My colleague Steve has this to say:
He and I do not always agree. On this occasion, however, I couldn't agree more. Well, except that I think the person in question was being rather unreasonable, and GB is a more restrained specimin of humanity than me for not responding in a less polite fashion to the question of where Eastern Europeans come from. (er check a globe dear...)
Leaving aside Mrs Duffy's views for a minute, which of us haven't made some ill-judged comment to what we think is an appropriate audience, in the knowledge that we would be just as mortified as Brown claims to be should the wrong person hear? I'm not saying that the incident makes me more inclined to vote for Brown, go to the pub with him, even be particularly nice about him in another context. It does make me see him as more of a normal person, with actual feelings. I can't be the only one who thinks that, surely?
One thing I will criticise him for is his and his party's approach to immigration. I believe that Labour already panders excessively to the likes of Mrs Duffy and worse. Taking votes away from the BNP is a noble cause, but doing so by imitating them is less great. We already have too many spurious deportations, too much racism in the system, crappy conditions in detention centres, I could go on all night. Were any of the party leaders to challenge this state of affairs I would feel far less ambivalent about voting next week...