A reader pushes back against the new Susan Boyle of British politics, Gillian Duffy:
Her question was, "All those Eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?" Hmmm, how to answer the question? I’ve got it! The Eastern Europeans are flocking from Eastern Europe. Mrs. Duffy obviously knows the answer to her question; it’s contained in the question itself. So the question has to be about something other than its surface meaning; it’s not unreasonable to infer that her question is really code for “Those Eastern Europeans don’t belong here; Britain for the British!”
Brown has just reminded her that the welfare state is now tied to work contradicting her fantasy of immigrants taking welfare away from “real” Britons (“too many people who aren’t vulnerable who can claim and people who are vulnerable can’t get claim”) -- and that it doesn’t discriminate between immigrants and non-immigrants.
She then says, “You can't say anything about the immigrants because you're saying that you're ... All those Eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?” She refuses to acknowledge that she’s failed at reasoned discourse on the immigration issue, and begins to bemoan the fact that she can’t even talk about immigration the way she wants to, lest she get tarred as a bigot. Next thing you know, she makes a full stop, looks at a camera, decides she can’t hold it in anymore, and says something that is actually bigoted.
I’m sure that there are other ways to interpret the video of the conversation. Perhaps I’m just being a smug and ugly American (of Eastern European descent, incidentally). But I’d like you, or one of your readers, to offer a compelling reading of what’s actually going on. At present, I can’t help thinking that while the conversation shows that Brown is a horrible campaigner and the last gasp (or fart) of Labour, it also shows a sickly underside of the British Anglo working class.