Retwittering

I’m still on twitter, tweeting away but I’ve decided to ‘unfollow’ (a hateful word) all the celebrities I originally chose to follow.

So, it’s goodbye Ross, Brand, Fry, Wallace, Gorman and Innes.

To be frank, they were really rather boring and most of what they said seemed to consist of telling us what new sushi bar they’d visited or what TV program they were about to go and appear in.

It beats me why Fry in particular is so popular and it really pisses me off when he almost cries because he can’t tweet more of his inanities at us.

So, now it’s a means of keeping in touch with friends and all of a sudden the signal to noise ratio has greatly improved.

Clarkson in ‘one-eyed Scottish idiot’ gaffe

It may be wintry chaos outside – with road salt now more expensive per kilo than the finest cocaine and the 59.674% of the population who didn’t manage to remember to buy a team of huskies so they could get their children to school are currently building snow effigies of Carol Thatcher specifically for stray dogs to urinate on – but I’m safe and warm inside Shark Manor, with a roaring log fire kindled with worthless Woolworths shares, a decanter of mulled Buckfast tonic wine, a roasted suckling pig with a kebab in its mouth and my feet propped up on a welfare mum who’s on Invalidity Benefit.

Yes, let the cold winds of economic hardship blow!

Unfortunately, however much I try to insulate myself from the colder winds of public opinion and journalistic arsewater they still manage to cut through…

Yes, it’s ‘How the blistering fuck does the Daily Mail manage to be such a sack of shit?’ time once again and it’s brought to you today by the letters O, M, F and G, the number ∞, Paul Dacre, a significant number of the population who have all the humour and humanity of a sea slug and some motley group of fuckwitted Scottish politicians who should stick to talking about fucking Scotland and vote for an English Assembly when they next have the chance.

Predictably, the Daily Mail has come over all masturbatory after one of Jeremy Clarkson’s regular salvos of provocative remarks.

Whilst the Top Gear Live show has been in Australia he’s made a few comments that have both annoyed and delighted people.

More on this dichotomy later…

Meanwhile, here’s a selection of Jezza’s not so subtle quips:

‘It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a world leader admit we really are in deep shit.

‘He genuinely looked terrified. The poor man, he’s actually seen the books.

‘[In the UK] we’ve got this one-eyed Scottish idiot, he keeps telling us everything’s fine and he’s saved the world – and we know he’s lying, but he’s smooth at telling us.’

Clarkson dismissed cricket as a game invented by people who didn’t have enough to do, and revealed a secret crush on Aussie feminist Germaine Greer, who lives in London.

‘Germaine, she’s a good looking woman,’ he enthused.

He labelled Hammond a coward for quitting smoking, and blamed London’s recent snowfall on ‘too many green people in the world and they aren’t buying enough Range Rovers’.

When asked a serious question about the state of the Australian automotive industry, he admitted he didn’t care.

Strangely, the Mail failed to give us the full poop and so it’s now the Daily Star I’m quoting:

Clarkson promised the performances would be full of dangerous stunts. But, asked if he was concerned some of the stuntmen involved could come a cropper, he quipped:

“They’re French, so if they get killed it’s not the end of the world.”

The 48-year-old star also slated local Aussies as “apes”…and even had a go at his show colleague James May.

He said he had been amazed as he watched his audience arrive at a Sydney studio, declaring: “You should see some of the apes that turn up.”

May, the third member of the BBC2 team, has stayed at home. And that gave Clarkson the chance to stick the boot in. He said: “He isn’t gay. He’s just a bachelor who is 44 years old.”

When asked about Top Gear’s climate concerns, he ranted: “We don’t have a carbon footprint.

“That’s because we drive everywhere.”

So, let’s see, who’s he had a swipe at?

  • Scotsmen
  • People with less than the optimum number of eyes
  • Idiots
  • One-eyed Scottish idiots
  • Gordon Brown
  • Cricket fans
  • Germaine Greer fans
  • Australian Top Gear fans
  • Australian car makers
  • James May
  • James May fans
  • Richard Hammond
  • The anti-smoking brigade
  • The French
  • Environmentalists

Now, I make no bones about it, I’m a big Jezza fan, but I take very little of what he says seriously. Yes, I’m sure he loves cars and driving, but he’s primarily a journalist who has now become an entertainer and Top Gear is as much a show about real life motoring as the Jeremy Kyle show is about serious sociological debate.

Looking towards Big Jezza for serious, informed comment is like turning on a WWE bout and expecting to see sport.

