Sunday 29 March 2015

The importance of being Jeremy

Someone on the Sunday Politics said Labour’s four point lead in today’s polls was down to the media’s representation of the Cameron/ Miliband/ Paxman programme, rather than the actual debate itself. Apparently some of the people polled hadn’t even seen it. They went entirely by media reports and clips of ‘the best bits’.

If that’s true, and I’m inclined to believe it is, then Ed’s success hinges on ‘that’ remark. 
I can’t remember the exact words, but it was something like “You may be important Jeremy, but you’re not that important.”
Oh the impudence! The flirtatiousness! Cheeky to the headmaster!

I can’t imagine David Cameron being lippy like that! The bit at the end was pretty punchy, too. Paxo said with faux concern “You alright Ed?” a slight pause, then “Yes. Are you?”

I can see Boris doing something similar, but not our straight-laced PM. There’s some sort of lesson there, to do with ‘The Weakest Link’. If the whole election hinged on an episode of T. W. L. hosted by Anne Robinson, more people would probably engage. 
You are the weakest link goodbye. Walk of shame. End of.

You could apply the Ed technique to quite a few other things too. The BBC for example. You may be important Tony, George, Mark, (insert favourite DG) but you’re not that important. Death threats? It happens to the best of us. They’re thinking of setting up a dedicated hotline. Or are they?

What with death threats, and the stress of covering Israel: 
“the corporation aims to be balanced in its coverage of Israel, but that reporting on the country’s conflict with the Palestinians was “tough”.”
Tough shit.

Jeremy Clarkson is a good example of someone who wasn’t as important as he thought he was. Or is it that the BBC underestimated Clarkson’s importance to his fans? Is Jeremy Clarkson the most important person on the BBC? I feel a John Lennon joke coming on. 
“He’s not even the m.i.person on Top Gear!”  (ba boom)

I have been forced to think about this incident. It has divided the country so it’s my duty to come up with a definitive verdict.( As it happens, I watched Stacey Dooley’s investigation into domestic violence the other day. Stacey is famous for her “My hometown fanatics ” film about the Islamification of Luton.The people’s version of investigative reporting. On domestic violence she managed to wangle an audience with Theresa May no less.  May was evasive and all politiciany. Waste of time.)

I must ask myself, did the Clarkson fracas, a workplace version of domestic violence, cross the line? I needed to know more before making my final decision.

  1. Had 36 year old Oisin what’sisname been in the relationship long enough to know that a man needs a hot dinner on the table when he comes in after a hard day’s graft?
  2. Whose fault was it that Jeremy had to work so late?
  3. Was it reasonable to expect the producer to oversee dining arrangements efficiently enough to ensure that Clarkson is kept in the manner to which he had become accustomed?  
  4. We all get ratty when we’re tired and hungry.
  5. Not always to the point of fisticuffs. 
  6. When the star is bigger than the producer there will be trouble.
  7. The BBC is notorious for making bad decisions.
  8. Could it have been handled differently?
  9. Is Clarkson too big to fail?
  10. Does Clarkson hit people often? 

Bored now. I’ll retire to the jury room and think about it.

Oh yes. Forgot to add:

  1. Someone at the BBC must have decided to let the ‘slope’ film go out.
  2. someone at the BBC must have leaked the eeny meeny / n****r outtake.
  3. Someone at the BBC must have approved the insulting numberplate.
  4. Russell Brand is still on our screens.       
  5. You alright Jeremy?


  1. "I needed to know more before making my final decision"

    I didn't. Decking someone is a no-no, especially a subordinate. Funny how in Nelson's day it was the other way around. Progress.

    However getting that confirmed, properly, took a lot of time, and many people of increasing seniority from the BBC saying they were not going to say anything, but....

    And eventually this was confirmed. Sort of. There was a blow. So... contact. Enough to seal that fate.

    However, an awful lot else remains neatly hidden in those special places the BBC maintains internally for stuff people need not know and better not ask if they know what is good for them.

    So again, there is what the BBC approves on and condones, and there is what the BBC does not and will undermine.

    That remains too unique for my tastes.

    Still, at least one community leader is safe from fear indoors:

    Danny Cohen @DannyCohen
    I'm experimenting with Twitter's #Periscope live-streaming app this weekend.

    As are the rest of us until he returns to do that special thing he does during the week.

  2. The police investigation should be an open and shut case........ er..........

  3. JC's been done to death. There could not possibly have been any other verdict, as Chris Evans noted.

    Regarding Stacey Dooley's doc on Luton, it's v. good but I couldn't help laughing at how at the end she came out with the usual BBC line "we all need to understand each other better" but earlier in the doc when the burka babe calls her a prostitute for dressing immodestly, she's definitely up for it, not having any of it - giving her a right load of verbal back! :)

  4. Someone at the BBC must have decided to let the ‘slope’ film go out.

    Yes, exactly! And the trucker killing prostitutes gag, and whatever it was he said about lazy Mexicans (or something like that), and all the other schoolboy humor that gets Clarkson in trouble. Everybody seems to be under the impression that it's live TV, or that Clarkson has supreme editorial control and there are no BBC censors looking at a recording before it goes to air. All the hand-wringing from BBC management is a charade. Maybe they let these things go to air in hopes that there will finally be enough complaints to sack him.

    someone at the BBC must have leaked the eeny meeny / n****r outtake.

    Imagine if he had said, "catch a golliwog by its toe". Right there is evidence that the amount of money Top Gear brings in has too much influence.

    Someone at the BBC must have approved the insulting numberplate.

    This one still baffles me. I accept that this was a randomly assigned number plate. But how could nobody have noticed the year resemblance? That one isn't Clarkson's job. There are adults in charge, allegedly (see below re: Russell Brand). Again, not credible. They endangered the lives of hard-working production staff on that one. The stars were also safely cocooned, but not all the honest folk. Did nobody face any consequence for it?

    Russell Brand is still on our screens.

    To be fair, the Brand clown resigned and went through a self-imposed exile. However, his incident with Ross begs the question of just how much editorial control happens before these things go to air. We know nobody at the BBC thought there was a problem, and almost no listeners complained. So is there a responsible adult in charge of overseeing Top Gear recordings? I mean, they make an effort over HIGNFY, FFS.

    Clarkson's misfortune this time was to bully an underling after the BBC had that whole inquiry about bullying and sexual harassment and put in new rules. It was one violation too many, and this time it was about something about which all management have been made to be hypersensitive.


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