Alex Massie

Dubious Proposition of the Day

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I have nothing to say on this ludicrous Jeremy Clarkson controversy, save to observe that this constant hoopla over whether BBC presenters have offended anyone is beyond wearisome. That said, Iain Gray, the aptly named leader of the Labour group in the Scottish parliament, responded to Clarkson in especially presumptious style:

"Such a comment is really a reflection on Jeremy Clarkson and speaks for itself," he said.

"Most people here are proud that the prime minister is a Scot and believe him to be the right person to get the UK through this global economic crisis."

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UPDATE: Tom Harris thinks Clarkson a buffoon (no argument from me) but also has this to say:

"Of course he shouldn’t have used such offensive language to describe anyone, least of all his Prime Minister, and especially not when he was in another country. Clarkson used the terms “Scottish” and “one-eyed” as insults, and as someone who is the former and whose father is both, I do find his remarks offensive."

Well! Least of all "his Prime Minister"? It seems to me that if you can't disparage the PM, who can you disparage? Brown's not the head of state and why on earth is it somehow "worse" for Clarkson to have mouthed off "in another country"? Really, if you find "Scottish" and, indeed, "one-eyed" offensive then you probably need to get out more. Rich stuff, too, coming from a Scottish Labour MP given how Mr Harris's colleagues detested the "English" Margaret Thatcher and held her Englishness against her. From this they cunningly divined that she hated Scotland, despite there being no evidence to support this notion.

Honestly, the chippiness of the reaction is enough to make a fellow wish he were Welsh.

[Thanks to reader ASB for the Daily Mash heads-up]

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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