Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is Gordon Brown Really Sorry?

It appears that Gordon Brown that put the final nail into his coffin and will soon be carried out of 10 Downing Street.

During a campaign stop, Brown had a brief conversation about immigration with Gillian Duffy, a lifelong Labour Party supporter. When Brown returned to his car with his microphone still on he described the encounter as a "disaster" and then called Duffy as "a bigoted woman."

Brown subsequently offered a public apology. But it was completely insincere. He claimed he wasn't given a chance to answer Duffy's question about immigration. Rubbish. Brown ended the conversation. He assailed broadcasters for having "chosen to have played my private conversation."

Gordie, let me break it to you. If you are wearing a microphone there is no private conversation. The fact Brown would try to blame the broadcasters for his words that left his mouth indicates to me that Brown is not sorry for what he said but rather that he is sorry that he got caught.

That said when I learned about this incident the first thing I thought of was Joe The Plumber's encounter with Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign. Now, Obama didn't say anything disparaging about Samuel Wurzelbacher. Yet let's not forget how severely he was scrutinized after meeting with Obama. The point I am making is that if Obama had said something untoward about Gillian Duffy the liberal media would have given Duffy the Joe The Plumber treatment rather than have taken Obama to task.

This isn't to say that the British media isn't left-wing but I find them more even handed in their scrutiny of public officials. Take this tough line of questioning of Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State of Health, over the Brown incident. (In the interest of full disclosure, Burnham was my boss when I worked as an intern for Labour MP Tessa Jowell from January to March 1995. I also must confess that until now I had not realized he had gone on to become an MP and a member of Brown's cabinet).

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