When Gillian met Gordon: the full transcript
Updated on 28 April 2010
So what did Gillian Duffy say to Gordon Brown to make him label her a 'bigot'? Read the full unedited transcript of their conversation here and find out.
Gordon Brown: Hello, how are you? Now, come and talk with me. How are you getting on? Where do you stay around here?
Gillian Duffy: Yes.
GB: It's a nice area, isn't it?
GD: Now, my family have voted Labour all their life. Me father, even when he was in his teens went to Free Trade Hall to sing the red flag and now I'm absolutely ashamed of saying I'm Labour.
GB: No, you mustn't be. Because what have we done? We've improved the health service. We're financing more neighbourhood policing, we're getting better schools and we're coming through a very difficult world recession.
You know what my views are. I'm for fairness. For hard working families.
I've told these guys across there - look if you commit a crime you're going to be punished.
GD: I'm afraid I don't think it's happening in Rochdale.
GB: Well, with a bit more policing than there were... but obviously we're going to do better in the future with neighbourhood policing. Neighbourhood policing is the key to it. You're a very good woman you've served the community all your life.
GB: You're a very good woman, you've served the community all your life.
GD: I am, I’ve worked for the Rochdale council for 30 years. And I work with children and handicapped children.
GB: Oh well I think working with children is so important isn’t it? So important. Have you been at some of the children’s centres?
GD: But what I can't understand is why I am still being taxed at 66 years old because my husband's died and I have some of his pension tagged onto my pension.
GB: Well, we’re raising the threshold at which people start paying tax as pensioners, but yes, if you’ve got an occupational pension you may have to pay some tax. But you may be eligible for the pension credit as well, you should check...
GD: No, no, I’m not, I’ve checked and checked and they said I’m no they can't do it.
GB: Well you should look it again just to be sure, to be absolutely sure.
GD: Yes they’ve told me, I’ve been down to Rochdale council to try and get it off me tax.
GB: We’re linking pension to earnings in two years' time, we’ve got the winter allowance as you know, which I hope is of benefit, two fifty...
GD: I agree with that, it’s very good, but every year I talk to people of my age and they say "Oh well, they’ll be knocking it off, it will be going - it will be going."
Simon Danczuk (Labour parliamentary party candidate for Rochdale): No, that's not true. You were particularly impressed with the bus pass as well.
GB: We’ve done the bus passes, free eye test prescriptions...
GD: But how are you going to get us out of all this debt, Gordon?
GB: We’ve got a deficit reduction plan, cut the debt by half over the next four years, we’ve got the plans that have been set out to do it - look, I was the person who came in and said...
GD: Look, the three main things that I had drummed in when I was a child was education, health service and looking after people who are vulnerable. There are too many people now who aren’t vulnerable but they can claim and people who are vulnerable can’t get claim.
GB: But they shouldn’t be doing that, there is no life on the dole anymore for people, if you’re unemployed you’ve got to go back to work. At six months…
GD: You can’t say anything about the immigrants because you’re saying you’re, but all these eastern Europeans coming in, where are they flocking from?
GB: A million people come in from Europe, but a million British people have gone into Europe, you do know there’s a lot of British people staying in Europe as well.
Look come back to what your initial principles: helping people - that's what we're in the business of doing.
A decent health service, that's really important, and education. Now these are things that we have tried to do.
We're going to maintain the schools so that people have that chance to get on.
GD: So what are you going about do about students who are coming in now? You've scrapped that now Gordon, to help students go on to university.
GB: Tuition fees?
GD: Yes. I'm thinking about my grandchildren. What will they have to pay to get into university?
GB: We've got forty per cent of young people now going to university...
Simon Danczuk: More than ever.
GB: More than ever. So you got to have some balance. If you get a degree and you earn twice as much after you get the degree then you got to pay something back as a contribution.
But there are grants for your grandchildren. There are more grants than ever before. You know more young people are going to university than ever before. And for the first year the majority of people going to university are women. So there's big opportunities for women.
So education, health and helping people. That's what I'm about.
GD: I hope you keep to it.
GB: It’s been very good to meet you. And you’re wearing the right colour today! (Laughter) How many grandchildren do you have?
GB: What names are they?
GD: They’ve just come back from Australia where they’ve been stuck for ten days they couldn’t get back with this ash crisis.
GB: They got through now?
GB: We’ve been trying to get people back quickly. But are they going to university, is that the plan?
GD: I hope so. They’re only 12 and 10.
GB: They’re only 12 and 10! But they’re doing well at school?
GD: Yes. Very good.
GB: A good family. Good to see you.
GD: And the education system in Rochdale I will congratulate it.
GB: Good. And it's very nice to see you, take care.
[GD departs, Gordon enters car]
GD: Thanks take care. Good to see you all. Thanks very much.
GD: That was a disaster. Should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that?
Unknown male: I don’t know, I didn’t see.
GB: Sue’s, I think. Just ridiculous.
Unknown male: Not sure if they’ll go with that one.
GB: They will go with it.
Unknown male: What did she say?
GB: Everything. She’s just this sort of bigoted woman who said she used to be a Labour voter… Ridiculous.
[Transmission breaks up]