Apart from allowing Xenophobes to raise their racist heads above the parapet with less fear of condemnation than usual, it showed just how little people understand about the way things work, and the knee-jerk reactions on which people base their decisions.
I'm hardly Gordon Brown's biggest fan - I believe he and Blair have betrayed 80% of what Labour ever stood for and their kowtowing to big business makes me want to vomit.
But you've got to feel for the guy. He makes a speech about British jobs for British people, and when a private corporation hires foreign labour, he gets the blame. Sure, it's embarrassing for him, but to read both tabloid news coverage and pubic reaction alike, millions of people seem to think Gordon himself interviewed and hired each one of these greasy foreigners personally.
The Lindsey refinery is owned by Total UK, part of a giant French oil company. Gordon Brown is not the HR director or even the CEO of this company. He's the Prime Minister. He had nothing to so with hiring these people. In fact, it was Peter Mandelson's intervention which helped solved the dispute.
It's hilarious that the kind of people who believe government should stay out of business and let it do what it wants are the ones most outraged at the government when big business did what the hell it wanted, and will give the government no credit whatsoever for stepping in to help solve a problem they didn't create.
My favourite part of the whole thing though has to be the daily headlines in the Mail and the Express showing complete solidarity with the trades union movement - something they've spent decades trying to destroy. "We might hate proletarian leftie scum, but not as much as we hate dagos and wops. How dare they come over here and destroy the livelihoods, hopes and dreams of the unskilled British working class? That's OUR job!"
Fancy apologising to hundreds of thousands of former miners, steel workers and shipbuilders now, Mr Dacre?