You may think, and rightly so, that Jeremy Clarkson is a loud mouthed bigot whose views on just about anything should be treated with suspicion if not derision, but whatever you may think of him he is not stupid. Jeremy knows how to make his bank manager very happy indeed. After his outburst on television last night he will be laughing all the way to the cashpoint.
On The One Show last night Clarkson gave his opinion that yesterday’s strikers should be taken out and shot in front of their families. An over the top comment designed to delight his aficionados and enrage anyone remotely PC. The BBC immediately issued an apology at the end of the show.
His comment, however, had the desired effect. Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, the main union behind the strike, fulminated: “Clarkson’s comments on The One Show were totally outrageous, and they cannot be tolerated. We are seeking urgent legal advice about what further action we can take against him and the BBC, and whether or not his comments should be referred to the police.
“An apology is not enough – we are calling on the BBC to sack Jeremy Clarkson immediately.”
Jon Trickett, Labour’s shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “Clarkson should apologise and the Prime Minister should make clear he disassociates himself from the distasteful remarks uttered by one of his friends.”
The BBC have announced that they have received 4,700 complaints from the general public.
So let’s get this straight. The UK is facing the gravest financial and social crisis in living memory, we have had the biggest strike for about 40 years, the Governor of the Bank of England is warning us to prepare for disaster when the Euro finally folds, our embassy in Tehran is attacked and we do no more than we did when British sailors were kidnapped by the same regime, a few months ago we had widespread rioting and looting in England and have done little to get to the root of why it happened or what to do if it happens again. Meantime an overgrown public schoolboy makes a tasteless ‘joke’ on television.
The result? A member of the shadow cabinet thinks the Prime Minister should take time out to make a statement disassociating himself from the remarks. If any of us had time to go around disassociating ourselves from the tasteless remarks of our friends we wouldn’t have time to make any tasteless remarks of our own.
The leader of one of the nation’s biggest unions, in the midst of hard negotiations which are going to affect every one of us, is getting his legal hacks to urgently try to drum up legal excuses for police action against Clarkson, the BBC and probably any who laughed at Clarkson’s attempt at humour. At the very least if they can’t have Clarkson’s head on a plate they want force him out of his job.
If Britain finally is lost it’s not because of the economy, it’s not because of the banks or the unions, it’s not because of health and safety, it’s not because of jobsworths in positions of power, it’s not even because of the tree huggers. It’s because we have lost our sense of proportion.
The man has made a tidy fortune for himself with tasteless remarks which are either loved or loathed depending on your social views. That is apart from those of us who can’t be bothered wasting our time watching him on television.
This present stushie will merely confirm his demonising amongst the self-righteous who don’t realise that humour is generally cruel. It will raise his status amongst those who actually find Clarkson funny. Whatever stance you take it will mean that the next time he appears on television viewing figures will shoot up, Clarkson will continue to be as anti-PC as he can be, and his bank manager will continue to smile.
Meantime, Prentis will still have to cope with the situation into which he has led his union, and people will still scratch their heads and say “Jon Trckett? Who’s he.”
And Britain will still be sinking.