One of the most valuable things I learnt in the seven years I spent in an all-girls school was the art of bitching. Rarely were any of the comments my friends and I made intended to be hurtful, and were generally facetious, throwaway remarks. Bitching was regarded a bit of a hobby, or used to let off steam during tense periods.
There are three main rules to successful bitching
1) Trust your fellow bitches
2) Don’t slag people off too often
3) Bitch out of hearing-distance of the bitch-ee
If only dear Gordon Brown had considered the third rule more carefully yesterday, when, after meeting ‘life-long Labour voter’ Gillian Duffy in Rochdale, he bitched to his minions that she was a ‘bigot’. This would have been fine and, in my opinion, a perfectly normal way to vent after dealing with an irritating person, if only he hadn’t been wearing a Sky News microphone. Ouch. Rather than Sky editing this out, they decided to release it, and then play it back to Mrs Duffy who was expectedly crestfallen. Had he used an expletive to describe her, I don’t think the story would have been so wide spread. ‘Bigot’ and ‘bigotsgate’ can both be said before the watershed and published on the front pages of the newspapers.
After being alerted to his blunder, Brown apologised live on BBC Radio 2, rang Mrs Duffy, went round to Mrs Duffy’s house and later emailed Labour party members apologising for fucking up the campaign. After spending 40 minutes inside Mrs Duffy’s home, he emerged from her front door, smiling like he’d just done a big shit, saying that he’d cleared up all the ‘misunderstandings’ and learning about Mrs Duffy’s delightful family. What this means is that he spent 10 minutes grovelling, and was then subjected to flicking through her family’s photo albums for another half hour. Personally I would’ve made him hoover the house and wash the dishes, but then I know that Eastern Europeans come from, er, Eastern Europe.
I do feel sorry for Gillian Duffy, not only because she got called a bigot by the most powerful man in Britain, but because the entire world’s press descended onto her driveway, and then called her an ‘old woman’ (is 66 really that old?)
Tonight is the last leaders’ debate. I’m hoping Dimbleby will make it slightly more interesting than the last two, although I’m not sure the format allows for it to be as interesting as Question Time can be. Tomorrow I’ll be sending off my postal vote, which arrived along with my flat mates’ this week.
Now I have to return to my dizzying work load, after recovering from being forced to spend two hours out in the rain today, drawing a diagram of a wall. Why oh why am I doing this degree?!
P.S. i’ve just rediscovered this video. Which makes me love Gordy even more. Can Vivienne Westwood please make him superhero costume (Crap Man, perhaps?)