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April 29, 2010


Peter Briffa

I think the worst aspect was the Brown was supposed to be meeting ordinary people for the first time, after a fortnight of Labour stooges. Then he criticises Sue for getting him to meet one. He'd been expecting yet another Labour plant, after all.

Frank H Little

[FX: applause]

Nick Rowe

Maybe it's just me; but I had to read your last sentence three times before I figured out what you must be saying. Otherwise, good post.


Ta, Nick, I've tweaked that last par.


So, with a week to go, we have three political parties who refuse to engage with the electorate on any of the three substantive issues: the budget deficit, immigration and Afghanistan. I suppose the LibDems have got closest. Perhaps we should just let Simon Cowell or Jeremy Clarkson run the country...



If he thinks she was out of order for her comments then he should have stuck to his guns and made his case.

Now we don't know if he agrees with her or not, as you say, where is the core belief?

The day long apology is just hole digging too. Funny though.


This, I suspect, reveals much about his “moral compass.” He figured: “I sinned so I must repent.” This suggests that, to him, morality is a matter of external rules, any breach of which is to be punished. We can, however, contrast this to conceptions of virtue ethics. A virtuous politician might have argued on the spot, or decided he was right to call her a bigot, or made the tactical calculation that the apology would lose more votes.

Have you considered that what you have just described is classic presbyterian thinking, that the rules of morality are laid out black and white in holy scripture? Gordon Brown is famously a son of the manse. His personal morality is clearly, and unmistakably, that of Scottish Calvinism and his behaviour and language on this issue reflects that. You may well find his morality flawed and deserving of criticism, but at least try and understand how it arose.

john Terry's Mum

"You may well find his morality flawed and deserving of criticism, but at least try and understand how it arose."

why bother?

what useful function is served by educating oneself on the details of an outdated, mad and mystical cult?

john malpas

Maybe it doesn't matter if the immigrants are commercially of benefit to the UK or that there have been a few in the UK for a while.
Maybe the view of the majority should count - if they dont want any immigrants or dont want some of the immigrants - why cannot their view be held to be acceptable?
It is call democracy


If you don’t want to meet voters, you shouldn’t become a politician...

Oh, really? And if you don´t want to meet people, just stay at home.
Do you really pretend us to believe that you like all the people that you meet in your work? And that, once in private, you have never criticized any of them?
Because, what defines privacity, sometimes very proudly defended by media and public figures, is the capacity of behaving differently in public than in private.
I think that Brown has perfect right to call her a biggot. As a matter of fact, it fits her quite well.
What had been news, I mean something worth of talking about, had been Brown saying: That woman is right. Our inmigration policy is totally rotten.
Brown felt need to apologize? I do not know, and neither do you, what Brown felt. He did so because he surrende to the 'microphone moral' of the press and its flattering of the masses, that must always be right. Even when they are biggots.


Cannot agree more with your mumbling in this column although you seem to have ignored the other immigrants. Bearing in mind that for decades the sub continent's doctors had been keeping the NHS working without the UK having to spend any money on their training, a failure to mention the non European contribution might give the impression that you are in favour of those who come from that part of the world and not the rest. Have you stumbled?


"have helped the economy grow whilst keeping inflation down"

Translation : "have helped keep inflation down by keeping wages down".

While we're on inflation, how about the non-wage component ?


"Output price ‘factory gate’ annual inflation for all manufactured products rose 5.0 per cent in March. Input price annual inflation rose 10.1 per cent in March compared to a rise of 7.5 per cent in February."

So the strategy is to keep wages down while other costs increase. Very socialist.


"...have helped the economy grow..."

Whose economy? The City's economy? The Treasury's economy? The economists' economy? Or the economy of the unemployed, the young, the old, the unskilled or the just plain poor? Has immigration helped them?

Is there such a thing as "the economy" unowned by anybody? Does it sort of float in mid-air, like a threatening alien spaceship or a vengeful God? Or is "the economy" just a total of things happening to people and things done by people - and as such, does talking about such a vast and ill-defined aggregation really help make any meaningful decisions?

Given the way "the economy" is daily abused as a virtually meaningless descriptive term, I think people would be justified in saying "bugger the economy" the next time somebody in power threatens them with it. Let's be prepared to discover that Mammon has feet of clay.

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