Let’s concentrate on bigger battles than Clarkson

Clean speech and forced politeness has become an end in itself

 

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“Racist!” they cry. “Sack him!” Calm down, dears, as Cameron would say. Don’t waste so much righteous fury over Jeremy Clarkson. He’s supposed to have mumbled a word which sounded like the N word. Maybe he did; maybe her didn’t. Who cares? The shrieks are like ritual heckling at comedy clubs, just how Brits amuse and please themselves. Doesn’t mean my countryfolk are concerned about racial injustice and minority rights. Most are patently not.

Clean speech and forced politeness has become an end in itself, a tidying up of society, covering up ugliness and indelible stains. Of course it is wrong to use racist terms, to demean people. Civility is good for us all. But to be offended by a mumble and not by discrimination or xenophobic attitudes and actions is, well, humbug. Who is more dangerous – rabble-rouser Nigel Farage? Or ape-man Clarkson? You know my answer.  

I once had a dream that Clarkson, pea green like the Incredible Hulk, was lumbering towards me. I tripped him, he fell and lay still. I woke up just before I gave him the kiss of life. Didn’t have to go near that sewer mouth. Now here I am, standing with the obnoxious Top Gear presenter and against my usual instincts and old comrades.

If the BBC fires Clarkson, Ukip will  make him a poster boy and pull in some of his millions of fans. He’d have the last laugh. With the current national mood we anti-racists must be less emotive and more strategic.

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