A spot of Christmas goodwill – Let’s help get Clarkson off the hook
Earlier this week I confidently predicted that a rather excellent post from one of our readers would be the last guest post of the year. However, as with so many things we write on this blog, that prediction got proved wrong almost immediately as this excellent little post dropped onto the mat of WLLG towers (well, it arrived in our e-inbox). We like the writing and love the debate it should start so without further ado let us all stand up and support Jeremy Clarkson!
Oh, and this is definitely the last guest post of 2011. If you have something you’d like us to put up in 2012 please do drop us a line at email@example.com. We love guest posts and we’re sure our readers do too so if you have something to say (on any local government topic) please drop us a line and join in the debate.
Now, back to Jeremy Clarkson:
This week we learned that Ofcom is looking into Jeremy Clarkson’s prime-time tirade against striking public sector workers.
As a public sector worker I have to say that my first reaction to this piece of news was not what most people might think.
The media regulator’s investigation into the Top Gear presenter’s call for strikers to be:
taken outside and executed in front of their families
did not send me racing into schadenfreude overdrive.
Although many of my colleagues are likely to have been very pleased with Ofcom’s latest actions, for me it did the opposite – putting the brakes on my already thinning year-end optimism.
We’ve had a tough couple of years, everyone knows that, and we have a government that appears determined to make it even tougher for people in the UK’s public services.
But does anyone really see the point of Clarkson being flagellated by the country’s broadcasting regulator because he said something on the One Show? And is there really any need for him to be?
Are we such a prissy bunch that we cannot stomach lame schoolboy gags from baggy-faced car reviewers?
If we are, it’s more depressing than anything Clarkson could ever throw at us.
In full context the comments can be seen for what they are – a lame attempt at ‘laddish’ comedy from someone who wears jeans that are far too tight. And cowboy boots.
But step back momentarily from the burning brazier of hysterical reaction to his striker ‘jibes’ and some (like me) may also be tempted to feel sorry for him.
For is Clarkson not also a victim of the synthetic public anger whipped up by the Daily Mail that is also frequently directed at councils?
We’re in the same boat, or caravan lashed to a balloon floating over French airspace, we just don’t know it.
If we could do one thing to bolster our collective reputation with the general public it would be to petition Ofcom en-masse to drop its investigation into Jeremy Clarkson. We could even ask it to take the complaints outside its building and have them shot to pieces by machine gun-wielding pen pushers.
That would really have Daily Mail readers spitting out their cornflakes in shock.
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