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Gary Younge
Gary Younge's election: Bigotgate happened in a parallel universe

For me the single most stunning moment of the election campaign was the look on Gillian Duffy's face when a journalist told her what Gordon Brown had said about her in his car. Just the shock, disappointment and bewilderment at how anyone could have come away from their encounter thinking that.

I tend to work from home or on the road on my own, so live moments like this I usually either miss – I don't have the TV on all the time – or experience on my own, pondering: "I wonder how that's going to go down." But this time I was in a newsroom when the story broke and you could see this ripple of excitement course through the place as first the tape was played and then Brown was shown slumped over with his head in his hands.

The whole episode seemed emblematic of the contempt that politicians have for voters. Brown was upset that he had been put in the presence of someone who asked him reasonable questions. The sight of her postal vote sitting on the side, the vote she no longer intended to send, felt like a tragic indictment of a very alienating political culture.

Otherwise I am just amazed at how rarely the election comes up in conversation. When I see old friends or am making new ones it rarely gets discussed unless I mention it. It's as if the whole thing is taking place in a parallel universe where journalists are excited, politicians worried and the public bored and alienated.

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