He’s winding people up – that’s all, pure and simple.

It’s entertainment!

Sure, he has little time for certain elements in the environmentalist movement and he dislikes state nannying but when he does have genuine concerns about these he argues logically and, for me, sometimes persuasively.

Earlier, I said that the Mail was being masturbatory.

Why?

Well, if it had been Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand or his sister Jo who’d come out with the above remarks then there would have been outrage, but no…the Mail seems quite happy with it all. And as for the readers comments…

Jeremy, you have just skyrocketed in my estimation !

Graham, Bradford, 6/2/2009 8:11

I couldn’t agree more. That’s what like about Jeremy; he really has inspired me to be more outspoken about the climate change lie and idiot politcians who are destroying the middle classes. Jeremy should be knighted Sir Jeremy!!!
Kris, Fife, 6/2/2009 8:21

Thanks Jeremy for saying what most people in the UK think but many are gutless to say. As one other commentator has said you forgot to add the word UNELECTED !!

Blueeyes, Askim, Sweden, 6/2/2009 8:32

Just three comments amongst dozens that praise Clarkson.

So, we have the story itself – written without a hint of censure – along with the readers and their comments all engaged in a cozy Mail clusterwank once again. Everyone’s happy having their prejudices reinforced and goes away with a damp crotch and a warm feeling of belonging.

The fact that your sense of belonging concerns a group of people with all the tolerance and charity of a cat turd is neither here nor there…

Is there not a hint of irony in all this, that one week Clarkson can be portrayed as a violent bully – see my Hislop pen stabbing blog entries here, here and here – and practically the next he can be seen as the spokesman of the nation?

Even politicians got into the act as they foraged around for sloppy seconds amongst the tissues of half truths, biased reporting and blind prejudice left behind after the Mail and its readership climaxed together.

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray said: ‘Such a comment is really a reflection on Jeremy Clarkson and speaks for itself.

‘Most people here are proud that the Prime Minister is a Scot and believe him to be the right person to get the UK through this global economic crisis.’

Gordon Banks, Labour MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, branded the comments ‘unforgivable’.

There’s your dichotomy then – the Daily Mail and its readership for Clarkson and Scottish politicians against him.

(Highly-paid BBC celebrity actually supported by anti-BBC rag and its readership! Surely shome mishtake?)

However, both views are united by a single and fatal flaw.

They both take Clarkson seriously.

And anyone who does that should not expect to be taken seriously themselves…

UPDATE: As you may have seen when you clicked on the first link, Clarkson has now apologised to Brown:

‘In the heat of the moment I made a remark about the Prime Minister’s personal appearance for which, upon reflection, I apologise.’

The corporation only added: ‘We note that Jeremy has issued an apology for the personal remarks he made about the Prime Minister.’

Of course, it’s now got the Mail frothing about ‘one rule for Ross and one rule for Clarkson’, as you’d expect.

Even the RNIB has piled in now.

Some days, you just can’t fucking win, can you?

The Daily Mail Ross feeding frenzy continues…

…but this time it’s even more bizarre than usual.

Here’s the Mail’s latest Jonathan Ross story.

On the face of it, Ross and Davies’ behaviour sounds pretty reprehensible.

However, just scratch the surface and it reveals not only further anti-Ross frothing from the rabid Mail, but acts of such crass greed, insensitivity and stupidity that it makes anything Ross and, indeed, Brand has done – either separately or in tandem – seem petty and almost innocent…

I urge you to read the quotes in full because they really do reveal something rather nasty that the Mail has engineered and – in all likelihood – paid for.

The family of an 86-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer condemned Jonathan Ross yesterday after he cracked a joke about having sex with her.

The disgraced broadcaster marked his return to his BBC Radio 2 show with the crude gag which immediately revived calls for him to be sacked.

Elderly Francisca Guzman’s son expressed deep hurt that his frail mother, who has had dementia for three years, was the butt of Ross’s joke.

Jose Maria Moreno said: ‘It is offensive. My mother’s mental health should not be a subject for comedy and Ross should be sacked.

‘What he said is unforgivable and offensive. I don’t understand how he can continue working for an organisation like the BBC.’

The remarks came only eight minutes and 35 seconds into Saturday’s comeback radio show after Ross’s three-month suspension following the Andrew Sachs scandal.

However – and this really is one of those big, hairy, testosterone-filled FUCK OFF howevers…

Ross, who earns £6million a year, and his producer Andy Davies were discussing how they had spent their time during the suspension.

