So, Gordon Brown made an apparent “gaffe” yesterday… (stupid word that)
First off: who cares…?
Secondly: who the fuck cares…?!?!
I can understand a backlash of outrage had he intentionally insulted the woman with a derogatory comment or called her a racist or something of that ilk, however he simply called her a woman “who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.” – the textbook definition of a “bigot.”
Now, we have two possibilities here; either Gordon Brown didn’t care what the woman thought or said and simply found her annoying, in which case the only expression of this was to call her a bigot, a claim which may or may not have been true in his mind, OR he actually thought that her views, comments and questions demonstrated an intolerance to the way the government was going about things and other examples of displaying [insert the definition of “bigot” here].
In the first case, his comment was made in private and to a friend/colleague and simply being annoyed at someone who throws awkward questions at you, regardless of your position in life, is merely ignorant and hardly insulting and highly distinct from one’s actual working policies as a political leader. I personally wouldn’t be insulted if it were me in question and this had been the case.
In the second case, Gordon Brown has simply stated, albeit in a private setting, his opinion of the woman’s comments and questions. The worst thing that could happen is that he was mistaken in his opinion.
Either way, the Prime Minister of the UK stated his opinion about a woman who spoke with him about governmental policies she was questioning. It was neither overtly insulting nor calculated to be so.
Again, I have to ask, WHO THE FUCK CARES? He could have called her an ignorant bat, he could have called her an ignorant bitch, he could have called her any number of derogatory terms and displayed disdain or contempt for her and her views. All he did do was to express his opinion about her and her views, in a completely rational and reasonable manner, despite his apparently being flustered by her questions.
The worst that could be said is that he was wrong. If it had been me, and I felt that her comments and opinions betrayed a bigoted point of view, and I had said something similar to Mr. Brown, which merely expressed my view of the woman and her views, I would NOT have apologised. I would not have gone out of my way to bend over backwards to calm the Idiot Nation who thinks being honest about ones opinions and beliefs in private has anything to do with one’s policies and behaviour as a political official.
Many religious believers in politics do not use their faith as a guide to their policies. Anti-theists like me may object to those beliefs themselves, but so long as they have no bearing upon that person’s conduct as a political figure, I’m not allowed to have an opinion about their beliefs, nevermind have the media create a firestorm about those beliefs.
The exact same is true of one’s beliefs about other people. Gordon Brown may think that Nick Clegg is a smarmy fuck who probably breast-fed into his teens. So long as this belief does not affect his policies or behaviour as a member of society or, most importantly, as a political leader, it’s totally irrelevant to the conversation, even if he made a comment to that effect in private.
Here’s an article about Eddie Izzard’s comments on the issue. I agree with Eddie that Gordon Brown shouldn’t have said it, but the maxim that “everyone is entitled to their opinion” goes both ways. You can freely have an opinion which is bigoted, but that same freedom gives me the right to be of the opinion that you are a bigot.