Bigoted Woman – The Culture of Offense

As the story breaks that Gordon Brown called Gillian Duffy, a Rochdale resident a ‘bigoted woman’, now begins the start of the media twisting it out of all proportion. Whilst her level of bigotedness is unknown at the moment, the BBC said the pair were discussing immigration so it’s more than likely that the view wasn’t reasoned, informed and measured to say the least.

Within the time it takes to rewind a tape, the media have already blown it out of all proportion; my guess is that by the end of the day, the story will have been changed so that the poor old defenseless lady will have been kicked to the floor by the Prime Minister and had the word ‘BIGOT’ carved into her forehead, whist Mr Brown stood triumphantly and laughed.

When she was pounced on by the media after this occurence, her head still intact, she didn’t seem to be as offended as the media have been making out. Whether it was her northern hardiness shining through or her ability to see that people are allowed to have an opinion, she was happy to live and let live. But valiant as ever, in rode the media to her defense! The one hundred miles per hour groupthink spewing junket blew past the stranded sense of perspective garbling things like: “She must be offended. This is the PM. I’m offended. Apology. Britain is offended. This is the worst thing ever.”

One reporter, the lead stalker shall we say, asked a rather leading question about an apology. Whilst the PM should indeed express sorrow for any offence caused, the media stuck some Grade A explosives under it and made it appear that Ms Duffy was sobbing into her handkerchief over the incident and would accept nothing less than Mr Brown lying  prostrate and to pull himself from London to Rochdale in order to apologise. Her attitude was much more laissez-faire, unless her real anger was hidden deep inside.

Obviously ‘bigot-gate’, as it is being hopefully ironically called in the Guardian,  is going to be the main story rather than an exploration into the discussion the pair had and the reasons behind Mr Brown making the ‘bigoted’ comment. A lack of explanation on this issue, and what might be described as ‘journalism’ (a concept quite lost on most news agencies) would play perfectly into the hands of far-right hateful politicians. I’m looking at you BNP and UKIP! They can stand up and once more herald themselves as the voice of the outsider, those not in the political establishment, the bigot. Instead this story will rumble on rather superficially, ignoring the elephant in the room (should that be the bigot in the room) which of course is what was actually said between Mr Brown and Ms Duffy.


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