Mr Davies, 43, said he had done some bricklaying in the garden of his villa in Spain but kept getting grabbed by a frisky 80-year-old woman.

He said: ‘There’s a woman in the village who’s getting on a bit, keeps trying to kiss me. Older woman, very older woman. She keeps grabbing me.

‘Every time I see her now I have to run indoors. She’s apparently got a thing for younger men. She must be about 80, I reckon.’

Ross declared: ‘Eighty, oh God! I think you should, just for charity. Give her one last night, will you? One last night before the grave. Would it kill you?’

Although Mrs Guzman was not named, she is well known in the Andalusian village of Conchar, near Granada, where Mr Davies has his villa.

Her 44-year-old son, who gave up his job to care for his elderly parents, said: ‘My mother has bad circulation so she likes to go out for walks alone.

‘She is very friendly and if she thinks she knows a person she will give them a kiss, which is normal in Spain. But she doesn’t hassle people.

‘I don’t know Mr Davies personally. I have seen him around the village and say hello to him. I don’t understand why he would want to make jokes about my mother. I have never even heard of Jonathan Ross.’

A neighbour said: ‘Everyone here knows Francisca. It’s very sad as she has serious mental health issues so will speak to everyone she comes across in the street. It’s certainly not a laughing matter.’

I wonder how the son found out about the Ross joke and also how the Mail found the son.

The likeliest scenario is that the Mail reporter did a bit of research – amazing in itself – to find the son and then told the son about the remarks on the Ross show. The reporter then offered the son some money to tell his side of the story. Then the son accepted the money and by doing so ensured that his mother’s identity became public – wow, that really was caring of him…

Whatever happened and however it happened, it really treats the 86 year old woman with scant respect –  a quality which was lacking in all parties’ actions but at least Ross and Davies did nothing to destroy her anonymity – and brings into the open something which would very likely have remained a vague reference on a radio show that no-one in that Spanish village would have listened to.

A matter of BBC Trust

And still the fallout from the Brand/Ross affair rains down…

For those who don’t know, the BBC Trust – henceforth referred to as the Trust in this entry – is a body set up to act as a watchdog and protect the license payers’ interests; although I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it does or not.

After a pretty clear statement that anyone involved in editorial decision-making re the Brand show failed to edit anything, the Trust chairman goes on to say something I find quite surprising:

“Mr Tait said the offence of the original broadcast was compounded by Russell Brand’s appearance on Chris Moyles’s Radio 1 show on 21 October, when the pair talked about the incident.

He said this discussion, in itself, was also in breach of editorial guidelines in respect of privacy, offence and the fact it was broadcast at a time when children were likely to be listening.”

So, it’s the children now, is it?

OK, Mr Tait, how come I could tune into an afternoon play on Radio 4 the weekend before last and hear someone say the word ‘shit’?

Or is it one rule for culture on the radio and another for ‘that edgy youth’ stuff? Is this the clear thinking we need from the Trust?

Now, I don’t give a rat’s how much swearing there is on the TV and radio – the required equipment has an ‘off’ button and they’re only words after all – but what I do care about is decisions being made on my behalf as to what I can or cannot hear on my radio or TV based on a wholly inconsistent policy.

It gets even muddier when you take into account other stations on the BBC radio network.

It seems to be a given that there is no swearing allowed on late night Radio 5 phone ins, for example.

So, let me get this clear…

1) You can’t say ‘fuck’ on Radio 2 after 9pm.

2) You can say ‘shit’ on Radio 4 before 5pm.

3) You can’t say ‘fuck’ or ‘shit’ on Radio 5 at anytime.

4) (Bit of a grey area this) You can’t refer to someone saying ‘fuck’ on Radio 1 before 9pm.

I think I’ve got that right.

I was going to add a number 5) involving Radio 3 saying that you can say ‘shit’, ‘fuck’ and even ‘c*nt’* on there because no-one listens anyway, but that would be facetious.

Seriously though, no wonder there’s all sorts of fuss over this issue – no-one really knows what’s permitted.

So, here we go – my idea to sort this all out once and for all.

Times have changed, so introduce a 10pm watershed that applies to all broadcasting. After that time, until 5am, allow any swearing at all – anything goes. If people know that they’re going to be offended between 10pm and 5am then they can switch off or turn over and any parent who allows their child to hear swearing after the 10 o’clock watershed has only themselves to blame. We can’t carry on kowtowing to the ignorant and ineffectual all the time.

All I want is some consistency so that I can be treated like an adult.

Is that really too much to ask?

*Yes, I know I censored myself, but it’s my blog.