Friday 2 May 2014

Top Gear is UKIP TV

I am in a minority. I am one of the few men on earth who don't watch Top Gear. 
Its not that I dislike it. It's just that I don't get it. I don't understand the show at all.

"What's to understand?" you say. "Three aging, macho, petrol-heads drive a Prius, a Segway and a Milk float from Marrakesh to the Pyramids!  Its brill!.."

"But..I don't follow..Why would they want to do that? What does taking a recycling truck round Brand's Hatch, or dropping a Trabant off a shopping centre, prove?"

"It doesn't prove anything - its entertainment!"

"But...but then anything could be entertainment..Firing a catapult loaded with fish at Piers Morgan's house would be entertainment..?"

"Now you're getting it! In fact..that's not a bad idea!

"Yes it is..Its ..just..silly!"

"Exactly !! "

So, I just pretend to like it and catch a few minutes on Dave every now and then. Maybe when the kids start watching it might appeal...I have read Jezza's books..But I can't watch Top Gear.

ANYWAY .. Jeremy Clarkson is in trouble for saying the horribly air quoted  "N" word. He says he didn't, but he probably did as it was in a famous settlement rhyme that I clearly remember from my childhood.

Before ACAS and Citizens Advice and the European Court of Human Rights we used "eenee-meene-minie-moe.." as the ultimate arbitration service. All irresolvable disputes could eventually be settled by Eenee-meene.  And, if you are my age, of forty something, you'll recall the person whose toe was held was an 'N' word.
If you are a baby, like CU, and Thirty Something, then the caught by the toe will be a Teacher, or a Tickle, or an Eskimo or some other harmless word.   
So Clarkson possibly did, inadvertently, offend the world. He assures his 3 million odd twitter followers that he did not. The Guardian is not so sure.

Except he couldn't really have offended anyone as the BBC cut the clip from the show and it was not aired.
It was the Daily Mirror who published the clip on its website to suggest that Clarkson is a racist.

So poor Jeremy is accused of possibly saying something he denies, that is not going to be aired publicly anyway;  that even if he did say what he says he didn't, is undoubtedly a leftover from his 1970's childhood and cultural upbringing and unlikely to make him a racist anyway.

The real question isn't "Is Top Gear presenter a secret racist?"
 No. it is why do the media like to attack him in the first place? 

His anti-political correctness is legendary. He was recently in trouble for naming his new dog Didier Dogba after a former Chelsea striker & Ivory Coast team captain and who is black. The dog is a black dog. The player is black. So the 'joke' must be racist. 
I don't believe Stephen Fry's tweets are examined in the same way. People looking to make an issue of his thoughts all the time. The Guardian are running a poll "Should Clarkson be sacked from the BBC ? "
{JC is winning this one with 59% saying NO.}

I do wonder though if attacking right wing, smoking, drinking ,anti-liberal, pro British, anti-green, couldn't give a monkey's, Clarkson has been a secret code for attacking UKIP?  
One man, embodying everything the fractious left can unite against to hate? A bit like Nigel and the protests that greet him wherever he appears.
If that's a mad theory it can't be anymore bizarre than thinking a man is a racist because he named his dog,  Dogba

Think it through Guardianistas.

If he really was a racist he would not have a black dog at all !


ivan said...

I have to say that if you are seventy something you are thoroughly fed-up with the direction the PC mob are trying to take the country.

In fact I would say we need a lot more people that are prepared to bring our country back from being one that bends over for all those that think they should be offended for others and by that try and turn the country into what it is not.

Anonymous said...

"If he really was a racist he would not have a black dog at all" !

Ho, ho, great stuff Mr Q, and thanks for the link to the Guardian ( to which I dont subscribe), and to which I`ve added my vote.
As a seventy-something you can guess which way my vote went...

dearieme said...

"Racist" used to be a serious word about serious problems, principally about the treatment of blacks in the USA. Now it's just silly - towering on about bloody nursery rhymes, for God's sake.

My own policy is to shout "racist" at anyone whose spouse is of the same race as the shoutee. What could be fairer than that?

Kynon said...

I'm not yet in the same age bracket as you BQ (still 30-something for a while yet), but I clearly remember the rhyme in question with the now-unacceptable air-quoted word - ergo I am inclined to agree with your assessment.

Mind you, would have been easy enough to sub in a word which scanned similarly - I think we changed it to "stealer" when I was but a lad.

