Should Clarkson get the sack?

It always makes me a bit queasy when I see left-wingers organising campaigns to get people sacked. Straight off the bat I would like I totally deplore Jeremy Clarkson’s call for striking public sector workers to be “shot in front of their families”. Clarkson is a contemptible low-life idiot who has no understanding of actually having to work hard for a living. Having said that, making idiotic comments is kind-of what he actually does do for a living so, when we hear him say patently stupid and ignorant things should we really be surprised?

Is it really right that we dignify his comments with such moral outrage and serious campaigns to get people the sack? Were he to be sacked, I wouldn’t be particularly sad because I don’t like the man or what he said, BUT does that mean we should actively call for it? Instead, should his comments for what they are, crass and stupid, by responding with the mockery and derision he deserves?

I think the calls for Clarkson to be sacked are not the product of thought-through politics but in fact the product of an emotional desire to hit back against something hurtful. It’s the product of anger. Of course, this is entirely understandable but it’s not the most sound basis for good political decision-making and all this is, of course, without considering the very serious free speech issues which exist. Freedom, sadly, is not just for the people who we agree with but also for our serious opponents and those amoung them who are utter clowns and jerks. Obviously, this is for reasons of democratic principle but also pragmatically because we have clowns and jerks on our side too and were they to be treated in this way we would be pretty outraged.

What Clarkson said was the product of ignorance and intolerance – so, it strikes me as somewhat odd that Dave Prentis responded with at least intolerance by calling his comments ‘intolerable’. Again, I fear we see a fundamental lack of understanding of basic democratic principles and culture on the left and since this is the fundamental core of the crisis of the left maybe its time we started showing zero tolerance for that, not the idiots on the other side.


About darrellgoodliffe


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