Diminishing care about politics

Yesterday’s gaffe by Prime Minister Gordon Brown – he made disparaging private comments about a voter with whom he said publicly he’d had an enjoyable conversation, forgetting  that his radio microphone was still live – is all over the mainstream media this morning, as you might expect.

It’s also all over the social space especially Twitter. Here’s what comes up on a tweetcloud of the election hashtag #ukelection:


My own view is that Gordon Brown’s behaviour was disappointing, showing disrespect for the opinion of someone who asked him questions. He’s the Prime Minister and I’d expect far better of him in such a situation. And then to try and pass off blame onto an assistant or even the media just makes him look really stupid.

I would imagine this gaffe will influence the voting intentions of some people. For some, Brown’s behaviour illustrates what to many people is wrong with politics and politicians. You know, fiddling expenses and now saying bad things about people behind their backs.

It adds to the senses of diminished trust in politics and dishonesty in politicians. Indeed, diminished care about politics and politicians.

So will the gaffe be the tipping point for Labour to lose the election – voting on which takes place on May 6, just a week’s time – as some journalists and pundits fancifully predict? Will it dominate the third and final live-TV leaders debate on BBC1 at 8.30pm UK tonight?

Until we see the events come to pass, who knows. :)

Related: Take a look at Brendan Cooper’s excellent 2010 UK Election Social Media Dashboard which aggregates content from a wide range of different resources. Nice work.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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