Bill Quango MP said...

Story has evolved a bit.
This section of the show was filmed a few years ago.

Clarkson became aware of his slip. Made efforts to get it changed by asking that a different take be substituted.

And since the row blew up he has apologised as much as he can for his error.

Is this enough for the zealots?


Still demanding his head for even 'thinking' an unacceptable word.

Big Brother would be proud of them.

Electro-Kevin said...

I find Top Gear old and tiresome but I do like Ukip. TG is purile and childish nonsense. Clarkson is a risky Rightist alternative comedian but not a risky Leftist one, so he's fucked.

'Racist' is bandied about so much these days - Martin Luther King would be offended by our all encompassing definition of the word compared to what he and his people had to suffer.

That 'racists !" is leveled at Ukip-ers (aka the REAL Conservative party) is because the ruling establishment knows that British people are nice and terrified of being racist - let alone being called racist.

This is bullying.

David Cameron was the first to utter the words Ukip and racist in the same sentence and thus outlaw the real Conservatives.

So there we have it. The fake Tory party have proven themselves to be the biggest fakesters IN the WORLD !

Blue Eyes said...

I don't agree with the political correctness gone mad standpoint, but it is a generational thing. My mum can't get her head around gay marriage, for example. She's not against it per se and in the old cliché she has friends and family living in stable same sex relationships, she just doesn't get the concept of gay marriage.

Just like old people don't know why "coloured" went from being the standard term to offensive in a short time.

But it is stupid to say this is a result of a particular group having taken over the country.

Brits supposedly pride themselves on being polite. It's polite to get people's name right and not give them labels which they don't like.

I like aspects of Top Gear, but I didn't see the upside of putting in a joke about slopes. Clarkson is an oaf off camera (I tried to read one of his books but it was just a stupid attack on anything for its own sake) but he has a certain charm on Top Gear.

The N word has not suddenly become offensive. It has always been offensive. If you work in the public eye and you know that a word is not appropriate then you should know not to use it.

CityUnslicker said...

Nailed it BQ. the mirror together with the whole media are all out to get their teeth into anyone 'right-wing' in the run up to the euro elections.

Althought clarkson would be fair game anyway as he is a chipping norton set mate of 'Dave's.

Still, lefties don't seem to be understanding the more they froth about what is obviously a minor point at best, the more they run off the middle ground who see it for the petty politiicking it is.

At the moment, the more UKIP etc are attacked, the more flock to their cause.

Much like the scottish referendum. the more the no campaign use anti-politics, the better it gets for the Yes campaign.

the world changes, just because anti-politics was effective in the 1990's adn earlr 200's does not mean it is the best choice of tool today.

Fighting the last war, as ND would say.

Electro-Kevin said...

Gay Marriage was an attack on the CofE. The parking of PC tanks on their lawn.

I doubt any other religion (or denomination) will be forced to allow gay marriage.

It isn't a generational thing. It's common sense.

How can the Church continue to preach from the letters of St Paul and the Old Testament and yet allow gay marriage ?

How can the CofE be the CofE if it can't do this ?

Well the real aim of gay weddings in churches. To challenge scripture - more specifically the English version of theology.

I'm an atheist and support gay marriage so hold no brief for religion - but if one could think of a way of destroying a church whilst seeming to be 'nice' this would be the way to go about it.

The thing that the older generation can't get their heads around is how despised they are, but I think they're starting to get the message. Thus, being accused of racism over the word 'coloured' when no-one had the decency to tell them that it was no longer the polite way to refer to someone, because it was an artificially created catch-them-out social faux pas anyway.

Expanding this theory:

The only program allowed on TV about troops deployed in Afghanistan is a 'comedy' and in that 'comedy' the only group of people allowed to be lampooned are geriatrics.

Not so funny when - in the workplace - the only profiling allowed as regards safety breaches is by age. And certainly not so funny now that the care home abuse scandals are coming to light and willful abandonment by the NHS.

Blue Eyes said...

Umm well the C of E is a state religion so is in a slightly different position than the others. Either the state church moves with changes in the views of the state or it ceases to be the state religion. It can't be both an official national religion and completely at odds with consensus opinion.

Likewise any fruitbat is free to moan on about N people and political correctness gone mad or how awful football is, on a soapbox or in the town square or on the internet, but there is no legal right to be appear on the BBC.

