Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Excuses, excuses

Interesting to compare and contrast Gordon Brown's two explanations for Bigot-gate...

Version 1 of the truth starts around 1:30 into this clip:

"The problem was, I was dealing with a question she raised about immigration and I wasn't given a chance to answer it because we had a whole mêlée of press around was a question about immigration that really I think was annoying...I apologise profusely to the lady concerned...I don't think she is that [a bigot], I think it was just the view that she expressed that I was worried about that I couldn't respond to..."

"Wasn't given a chance to answer"? "A whole mêlée of press"? "Couldn't respond to"? Here is a video of that part of their exchange concerning immigration. Do Gordon's descriptions ring true? You decide...

Version 2 of the truth following his chat with Mrs Duffy and, I venture, a spot of coaching with his media advisers...

"I misunderstood what she said...I understood the concerns that she was bringing to me and I simply misunderstood some of the words that she had used..."

At the risk of getting Gordon off the hook, perhaps he misheard the word "flocking".

But why the two very different explanations for this sorry episode? Could it be that Gordon was caught on the hop in the Jeremy Vine interview and was forced to invent excuses? It very much looks like it to me.

Update: apologies for the dodgy video/audio sync in the second video. It's fine in the source files, just gets screwed up when uploaded to blogger for some reason. Hopefully it's still pretty clear that Brown has ample opportunity to answer Mrs Duffy, and that the press are standing around without much in the way of a "mêlée" taking place. Since posting I've also heard reference to a "press scrum" - that's a pretty tame scrum by my standards. How quickly truth is lost in these damage limitation exercises.

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