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Bigotgate: Sorry still the hardest word

So, he didn't really mean to call Gillian Duffy a bigot. It was all a mistake.

Tweets were abounding this afternoon, claiming Brown didn't say "bigoted", he said big-hearted". Yeah right.

I spoke to a senior member of the Prime Minister's entourage a few minutes ago, and they said "bigot-gate" was all a piece of media spin by journalists determined not to look at the gaps in the Tories spending plans. I kid you not.

And look at the Prime Minister's apology: "Of course I apologise if I've said anything offensive, and I would never want to put myself in a position where I would say anything like that."

And standing on her doorstep after spending 40 minutes grovelling inside the house (I hope she made him do the hoovering or the washing up) all he would say is that he “misunderstood” her and was “mortified”.

That's not an apology. An apology would say: "I'm really sorry. I was rude and I understand why I have upset Mrs Duffy and millions of other people. I was having a bad day and I shouldn't have said those words."

But today's revelation is only the tip of the iceberg. For the past three weeks Gordon Brown has been having titanic screaming matches at his personal aides.

They have been blamed for every rude, sorry real, person he has met. They have also taken a kicking over Nick Clegg, the state of the polls, the weather and, on one occasion, the lack of bananas in his car.

Even today's gaffe was someone else's fault - the poor mug who left the microphone switched on or the aide who introduced Mrs Duffy to the PM.

Today's gaffe can also be linked directly to Lord Mandelson's sneering performance at the Labour Party's morning press conference. When asked how the Government were planning to fill a £51 billion black hole in their spending plans he patronisingly said he would give broadcasters copes of the Labour Party's manifesto because they had obviously not bothered to read it and, seemingly, he could not be bothered to explain.

These comments encapsulate the fear and revulsion both men have for both the media and the public. They simply cannot accept that normal people are worried about immigration, about the size of the National Debt and what will happen to their pensions.

It’s the same contempt that led four politicians facing fraud charges over their expenses to claim they are above the law.

And it's now certain that Gordon Brown will soon have plenty of time to spend with the likes of Mrs Duffy. This looks like a defining moment in the campaign.



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