Open thread on Brown’s gaffe

Mick is in transit and has asked me to open a thread for you on Brown’s bigot comment

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Well thats the problem with politicians meeting so called ordinary people.
    Take Gerry Adams for example standing harmlessly outside a Catholic Church in Eglish and he met a very bigoted man called Gerry McGeough and Adams told him to “go away”.
    Suddenly this guy became a media darling with people who wouldnt give him the time of day. Most reasonable people would hold that McGeough was a bigot who makes Gerry Adams seem like the Dalai Lama.
    Of course unreasonable people agree with McGeough.

    So its the same with erstwhile Labour supporters. They are a wee bit suspect on some issues like immigration..a bigger issue in South and East Lancashire (Labour heartlands) than in the leafier suburbs of the Home Counties and the Shires (Tory heartlands).

    As any political handler should know..from Sue Lawley/Diana Gould/Margaret Thatcher…..politicians should be kept away from real people….at all costs.
    There are still seven days for more politicians to meet real people.

  • if nothing else it’s a new low surpassing even the extraneous usage of the word in Slugger comments

  • Drumlin Rock

    so how many seats has it cost him?

  • sdelaneys

    What, we,re back in Tyrone; Don’t tell me, either Michell;e was the woman Brown insulted or she just happened to be there to cuddle him too or there would be no point in FJH harkingf back to the A

  • slug

    The thing is that immigration is not the cost-free thing that the wealthy think it is.

    Supply and demand set wages so wages fall when suppy increases. That is the effect on low skill wages when immigration happens. Employers can pay less.

    So for this lady-it is a legitimate issue.

    And too in NI-we have had a lot here too.

  • slug

    The lady in question was a Labour voter and supporter. Whereas McGeogh stands in election opposing SF. So these are not the most comparable of cases-I woudl argue.

  • sdelaneys

    Cut off there when saying…harking back to the Adams/McGeough kerfuffle.

  • slug

    Some to Cons some to Lib Dems.

  • This is not the first time someone with a recorder has taken advantage of off the cuff and supposedly private comments.

    George Brown has problems, I am not a supporter but I can understand how a mistake could happen. In addition all the champagne socialists think anyone who mentions immigration is a bigot, that is why the BNP and other extremist parties are doing so well. There is a problem with unregulated immigration and the poorest of us inevitably pay the price.

  • slug

    New facebook group Duffy for PM

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Oh theres a lot of point surely.
    First off theres the danger of politicians meeting PEOPLE.
    Theres the rather obvious point that McGeough is the worst kind of bigot.
    Hw does a politician deal with a bigot?
    Does he say “go away”
    Does he slink back into his car and make a rather unpleasant comment?
    Do politicians .ie every candidate in 650 odd seats say rather abusive things in the “privacy” of their car after meeting ordinary punters…is it just Brown?
    Yet Nick Robinson….BBC Editr.and former Young Conservative tells us that it is no surprise to him because the personal behaviour of Brown is marked contrast to his public behaviour.
    Which brings us back to the thread on McGeough….those that dislike Adams….whether the republican dissidents or Overclass journalists……round on Adams……even though McGeough is hardly the sorta person the Overclass admire. And some of his more outlandish bigotry is an embarrassment to so called republicans.

    Yet Mrs Duffy…..Rochdale pensioner and “nobody” today is a star in the Daily Mail tomorrow. Especially if she has a nephew with “our boys” in Afghanistan.
    Events dear boys..Events.

  • Some to Cons, some to Lib Dems and, quite possibly, a lot of votes to the BNP and UKIP.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Not sure why this is a big issue. Would any other broadcaster but SKY have leaked this? I don’t think he’ll be doing them any favours again.

    Everybody sounds off, what do you think is going on behind those but empty smiles.

  • oracle

    The woman Duffy was complaining about forign workers and immigrants

    “During their apparently good-natured exchange in the street, Mrs Duffy told the Prime Minister: “You can’t say anything about immigrants.”

