April 30, 2010
Gordon Brown: Put Your Face Straight, Now
The NYT story said that Brown has been on script and showing his recently-found friendly side.
From the still, though, it looks like Brown is unusually dialed in and overbearing with Gillian Duffy, who’s no member of Parliament but just an ordinary citizen. The video only confirms this, especially in the way Brown prolongs the conversation, even pursuing Ms. Duffy as she moves away. For Ms. Duffy’s part, although she seems tense in the photo, her demeanor as she’s told about Brown’s comments behind her back suggests the absence of anger.
Sure her question about immigrants got under his skin. But in the encounter that set up Brown’s venting episode in the limo, you can already see him pressing.
The Telegraph has a wonderful article on Lancastrian women and the penchant in the North for straight talk — which goes a long way in explaining what we might call the “forthrightness,” mixed with some stoicism, of this woman’s expression. The local phrase, which informs this picture beautifully, is: “Put your face straight. Now.”