Magazine article The Spectator

Gordon the Gaffer

Magazine article The Spectator

Gordon the Gaffer

Article excerpt

It was always dangerous to let Gordon Brown near real voters. His election campaign has been constructed so that he meets as few as possible. Labour aides have been asked to pose as audiences. The Prime Minister has always been a backroom man: he is at his best with spreadsheets and opinions. He is easily irritated. Worse, he thinks that anyone who disagrees with him is either confused or malign. Now we know that he also regards his critics as 'bigoted'.

The accidental recording of his comments after meeting Gillian Duffy in Rochdale is far more damaging than John Major referring to the Eurosceptic 'bastards'. Cameras recorded the Prime Minister saying 'Good to see you' as he left the woman, and trying on his rictus grin as he climbed into the car.

And then: 'That was a disaster. Whose idea was that?' His first instinct was to find an aide to blame - and for what? For allowing him into contact with someone who had real questions to put to him? …

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