Rochdale – in particular an amiable 65 pensioner called Gillian Duffy – will stay in the mind of Gordon Brown long after the media circus has packed up and moved on. His gaffe with a live TV mike has brought him, and the Labour Party, closer to the edge than at any time during this election campaign.
But the truth is, very few people don’t say one thing and think another. It takes a special kind of person not to let off steam in private when under the kind of pressure that the Prime Minister is facing. But with the high stakes for which the Prime Minister is playing, I can’t believe that he himself, let alone his aide Justin in the car didn’t remember to flick that tiny chrome switch on the mike pack and turn off the red light before he said anything else.
Surely the blame rests with his aides, who should have turned off the radio mike as soon as he finished talking and walked to the car.