Gillian Duffy, a retired woman in England could check off many of the membership criteria of the American Tea Party Movement.
- She is upset about high taxes.
- She is upset about the mounting national debt.
- She has a disdain for “the other”, i.e. foreigners.
The exchange between Mrs. Duffy and British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who was campaigning, showed the woman to be slightly cranky but not sufficiently so to deserve the insult she subsequently got from Mr. Brown. Apparently, her concern about the influx of Eastern Europeans into England did not sit well with the Prime Minister, who got into his limo and called her a bigot, unaware he was still on microphone. Brown later apologized both publicly and at Duffy’s home. (We won’t address the similarity between this and our own recent struggles with the immigration issue.)
On the one hand, it was a real hoot to see a world leader throw politics out the window and call it the way he saw it. On the other hand, his immediate apology proved that what the man says in public does not synch with what he says in private. So, he threw his credibility out the window also.
As for Mrs. Duffy, I am sure she is now a hero to the Tea Party movement here in the US. Move over Susan Boyle, America has found its new idol! I’m just waiting for Sarah Palin to anoint Mrs. Duffy on her Facebook page.