Whoops… Gordon Brown meets a pensioner, can’t deal with her questions and ends up calling her a bigot. And she’s a Labour voter – or she was one until earlier today, anyway.
Still, at least we got to hear the authentic comments of the authentic Prime Minister. It may not be very respectful of the voters but what did we expect?
It would be interesting to hear the private comments of the other party leaders when they’ve just met someone who questions their policies and judgment. Would they be any less grumpy?
What we have here is the campaign gaffe everyone has been hoping for. Reporters don’t traipse around after party leaders hoping to catch their pearls of wisdom.
All they want is the rogue voter, the unpredictable John Prescott punch, the gaffe or – and this is gold-dust, the unguarded comment.
If it was going to happen, it had to happen to Mr Bean. It will be played ad nauseam at least until tomorrow night’s election debate.
It may well go down in history as the moment Labour finally lost the election and, in the event of a hung parliament, it will be used as proof that Mr Brown is unfit to be Prime Minister.
Mainly, though, it’s just an amusing insight into the desire of all politicians to stage-manage their public appearances.
Mr Brown’s gripe isn’t really with Gillian Duffy, the pensioner, it’s with his aides for lumbering him with an embarrassing encounter with a real person with genuine concerns who isn’t going to let him have an easy time.
Our leaders detest that sort of thing above all. Which is why Mr Brown complains the encounter was a “disaster”.
It’s only after he’s asked what Mrs Duffy had to say that he complains she was a bigot.
He privately thought their discussion was disastrous… it is now.