Saturday, February 07, 2009

Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC under attack

The whole Jeremy Clarkson thing is getting a little stupid really. Okay, so he called Gordon Brown a one-eyed Scottish idiot who lied, but is it really worth the absolute outrage we see from every media outlet?

At most it's just a stupid comment but it's being blown out of all proportion. "Linking disability with incompetence" was one quote I heard. Surely I'm missing something because that's absolute rubbish. If I were to say I think Jeremy Clarkson's an obnoxious, arrogant, boorish lanky fool would everyone suddenly complain that that was somehow discriminatory? Can we not say anything critical about anyone anymore? Can we not just be scathing and a little nasty about people? It's certainly not even implying that Gordon's loss of sight in one eye has anything to do with his idiocy or his lies. And to try to make the connection is just someone trying to stir up trouble.

Surely Gordon Brown has bigger problems to concern himself with. Surely he must have a thicker skin than this? Not if the sycophantic, desperate to please Scottish Labour MP I heard on Radio 5 this morning was taking an official party line. MP Gordon Banks described Clarkson's comments as "unforgiveable". He was probably going to go on to describe Clarkson as somewhere to the right of Hitler and guilty of every serious unsolved crime of the last 50 years, but he ran out of time.

At most Clarkson's comments were slightly nasty. He was right about the Scottish after all. As for the idiot and the liar comments - that's going to depend on what you think of Brown and Labour - but I'm sure there's no shortage of people in agreement. I suppose the one-eyed comment was a little harsh. But somebody really needs to take a step back and ask exactly where we're drawing the line about this sort of thing.

Are we working our way towards a country where we're only allowed to be bland and uninteresting lest we offend anyone? Or maybe it's just the BBC that they want to be like that. In the wake of Ross and Brand it seems the knives are out for Auntie. You can see a point in the not too distant future where there will be nothing but a diet of Question Of Sport, Strictly Come Dancing and re-runs of The Good Life on the BBC.

Now, I like Clarkson in Top Gear. But I imagine I'd dislike him intensely in real life. And I imagine he wouldn't think too much of me either. And that's not a problem because isn't that rather the point? Do we really want to live somewhere where no-one is allowed to speak out? Free speech has to include the right to be a pompous, arrogant git.

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