Sunday, 20 November 2016
Had Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc had an idea to make a show based on cars, challenges and cocking about it would have been brilliant. Seriously, both are entertaining characters, both have a love of many-horse-powered crazy horses and both are entirely competent in the art of cocking about. The resulting hour of television would have made compelling weekly viewing and everybody would have been be happy. Except for one thing; they tried to take over Top Gear and Top Gear, like Cerberus at the gates of Hades obeys only one master. Well, three, actually.
Sacrificed to the gods of political correctness, cast out like Lucifer and his angels, Clarkson and his left and right hand have returned to wreak terrible revenge the only way they know how; by taking the viewing public with them. By making a show that is better, funnier and rich with ridicule for their former employers. The decision was not taken lightly; the BBC is often revered by its staff and envied by others but it is in thrall to a mean-spirited vision of egalitarianism that stifles non-conformity.
The introductory passage of The Grand Tour was full of barbed, intemperate jibes about new-found freedom and the jocular giving of offence; broadly, JC and his disciples can mock who they like now, without fear of censure by anybody except their audience. And their audience shows no sign of switching off, unlike the response to the much-vaunted relaunch of Top Gear. Back in Broadcasting House they still don’t realise what they’ve done and stand by their rigorously tested codes of correctness.
In the old order of the general left-wing, party politics and those often referred to as ‘the elites’ the way to do business seems to be to demand obedience then stamp your feet when you don’t get your own way, or encourage others to stamp them for you. Like the Remain reaction to the referendum and the Democrat supporters’ reaction to Trump there is an air of disbelief. No, they are saying, this is not how it is supposed to be. Meanwhile the rest of us are quietly chuckling away at Jeremy Clarkson likening the tour to gypsies... but with insurance; the kind of remark that would have the BBC compliance police in incandescent apoplexy.
So, the latest reaction of the EU old order to the UK’s forthcoming ‘negotiations’? To show just how far they really don’t grasp what is going on and declare that they will force a ‘hard Brexit’ as a deterrent to other populist movements. The very fact they don’t understand the democratic irony of declaring majority opinion to be wrong would be hilarious, were it not so worrying. And just to show how little they understand, Labour’s John McDonnell has judged that the time is right to demand a move to make Britain a republic and remove the monarchy.
Top Gear is dead. Long live Top Gear Two
Tis the season to be jolly all right. Jeremy Corbyn is noisily denouncing Trump and Farage and wondering why nobody is listening. The BBC is busy pushing its winter schedule, trotting out the same old fare and wondering where its audience has gone. And politics-as-usual is frantically asking all the wrong people why the plebs voted the wrong way. Maybe if all the sobbing snowflakes could uncritically enjoy Clarkson, Hammond and May they would begin to see why the other Hammond and May are now running the country...