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Scottish man upsets Northerner

Gordon Brown, Gillian Duffy and Rochdale

Written by . Published on April 29th 2010.

Scottish man upsets Northerner

The world of politics this week was rocked to its foundation when a man in a suit committed a school boy error.

The Prime Minister wept silently when he realised the justice of it all as the tape of his comments were played back to him.

He left his microphone on.

Gordon Brown of Downing Street came to Gillian Duffy of Bassett Way for an opportunity of a photographic nature.

Mrs Duffy, formerly a pensioner, and now the Leader of Fair-Minded British Opinion, asked the Scottish Man several reasonable questions about the economy and immigration.

After talking calmly to the woman the man, believed also to be the British Prime Minister, departed quickly from office in a Jaguar limousine.

Gillian Duffy, Mother of the Nation, looked horrified as she was labelled 'bigoted' by Mr Brown in the off-camera gaffe. Small children wept at the injustice of it all. The Prime Minister wept when he realised the justice of it all - as the tape of his comments were played back to him.

He then stripped naked and walked barefoot over broken glass to Mrs Duffy's council house to apologise and ask for his election campaign back.

Smiling broadly after the meeting he declared that he and his best mate Gillian were tickety-boo and everything had been forgotten and forgiven. The national executive of the Labour Party called for a day of mourning and atonement.

Media people were delighted to find large numbers of Rochdalians who were happy to say, "we call a spade a spade up here, we're straight-talking folk, bugger off."

An Oxford English Dictionary spokesman told Confidential: “Bigoted means unreasonably, prejudiced and intolerant. Fool means a person who acts unwisely or imprudently.”

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64 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Gillian DuffyApril 29th 2010.

I only popped out for a loaf. Now it seems I'm famous the world over... EDITORIAL COMMENT: It's all right on the Nick Clegg Vote on the site being satirical about politicians, but attacking this woman is just wrong. All such comments that call her names will be removed. Intelligent and funny ones won't be.

AgricolaApril 29th 2010.

Er idiot. That's Brown and the above ranter. Duffy was being reasonable not a bigot. Unlike the ranter above.

Lord of the PiesApril 29th 2010.

Surely it should have been a Tory foam finger?

John14798April 29th 2010.

I don't care if Gordon Brown has apologised for being caught out telling the truth it obviously shows that he's unfit to be a politician

Lord of the PiesApril 29th 2010.

I don't think his apology is sincere. If that mic had been switched off, he still would have said what he said and then driven off on his merry way. It's his own fault that this has happened

He is entitled to his opinions about people but hurtful comments like that shouldn't be said, in private or otherwise.

AnonymousApril 29th 2010.

I have to post this anonymously, because I have a bit of a confession to make, but I LOVE Gordon Brown's cheeky little smile.

AdamApril 29th 2010.

Eugh... that "smile" is enough to give you nightmares.

DescartesApril 29th 2010.

So does he always walk around mic'd up then? Surely someone from the tv station should have taken that off him before he left?

Trevor MorteApril 29th 2010.

'British Prime Minister, departed quickly from office in a Jaguar limousine.'
Brilliant. Well done Mancon

Rochdale voterApril 29th 2010.

What I still fail to understand is what was it he misunderstood?

Kevin CleverApril 29th 2010.

The three pics on the right hand column: will they define the election. The moment where it went worse for Labour.

AgricolaApril 29th 2010.

Rochdale FC gets promotion and Mrs Rochdale Duffy gets the town in the papers again.

Tyson ThebeerhoundApril 29th 2010.

According to Max Clifford, she's been offered £100,000 for her story. So it will soon be bye-bye Rochdale...

NeedtoknowbasisApril 29th 2010.

Tyson...where do think? North Bury.

HowieApril 29th 2010.

Hmmm. Do you remember what seemed at the time to be a Blair inspired smear campaign orchestrated by Mandelson whereby Brown was described as "psychologically flawed"? Looking like spot on isn't it. That little inquest in the car sounded like the script from one of those brilliant Downfall-Hitler parodies!

