“Gordon’s Gaffe” will be a knock out blow for the Labour Party, unlike “Prescott’s Punch”!!

April 29, 2010

Gordon Brown’s  “bigotted” comment directed at a defenceless old lady from Rochdale, whilst ill advised, pales into insignificance Prescott Punchcompared with John Prescott punching a member of the public in the build up to Election 2001. However, in the final analysis it will be more damaging and detrimental to the Labour Party because it highlights major flaws in the Prime Minister’s personality.

On that earlier occasion, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair passed it off as being typical of “our John”. Prescott got away with it, and it was swept under the carpet by a far less self concious, more confident Labour Party. The reality is that the Labour Party  then were in a much stronger position in the polls, defending a large majority. In addition, the simple truth is that most of us when assaulted by a man throwing a raw egg at us, would probably have reacted in the same way.

Brown RochdaleThe difference is that in Election 2010, the Labour Party are trailing third in the polls behind the Conservatives and incredibly the Liberal Democrats, and their grip on power is evaporating fast. This time the public are less favourably disposed to Gordon Brown than they were John Prescott, because as uncouth as it was, his punching of a protestor was an open, honest, knee jerk reaction to a threatening situation. In contrast, Gordon Brown confronted by Gillian Duffy, a harmless old lady, totally overreacted and then compounded the felony, by showing himself to be disingenuous, two faced and duplicitous.

No amount of contrite apologising will reverse this action and the public’s perception of him. Labour Spin Doctor, Peter Mandelson Peter Mandelsonmust be pulling his hair out – in thirty seconds his carefully crafted Public Relations Election Strategy has gone up in smoke!! In terms of PR Crisis Management, the Labour Party PR Machine did all the right things – they reacted quickly with Brown making a full and unequivocal apology on the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio Two, and then in person to the recipient of his “bigotted” comment. However the damage was done, and cannot be undone. Gordon Brown failed to observe the fundamental media training rule: always make sure that the microphone is turned off. If you don’t, your comments will always remain in the public forum for perpetuity, and no amount of public relations damage limitation can erase those comments from the public record!!

One response to ““Gordon’s Gaffe” will be a knock out blow for the Labour Party, unlike “Prescott’s Punch”!!”

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