Poor old Gordon Brown has become embroiled in an election scandal because of a few careless words in the ‘privacy’ of his chauffeur driver car. He’d been meeting and greeting in Rochdale when he made the blunder. After speaking to Gillian Duffy he got into the car and called her a bigot.
“That was a disaster – they should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that? It’s just ridiculous…”
Asked what she had said, he is heard to reply: “Ugh everything! She’s just a sort of bigoted woman that said she used to be Labour. I mean it’s just ridiculous. I don’t know why Sue brought her up towards me.
Of course the press have had a field day. They absolutely love it when public figures get caught off guard. Gordon’s microphone was still on and the comments were reported to Mrs Duffy. He returned later in the day to apologise for his comments and said there had been a ‘misunderstanding’ on his part. It’s not the first time a public figure has been caught out by a microphone picking up comments that were meant to stay private. In 2004 big Ron Atkinson called Marcel Desailly ‘a nigger’ after the game he was commentating on and microphones which should have been switched off picked up his comments. Prince Charles famously muttered under his breath about BBC’s Royal Reporter Nick Witchell during a ski slopes photo-shoot in 2005 with sons William and Harry.
Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Our words reveal the true nature of what’s going on beneath a toothy grin and a baby cuddling election campaign. Every preacher dreads leaving the tie mic on after the church service in case what they’ve said from the pulpit is completely undermined by a thoughtless comment about a member of the congregation (or a pee) in the minister’s room! When our words and actions don’t match up to the public persona everyone gets let down.
Billy Payne is the President of Augusta National Golf Club and just before the Masters he said this about Tiger Woods’ spectacular fall from grace.
He forgot that fame and fortune comes with responsibility not invisibility … he disappointed all of us, our kids and our grandkids. Our hero did not live up to our expectations.
The thing is – no matter which hero you chose they will not be perfect. John Terry lost the England captaincy for inappropriate sexual behaviour, Andrew Flintoff was lost at sea on a pedlow and Britney Spears lost her marbles – attacking a car with an umbrella. None of our heroes live up to the expectations we have of them.
None except one. Jesus Christ stands out in all of history as the one man who could never be caught out by a rogue microphone. His inner life matched up with his public ministry. When His life came under scrutiny and investigation by Pilate the verdict was..
You are God with us
You are strong and mighty to save
For your word stands true
There is none like you
And when all else fades, you remain
He is the Only One we can depend on. His words are backed up by His life and the only scandalous thing about Him is that He would take my place on the cross and receive the punishment for every careless action, word and thought of mine!