The bishop took his place in the Cathedral, tapped his microphone and said: “There’s something wrong with this thing.” To which the congregation replied: “And also with you.” This story, possibly apochcryphal, came to my mind when I read about the blunder made by Gordon Brown in calling Mrs. Duffy a bigot in the privacy of his official car. He, or his aids, forgot he was wearing a microphone so his conversation was relayed to the listening media who, instead of doing the decent thing and respecting a private conversation, broadcast it over the television, radio and reported it in the newspapers.
No doubt Mrs. Duffy was hurt by this and it is to Gordon Brown’s credit that he phoned and then, in the middle of a very busy schedule, travelled several miles back to her house to personally apologise. We’ve all said things in privacy that we wouldn’t want repeated. How would you or I feel if our private conversation was broadcast for the world and his wife to hear? No doubt we would be as mortified as Gordon Brown seems to have been.
Will this incident affect the outcome of the election? Who knows?