In defence of Jeremy Clarkson. Yes, really.

by Stephen Tall on December 1, 2011

Jeremy Clarkson is an attention-seeking controversialist. That’s his stock in trade. He’s about as close as the British have come to embracing America’s shock-jock cult.

And he was at it again yesterday — seeking attention, being controversial — when he appeared on BBC1′s The One Show and suggested striking public sector workers should be shot in front of their families. Cue VT:


(Also available on YouTube here.)

I guess that we all accept he wasn’t being literal, that even Jeremy-bloody-Clarkson doesn’t actually believe every single one of the hundreds of thousands who yesterday exercised their democratic right of collective action should be massacred.

In other words, this was typical Clarkson: the only thing he was shooting off was his mouth.

Yet people were outraged. OUTRAGED, I tell you. How do I know? Because they took to Twitter to voice their OUTRAGE. With ‘Jeremy Clarkson’ trending worldwide on Twitter, they sought redress with the hashtag #sackclarkson. How the attention-seeking controversialist must have hated being the focus of their OUTRAGE.

I have just one question for those who leap upon the OUTRAGE bandwagon: could you be any more Daily Mail? Because that’s all this slacktivist agitprop is: a synthetic, lazy, über-hyped way of whipping-up fervour about stuff that should just wash off us.

If you really, really want to cause Jeremy Clarkson some pain, here’s my suggestion… Ignore. Him. Completely. He’ll hate it, I promise you.

And use the energy and OUTRAGE you’ve saved by choosing not to be offended by a millionaire saloon-bar bore for issues that actually matter a damn.