Gordon Brown. A Duffer Duffed by Duffy. Gordon Brown Unspun….
Gordon Brown. A Duffer Duffed by Duffy: Gordon Brown Unspun
Julian Bray, Duckhouse Political Blog contributor has for some months now, called for the metal and physical makeup of Gordon Brown to be subjected to the detailed searching checks and balances that any potential chairman of a major PLC would go through before the ‘appointment’ is confirmed. A full medical and a detailed investigation, into his previous career history.
If you live on the moon or have just come out from a mountain retreat you might not be aware of the mega gaffe zinging its way around the world in full colour video and stereo sound. Simply Gordon Brown was ushered towards a woman out shopping for a loaf of bread in Rochdale, Greater Manchester and she then let rip with a series of sensible questions.
This was day one of Gordons’ new remit to talk and engage with ordinary voters and not just hand picked party apologists. Forgetting that he was still wearing a live radio microphone, the cameras continued to record as Gordon sped away in his presidential motorcade protesting that Mrs Duffy Was a bigoted woman.
Brown later ushered into a BBC studio was then still blissfully unaware of the gaffe was then played the full recording, head slowly sunk into hands…meanwhile the BBC had made Mrs Duffy aware of the gaffe and sitting on the door sill of the scanner truck Mras Duffy heard Gordon Brown calling her ‘a bigoted woman’.
The lady was visibly angry and very distressed vowing to tear up her postal vote she had already completed but not yet posted. A major Labour vote very publicly lost!
Gordon Browns’ gatekeeper is the long serving Sue Nye, married to a multi-millionaire Banker and said to fiercely shield the Prime Minister from ordinary mortals. This is believed to be the same Sue fingered by Gordon for setting up the encounter with Mrs Duffy. But what gives me the right to take a look at this public relations gaffe and slow-motion political car crash?
For many years I ran two highly visible London City Public Relations firms and routinely put captains of industry, politicians, heads of state and visiting US showbiz stars through intensive media training courses (UK media is a million miles apart from the way the Americans conduct press and media relations).
Make no mistake not only did Gordon Brown deeply offend an articulate 65 year old widow and until yesterday staunch labour supporter, but he will also be shown the red card by many thousands of ‘ordinary’ voters who immediately identify with Gillian Duffy and the series of questions the UK media has so far tried but shamefully failed to put to Mr Brown.
Her tone was measured, the questions easy to understand and went right to the heart of what this election should be all about; Debt, Immigration, and Pensions. Unlike the current Press pack, plucky Mrs Duffy could teach journalists and broadcasters a thing or two. Not satisfied with the usual well rehearsed mantra of tractor facts delivered at breakneck speed from Mr Brown, she came back and pressed him again and again and again on specific points.
Trying to run an election campaign on the cheap is also a big problem for Labour, Tony Blair had an aide permanently in charge of audio and video feeds and these would be offered post filter by the party to broadcasters.
Yesterdays mega gaffe was caused by the rostered ‘pool’ radio mic from SKYNews (directly beamed to the camera and the hired in SIS scanner truck). Fitting a body pack radio mic is also a major feat of dressing and undressing. The transmitter pack is either in your pocket or attached to your belt and the cable should run up underneath a shirt and the tie mic clipped to – a tie!
The lazy way is to run the cable over the shirt and put the transmitter body pack in the jacket upper pocket. As Gordon Brown found to his cost the mic, using the ‘lazy’ installation is quickly forgotten. Had he taken time with the installation, the simple act of sitting down and directly on the rock hard transmitter pack in the car would have caused immediate discomfort and alerted the gaffe prone Premier. A case of more haste less speed.
Ironically, my own postal vote arrived just as the Mrs Duffy saga was being played out, my partner has already completed her postal vote prior to the ‘bigoted woman’ gaffe and I completed mine shortly afterwards… The political map of the UK changed in an instant.. but for Mrs Duffy, her political life as an empowered voter is just beginning!
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