Woo hoo. This one’s a doozy. Like we said in the last post, we love politics. Especially this kind.
Setup: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, eight days out from an election in which Brown’s Labour Party is predicted to lose their majority for the first time since 1997, is out on the stump. He comes across one Mrs. Gillian Duffy, aged 65, on a Rochdale, England, street, who had just popped out for a loaf of bread.
He has a nice and seemingly substantive little chat with Mrs. Duffy, surrounded by reporters and cameras.
He says goodbye, and gets in his car…but his microphone is still on. And this conversation is soon played to the world:
Brown: That was a disaster. Well I just … should never have put me in that woman. Whose idea was that?
Aide: I don’t know, I didn’t see.
Brown: It was Sue [Nye] I think. It was just ridiculous.
Aide: I’m not sure if they [the media] will go with that.
Brown: They will go with that.
Aide: What did she say?
Brown: Oh everything, she was just a sort of bigoted woman. She said she used to be Labour. I mean it’s just ridiculous.
Here’s the video:
Here’s Brown later being played a recording of a tape of the exchange on a radio show. Ouch.
And here’s news that Brown quickly made his way back to Mrs. Duffy’s home to apologize. But…it’s apparently too late:
We’re guessing that Mr. Brown will regret that one for a long, long time.