Thursday, April 29, 2010

'Bigot' Brown Haunts Big Debate

The struggling Supreme Leader needed a show-stopping performance for tonight's final of the TV talent show. A SuBo moment. Instead it is Rochdale lass, Gillian Duffy, who is being hailed as the new Susan Boyle.

It was supposed to be a walk in the park - quite literally - and turned into an unmitigated disaster. Now earning the shorthand 'bigotgate' and a shameful place in the history of Election 2010.

A hyped-up final TV debate of three Westminster party leaders is being overshadowed by 'Bigot' Brown, caught out calling pensioner Mrs Duffy a "bigoted woman". Rounding on a real person for daring to speak her mind. Why would anyone want to watch more hypocritical nonsense from someone who holds voters in such contempt?

Spinners have been trying hard to diss Duffy ahead of tonight's TV show. That cannot work. Mrs Duffy is as solid as a rock.

But the Orange Party is still amazed that some crawled out of the Westminster woodwork to try the old trick of dividing lines. Give it up as a bad job. Loyalties run deep in the tight-knit community of this former mill-town.

Was she outspoken? "She's from Rochdale," said one of Mrs Duffy's neighbours. "We all speak our minds around here." "She's our own Susan Boyle," said another proud neighbour.

The Orange Party has never seen such negative headlines - newspapers united in their condemnation - from the Sun through the Guardian to the FT and around the world. Only the tired old Mirror tried it on with a feeble front page, shamefully putting Brown politics before its readers.

Mike Smithson over at Politicalbetting makes a valid point: "I wonder how those 313 Labour MPs who signed Mr. Brown’s nomination papers almost exactly three years ago are feeling this morning ... Didn’t they stop to wonder then why he was so desperate to have an uncontested leadership election?"

A humiliated Brown was forced to apologise to Mrs Duffy. But did he stop there? No. Driven by his own arrogance and self-importance he went back to Mrs Duffy's home, fuelling the media frenzy.

The result? A shameful spectacle of Brown outside the poor woman's house - complete with "joker's grin" as Mrs Duffy's niece so accurately put it.

Fiction lovers will have to wait for the next instalment of Big Al's bad memoirs but the Orange Party will bet that wasn't the old tucker's idea. 'Apologise swiftly, move on quickly' is the first rule of damage limitation. Brown's return simply reinforced the sham of a two-faced hypocrite.

The Orange Party believes the fall-out is a game-changer. According to the latest pre-bigotgate opinion poll it was starting to look like a turning point for Team Brown. ComRes/ITV/ Independent has Tories on 36 per cent, Labour on 29 and the Lib Dems down to 26.

Dave was on his uppers but the Clegg bubble had burst, allowing New Labour to hold its head up high again in second place. Now the Duffy Disaster is set to wipe the floor with New Labour.

And on the eve of tonight's theatrical performance, Brown/Darling were seen as the most trusted on the economy, followed by Cameron/Osborne with Clegg/Cable a miserable third place.

Both Cameron and Clegg behaved impeccably as bigotgate unfolded. Playing it straight by saying absolutely nothing with business as usual. What will be interesting tonight is how all three party leaders react if a question on the vexed issue of immigration is allowed through the filter.

The Orange Party has been quick to launch tabloid tirades against Cocky Clegg and Dashing Dave. That's politics. But on a personal level both are driven by the politics of power, sure, but likeable people nonetheless. The same cannot be said for Brown.

What on earth does it say about an unelected prime minister and leader of a political party who cannot be trusted to get out of the Westminster bubble and let loose anywhere near 'ordinary' people?

It took a salt-of-the-earth Rochdale lass to burst the bubble. A real person, in the real world with real concerns. Tonight's TV debate will be played out with the backdrop of Mrs Duffy and everything the whole shameful episode has come to encapsulate. Anyone who thinks different is living in Two-faced Brown's La La Land.

Top picture: Peter Brookes, The Times. Tabloid compilation: Politicalbetting

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