Posted by: secretperson | April 9, 2010

Gaffes, Gays and the Media

So already in the short general election campaign it’s gaffes all round.

There was the UKIP candidate, Paul Wiffen, who was apparently so enraged at a suggestion that UKIP were racist, he went on a rant that was a bit, umm, racist. Bit of an own goal there, like rioting violently because you’ve been called them violent. It’s a shame that the perfectly reasonable cause of EU-scepticism gets tarred with the racist brush, and fools like this do the cause no favours.

There was, of course the suggestion from Tory shadow home secretary Chris Grayling that B&Bs should be treated as a business in someone’s home and therefore exempt from certain equality legislation. Followed by faux outrage about ‘exposing the true Conservative party’.

Now Labour have had to sack a candidate in Scotland for Twitter comments (I really don’t get Twitter still, but that might have to be another post). This included a joke about slavery.

Now what’s the betting if it had been a Tory candidate joking about slavery we’d see a string of Guardian articles about how this ‘exposes the racist underbelly of the Conservative Party’. But as it’s Labour and doesn’t fit the narrative it’s simply a ‘twitter row’.

Still the bigger picture is that we’ve got to stop getting worked up about ‘gaffes’. I’m much more worried by identikit politicians who just do what the whips tell them and serve no real purpose. I’m willing to accept a few people making careless comments, even racist idiots, and to let the people decide, than the bland on message lies and repeats of meaningless slogans we’re used to.


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