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Jeremy Clarkson. Laugh? I nearly shot myself…

December 3, 2011

While I hesitate to criticise comrades, there are times when the Left just needs to get over itself. All those complaints to the BBC after The One Show, and for what, because a boorish, right-wing fuck-wit said something controversial about striking public sector workers. So, what’s new?

Jeremy Clarkson has since apologized. He needn’t have bothered. I for one would never have sought an apology from him and I wouldn’t (and didn’t) write to complain about his comments.

Why? Because the ‘campaign’ against Clarkson allows him, and all those mediocre men that aspire to live in his image, to revel in their sense of persecution. That’s what lies behind Clarkson’s humour; the conviction that ‘normal’, right-thinking people are besieged by deviants and queers.

Clarkson is part of a group of white, middle class, determinedly heterosexual men who feel exasperated by the behaviour of everyone who doesn’t share their mono-cultural view and experience of the world. Confronted by such social differences they seek solace in juvenilia: a self-imposed, arrested emotional and intellectual development that helps them cope with the fact that everyone is not like them.

What is really invidious about the Clarkson incident is the way in which the Left allowed it to capture the headlines and distract from the real issues. So, for instance, the first issue raised on Question Time the following night was about the Top Gear presenter’s comments on The One Show rather than the issues that lead to strike action. In this respect, Clarkson is like David Starkey, whose stupid remarks on Newsnight over the summer eclipsed any sensible debate about the English riots. Self-styled right-wing controversialists too often play the Left like a flute. By all means despise Jeremy Clarkson and his ilk but don’t inflate his importance. The best medicine? Don’t laugh with him, laugh at him.

The Harry and Paul sketch captures the Clarkson psychology perfectly.


The Stewart Lee stand-up routine about Top Gear is simply brilliant.

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