>Sure, Gordon Brown mucked up big time. Like Neil Kinnock’s tumble on the sands at Brighton, his remarks as he left after a conversation with Rochdale voter Gillian Duffy may well go down as the defining moment of his leadership. It may even go down as the moment this election irrevocably turned.
Before you criticise too much, though, can you hand on heart say that there has never been a moment in your life when you have said something you really shouldn’t to let off steam privately?
I’ll bet you there’s not a politician on this earth who hasn’t said something similar at some stage. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that there’s not a person on this earth who hasn’t irrationally cursed their boss, or a customer or someone who doesn’t really deserve it when they thought they couldn’t be heard.
There is so much pressure on political leaders. They’re all absolutely exhausted. Hell, I was actually in tears earlier because I’m so tired at the moment and I don’t have to go out in public and smilingly greet loads of people every hour of the day when I’m not staring at the likes of Jeremy Paxman or travelling. They must all be pretty wrecked and in some ways mistakes like this are inevitable.
That said, one of the reasons I can’t abide the Labour Party is that they seem to have a very narrow vision of what is acceptable and what isn’t. If you don’t agree with them 100%, they think there’s something wrong with you. I could never deliver that sort of conformity to anyone or anything and I’m deeply suspicious of an organisation that demands it. Maybe if they just relaxed a bit, they could cope with dissent a bit better.
There is however, a small part of me in that very soft mother hen type psyche of mine that just wants to give Gordon Brown a cup of tea and a cuddle (purely platonic for the avoidance of doubt). It could have happened to anyone, but only he was unlucky enough to have a mike from a media empire that hates his guts strapped to him.