Bigotgate: Brown was right first time

Thursday, 29th April 2010 at 1:03 GMT+0000 8 comments

Its one of the problems of being on the go and doing stuff that you occasionally loose touch with the sudden newsflashes from the media, and today is no really noteworthy exception, other than the way little bits of info have dripped through. The story runs thus: Brown has been charming to a woman, got in a car and told his aides she’s a bigot. The media goes ballistic at Brown. One minor detail gets completely missed: the woman is, in fact, a bigot.

The Twitterverse was quickly abuzz with what Brown said, everyone clambering to rule out any political future for Brown. The London Evening Standard I just found discarded on this train seems very “final” in its language. If you watch the reaction as I have, i.e. spending a long time picking up a trail of comments with little access to what really happened, you probably get the picture of a Prime Minister blowing a fuse over nothing.

But it isn’t nothing. There may be very few people saying it, and I might not be “on message” for the Labour party by saying this, but Brown was right first time. His crime is the climb down, not the original statement. And now I’ve read this blog post, I want to come out and make it very clear that I believe attacking EU workers is bigoted.

By definition, an EU worker has not grown up under the care of the NHS. Unlike myself, the NHS didn’t spend some figure I can’t be bothered to research on delivering them, giving them immunisations, checkups and medicines when they fell ill during their first 18 years. They didn’t get an education out of the British taxpayers’ purse, either; certainly not before University level education, and arguably not after. If we’re talking “flocking East European’s”, let me say that the conditions they grew up under sorely need more money putting into them, not the brain drain they are currently suffering.

These people come here fit and ready to work, and then pay UK taxes, and then what? They get told they’re “flocking here”, as if they’re pigeons or crows, a sort of vermin descending from the sky.

The writer of the aforementioned blog post says something very profound, but completely “in passing”: “All of you with the British passports and the huge sense of entitlement”. Yep, that’s us all right. The people who some how believe we’re blessed by who or whatever, but desire to horde, as if somehow we earned our right to sole usage and benefit of this land.

I must admit, I wasn’t going to write this until the idea was planted by a foreigner. What is it about prophets that they teach us most if they come from outside our country? But I did feel uneasy at the realisation that this so-called bigot had in fact attacked non-British people;

What if she’d attacked gay people, making some allegation about Brown’s policy on gay marriage. Surely she’d have been much less useful to the media? What if a man complained about all these women who didn’t realise they should just stay at home, instead of taking up half the jobs available? In this election, a hierarchy of minorities is opening up, with race at the very bottom.

Yes, an election creates a bizarre situation, in as much as you often need to convince people to trust you enough to vote you in before you can make a real difference that begins to change their minds. I’m frustrated that Brown was left few realistic options other than to back down. In honesty, I cannot blame him, as I would probably have done the same. But I’m still seriously angry at how this has played out, and the fact we live in such a closed minded society we attack our Prime Minister for stating a truth we don’t want to hear.


Entry filed under: Britain, Elections, Labour Party, News, Politics, Racism.

What might Cameron’s big society be? As the dust settles…

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Neil T.  |  Thursday, 29th April 2010 at 7:12 GMT+0000

    She’s definitely a bigot alright. But with 4 of the national daily newspapers openly backing Cameron, along with Sky News whose mic it was, it’s unsurprising that this has been leapt upon.

  • 2. victorianstreeturchin  |  Thursday, 29th April 2010 at 11:43 GMT+0000

    Copypasta from the other place I discussed this.

    It doesn’t [matter] – this is just a concerted effort by the Murdoch press to humiliate him. John Major got away with calling his Cabinet a bunch of cunts with less media attention; this is just more ammunition for the kingmakers of Britain who sold Labour down the river a few years ago.

    I dread to think what Clegg and Cameron call people behind their backs – Brown was just unlucky. …

    Final point, from what I’ve heard of this conversation this woman clearly is bigoted against Eastern Europeans, whether she used to vote Labour or not – Oswald Molsley was in the Labour Party once.

    He was third in the polls yesterday, anyway.

    BBC’s neutrality revealed with this quote from their Political Editor Nick Robinson;

    “For those of us who have known Gordon Brown for many years, what we have seen is no huge surprise. He has got better and better at handling himself in public, but quite often he flares up in private, expresses frustration.”… See more

    I love the British press; the usual lapdog of the ruling-class without even the dignity to pretend not to be biased beyond belief.

  • 3. Huw  |  Thursday, 29th April 2010 at 11:55 GMT+0000

    I hate to be pedantic Graham. Well, maybe not hate, but I’m reluctant, as I think I know what you mean & broadly agree with you on this one but…
    “By definition, an EU worker has not grown up under the care of the NHS”

    I’m an EU worker. I was born, raised, and work in the UK. The UK is part of the EU. I’m also, for that matter, and economic migrant – I moved to York because I thought I’d have better employment opportunities, and a better quality of life here.

    I’m in danger of veering off onto a tangent about bigger migration issues, but before I start waffling too much, back to the point I wanted to try and make.

    I am from the EU. So are you Graham. Britain is part of the EU. This means that if I find a job elsewhere in the EU that I want to do, and someone wants to pay me to do, then I can, and whether that’s good for the UK, EU, or other member-states is an interesting topic. I don’t know the answer to it, but I think a good place to start is with ‘say what you mean, mean what you say’
    If you’re talking about economic migrants, asylum seekers, migration between or within EU states, the issues, problems, and ‘solutions’ are different, and if you want to convince someone, or just share your views with them, it’s easier if you can be clear what you’re saying, and why.
    Say what you mean, mean what you say.

    • 4. Graham Martin  |  Thursday, 29th April 2010 at 13:09 GMT+0000

      I think the other problem is simply convincing the British that they’re a part of Europe, full stop. Its something that comes up in activist discussions; when the Germans say Europe they mean themselves, British and everyone else in Europe. When British activists say Europe, its usually as a distinction from Britain.

  • 5. Graham Martin  |  Thursday, 29th April 2010 at 13:11 GMT+0000

    Small addendum of little actual importance: the blog post cited has now been reposted on Comment is Free – with the suggested video embedded:

  • 6. ComradeFury  |  Thursday, 29th April 2010 at 14:29 GMT+0000

  • 7. Helen  |  Tuesday, 4th May 2010 at 22:49 GMT+0000

    Talking to a friend about this, he suggested was that the real problem is that the government are quite happy to let immigrants take the blame for problems rather than take the blame themselves. Perhaps the woman should realise it’s really Brown that she should’ve been angry at.

  • 8. anon  |  Tuesday, 25th November 2014 at 13:28 GMT+0000

    I would have voted for Brown if he hadn’t back tracked, if he had stood up for his views.

    Well, maybe not. It was the Nu-Labour/Neo-Labour thing…. They had gotten very authoritarian….. not that this lot haven’t been gradually ramping up the powers for the powerful. The difference being that it is powers for the wealthy, with the usual non-accountability and stuff (not that NuLab didn’t seem to pursue those things, too).


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