Nearly a million people have signed a petition to save the job of a racist reactionary even his colleagues call a knob. PETER FROST hasn’t signed. Here’s why.
There are lots of interesting and important stories in the news at the moment — the upcoming general election debates, Comic Relief reaching a billion pounds and the world’s worst tropical cyclone Pam causing unbelievable destruction.
Yet the media is fixated with posh racist Jeremy Clarkson’s behaviour in punching his producer Oisin Tymon, whose only failing was not to get Clarkson a late-night steak supper.
In the world of online petitions, the biggest and quickest ever — nearly a million signatures in just a few days — is one to get Clarkson reinstated before he has even been officially sacked.
Media reports allege that Clarkson had attacked his fellow worker after arriving by helicopter at a hotel to find no hot food.
He had come from a pub where he had been drinking heavily for several hours with his fellow Top Gear presenters James May and Richard Hammond.
When asked what he knew about the incident May replied: “Not very much, I was blind drunk.” He did add that “Clarkson is a knob.”
More sober witnesses describe how Clarkson called Tymon a “lazy, Irish cunt” before shouting: “You’ll be on the dole tomorrow. I’m going to make sure you will not have a job.” Then he split the producer’s lip with a punch. The victim ended up at the nearby hospital.
Clarkson disputes these accounts and it will be up to an inquiry headed by BBC Scotland supremo Ken MacQuarrie to discover the truth, or perhaps to decide whatever the truth Clarkson is far too valuable to the BBC for it to sack him.
Clarkson remains laid back about the outcome.
Quick to come to his mate Clarkson’s defence was Prime Minister David Cameron.
The two men are both members of the notorious Chipping Norton set — a group of self-appointed and self-opinionated public school-educated rich folk who believe they have some divine right to rule.
The group of media, political and showbusiness friends all have large expensive second homes close to Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire and behave rather like a grown-up Bullingdon Club.
Clarkson, buffoon and court jester to the group, once amused them by driving a Rolls-Royce into the local swimming pool. Members of the set regularly meet for dinner parties and social gatherings.
Two of them, now married, were actually introduced by Clarkson. They are Rebekah Brooks, former boss of News International, as well as editor of the Sun and News of the World, and racehorse trainer husband Charlie.
Clarkson writes a column for Rupert Murdoch’s rag the Sun.
Another couple were Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert, and Matthew Freud. They recently divorced splitting their £250 million fortune after a row between the Murdoch clan and Freud’s best mate Tony Blair.
David and Samantha Cameron too are key players in the set. Chipping Norton lies in Cameron’s constituency of Witney.
The Prime Minister and other set members ride with the local Heythrop Hunt. Clarkson too supports the hunt which has been prosecuted and fined for breaking the law.
Some observers suspect that Clarkson’s close friendship with various members of Rupert Murdoch’s entourage might, in fact, be the real reason behind this whole sorry story.
Consider the facts. The Top Gear presenters’ BBC contracts are all up for renewal any day now.
It sold the programme to BBC Worldwide three years ago, and at the time Clarkson received £8.5 million for his Top Gear shares and a three year contract at £1m annual salary plus an additional seven-figure package for international and DVD sales.
No doubt Murdoch and his Sky empire would love to have the annual £150m international income and the 350m viewers that Top Gear generates for the BBC.
Will we be seeing a new motoring programme starting up on Sky featuring who else but Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond?
I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the main subject of conversation around the dinner tables in Chipping Norton over the next few days. I just hope the servants remember to buy the steak.
The real reasons why Clarkson must go
JEREMY CLARKSON got his reactionary and racist opinions early. His first job was hawking golliwogs — racist dolls manufactured by his parents’ company — around the country.
Contemporary accounts tell us the young Clarkson was immensely proud of the offence they caused.
He still uses racist terms frequently.
“There is a slope on the bridge,” he said when an Asian man crossed a bridge Top Gear had built in Myanmar.
Slope is a racist term invented by US troops to describe Asians people in the Vietnam war.
He chanted: “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a nigger by his toe.” Editors changed this on the broadcast version but the original can be found online.
All three of the Top Gear presenters made offensive remarks about Mexico, including likening the national food to sick with cheese on it and describing Mexican people as lazy, feckless, flatulent and overweight.
In the Top Gear India special a car fitted with a toilet in its boot was described by Clarkson as “perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots.”
Clarkson made a nazi salute during a programme segment discussing a new Mini.
He has randomly insulted the Argentinians, the Scots and people from Liverpool.
Of the handling of a French car, he said: “It just gives up after a bit, just like the French did to the Germans.”
Clarkson has even attacked his employers, the BBC, claiming it was obsessed with hiring black, Muslim lesbians to counter the number of white heterosexuals in its ranks.
On the BBC’s One Show Clarkson told viewers he thought all the public-sector workers who had just taken part in a 24-hour strike should be shot.
“I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families,” he said.
He also objects to bus lanes, asking: “Why do poor people need to get there quicker than I do?” and after a transatlantic flight he suggested babies should travel in the baggage hold.
Clarkson took against an older Ferrari and, with unbelievable insensibility, renamed it the 430 Speciale Needs instead of the 430 Speciale.
Disability is a frequent target for Clarkson’s so-called humour. He described former prime minister Gordon Brown as a “one-eyed Scottish idiot” and he and James May were filmed proudly parking in a disabled bay.
The buffoon has even likened lorry drivers to murderers. “What matters to lorry drivers?” he mused. “Murdering prostitutes? Fuel economy?”
Clarkson’s irresponsible driving vandalism has damaged the environment at home and abroad.
In Somerset he damaged an ancient and protected horse chestnut tree while testing the strength of a Toyota.
In Botswana’s Makgadikgadi salt pan, at the North Pole and in other sensitive locations, environmentalists have complained about the long-term impact of Clarkson’s destructive visits.
Shortly after this article appeared in the Morning Star on March 16 Clarkson was sacked by the BBC.