The media are rightly enjoying themselves. The other parties, wrongly, are being sanctimonious. George Osborne says that in the pressure of a campaign people's true characteristics will come out, as if no Tory candidate has ever said anything embarrassing in private to another Tory. (And yes, I know he is the prime minister and should know better but it was clearly meant to be a private remark.)
Poor Brown. Which of us hasn't had similar thoughts about the intelligence of some of the electorate after watching Question Time or reading any newspaper messageboard?
As if to prove that point, one reader of Nick Robinson's blog on the BBC website left this comment:
"I trust the BBC will give equal air-time to 'private' recordings of the other leadership candidates. Otherwise, I call bias."Richard Haselgrove could be joking, of course, although there are other commenters who have spotted a conspiracy that this off-camera remark was actually picked up by a Sky News microphone. Proof that the Cameron-supporting Rupert Murdoch will do anything to rig the election, naturally. Sigh...
I don't mind if politicians feel contempt for the average voter actually. The average voter tends to feel contempt for politicians and quite unfairly smears the whole lot with the greed and incompetence of the few. Surely it can go both ways. Or is it only acceptable to call people like Nick Griffin a bigot?
What made it worse for Brown, though, was that the wronged woman was pretty pleased with her chat with him and told reporters that she was thinking about voting Labour. Guess that message will get lost now.