Has Brown blown it with bigotgate?

As I’m not a right-wing tabloid, I can only speak for myself. Has the bigotgate debacle cost Labour my vote in this election?


Let me tell you why.

It’s not because I think Gordon Brown didn’t do something exceptionally stupid (which he did).

It’s not because I think Gillian Duffy said some genuinely bigoted things (which she didn’t).

It’s not because I think Sky News displayed any of the typical Murdoch media bias and shouldn’t have broadcast the recording (who can blame them!?)

It’s because, despite being one of the minority who seems to respect Gordon Brown, I’ve never, ever considered him to be the BEST thing about Labour.

Alistair Darling, Jack Straw, Alan Johnson, Yvette Cooper, Douglas Alexander, Andrew Adonis, Ed Miliband, David Miliband… these are just some of the Labour ministers who’ve impressed me over the last couple of years with their intelligence, integrity and passion. All have their own flaws and (I’m sure) their own cringeworthy gaffes. Regardless, they’re a competent team who leave me with no doubt that they share a vision of Britain I want to be a part of.

On the other hand, despite being a slimy, Thatcherite, lightweight, superficial, excruciatingly wanky git, David Cameron is not the WORST thing about the Conservatives.

The Conservatives you don’t see on TV are (deep breath) ideologically anti-European, anti-BBC, anti-equality, anti-immigration, anti-homosexuality, anti-minimum wage, anti-unions, anti-human rights, anti-environment, anti-electoral reform, anti-NHS, anti-public service, anti-welfare, pro-jails, pro-big business, pro-free market, pro-war, pro-tax cuts for the stinking rich…

This is the party David Cameron keeps hidden. How long do you think it’ll stay hidden if he gets into power?

Here’s a reminder of what Gordon Brown (and team, of course) got up to when not creating a media shitstorm:

And this (in case you haven’t been paying any attention) is what Labour stands for:


Thousands of Brits celebrate their granny-killing, evil, socialist euthanasia engine [NHS love]

Health facts - via BBC

I’ve been following the American healthcare pantomime with the usual morbid fascination I reserve for their insane media (you can include political leaders and citizens under that adjective for that matter). After a while, however, I started to be genuinely concerned that this madness is going to cost the non-crazy Americans a chance for real healthcare reform. Hmm… not so funny anymore.

And into this shitstorm was unfairly thrust the good ol’ NHS, better known across the pond as an evil and Orwellian socialist institution that would have let Stephen Hawking’s die, had he been cursed to be born British (I can understand the confusion; as Ricky Gervais said, born in Oxford but speaks with an American accent? Pretentious). Even worst, one of our own (meant very loosely) joined the attack. Tory MEP Dan Hannan tears into the NHS (on Fox News, no less!), seemingly lending weight to the nightmare perception of the British system. Mikeno12’s comment sums things up succinctly.

We weren’t going to put up with that shit. The #welovethenhs Twitter campaign mobilised us Brits to shout our support for the ‘cradle to the grave’ free health care provided to everyone – whether rich, poor, sick, dying, hypochondriac or just a small-breasted teen who fancied a bit of a cleavage.

Yesterday, Gordon Brown and his wife, Sarah Brown, joined the campaign with an emotive Tweet (an oxymoron?) and, since then, the British media has been covering this story pretty extensively (something that does not seem to have been echoed in the US, unfortunately – though the only reference to this I would ever expect to see on Fox News would be along the lines of “do you want British socialist scum recommending US policy?”).

Possibly the most interesting development in the whole tale was the Conservative leader, David Cameron, interrupting his holiday to publicly distance his party (the British equivalent to the Republicans) from aforementioned NHS-basher, Daniel Hannan. Rule #1 of British politics: fuck with the NHS at your peril.

Note to Americans: I’ve read some comments suggesting health care reform would decrease accountability. In this country, dissatisfaction is voiced in the most powerful way, by decisive elections! Perhaps, this is why the Republicans are so scared of reform? They’re worried it will prove so popular and benefit so many people, they’ll either never win an election again or have to completely change their ideology. Best to keep the public stupid and scared, eh?

Looking at the facts (a rare practice in this debate) provided by the BBC, US health isn’t the ‘best in the world’. Of course, the NHS isn’t either, and this explosion of support shouldn’t make us ignore some of the very real problems people have had with the system (for the record, not me; I’ve had three pretty significant operations with the NHS and have no complaints – if you’re looking for anecdotal comparisons, I recommend reading this moving account by someone who’s experienced both).

My own, considerably less moving, account of my own surgery last year:

Hospital face
As a patient, I was an absolute cunt
Where's my belly button!?
Spent the first three days angrily asking where's my belly button!? Still got it though
No, not some lovely NHS nurses. Gorgeous Crunkettes lending some moral support (with custom tees!)
No, not some lovely NHS nurses. Gorgeous Crunkettes lending some moral support (with custom tees!)

I guess the point is that having shitty health care that may bankrupt you so private companies can get grotesquely wealthy just sounds offensive to my British delicacies. It makes me feel ill thinking about it. I suppose the saddest thing is that some American’s seem to be so obsessed with the ‘dream’ of corporate greed that they don’t see how innately unfair their system is.