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Clarkson: Shoot the UK strikers

2011-12-01 18:52

CLARKSON SPOUTS OFF: A screen grab of Jeremy Clarkson suggestion British public sector strikers should be shot - in front of their families.

London - A leading British union is demanding the BBC fire Top Gear personality Jeremy Clarkson after he suggested public sector strikers should be shot.

In front of their families.

Now he is under fire from SMS and e-mail critics who have bombarded TV and other news programmes and the state TV channel with calls for his head instead. The strike is Britain's largest public sector walkout in 30 years.


The BBC has apologised and said it had received around 4 700 complaints about Clarkson's remarks on the channel. However his TV show is such a moneyspinner that further action is unlikely.

Unison, which represents more than a million public-sector employees, said Clarkson should be
fired immediately, was seeking legal advice and considering referring the man to the police.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, apparently a neighbour of the TV show host, commented: "We do not have execution in this country and do not plan to make it policy."

The BBC has in the past fielded complaints irreverent quips by Clarkson, one of them that all
truckers were murderers - that after one truck driver was found guilty of a killing - and one that called a former British politician "blind and stupid". He later apologised for calling him blind.

Two factions immediately sprang up: one to Clarkson's defence, the other to have him penalised
for incitement. There is, apparently, great emotion over the public service strike which involves
teachers, hospital staff and even police officers.

It has followed British government action to cut public service employee's pensions and increase
their fund contributions.

Clarkson's comments described their pensions as "gilt-edged" and he asked "how dare they go out on strike while the rest of us have to work for a living?".

He apparently later apologised, Unison accepted it - but suggested he spend a day with health-care staff to see how he felt then.


We say: Clarkson makes his living by being boorish and deliberately "controversial". He regards
gratuitous and unnecessary insults about defined groups - even individuals - as funny and hopes his
viewers and readers (he writes a frequently hard-hitting column for the London Sunday Times) will
react to his sayings.

He is what he is and amplifyng his comments through knee-jerk reactions, for or against, merely
elevates the man further in the public arena.

His magazine, Top Gear South Africa, has just been published for the first time here.

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