    She added: “All these Eastern Europeans… where are they coming from?” (eastern europe you daft cow)

    Mr Brown said a million people had come from Europe but another million Britons had moved the other way.

    Mrs Duffy also complained about people on benefits (as all right wing nutters do).

    “There’s too many people now who aren’t vulnerable but they can claim, and people who are vulnerable can’t claim, can’t get it,” she said. (classic moronic soundbite)forgeting she draws a state pension

    Mr Brown said: “But they shouldn’t be doing that. There is no life on the dole for people any more.”

    As he went to get into his car, the Prime Minister told her: “Very nice to meet you, very nice to meet you.”
    But seconds after his limousine’s doors slammed shut, he made his unguarded comments.

  • oracle


    this woman was complaining about others… where as McGough was complaining about what was happening to himself, yet you regard this uneducated right wing nut job as normal for challenging Brown but the religous nut job McGough as abnormal for challenging Adams

    It exposes youself as being bigoted against anyone seen as being different in thought to S/F

  • You should be ashamed. The lady tried to articulate and defend her own and others. You make fun of her for your own ends.

    If you are representative of S/F supporters Ireland does not need you, let the Brits keep their crap.

  • townieman

    A mountain being made out of a mole hill here.

    A private conversation being leaked by the media in a (successful) attempt to discredit Brown. The guy was just giving his honest opinion of an uncomfortable discussion. I’m sure a lot worse has been said in private.

  • willis

    Especially those Ulster -Scots

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Oracle, you appear to be labelling me as a SF supporter when others on Slugger O’Toole believe me to be dyed in the wool SDLP person. Both Comrade Stalin and Sammy Morse “know” who I am.
    McGeough is of course a nut job but on this Site his altercation with Adams …it was the “nut job” who got support from both republican dissidents AND their Overclass allies.
    I dont know if the Rochdale woman is a nut job or not…dont care much either but the sheer nonsense of a blogger like our old chum Mr McGregor apologist for republican dissidents (and McGeough is one!) getting all irritated about a “possible confrontation with a bigot” when he cant work himself up into a frenzy about real bigots (closer to home) like McGeoug is jaw dropping.

  • Mark

    A northern female English pensioner – no way she could be a bigot – oh no no no!


  • Henry94

    If Brown had laughed at her views or been condescending about her he would have been fine. But he was wallowing in self-pity. It was an extraordinary reaction from him and I think it will convince a lot of voters that he has a personality problem. The media have been hinting as much for a long time and Blair was certainly aware of it.

    He actually handled the encounter quite well as you’d expect any of them to do. But the reaction in the car was not that of a well-balanced man.

  • Like no Irish female pensioners would be bigoted? It is not a condition peculiar to the English, nor is a poor education and limited means.

    Most older people cling to their own and resent intrusion, that is natural, especially for the ones who have lived in an area all their lives and see that area change beyond recognition. Are they not allowed to object?

    We have, on both sides of the water, subjected our older citizens to an invasion they had no say in and no escape from. We should be a little more understanding, and a lot less condescending.

  • I think it showed Brown to be lacking in confidence when he said that the meeting was a disaster, when commentators are saying that it was one of his better ‘grip and grin’ meets.
    Bit like life imitating art ala in ‘The Thick of it’ (without the swearing)

  • bulmer

    It’s a one day wonder, a gift to the Tory press and no doubt lurid headlines. But nothing else. The reality remainss that unless the Liberal vote collapses, Gordon is going to be PM next Friday. What then the Murdoch empire?

  • slug

    I think that in adams case he is important in terms of the peace process so while the overclass don’t like his past they hope he will be on top of things over the foreseeable-a couple more parliaments at least-he is a stabilising figure in terms of the peace process.

  • slug

    The woman in Rochdale is life long labour working class. I don’t think right wing nut job is appropriate for all but the most snobbish of metropolitans.

  • DC

    Yup Henry I think that about sums it up, having heard what was said having at first I thought they had a private conservation together away from the cameras where the woman might have said some really hardcore comments, but they weren’t that bad. If her comments had been worse I would have taken a view that it might appeal to the more liberal and tolerant, but the outcome looks bad – swing voters lost. It was also poor taste by Brown to assume that she also wasn’t even a Labour voter. Not good.

