I just read the editorial by The Independent’s Johann Hari titled It’s time to send Clarkson to the scrapyard.
What a pile of crap.
The crux of the article is that speeding is bad and Jeremy Clarkson is intent on killing the nation’s children, single handedly causing global warming and undermining the nation’s security.
My point of view is clear. I love Top Gear. Not as much as I love my wife, not as much as I love my guitars and not as much as I love my wonderful Ranfurly Shield holding North Harbour rugby team. But it’s somewhere up there.
It is easily my favorite tv program.
So, I would definitely appear to fall into the “army of Top Gear speedophiles” that Johann ‘get out of your freakin’ office’ Hari is talking about.
However, I drive a 1991 Toyota Corolla GLX (1.6L), don’t speed (except by accident) and haven’t had a ticket since January 2005.
So I would argue that the “speedophiles” that love Top Gear may not be up to the shenanigans that Hari wishes they were. But his point that Jeremy Clarkson is a menace on the British roads is true isn’t it?
On a top gear episode that aired in the UK in November 2005, Clarkson interviewed Dr Stephen Ladyman, Minister for transport. At a point in the interview, the subject turned to points on their licenses (a result of speeding fines). It turns on out Dr Ladyman had nine points while Clarkson had….. zero.
Yes, zero. Clarkson had either not been speeding, or hadn’t been caught in a while.
So the worst that Clarkson can be accused of is being a hypocrite.
Ultimately, the show is great because they do things and drive cars that I will never do or have. There will be those who go out and try to emulate things they have seen in the show, but these people are the definite minority. The sort of people who willingly put Jellyfish on their heads. Do we really want to structure society around these sorts of people?
BBC are saying that they are “delaying” the new season of Top Gear until Hammond recovers. This sounds more like a PR move to allay people like Hari.
If Top Gear is cancelled permanently, the world will have lost one of the greatest television programs ever, and will have become a more boring, cream coloured and politically correct place to live.
Let’s all hope someone at the BBC has more brain cells than Johann Hari.