustration about an incident that had gone well, he managed to make matters much worse. He cannot read political situations any more. Excerpt –

    “Gordon Brown’s campaign moves from being so controlled that he was scared of saying anything, to one where he is caught calling a Labour voter a bigot. No one could accuse Brown of being in control yesterday afternoon.

    Elections are based on an illusion that political leaders like and respect every single voter they meet. Voters are allowed to harangue leaders, but never the other way around. In private, no doubt leaders across the world despair of voters that they meet, but they never do so in public. In being recorded unaware by a microphone Brown has smashed the illusion into pieces. The spell is broken. When he meets voters in the future they will wonder what he is really thinking.

    I assume, although I am not wholly certain, that most voters will side with the voter, and not the leader caught by a microphone and then caught again being filmed on a radio show listening to the tape, looking as if he was being tortured. The look was accurate. Acutely aware of how this would play, Brown was in political hell.

    The entire sequence was destined to happen at some point. Because Brown is obsessed with the media he assumes he is media-aware. He is not. Neither Tony Blair nor David Cameron would make the mistake of continuing to speak when a microphone was still attached to them. But ever since Brown became leader, indeed from the day he launched his campaign to replace Blair, when the autocue blocked the cameras’ view of his opening speech, he has shown little awareness of how television works.

    Brown has no senior media adviser with him who understands as a matter of instinct that microphones are dangerous instruments. Combine this complacency with his capacity to get explosively angry even when he has no cause to be so, and the ingredients for yesterday’s nightmare for Labour were in place.

    He had absolutely no cause to be angry yesterday. There is at the heart of Labour’s calamity one burning question that is not easy to answer. By any objective judgement Brown’s original exchange with the voter, Gillian Duffy, went well. Both came out of it rather endearingly. She was passionate, but polite. I sense that she almost liked “Gordon”, who she later praised as an excellent Chancellor.”

    2. Guido has this SHOCK news (Clegg favourite!):

    UPDATE : Just checked the latest prices at specialist political bookmakers Smarkets:

    • Gordon Brown has a 25% chance of winning
    • David Cameron 52% chance
    • Nick Clegg is favourite with a 55% chance.

    Guido asks, as did I - 'why was he smiling?'

    Just so you know.

    If you think Labour has been too easy on immigration, and that the Tories may not be much better, read Clegg on immigration.

    3. Write it right, please!

    OK, so maybe Tami Hoffman is German. I don’t know, and I don’t care. But if she’s a producer at Sky in Britain, why can’t she spell?

    “Gruff, annoyed and most definately on camera.”

    Definitely not good enough, Ms Hoffman, though your perception on Brown’s body language was better.  Here’s a handy link for commonly misspelled words.

    I’ll try to find one for commonly mis-supported political parties, since also on Sky today 5 out of 6 students asked their voting intentions said ‘Lib Dems’.

    Perhaps the spelling and political understanding is a generational thing. Most TV producers are under 30, are they not? And of course, I’m no longer a student.

    Never mind the body language, read the face language here in this picture, also at Rory Cellan-Jones’ blog

    Interesting charts there too on the impact the ‘clunking fist’ had on his and Labour’s chances, technologically speaking.



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    2 Responses to “Prescott’s accusations WRONG. Bigotgate was Labour’s doing, not Murdoch’s”

    1. Stan Says:

      KTBFPM, I wonder ifyou would have been so ready to jump to Murdoch’s defence if it had been TB who had been caught out (which despite all your protestations he could have been e.g that overheard remark between him and Bush).

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Er, pardon, Stan?

        I’m not jumping to Murdoch’s defence. In fact I must admit that my first thought was that it was some kind of stitch-up. But the Sky journo was very convincing that this was NOT Sky’s idea to mike up the candidates, but the parties’.

        I suppose I was criticising Prescott for not knowing the facts about how the Labour campaign people were doing things.

        Do some research if you like at Sky and see what you can find about this. I’m open-minded – more or less.

        Btw, which protestations re Blair & Bush? That so-callled ‘Yo Blair’ moment – which was, of course NOT Yo, but Yeah, was their own fault for leaving their individually-controlled mikes on. Or rather Bush had left his on. Blair noticed it eventually and put it off.

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