The Liberal Democrats had just shaken up their press office team when a monstrous howler of an error took place. Not much was actually happening at the party’s autumn conference in Glasgow, so it came as quite a surprise to the journalists gathered in the city to find the Lib Dems’ secret ‘lines to take’ document emailed around.
Actually it was Barack Obama who made this particular gaffe – but in British political terms it was the chancellor who was the victim. There is something rather embarrassing about George being confused with a black soul singer by the president of the United States, even if Jeffrey Osborne is a very talented musician. That it happened three times in Obama’s speech to the G8 made it all the more painful.