    To me the questions seemed quite natural and on the whole innocuous in that such questions must surely be expected on the street when campaigning for a GE. I agree about the self-pity of Brown knowing that his quick to judge remarks had been caught on audio and his devastation shining through on camera when he visited the BBC radio studio to issue an apology.

    Still the Labour Party is constituted better than the Tories in terms of having more considerate people more greatly disposed to the plight of the underdogs and less well off, so my vote would still hold up on that count.

    I do feel sorry for both in the end. The Guardian has a video showing the response from the woman after it was disclosed to her, she said she had a postal vote and that she wasn’t going to bother using it now. Just not vote. Shame all round. Politics is hard.


    We pay a much higher price by allowing the richest avoid paying their fair share of taxes. I have found myself on the harsh end of wages being driven down by an influx of new workers but instead of attacking poor desperate people who just want to make a better life for themselves I try to focus my anger where it rightly belongs, on those who exploit the influx of new workers in order to drive down wages and roll back hard fought for worker’s rights.
    I don’t think anyone who mentions immigration is a bigot but i do think the issue of immigration is often a mask for bigotry.

  • And so is the ;journalist’ who got this scoop! He embarrassed one and hurt the other. Nice.

  • slug

    Votes yes but seats no.

  • DC

    Yes, I meant to say when I read it at first on the internet I thought the exchanges were away somewhere in private off camera and that it might not be that bad, you know like semi-racist or something making Brown seem reasonable.

    But the conversation was caught on camera and fairly civilised. Moochin is also spot on as Brown handled it well enough for him, not disastrous. I guess the pressure really is on him and he isn’t enjoying it one bit the whole PM thing and elections and getting out there.

    The woman I think actually is a genuine Labour voter and the clip I saw shows her just walking away seeming despondent, commenting that she just isn’t going to vote now. Ouch.

  • slug

    And those Celts.

  • Alias

    80% of all new jobs that have been created in the UK since New Labour came to power have been taken by immigrants. With that appalling record it’s not surprising that the Prime Mentalist (to borrow from Guido) is a tad touchy about the subject

  • slug

    A fair point.

    Economists rarely focus on the inequality-increaseing effects of migration. There may be benefits of migration to business but not to the people who experience lower wages as a result .

    The group that can argue my salary shoudl go up to stop them migrating overseas are always at the top end.

    So migration makes the rich richer the poor porrer.

  • alan56

    I think what all this shows, apart from the obvious gaffe factor, is that GB thought it had gone badly.Actually it seemed like a positive interaction which would have played well in the media. His reaction showed ‘detachment and zero media knowledge’. Its his poor judgement that amazes me. Not a good day for Brown.

  • You know Im not sure anymore, there is such anger out there, and now this. I would not be surprised if they got a seat, disappointed but not surprised.

  • old school

    On benefits.
    “There’s too many people who aren’t vulnerable but who can claim, and people who are vulnerable can’t claim”
    She’s feckin’ on the ball there anyway.

  • old school

    Imagine what he says when closing the door of No.10 after a visit from Robinson or Adams?

  • alan56

    Might even involve the ‘b’ word?

  • Alias

    He probably thinks they both sound like tower block trash arguing about sh*t that even Jerry Springer couldn’t feign interest in.

  • DC

    I think Brown being heavily stigmatised from the word go by the media has messed him up along with both the economically and politically crushing recession, but he has flaws in his character that only fuel it so that it all goes round in one big horrible circle. Going round faster and faster by the looks of it now.

    Tough job being the leader, eh?

  • How many ways are there to spell benefits???

  • sdelaneys

    On the benefits she actually has a point; many people who have genuine problems due to physical and mental illnesses have trouble getting DLA becasue they assume their conditions speak for themselves and don’t understand all the technicalities of the claim whereas those who are making dodgy claims know full well that they have to play the game to get the money and play it they do like experts.

