Monday 18 December 2017

Gordon Brown's 'bigoted woman' gaffe makes list of quotes of the year

Toby Harnden

Gordon Brown's "bigoted woman" comments have put him alongside Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell and Tony Hayward in a list of the best quotations of the year, according to Yale University.

The "bigoted" quotation referring to Gillian Duffy during the April General Election campaign was cited by Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School in Connecticut, who released his fifth annual list of the most notable quotations of the year.

"They should never have put me with that woman. ... She was just a sort of bigoted woman who said she used to be Labour," Mr Brown said in comments picked up by a microphone on April 28th.

The joint top quotation of the year was judged to be the declaration of Miss O'Donnell, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Delaware, who declared during her U.S. Senate campaign: "I'm not a witch.

"It was such a remarkable unconventional quote to be a part of the political discourse," Mr Shapiro said.

Tied for first place was "I'd like my life back", the lament made in May by Tony Hayward, the British chief executive of BP after the worst offshore oil spill in American history.

Mr Shapiro said: "People resented the fact that he was wanting to get back to his yacht races and other aspects of his normal life when those little problems were dwarfed by the magnitude of what people on the Gulf Coast were dealing with."

The original Yale Book of Quotations was published in 2006. Since then, Mr Shapiro has released an annual list of the top 10 quotations that are famous, important or revealing of the spirit of the times.

Miss O'Donnell, who lost the Senate race to her Democratic opponent, also made the list for questioning in a debate whether the First Amendment includes the language "separation of church and state".

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