Opining on Opinionatedness II

I managed some successful trouble-shooting last week, exorcising an attack of the PCR ghost, which, combined with erupting annoyance at some local territorial shenanigans, and a saddening personal disagreement, conspired to lengthen an already long Wednesday, such that, were I to have been involved in an exchange of cross-views, I might well have dropped my diplomatic guard and voiced my irritation. (Err, well actually I did.) So, I confess to a degree of sympathy for Gordon Brown, following his latest media-shafting for a (not, as it turns out) privately shared comment made in the stress of electioneering battle, irked by the manna-to-BNP language of a voter. When he later cringingly apologised, did anybody think like I did? Why?

Catching up with the news later, it is arguable that some of what the lady who felt Brown’s choler said was bigoted. He was referring to her specific views on a specific topic during their conversation. Is that something to be so worked up about? For one often accused of being out of touch with ‘real people’, the subsequent revelation of his two-faced-ness could actually have been to his benefit: there are many who might be encouraged by his ‘real’ opinion. I mean, what’s wrong with “all these Eastern Europeans”? There’s a profusion of Poles populating these parts, which, to my eyes, gives the place an interesting slant (- heck knows, Southampton needs it!).

But then, Brown’s third face, forced by yet another outrageous media over-reaction. We were recently led to believe that this careless speller is supposedly a bit of a bully. Now, caught out by a still switched on microphone, how they ran after the lady in question, invading her privacy, heading her off before she reached her home… “Do you know what he said?” “Do you want to know what he said about you?” The media acting in the public interest? I imagine bigot-baiting radio hosts salivating at their lucky stars as Brown buckles upon being played the rapidly released recording. Shit-stirring.

No party political broadcasting here. But is it fair that a human mistake, one which he’s not going to be allowed to forget, somehow bathes the other two in more sincere light? Like Slick Nick love-the-camera-over-earnest-Blair-style-hand-gestures Clegg (listen to his attempts to project himself as all things to all people, desperately trying to navigate the slippery route of non-offence in response to questions about faith; forward to ~ 17 mins), and the Blue Spectre (whose mayor publicly offends whole cities and even countries), have never privately cursed after a tricky encounter. Of course they have; they just didn’t get recorded doing so in a crucial week. And in the televised debate the following day, they looked telegenically great: slim, so their suits fit better; the gelled back or trendily tufty hair styles, not a grey fleck in sight. Poor Gordon; like the lady has since philosophically declared, I feel a bit sorry for him. He looks so tired; perhaps he does need to be given a rest.

Apparently, according to the suspiciously quick opinion poll jointly ran by, err, oh yeah, The Sun, which prides itself on its voter influence and is longing to tell us ‘wot wun it’, Cameron triumphed in the debate. Really? News to me. Still, as we don’t really know who won it, and based on the unquestioned presumption that someone had to have, we apparently need to be told our opinion. And the earliest poll gains much for its endorsee.

Guile everywhere. Exasperating, eh? As for me, I might be considering more than one ‘option’ in the next few days.


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