Karen HApril 29th 2010.

I don't want to be a conspiracy theorist but who's this 'Aide'. Adrian who? There seem to be loads of these Aides.

AnonymousApril 29th 2010.

I know, Adam, I'm not proud about loving that smile, but I just think it makes him look cute and I want to go up to him and pinch his cheek. I shudder at myself for thinking this way, hence the anonymous post.

AnonymousApril 29th 2010.

It's that smile of his that gets my goat. It just shows how insincere he is. He's only had it for 6 months.

AgricolaApril 29th 2010.

It is the smile of a goat.

Scott NeilApril 29th 2010.

"All these eastern European what are coming in, where are they flocking from?" he could have answered her question w some basic geography and avoided a lot of fuss.

NorthernerApril 29th 2010.

I think Gordon switched off when Gillian said the word "flocking". He was unable to tune in to the Rochdale accent and thought she said the "f" word. This should have been his excuse if this was the case. He should have been honest and explained why he thought she was bigoted but he is a politician and is unable to give an honest explanation. He is brainwashed to only speak in spin. Why did he think the interview had been a disaster? Why did he think it was a mistake to put him with "that woman"? He should be stuck in a room with more of us and educated about how we think.

My greatest hope is that we may now get a proper debate on immigration and the benefit culture.

cleggs clogsApril 29th 2010.

what I want to know is why she wasn't at work on the set of corrie dishing out hotpot like she normally is?

CheesemanApril 29th 2010.

Very good

Leigh ScottApril 29th 2010.

I think she did come across a little bigoted

CumbrianApril 29th 2010.

Duffy's gone down hill a bit!!

tomegranateApril 29th 2010.

Reposting myself from the MEN story, I've been brewing these thoughts for a while so I thought to share my pearls of wisdom (!)

"Brown calling Mrs Duffy a bigot because she raised the issue of immigration"

It's not "because she raised the issue". It's because her attitude and way she brought it up, specifically complaining about one group of people, indicates to any neutral observer that her motivation is prejudice.
The same applies to a lot of people who like to kid themselves that they have legitimate concerns about immigration, when the truth is plain old xenophobia and seeking a scapegoat for their lot in life. Same old hate, old as time. Fortunately these people are generally too stupid and un-self-aware to be able to open their mouths (or type into a webpage) without belying their true feelings.
Unfortunately in our populist, flawed quasi-democracy, all opinions are given equal voicing and everyone is encouraged to mouth off about things most of us can't possibly have a reasonable grasp of (immigration, macro-economics, climate change, international diplomacy).

There IS a debate to be held about immigration in the UK, but disastrously the right-wing press and nationalist parties have scuppered much hope of this being done sensibly, by appealing to people's worst instincts and at the same time giving them a supposed veneer of legitimacy by wildly exaggerating the issues caused by immigration.

In short - discussing immigration doesn't necessarily make you a racist (or a bigot), but if you get angry and defensive about it, you probably are anyway.

CumbrianApril 29th 2010.


KitCatApril 29th 2010.

She probably was, don't see why you should apologise for holding was appears to be a fairly accurate opinion!

AnonymousApril 29th 2010.

Well, it cheered me up. This nation is, unfortunately, full of bigotry. Mrs Duffy may not have been blatantly so, but still her comments seemed to belie the largely unsubstantiated perception sadly endemic across the country that 'they' (foreign people) are taking our jobs/houses/services/anything else you care to mention from 'us', the rightful inheritors. I think it's an unbalanced and unhelpful viewpoint. Of course leaving the mic on was a major blunder on Gordon's part, but the more I think about it, the more I like Gordon for his comments. It's kind of a shame he had to apologise - I agree with Northerner that an honest explanation of his thinking would have been preferable. Anyway, I'm sure I'll get slated for this, but hey.

