Thursday, April 29, 2010


I doubt that there is any politician - or even political activist - who hasn't walked away from a door they have just canvassed or a voter that they have tried to persuade and made a wry or dubious comment to a colleague about the voters' true voting intentions or views. And I doubt that there are many people who can honestly say that they have never said anything out of earshot about a friend, family member, colleague or acquaintance which they would not want to say to that person's face!

So just think how horrific it must be if those private words were repeated back to the other person. How would you feel? Horrifed? Embarrassed? And if the words you used were excessive - the horror and embarrassment must be so much greater. And what would you think of the person who had gone back and repeated your words?

So it must have been great fun for the media yesterday to report to Gillian Duffy what Gordon Brown had said about her. I don't suppose for a moment they thought about the hurt they might cause to her - no doubt they were just interested in landing the Prime Minister in a whole load of trouble.

Of course in a perfect world nobody says anything about anybody else behind their back which is disrepectful or hurtful. But we do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world where human beings act in a human way and make mistakes.

So I just think that this is a story about human nature - which has hurt and embarrassed everyone involved.

But does it make me think that Gordon Brown has got the big decisions about the economy wrong over the past 2 years? Or that his knowledge and experience are not the best on offer for the future of our economy as we emerge from this recession? No, not at all. At the end of the day it is the decisions on the big issues which matter. And Gordon Brown has got those right.

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