James Higham said...

Most disappointed Clarkson apologized - as bad a move as his Giggs type injunction.

Pogo said...

Like Mr Higham I'm most disappointed that Clarkson has come out with a grovelling apology for something that he initially claimed he hadn't said. He should have told the chattering classes to "fuck off and get a life!"

Electro-Kevin said...

I wonder what the Queen thinks of it all, Blue. I doubt she has much say. Not because she's Queen but because she's old.

Those who happen to support the CofE (with hard cash, graft and attendance) tend, generaly, to be a generation older than David Cameron - there are, of course, your pushy parents trying to get their kids into good schools. And there are plenty of gays within the Church content not to show its contradictions for the good of the Church - the vast majority of the congregation accepting of them too.

At least such dualistic thinking is benign in its results which is more than can be said for the Leftist element, which just had to push the Church to the brink of self implosion (we shall see if it survives and if so it will be down to the kindness of its members.)

There is a notable tendency in this country to hate old people and to keep offending them.

That's what this was about. And I'm not surprised that your Mum can't get her head around things. She doesn't fully understand what the real mission is.

She's of a generation that is actually too nice to understand such maneuvering, much less the real intent behind it.

Electro-Kevin said...

The Church at odds with consensus opinion ?

If consensus opinion mattered to David Cameron he'd have been pushing through a return to capital punishment.

Electro-Kevin said...


oughtn't we (in these enlightened and modernist times) be telling people that they cannot have halal/kosher meat rather than expanding national food chains against the national consensus ?

I suppose anything goes so long as it is not English *correction* OLD English.

Bill Quango MP said...

CU: They do seem determined to fight the last war. Those smear tactics haven't worked for years.
Gordon, the least pitied man in Britain, had waves of sympathy from people when he messed up writing to the dead soldiers mother.
For once in his miserable tenure he just came out as himself and said "I'm sorry. I was just trying to do a decent thing, but I messed it up..I wrote when i was tired and have poor vision anyway...I didn't think through how it would appear to a grieving mother.. I am very sorry and I shall try and make amends."
The public's anger was turned against The Sun newspaper.

Harriett Harman has been wounded by the PIE reports, but not taken down. just lying low. And if she had just apologised straight away it would heave been her with the sympathy.

No wonder the big guns are turning to USA operators for new tricks.

JH/Pogo: I think he has done the right thing. He apolgised for his error. he didn't have too but Harman and Millar are object lessons in how to annoy the public.
Clarkson has right on his side.

BE: Its not some PC faux pas. People understand that it was just a mistake. To demand his resignation is absurd.
Did anyone resign for the repeated 'the minister jeremy #unt"
No.. because it was an error. Not a deliberate attack.

EK : I'm not debating church and state. Gay marriage. I see your point but I can't get worked up about something that has no effect on me whatsoever.

But I think you are saying why can a Muslim demand halal yet a Christian not demand no gays in my church.

Well.. Subway is a private business and if its changing its menu its because it wants to attract custom and has figured they will gain more than they lose.
No church need carry out a gay ceremony. So .. not really a problem unless you are convinced marriage is for procreation alone.

Bill Quango MP said...

EK: On the wider topic of UKIP, do you think the Clarkson attacks that he has had to face for years are because he is seen as a true UKIP type?

Electro-Kevin said...


I can't get worked up about the marriage thing either but I know that gays and lefties do, to the point of destruction. On the one hand we are told a religion must give ground because it is backward (CofE) and on the other we are told a religion must be allowed to advance... because it is backward (killing of animals without stunning)

We white English who love our own culture have been put into a box marked UKIP and been made out to be some bonkers minority.

What has Clarkson to do with UKIP ? He's not a member (or else we'd know.) He hasn't told us how he's going to vote. Yet we are all lumped together as UKIPers.

I'm not a member of UKIP either. (Though I will be using them in the absence of a box on the voting slip marked "None of the above with rightist tendencies.")

But there we have it. Blue's Mum, Clarkson - me. All of us pretty tolerant really, are lumped into one stereotype and marginalised.

Gay marriage is a continuation of rubbing the 'right's' nose in diversity and it is a Tory PM doing it.

Electro-Kevin said...

"Well.. Subway is a private business and if its changing its menu its because it wants to attract custom and has figured they will gain more than they lose.
No church need carry out a gay ceremony. So .. not really a problem unless you are convinced marriage is for procreation alone."