  • Gram

    It’s casual racism and bigotry like his that allows harder elements like the BNP to thrive.

  • Mick Fealty

    Quite the most apposite view on the thread so far.

    BTW FJH, you are developing a nice little line on ‘settling old scores’. Why don’t you just ‘let it go’, ‘offer it up’ and try to stick to the subject in hand (on which you often have insightful things to say)?

  • Michaelhenry

    McGEOGH and his likes did not stand in the EUROPEAN ELECTIONS OR EVEN THIS ELECTION, McGEOGH has the P.U.P attitude of only standing in the odd election.

  • I agree and too often we treat people in need as people on the ‘take’.

  • Mark

    I hear what you are saying but living on “the mainland” I have noticed that “casual racism” is almost a natural as breathing amongst the older population – that isn’t exclusively the case but enough to be notable.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I feel quite sorry for Gordon actually. And I don’t have a very high opinion about people who go all day about the Eastern Europeans taking over.

    The real mistake is in the media appearance he did after leaving the woman’s house. He was wearing that strange forced smile as he explained to everyone how he apologized to her.

  • If you live in England you must have seen the different cultures and nationalities there. It is not surprising to find older people resentful and anxious. No one has ever shown the slightest interest in their opinion, and today one old lady finds herself a ‘star’ for being unable to articulate her argument as well as the so called educated demand. If the racism was as bad you say, and certainly I saw some but not much, the immigrants would not be going there in such numbers.

  • orly

    Having read the somewhat incomplete transcript of events on the BBC site, I can’t really see what Gordon Browns problem was. She might have ranted a bit and talked over him but the questions asked weren’t particularly shocking, over the top or surprising.

    Did Gordon not expect to be asked about important issues of the day like debt, immigration and student fees? If not, he’s evidently pretty clueless.

    Then we have his remarks in the car. All this “unlucky old chap” nonsense floating around misses the point. If he didn’t like her words he should have said it to her face instead of moaning about it afterwards. Getting caught out afterwards is no ones fault but his own.

    Now i’m not naive enough to assume that politicians don’t say one thing in public and another in private all the time but that doesn’t make it excusable or acceptable. Basically you’re being two faced and a liar…and everyone hates those sorts of people.

    The only thing truly remarkable is that millions of people still seem inclined to vote for a totally useless Labour Party even after over a decade of pretty abject performance.

    Was it Hitler who said “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think”?

  • sdelaneys

    ‘Tis the season to be ‘gaffeing’, and a thread on has a claim that Sinn Fein, complete with Michelle, have gone to the home of a murdered man in Dungannon and asked to speak to the murdered man.

  • daisy

    I feel sorry for him insofar as I’ve felt sorry for him from his very first mess up a couple of years ago (taking over from Tony). He just hasn’t got what it takes to connect with people and he has no personality. Everything he does or says turns to dust – if I was him I would’ve just announced my resignation.

  • Oh dear, but surely that is a risk every candidate risks, or is there some way of finding out in advance.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    What a very bizarre thing to say.
    I dont even know Gerry McGeough and dont feel I have any score to settle with him. I merely think he is a bigot whose actions have been defended. Defending extremism and bigotry is something I deplore and have always maintained a stance where I will oppose it.

  • argosjohn

    Any word on the Oxford educated Islamic extremist in the Foreign Office who insulted the Pope and Catholicism? Brown is just a bully. The BNP are going to run an ad campaign on it according to their web site.
    Gerry McGough is a Catholic, not a bigot. He merely rejects “New Sinn Fein”. Calling him a bigot of course sets him up for the death squads.

  • Gerry McGeough is entitled to his opinion. He may be a Catholic fundamentalist but that is his choice and his right.

    When was the last time someone threw an egg at GA, thats almost the norm in UK general elections. He had to put up with a few home truths. He may not be used to it, but then I expect democracy is still new to him.

    There is a world of difference between Mr NcGeough and this lady. He is an experienced would be politician. The lady is totally unused to the limelight and now finds herself the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Oxford educated Islamic extremist in the Foreign Office who insulted the Pope and Catholicism?


    Gerry McGough is a Catholic, not a bigot. He merely rejects “New Sinn Fein”. Calling him a bigot of course sets him up for the death squads.

    Double nutter.

  • Alias

    Nope, and no lamentable essays on it proffered deep insights about what it tells us about the British psyche and sectarianism. Now if it was the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs on a visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury, then we’d never here the end of it with every propaganda angle milked for maximum anti-Irish effect.

    Re death squads. I don’t think the nationalist community is being primed for that up there. What they are being primed for it a security clampdown on those who remained violently opposed to British rule, with careful planning being given to bring the nationalist community onside so that they fully support the rejection of their national rights and the state that continues to deny them. As Robinson found out recently, British national security is more important than other considerations, and nothing is permitted to stand in the way of the full endorsement of Her Majesty’s security services by the nationalist community as will be required during said clampdown.

  • Mark

    I simply tell you what I see – perhaps you are right, perhaps it is because there are a greater number of different cultures and nationalities present. However…… the “Eastern Europeans” she was so worried about are in large number here on the south coast………… doing the jobs that the indigeous working class population won’t even apply for, for example serving in the hotels, serving the pensioners who troop to the English Riviera for their holidays and treat staff like dirt because they are a different colour or have a “funny accent”.

    Casual racism is alive and well in many parts of England, particularly among the older working and middle class. Strangely, despite our reputation for religious intolerance, most people I knew in the 29 years I lived in NI were much more tolerant than many of their peers that I have met here.

    I love living here but I find the attitudes to population movement and nationality a little perplexing.

  • Mark

    A stupid mistake by the PM but can I humbly suggest that if you placed a microphone in Mr Cameron or Mr Clegg’s car after a similar exchange you might get a similar result.

  • alan56

    bigotgate might roll on…getting bigger in media

  • I suspect the reason the Brit govt and the Brit media have allowed the subject of the foreign office idiot to ‘die’ is because it is an insult to the Pope and discussing it makes it worse, not for the Brits but for the Pope.

    I also think the writer of the ‘memo’ would be well advised to reconsider his career path…

  • Mark

    Just watching Newsnight from Rochdale – no racism in Rochdale eh!

  • daisy

    only on Slugger could we be parochial enough to include something as insignificant as a meeting outside a church to a thread on the PM.

  • As I have said before I will not be surprised if the BNP get a seat this time.

  • Mark

    Regrettably, I think you are right.

  • Drumlin Rock

    and those neolithic hunter gatherers

  • Lets look on the bright side. if they do get a seat it might galvanise the other parties into actually listening to their electorate.

  • Mark

    Not sure about that….


  • Mick Fealty


    You think McGeough is a ‘bigot’. And Brown thought Mrs Duffy was a ‘bigot’. But what, pray tell, has that to do with the price of fish?

  • Alias

    The trick in whataboutery is to show that one side is as bad as the other. That twist in that is suggesting that one side [i]could[/i] be as bad as the other but you can’t show it. Not as effective.

  • Mark

    Quite so, I’m not suggesting that it isn’t bad for the PM, however as discerning and intelligent Slugger O’Toole-ers 🙂 we hopefull will be able to stand back a bit from all the knee-jerking.

  • Mark

    You are not talking about one or two thousand, you are talking about millions of immigrants. It has a serious effect and that effect has been ignored.

    As for the immigrants do the work the English refuse. I have never believed that. Immigrants keep the wages down and the English on the whole have much higher overheads and cannot afford to do such low paid jobs.

    I found relatively little racism in England, considering the number of immigrants. I am not an apologist for them but I do understand and have indeed witnessed the massive changes to whole towns, and all without a word much less debate.

  • Drumlin Rock

    are you a Jacobite wild goose FJH?

  • Mark

    That’s fine, your view/interpretation of that which we see around us and mine are different. I feel very uncomfortable with some very 1950’s attitudes that I see every day.

