View From The Side: Jeremy Clarkson- The Unlikely Freedom Fighter


Jeremy Clarkson, the nation’s favourite imbecile, has finally managed to get himself suspended from the BBC. Over the last few years Clarkson has described Mexicans as ‘lazy’ and ‘feckless’, suggested striking workers be shot, has made some shit joke that managed to squeeze an Asian guy and the word ‘slope’ into the same sentence and has managed to be caught on camera muttering ‘nigger'. So funny! But none of this has managed to get him the boot.


But the latest move from fun loving Jezza that has finally broken the Beeb – apparently he’s been involved in a ‘fracas’ with a Top Gear producer.

Here’s how the Daily Mirror reported the incident –

“The controversial host was suspended by the BBC after a “fracas”, in which it is alleged that he saw red and hit an assistant producer of the programme for failing to get him his dinner on time.”

In response, a staggering 393,320 people (who knows what the figure will be by the time I’ve finished this piece) have signed a curiously worded petition set up by right wing blogger Guido Fawkes.

“We the undersigned petition the BBC to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson.” The petition states.

“Freedom to fracas.”


This petition has become big news. BIG NEWS! Hordes of people love Clarkson! THE BBC R MUGZ!

As far as I can see this means that there are just shy of 400,000 monumental idiots out there. Let’s look at what’s going on here. I think we can safely assume that the BBC aren’t going to cancel one of their most lucrative TV shows over an unsubstantiated rumour. Why would they? Their response is almost certainly because Clarkson had a demeaning toys-out-the-pram meltdown and smacked an underling. This isn’t Clarkson sticking it to the PC Brigade – it’s the embarrassing spectacle of a spoilt dickhead throwing his gammon hued bulk around and hitting a fellow employee. I can’t imagine a single job in the world where that isn’t classed as being a prick.

SO what are the people signing the petition advocating for? Like really? Well, a quick look at the comments shows that they’re advocating for …

“I'm signing this petition because I am tired of the way everything said by presenters is complained about all the time.” -Michelle Larson

“I prefer people to be able to say what they like, the BBC is far too politically correct.I am 73 years old, and find Jeremy Clarkson like a breath of fresh air after other people continuously tell me how I should think and speak.” -Sheila Whatley

“he is the last free speaking individual on the BBC” –Tom Brook

 “No Jezza, no top Gear!!, BBC use uk licence fee payers money to dictate what PC drivel, we should watch, so what if some people complain, get a life if you don't like it, don't watch it, some people watch just to complain. What's happened to freedom of speech, Jezza says what he likes and most of the viewers laugh at what he Says, top Show #bringClarksonback” – Leigh Ritchie.

And so on. And on. There are pages of it.

Guys, guys, guys! You’ve got all confused! We’ve already seen that Clarkson can say what the fuck he likes! Up ‘til now, the BBC has defended Clarkson in every single one of his racist outbursts. Much as your tin foil filters may have reimagined the past, he hasn’t, in fact, been suspended for a single comment he’s made – reprimanded perhaps, but suspended? No.  In fact, viewed in that aspect, the BBC is probably the least PC broadcaster going. Can you imagine another mainstream media outlet who’d get away with brushing off footage of one of their presenters dropping an N Bomb? Really?

They’ve actually facilitated a prime time presenter who’s done his level best to be a tediously offensive idiot time and again. You should be thanking the BBC for giving screen time to someone who could have quite easily been turfed out long ago. So- no, this isn't about 'freedom of speech' or Jeremy 'saying what every one is thinking' (as one petitioner insisted).

 Let’s be clear – I don’t give a toss if he stays on telly spewing his school yard bigotry. As countless keyboard warriors point out, I don’t have to watch it. Having grown up in Kent, I’ve spent loads of time surrounded by people who happily drivel out what could be politely termed as ‘hate speech’. Most of the time it’s done just to get a rise out of a liberal, and I suspect that this is what Clarkson is doing. It’s pretty weary, but whatever.  


But I do take offense at some over paid arsehole assaulting someone who he sees as beneath him, smug in the conceit that his financial clout makes him untouchable. It’s a story that seems to be repeated time and again in this country, and the thing that really kills me – and I’m guessing here, but the comments on the petition bear me out – is that most of the people signing the petition think Clarkson is striking a blow for them, for the disenfranchised, for the ‘real’ British. In reality he’s just another representative of the system that shits on them daily,  not a million miles away from a banker who fixes the Libor Rate cause he can, or the politician who skanks expenses cause he can, just another wealthy tit who likes to punch down. In fact, very much like everyone else who Clarkson hangs out with in Chipping Norton. Let's be clear: He’s not your friend.

But this ‘freedom to fracas’ business on the petition well, that I am interested in. What are the 400,000 actually saying they want? Because when I read freedom to fracas, I read permission to get absolutely blasted on trampagne then go round chucking bricks dipped in poo through the window of the local bookies. And, mate I’m well up for a bit of a kick off, but last time we had a good rowdy, I seem to remember the kind of people who support Clarkson were less than enthusiastic.

But who knows? Maybe they’re into it this time. Maybe Clarkson will be the thin edge of the wedge. Maybe freedom to fracas will become #FreedomToFracas, and the revolutionary fervour will spread from mind to mind, from tweet to tweet, from screen to street, the rumble growing to a blood red ROAR as the peasants revolt! We’ll take to the streets, looting and burning, carving a trail of blackened ash from here to Chipping Norton, where we’ll drag Jezza from his house, crown him with a tangled bouquet of briars and proclaim him KING and we’ll be free to yell racialist epitaphs and wear shit jeans and drive cars than none of us can actually buy and smack stupid underlings in the face because they haven’t made our fucking chips right and finally Britain will be GREAT once more.

Ian McQuaid is on twitter, where he will probably never mention Clarkson again.