News in brief

Straying from my Environmental remit for a moment, two things I think worthy of comment: 1. Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC’s One Show last night The BBC has received thousands of complaints about what Jeremy Clarkson said on live television last night about (a) public sector workers going on strike and (b) people who commit suicide by jumping in front of trains. Clearly, as ever, Clarkson was being deliberately controversial. However, in my opinion, it will be an utter travesty if he loses his job as a result for either remark: (a) Public sector workers in the UK complaining about their pensions show a woeful lack of perspective. What about a better deal for a lost generation of unemployed, a better economic system, or even a better planet? How can people demand justice for themselves whilst ignoring all the injustices we are inflicting on those least able to help themselves; and/or that we are bequeathing to our descendants by failing to address climate change? – See also Jeremy Clarkson should be sacked. (b) I have had the misfortune to be on a train when this happens and the sound of unidentified objects passing underneath and/or hitting the side of the train was deeply unpleasant (as the train brakes were then suddenly applied – everyone on board knew instantly what had happened). Furthermore, although I can genuinely empathise with anyone considering suicide, to end it all in this way is deeply inconsiderate (can suicide ever be anything else – unless you have no living relatives that will survive you?)… If people want to end their lives they should find (and/or be legally allowed to find) some way to do it that does not require other people to be inconvenienced and/or clean up the mess they leave behind. See also – BBC apologises for Jeremy Clarkson comments. 2. Sanctions imposed on Iran following invasion of the UK Embassy in Tehran As for Syria, so it should be with Iran. If we cannot agree to prevent Iran selling its oil (the only thing that would really hurt the despotic regime), we clearly need their oil too much. See also – Why are we still waiting for the EU to act?. ————— UPDATE (1840 hrs on 2 Dec 2011): Twenty thousand complaints and counting! What the hell is the matter with these people? If you believe in free-speech, sanity, and sarcasm, please send a message to the BBC now and tell them that they must not capitulate to pressure to sack Clarkson… It is a bit tortuous – you have to specify quite a lot of detail (programme name, date, etc) – but eventually you are given a box into which I would recommend typing this (or something like it): I do not want any disciplinary action taken against Jeremy Clarkson. His comments regarding striking public sector workers were clearly flagged as satire by the invitation to provide balanced positives and negatives. For UNISON to claim his comments were an incitement to hatred and/or public disorder (endangering future strikers) are patently ridiculous. With regard to suicide, although his comments clearly upset many people, those who jump in front of trains show a lamentable disregard for those that witness their publicity stunt and/or have to clean up the mess. I am therefore hopeful that the BBC will not bow to pressure to adopt nanny state political correctness; and that no disciplinary action will be taken against Jeremy Clarkson. I think this is really important. Ask for a reply and (from the Complaints Home Page) register to be sent a copy of the ultimate BBC response to all complaints.


About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Economics, Energy Crisis, Environment, Ethics, Financial Crisis, Fossil Fuels, Intergenerational Injustice, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to News in brief

  1. bradders32 says:

    Can’t believe the hype over the Clarkson issue! They knew who he was and what he was like when they invited him on! They asked him the question and he gave his honest (if typically Clarkson-esque and controversial) answer… so shoot him? What happened to free speech? The UNISON woman on the BBC compared him to Muammar Gadaffi; and she reckons that he went over the top!


    • Rick_Altman says:

      I agree that the UNISON rep’s position is ridiculous: If anyone is scared by Clarkson they had better not look down while the Sun is shining (lest they be frightened by their own shadow). Also, anyone who could mistake Clarkson for an anarchist or revolutionary needs a brain transplant.


  2. Donald says:

    Having once been a train driver and having the misfortune of hearing the tap-tap of bone pieces as they hit the undercarriage of my train I can assure you, suicide by train doesn’t always work. More often than not the fools end up with missing limbs and brain-damage, but very much alive. Also, I like Clarkson and, for the life of me, I cannot understand why some could not understand what were clearly humorous comments. Good luck to the guy.


    • Rick_Altman says:

      Is that right? I have never heard of anyone surviving such an impact! I cannot find his actual comments regarding suicide, but those regarding the striking workers were quite clearly flagged as satire by the suggestion that he was presenting both positives and negatives…


      • Donald says:

        I wont go into details, they are far too gruesome; and drivers never teach the proper way to do such things but, yes, it is more than likely that one will survive being hit by a train. It is not as easy to die as one thinks, there really is a 50/50 chance of survival with these things and, unfortunately, the survivors end up all messed up; and live the rest of their lives with terrific injuries. My advice for a proper suicide would never be to jump under a train, there are far easier, less painful and more successful ways to kill yourself. As an example, they could read “Watt’s up with that” for a couple of days; that’s [almost] guaranteed to bore anybody to death 🙂


      • Rick_Altman says:

        Thanks for lightening the mood, Donald. 🙂


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