Bentley CookeApril 29th 2010.

@ Cumbrian "Duffy's gone down hill a bit!!"

Ha ha. I just laughed Beef & Tomato Pot Noodle out of my nozzle.

nojjyboyApril 29th 2010.

Malcolm Tucker couldn't write this stuff...

Hilarious. It' would've been good to see our fine leader carrying through the one shared sentiment of the live debates - namely, upholding the transparency, honesty and integrity we apparently have every right to demand from our elected political servants.

But no, instead, he smiled through gritted teeth/ gaping jaw and served up p*ss poor platitudes, to the understandable concerns of the bewildered and lost folk of Rockerdale, as the camera's rolled.

Then, the second he was behind, what he believed to be, closed doors, vented the simmering and burgeoning contempt he obviously carries for having to indulge so many morons on a daily basis!

And therein lies the issue, you reap what you sew...

Integrity fail. Apology fail. Campaign fail.

MercyApril 29th 2010.

@ Cumbrian "Duffy's gone down hill a bit!!"

just got it! THAT Duffy! Mercy! LOL

AnonymousApril 29th 2010.

I'm hugely sympathetic to Mr Brown. We all have clients/customers whose views or style we may not care for. We nonetheless respond ostensensibly professionally and courteously, whilst retaining our own covert views. having made a mistake in uttering his views in private, he went out of his way to remedy the situation. I won't be supporting his team at the election next week, but I do support him in that he's been pretty decent about all of this.

Paul MastersApril 29th 2010.

He passed me outside citys ground in hs motorcade after the gaff he must of wanted to see where that casino was that we didnt get

AnonymousApril 29th 2010.

NOJJYBOY - Don't you normally wear what you sew?

Not surprisedApril 29th 2010.

DESCARTES> "So does he always walk around mic'd up then? Surely someone from the tv station should have taken that off him before he left?"

Should have, but it happened to be SKY TV. As a friend of mine pointed out, "they they would broadcast him taking a shit. They really would".

The ColonelApril 29th 2010.

“You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”
That time has come Gordon, now who's the fool?

twice bittenApril 29th 2010.

He's only gone and done it again...the bbc reporter stepped in and took it from him this time.What a tool!

jApril 29th 2010.

I agree with tomegranate, she did sound bigoted. The only thing Gordon Brown did wrong was not to challenge her prejudice more at the time, although this must be difficult when you are surrounded by cameras and journalists.

Lord of the PiesApril 29th 2010.

I can't believe this nearly happened again. I think they should have let him roll with it. See what other gaffes we could have gotten out of him.

DescartesApril 29th 2010.

But is it a gaff calling a bigot a bigot? He should have explained why he said it, not just apologised and backed down - that just made him seem like a coward.

TomegranateApril 29th 2010.

What's this about it (nearly?) happening again? Linky please.

AnonymousApril 29th 2010.

I'd rather like the PM, or am comfortable to watch him. I also complain to my colleagues about those who I met and had some problem with. So, he may be the same as me, or one of us.
I think it was media who "hurt" the lady a lot. After the incident, they surrounded the lady and kept on giving questions, and made this incident bigger and bigger than she might have initially felt. TV camera may be as violent as knives.

Leigh ScottApril 29th 2010.

anon are you smoking something?

Leigh ScottApril 29th 2010.

Pie man and descartes how you do that with hthe avatar?

Lord of the PiesApril 29th 2010.

@Scoteee, sign up to a free service called 'Gravatar' and then upload an image of your choosing to their site and when ever you post a rant that isn't anonymous or a spoof name it should show up once you post a rant and then refresh the page.

Enoch PowellApril 29th 2010.

Has anybody even thought that the old dear was indeed being a bigot? It seems very starnge how the UK et al invite various ethnic minorities over to work when there's a desperate skill shortage only to demand exit when things get tough. You can't have it both ways as we don't have an empire anymore, thank f**k !