These aren't new outlets. They are responding to the rapid change in local demographic. Not expanding into new markets.

Proof that one backward religious ideology is advancing whilst the another backward ideology is actually being forced into retreating.

Elby the Beserk said...

Don't have a telly, but wouldn't watch Top Gear if we had. That said, this is a typical Lefty storm in a teacup. Pathetic. And what's more, Clarkson is the best mate of my stepdaughter's Aunt's partner. So there.

Bill Quango MP said...

A bit of topic, but only a bit.

What's interesting EK, is the comments on CIF to this. Its worth following the link in the piece to the clarkson poll just to see them.

On the whole, the 'righties' make balanced and reasonable comments whilst, in the main, the lefties work themselves up into a spittle flecked invective without any rationality whatsoever.

In fact one exchange pretty much descends into the anti-Top Gear demanding "TOP GEAR be scrapped because I don't like it or its overt anti -green agenda"

If you were to demand of that poster "I don't want to pay for the BBC because I don't like it and Don't like its overt greenist agenda" They'd be appalled at you.

Its OK to hate Clarkson.
Its OK to hate UKIP
its OK to hate .....

Providing you have good intentions.


Elby - so it seems no one is watching Top Gear? Yet its a top 10 BBC program, that really belongs on ITV.
I would expect Clarkson and Co might right now be scanning their contracts and seeing if they own the rights and could move channels for a massive massive transfer fee.

Bill Quango MP said...

Having bashed The Guardian the paper comes out with this

Revulsion over Jeremy Clarkson has become a badge of honour for the left

Its quite good. Marina Hyde who is to me what i expect Clarkson is to her.

The apparently unpalatable truth for many on the left.. is a kinder and more civilised society can be hampered as much by the overly pious progressive as it can by the recalcitrant regressive. How can you possibly demand others realise the power of nuance if you shrilly decline to deploy it yourself?

She makes my point for me and gives us a new word to describe ourselves.


Quite like that.

Electro-Kevin said...

Ironically Clarkson is the BBC's top seller. A right-ist satirical comedian masquerading as a motoring journalist and 'the people' - most notably THE YOUNG people love it. That's gotta be hard for the left to take. They understand fully the power of satire and I don't believe it was coincidence that The Spitting Image disappeared once Tony Blair came to power.

As I said before. Being of his age I find it worn and tiresome - I see the same old rehashed gags.

Peter Hitchens writes today that the BBC treats UKIP as a problem rather than as a legitimate political party. It must hate the fact that 'UKIP' Clarkson enjoys such a youthful audience.

Back to gay marriage. There was not consensus. It was pushed through by a PM up to his neck in serious problems and people (such as Blue's Mum) were dismayed as to why this 5-percent-of-the-population issue was being given top billing at such a time. This strange prioritising is at least part of the reason for Conservative defections to UKIP.

There are those on the left who don't work themselves up into a spittle. They work away cleverly and highly effectively, dismantling this and deconstructing that rather than wasting time in an undirected blather.

Such is the success of the dismantling of our culture that Subway has had to rejig large parts of its business to adjust to the new religious demographic. This isn't excitedly 'branching out into new markets' in new areas but recognising that the areas themselves have changed. Subway operates in the real world. They have no choice.

What is ironic is that the supposedly enlightened, who say that the fuddy-duddy traditionalists in the CofE are odd-balls and have it wrong are provably wrong themselves. They put at risk all the liberties won for women and homosexuals in a nation which was under the umbrella of the moderate and flexible CofE at the time.

The left are particularly recognizable because they seem to be bound up in insane contradictions. But these are only contradictions until one asks this question:

Is this leftist held belief anti white Anglo-Saxon protestant ?

The answer is more often than not YES. And so everything aligns to make perfect sense.

And so UKIP has become a convenient catch all label for people with certain tendencies - whether they belong to UKIP or not. They're turning into a smear.

Electro-Kevin said...


They control the language ergo they control the debate.

It may seem a silly point but semantics is the most powerful weapon. In using some words, banning others thought is restricted and controlled.

Assigning a negative word to the opposition is typical of them assuming charge. I'd reject it if I were you.

Hallo Bwana said...

As somebody commented chez Guido, is it ok to say 'the jock in the woodpile'? And if so, how is this different from what Jeremy didn't say?

AndrewZ said...