    As for there being no debate about immigration – I simply cannot understand you saying that – have you seen “The Mail”, “The Express” and “The Telegraph” recently? – it seems (to a simple soul like me) that their ideal headline would be “Lesbian, Muslim, Eastern European, Communist and Princess Di murder shocker!”

    I have lived here for the past nine years and immigration and foreigners is a subject that is discussed in not too enlightened a way by a surprising cross-section of people – though perhaps I am keeping the wrong company!

    Good to hear your view though pippakin – I am an oddball so perhaps don’t represent the views of anyone but myself!


  • Think I can guess what photo the next wave of Tory billboards will feature;

    Gordon Brown head in hands; Slogan: Another fine mess…

  • sdelaneys

    Use of local canvasssers should eliminate such difficulties and it must have been upsetting for both the family and the canvassers.

  • Mark

    Not an odd ball, but possibly younger than the lady in question, or myself!

    I can remember the first black boy in my area, he had no problems at all immediately becoming one of a group. I doubt that would happen today, everyone has taken sides, and the area has now got more immigrants than English living there, that is a fact. The area is Newham in east London. I think they had 72 languages there…

  • It might be a good idea for canvassers to speak to the person who answers the door, asking for the parent/s if a child answers.

  • Elvis Paisley

    If I were a floating (English) voter, I’d be more concerned about Gordon Brown’s incompetence in being miked-up after an engagement, than his private comments about a member of the public that had got under his skin on a busy day of campaigning.

  • sdelaneys

    no, he’s lke Gerry, never was in the ra so can’t even launch a barrack buster.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Mr Fealty,
    I assume your question is asked genuinely.
    In thinking that McGeough is a bigot, I am probably not alone. Im inclined to think its a reasonable view to take. Perhaps you even share that view.
    I also “think” Adolf Hitler was a bigot
    Yet this person who I ceratinly believe to be a bigot was given a rather sympathetic hearing on Slugger….perhaps related to the fact that the man with whom he had the confrontation is (with a degree of justification) the most vilified politician on Slugger.
    I compared and contrasted this local altercation (and you will note that a correspondent below “Daisy” indicates that mentioning McGeough in this thread is parochial)……although Id assume that Slugger is still Norn Iron based.
    Technically Brown said the woman was “bigoted” not a “bigot” but leaving not quite semantics aside…..he did betray the fact that as a professional politician that he underestimated the strength of feeling in East Lancashire about migration. Not an issue with those Ive dubbed the “Overclass” but one that does affect the punters…or they think it does.

    I suppose the price of fish issue is that theres something Biblical…….removing the dirt from our own eyes before blaming others.
    Therefore I suggest the confrontation in Eglish between a man seeking votes and a voter was dismissed too lightly whereas we are now invited to comment on the aftermath of a discussion in which Brown clearly believed he was talking to a bigoted woman.

    Interesting to speculate what would have happened if McGeough had met Brown.

  • Alias

    “The worst thing about today is the hurt I caused to Mrs Duffy, the kind of person I came into politics to serve.” – Gordon Brown

    Gordon Brown obviously recognises that Mrs Duffy represents the ordinary British voter, and that his comments show that he holds ordinary British voters in abject contempt, since he is now seeking to create the misleading impression that he doesn’t hold ordinary British voters in the contempt that he has shown for them.

    “Everything she said – she’s just a bigoted woman.” – Gordon Brown

    And what did she say that could have earned her his contempt? Absolutely nothing. She didn’t earn his contempt in any way other than by being an ordinary British voter.

  • Elvis Paisley

    second paragraph is pure speculation.

    The only obvious conclusion to be drawn from this episode is that Gillian Duffy irked Gordon Brown. Whether it was because of her views, or a case of wrong time/wrong place to be put on the spot because of a campaign organiser for GB, we don’t really know for certain.
    The adage in sport ‘What’s said in the dressing room stays in the dressing room’ springs to mind.
    If this incident proves to be a nail in the coffin for GB’s re-election aspirations then truly UK politics can be said to have succumbed to the appeal of personality ahead of policy. Mind you, Brown’s mop-up mission of public contrition via the media would appear to be evidence of Labour’s submission to the importance of style over substance.
    One might wonder whether the inevitable saturation of media coverage on this off the cuff remark might actually work in Brown’s favour, with some voters tiring of all the pontificaiton from columnists and commentators.

