How many times have you put down the receiver after a cheery conversation with someone and then leaned forward and shouted "TWAT!" at the phone? I'm willing to bet it's in the dozens if not the hundreds. We all have to be polite to appalling people on occasion because we're obliged to by our position. Cast your mind back to the last family wedding you went to.
Gordon's little slip-up is the equivalent of running into the toilet at the reception and saying "If Angela mentions that mutant child of hers one more time I'm going to find 'Sadie-poo' and wring her bloody neck!" only to find Angela's husband is having a shit in one of the cubicles.
That's what we're looking at here.
Quite a few of us, I'd bet, would have liked to have seen him front-up to the the old biddy. When dotty, self opinionated old women come up to me in the street complaining about immigrants, I tend to tell them the truth, which is that immigrants will stop being a problem when they and their entire generation of change-hating, reactionary throwbacks do the decent thing and die.
I bet she's the kind of woman who constantly mutters "It wasn't like this in my day" and "You can't understand what they're singing any more". You know the ones; When they sleep they don't snore, they tut. People who live for the noise made by air rushing over half-closed false teeth. People who've given up saying "Happy Christmas" because they can get more whinge-mileage out of pretending it's been banned by the council while simultaneously complaining all the shops have been selling advent calendars since mothers day.
The comment most likely to have provoked Mr Brown's opinion is her assertion that her home town was becoming like "a third world country". This shows her to be not just a bigot with no sense of perspective but also spectacularly short sighted. Of course it's like a third world country. It's Rochdale. The third world offers a marginally more attractive prospect as a holiday destination, largely because at least Somalia has the benefit of sunshine and indoor plumbing.
If Gordon Brown had kicked a puppy or shouted "One-Nil" at a blind kid while pointing at his right eye I could understand it.
Instead, this mildly irritated grumble is being held up as a show of Brown's legendary temper and his contempt for people with differing views. If that's him losing his rag then frankly he's got the patience of a saint. Faced with some of the arse-hats he has to deal with on a daily basis I'm surprised he hasn't been reduced already to a screaming, tourettic dervish, thrashing about on the steps of Downing Street screaming obscenities at passing civil servants.
Doubtless the other parties will have a field day over this one, taking the opportunity to get away from all that boring policy and concentrate on good old fashioned character assassination. I'm willing to bet all of the people who've been calling for politicians to be "Honest with us" will be there at their side with burning torches. This is why politicians don't say what they think. If they did the party political broadcast would say the following: "What you know about global economics and population dynamics can be written in magic marker on the back of the average sized grain of rice, so why don't you shut up and go back to complaining about seeing a nipple on Britain's Got Talent?".
Thought for the day:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
It's already a verse which could have penned for Gordon but I'd like to offer the following lines by way of a topical update:
If you can keep it to yourself and get back to the Jag,
Without calling her a racist old witch to her face,
Yours is the Election and everything that goes with it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!