BQ, to understand Top Gear you have to recognise that it is basically a sit-com. The presenters appear as caricatures of their real selves. They act out scripted adventures full of clumsy slapstick and silly props. It's comedy in the "Carry On" tradition, where every new installment is just the same old faces doing the same old jokes in a different setting. That's why it often feels so old-fashioned. But what it has in common with both UKIP and "Carry On" is a bracing irreverence towards the pieties of the ruling class, which has an obvious appeal to an audience that suspects the elite are crooks and fools leading the nation to ruin.

andrew said...

changing the subject just slightly, I look forward to asking my lib dem friends what they think of proportional representation after the next elections - when it is likely ukip will poll twice the vote share but probably end up with fewer seats.

Grass Roots said...

Who said "in office but not in power"?

I pound the streets for the party,and I can see door to door that UKIP are winning. A party with traditional conservative values but not called such. Vilified for having these values.

Why is it that these professional politicians cant see what grass roots activists can see. In trying to keep themselves in a job they have abandoned the values of the members that put them there.

Electro-Kevin said...

Sorry Blue.

I'm not bashing gay marriage. I'm all for it. Just not it an church is all.

Now the Church has to go through all sorts of contortions to remain in existence.

Cameron raising the subject meant being unfair to one or the other. And I really don't understand the Left.

They loathe marriage and have done their best to fade it out of existence - so why are they so keen on Gay marriage if only to make a mockery of religion ?

Enough from me. I'm sick of the sound of my own 'voice' and should have gone for a witty one liner in keeping with the mood of the original post.

andrew said...

EK, if you are feeling depressed about your posts, you are very neatly linking in with Clarkson's dog - the op's last line.

K said...

People forget that Top Gear in 2002 was a very stylish show with a soundtrack that you couldn't hear anywhere else in mainstream media (even the forever trying to be trendy BBC DJs weren't as on the ball as whoever did the Top Gear soundtrack back then).

Around 2005 or so the the comedy was also a big element but wasn't so overblown that there was still some doubt as to what was scripted and what wasn't.

Probably around 2008/9 the show really jumped the shark but somehow became a huge export hit which is why the BBC keeps it alive.

I don't think that it's UKIP TV so much as that it is/was a very slickly packaged show which will have a wide appeal whatever happens. People know that the presenters are characters which is why they're not fussed by what they say.

The scandals only started relatively recently in the shows history which suggests to me that it's non-viewers trolling for controversy.

tl;dr Top Gear was popular with young people because it was basically a music video for Warp Records and IDM in general.

Electro-Kevin said...

Andrew - If I do get a black dog I'm calling him Pfiezer.

Bill Quango MP said...

Andrew .. Proportional representation. Just a few years back AV was on the table and we all laughed at it.

I wonder how many of us would welcome it today!
Clegg should have waited. Except now he wouldn't want it.

EK . No one who reads you thinks you are homophobic. I expect mosques were just as unhappy as churches about the new marriage laws.
But recently most European countries have introduced the same sex marriage.

I expect it's an EU diktat.

Grass roots: the euros are looking bad for labour Tory and liberal. There could be a greens-UKIP majority pact if Nigel has a Von Ribbentrop in his ranks.

k: thank you for that. I have never really watched it all.
Can't even recall the soundtrack. But it is the BBCs major export, hence the warning to JC and the sack to Carole Thatcher for the same offence.
The trolling point is well made.

A lot of people taking offence are twitterers late to the party. Buzz feed had a brilliant , really brilliant explanation of a twitter storm. It was good enough for a standup comedy piece.

Pfizer? A nothing I don't get?
Call him deputy.

Tim Almond said...

"One man, embodying everything the fractious left can unite against to hate? A bit like Nigel and the protests that greet him wherever he appears."

Well, yes. The left want the BBC as their plaything and have been very successful at this over the decades, to the point where anything that might appeal to blokish right-wingers has gone.

But you know what, that's why I want them to do it. I want the BBC to fire Clarkson because he steps on a line. Because millions of blokes will ditch the license fee, finally waking up to the fact that they get close to fuck all for their £140.

Mobile Wedding DJ said...

Sack him he is definitely an under cover racist, or should i say closet racist, what ever the case may be he said that awful rhyme that i probably haven't heard since i was a kid in the school playground, it's disgusting and he should definitely lose his job for this one, it's not the first time he's been in the firing line for racist chants.