I felt really sorry for Gillian today. Who's Gillian? Don't you follow the election coverage? Gillian is the woman Gordon Brown was caught calling a bigot when he left her, not realising his mike was still on. I felt really sorry for her because you could see she was upset and to my knowledge she didn't say anything bigoted.
If she had done however, there would have been nothing wrong with what he said. This idea that politicians have to be nice to everyone even when that person is being offensive (as happens now and again) is daft, it makes us fake and people don't want us to be fake they want us to be honest. For example, seeing as I've never diddled my expenses, if someone accuses me of doing so (as they have done, total strangers who have never even heard of me) I don't waste time doing the "typical politician" thing, I don't smile through gritted teeth, I stick up for myself in the way anybody would if they were accused of theft!
Just as folk don't want us to be fake, neither do they want us to be perfect super humans. So they'll forgive us the odd faux pas (or fox's paw as my Granny Purdie called it). And that's why today's incident between Gillian and Gordon Brown will blow over - if the press allow it to. Everyone says things they don't really mean when they're under pressure. He was probably feeling awkward and a bit stressed in a situation that he's not naturally comfortable in and was expressing that by doing what most folk do and blaming someone else. It wasn't very nice but we all do and say not very nice things occasionally.
I think I'm ultra sensitive to other people but trust me, I am not blame free and like most folk out there, I've expressed my annoyance with people behind their back. I bet you have too. And I bet, like me, if you thought they were going to hear what you said, you wouldn't DREAM of saying it.
I can understand all the fuss about the Labour candidate whose twitter page CONTINUALLY demonstrated his contempt for ordinary people but this is different. Gordon Brown may well have contempt for ordinary people but what happened today is not necessarily an indication of that.
If you want a reason not to vote for him try the Iraq war, nuclear weapons, the "British jobs for British workers" comment but don't judge his whole suitability as PM on one stupid throwaway comment. I hope Gillian't not too upset by the media frenzy of today.
Politics Live - readers' edition - Friday 21 July
19 hours ago