Incumbent Prime Minister of Great Britain Gordon Brown was campaigning for upcoming elections, and he recently committed a serious gaffe. After a short impromptu debate with a constituent, one Gillian Duffy, he called her a bigoted woman once he got back in his car — with the microphone still on. The resulting fallout of the Gordon Brown “bigoted” remarks has cast a bit of a shadow on the Prime Minister. There is a growing concern that a hung parliament may happen. That takes more than a cash advance or two of campaign funds to sort out, if it occurs.
The scene of the Gordon Brown bigoted scandal
While on the campaign trail in Rochdale, a borough of Manchester (apparently there’s a city to go with the football team), Brown had a brief exchange with city resident Gillian Duffy, a retired 65-year-old former council worker. After speaking with her for a moment or two, the Prime Minister returned to his vehicle. He began castigating his aides for allowing the discussion to happen, that he never should have been put in a position to talk to her, and that she was a “sort of bigoted woman,” according to The Guardian. That is tantamount to giving quick payday to the opposition.
The plot thickens
The first irony is that he was concerned with television crews airing the footage. The second irony, and the big one, is that he said all this, forgetting the microphone on his lapel was still on. It also just so happens that Gillian Duffy is a thorough supporter of the Labor Party and had voted for Brown previously. According to the same Guardian article, now she has no intention of doing so again.
Attempts at making amends
According to The Telegraph, the Prime Minister called Mrs. Duffy to personally apologize. She had been reported as being angered at his remarks. Prime Minister Brown offered the explanation on a BBC 2 radio interview that she had raised the issue of immigration of Eastern Europeans into Great Britain, and he apparently was quite sensitive to her remarks, believing she had said too many of them had entered the country.
Backfires into the hands of the opposition
A PR nightmare of this sort certainly comes at a most inopportune time. Currently, the Labor (Brown’s party) and Conservative parties are battling to establish a majority, and the emerging popularity of Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats may make establishing a parliamentary majority difficult. There hasn’t been a hung parliament in the UK since 1974, when it took 8 months to resolve.