Leigh ScottApril 29th 2010.


northern soilApril 29th 2010.

Is it true that Simon Cowell is going to pair up Mrs Duffy and Susan Boyle for a duet and call the Ladies GaGa

BobApril 29th 2010.

"...but all these eastern European what are coming in, where are they flocking from?" Well, Eastern Europe presumably. Bigot? Maybe. Thick as a short plank? Mmmm. I find it disturbing that we don't expect our politicians to be human. Surely ANYONE is entitled to verbalise their opinion in what should have a private moment. Does the fate of the nation genuinely hang on something so slight as this? Shouldn't people just grow up and resopnd to what actually matters? If not, we'll probably get the Tory party back and then we'll be sorry.

AngelaApril 29th 2010.

Absolutely brilliant! Nice one Gordon. While some of us knew what the main 3 parties were really like there were plenty of people who were blind to it.....well now maybe all of you who think that the main 3 really care for you and your concerns will finally wake up and realise they don't

Smyth HarperApril 29th 2010.

How come some people have pictures with their name now? I want one!
<em>You need to go to http://en.gravatar.com/ and create a global avatar</em>

Leigh ScottApril 29th 2010.

You must be a hero! Sign up today!

The BankerApril 29th 2010.

I seem to be only person reading this who thinks the mass media (BBC, ITV etc) have behaved appallingly. I was watching this on BBC News 24 as it happened and within minutes it was all over every news channel and radio. WHY? Oh becuase its a cheap and quick swipe at a politician (and it could easily have been one of others). At the end of the day does is really matter what Gordon thinks of this lady? No it doesn't. his comments will not affect your everyday life one jot. Everyone out there who is planning on voting next week should wake up and start thikning seriously about who to vote for - based on the ECONOMY. A word of caution - look only to Greeece. We (UK) are not far behind. What is happening in Greece should be puting fear into the hearts and bank accounts of everyone, as its going to happen here without a doubt. Forget about what Gordon said - in fairness probably because he's exhuasted, tired, fed up as anyone out on campaign trail is. And I bet there's not a person out there who can hand on heart say they've not said things we later come to regret. But come on people - when you've lost your job. can't pay your mortgage, credit card or balance the books,will you really care about whether Gordon called someone a bigot or a beauty? no you won't. But you will care very much however about your own personal finances. Get wise. And before 6th May.

AngelaApril 29th 2010.

Well, the media are ultra quick to do that kind of thing with other parties so why not with Labour?

Scott NeilApril 29th 2010.

tbf Angela out of the three main parties you'd have to say that overall the media are harshest on the government (which is unsurprising of course, us Brits being naturally cynical re incumbents) and have been on them more than the other two for some years now.
(added to the fact the Lib Dem mania that Cable and Clegg have recently inspired.)

James11364April 29th 2010.

there go my Polish builders. They are frightened of being duffed up.

Scott NeilApril 30th 2010.

http://twitter.com/bigotedwoman - well it made me laugh.

Peter HarrisApril 30th 2010.

The first X-Factor election coming up?

Scott NeilApril 30th 2010.

too right Pedro. fair play to the Lib Dems for genuinely energising a lot of people who have been watching these debates, but three hours of telly does not a convincing argument make.

BusbyApril 30th 2010.

I love this election. Love it, love it, love it. Going to vote Liberal. Come on Clegg.

Roger Thesaurus.April 30th 2010.

'The real truth' ? Well that means about as much as the 'confidential' in manchester confidential. I prefer manchester crapfidential. Come on Gordo !! (Brown)

AnonymousApril 30th 2010.

Well that means about as much to me as the Thesaurus in Roger Thesaurus. I prefer Roger 'Complete lack of extraordinary words or meanings' ;)

Dean ManApril 30th 2010.

The Real Truth headline was irony, in a tablod style you silly old Roger you. Not quite as clever as you think eh?

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