  • “As he went to get into his car, the Prime Minister told her: “Very nice to meet you, very nice to meet you.”
    But seconds after his limousine’s doors slammed shut, he made his unguarded comments.”…. oracle says: 28 April 2010 at 6:15 pm

    And what does that tell us, oracle, of the two faced arrogant bigot of a pretentious pretender PM? Was there ever a squarer peg in a round hole? Did ever an enemy have such a destructive mole?

  • willis

    I wonder if this would have happened with Blair/Campbell? Why was Brown still wearing a Sky radio mike? Of all the media handling skills this is surely Page 1 stuff.

    Still, “We neglected the basics” will be a good epitaph.

  • John Joe

    Elvis – I think you are right and Brown probably will get a bounce in the polls. Do any voters still believe their favourite politicians are whiter than white (no pun intended, under the circumstances)? Its hardly news that Brown lacks charisma but that episode almost made him seem normal which I think will do him more good than harm. Still wouldn’t want to have to spend a night in the pub with him.

  • GB has had a full charisma by pass and a night with him would probably drive you to drink.
    I can’t help but think that the leadership debates have changed this election making it more so about media peformances, soundbites and personality than policy.
    I’d actually rather have a dour and serious man, with experience of leadership in charge than a smarmy media savvy old Etonian.
    We have all done it, leaving someone, turning away and smiling and saying sotto voco, through clenched teeth what a dickhead*

    *add expletive of choice

    We just have never had a microphone

  • Mark

    Just picking up on something I said above about casual racism – and I know this is not scienticif and the sample size is too small etc etc

    but it is just another example of the kind of casual racism that I see too much of.

    It was a beautiful day today here in Bournemouth, sun shining and in the “The Square” and up the main shopping street there is a street market selling everything from fudge and other confections to noodles and organic free range goodies – a lovely scene, a credit to Bournemouth Town Centre events team.

    I finished work early and went for a little walk round the market, had some of the aforementioned noodles and was just passing an organic meat stall when the following little incident ruined my afternoon.

    Three very attractive young women passed the meat stall – they were clearly Muslim, wearing brocade robes that had a headscarf over the top of their heads and covered the lower part of their faces (to just below their noses). They were chatting away (in English) and one bumped the supporting pole of the organic meat stall with her bag.

    No damage, no disturbance, just a little knock. She was clearly mortified and immediately apologised to the stall owner………… who fixed her with a look of contempt and said “maybe if you took your mask off, you would see where you are going!!”

    Why, oh why?!

    But I promise, I see this sort of thing too often and this is Bournemouth FFS! not Rochdale or Burnley.

  • As someone who believes the burkha etc is an insult to women, and could be used, not just as a political statement but as a very effective disguise, I am not surprised at the reaction of some people to women who chose to wear it.

    I honestly believe all European countries should ban these hijabs, burkhas or whatever. Not because I am racist, or even because Iit brings out the feminist in me, but because it is divisive.

    I have known prostitutes wear the veil, and thieves.

  • Mark

    I am afraid we will never agree, I can’t believe that anyone would support this sort of offensive attitude – these were clearly women who were comfortable in their garb, the hijab is rather different from the burqa but that is just detail.

    I won’t bother this thread again


  • Mark

    I am afraid we will never agree, I can’t believe that anyone would support this sort of offensive attitude – these were clearly women who were comfortable in their garb, the hijab is rather different from the burqa but that is just detail.

    I won’t bother this thread again


  • Both cover the face making identification difficult if not impossible.

    You saw offensive behaviour. I am wondering if the man was afraid for his stock.

    Sometimes we are all quick to jump to conclusions. How would you like it if a veiled lady stole your goods in a shop? I was there and when the police asked for a description…

    My experience must be very different to your own. You sound like someone who sees the best in people. I hope you are never disappointed.