The morning after
Fair’s fair; this is by some margin the biggest ‘story’ of the campaign, if what you’re after is a classic gaffe. A pithier expose of what Brown thinks of his core support, and of how dysfunctional and exhausted his campaign has become would be hard to find. At a stroke it tears great holes in Labour’s core vote strategy – and that was the last one they had. In the same way that we remember 1992 for the Sheffield rally, 1983 for the Labour presser where they gave ‘full support’ to Michael Foot as leader and 2001 for Prescott punching a protestor, we will remember 2010 for Gordon Brown calling a lifelong Labour voter a bigot behind her back.
Best of all, for the Lib Dems and the Tories, it’s a story that they can cheerfully stand back from. Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake.
Where do we go from here? The final debate, and the home straight to the election itself. The economy debate must have been where Brown saw himself making up ground, but if he’s anything like human, he’ll still be feeling like he looked in Jeremy Vine’s studio – like all the stuffing’s just been knocked out of him. It’s enough to make you feel sorry for him.