I’ve had some arguments with my dad in the past but I’ve never hated him enough to buy him a Jeremy Clarkson book as a ‘present’. While I’m no fan of Top Gear, mainly because I participate in sex positions other than missionary, many enjoy the programme; it’s estimated that the show has an audience of 350 million worldwide.
This week the nation’s most infamous petrol head, and host of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson was suspended by the BBC for his involvement in a ‘fracas’ (posh people speak for ‘a fight’). The exact story isn’t yet known but Clarkson apparently punched a producer due to his dinner not being served correctly. This has caused outrage amongst many across country; over 460,000 people to be precise. That’s the number of signatures, and counting, on a petition urging the BBC to reinstate him immediately. You read correctly -they’re not horrified by Clarkson’s alleged assault, but that the public service broadcaster BBC have finally suspended a man on his final warning by his employers after his racial slur shame last year. That’s more than put their name to a past campaign to end female genital Mutilation (FGM).
For those of us amongst us that don’t feel the need to label bigoted Clarkson ‘a total ledge’, or declare his suspension as ‘political correctness gone mad’, we possess the common sense to see that if someone is constantly reprimanded for multiple counts of racism, general sexism, making disgusting comments about the disabled and the mentally ill, constant homophobia, and let’s not forget, drink driving, eventually you’re going to be suspended from your job.
For me personally, it’s not just the fact he wants to check every box on the ‘How to be a bigot’ checklist; he’s just not funny. He reminds me of a tragic, sad old man at a party who goes around sexually harassing anyone under the age of 30, as everyone looks at each other as if to say “Don’t worry – with the amount he’s smoking and drinking he won’t be at the next function with any luck.”
As soon as you argue that you dislike David Cameron’s driving buddy you get accused of being a part of the ‘PC Brigade’ or an oppose of free speech. Not me. You can’t offend me. You can anger me, insult me and disgust me, but it’s pretty hard to offend me. Not wanting Jeremy Clarkson to appear on your TV isn’t a strike against free speech; it’s the perfect execution of freedom of speech actually –voicing anger that a publicly funded television company continues to employ one of their most profitable cash cows. People can say whatever they want but others don’t have to like it (or be happy that their licence fee goes towards Clarkson’s estimated £12 million salary).
Jeremy Clarkson may be a ‘breath of fresh air in a PC world’ to some but to me that breath stinks of stale fags and bigotry.
If you really must sign the Jeremy Clarkson petition, do it. But please, also spend 5 minutes of your time signing something worthwhile too. Here are three petitions close to my heart:
If you follow me on Twitter you’ll probably be aware of the fact that letting agents are one of the reasons I have high blood pressure in my early twenties. I can’t say anymore through fear of being evicted for complaining – 2015 Britain, eh? Before moving into their new home, renters often get hit with spurious fees supposedly covering administration, inventory, references, guarantors, deposit protection, maintenance charges and credit checks. Then letting agents find other excuses to charge more fees, for example when someone moves in or out of a shared house or at the end of a tenancy. Follow @genrentuk for more about the current renting and housing crisis.
The NHS is one of the few things that makes me proud to be British. Whatever your political stance, it cannot be denied that our national health services is crumbling and on it’s way to be privatised. This isn’t necessarily a petition but you can sign up to learn more about the biggest battle the NHS faces to date.
A huge majority of my friends are teachers, and while I may make awfully tired jokes about their holidays etc, the work they do is under appreciated by many. They may get six weeks off in the summer but I know most of them to currently be working 60 hour weeks as the norm.
The cut to funds for further education will leave millions of the most vulnerable adults without access to any opportunity to improve their education or retrain and put thousands of FE jobs at risk.
And if you really can’t help yourself when it comes to silly petitions:
This piece originally featured on Scarlett Wonderland. Below are few more articles of mine from the site: