Neil Harrison explains why he would back the Top Gear tosser’s election campaign.
Whether it’s a night spent with that ex, or another crushingly disappointing ‘meal’ at Pizza Hut, it appears that certain mistakes in life are destined to be repeated. If ‘to err is human,’ then to err and learn from it is often beyond us. As such, this weekend, like a dog returning to its own sick, I broke my self-imposed injunction against all things Top Gear and actively sought out an hour of denim-clad tarmac bothering with which to self-flagellate.
Usually, I take great pains to avoid even an accidental glimpse of the Three Arsemen of the Car-pocalypse. The last time I absent-mindedly flicked through Dave, Dave+1, UK Gold, Watch and Dave’s Gold Watch +1, I got so lost in Top Gearrepeats – in such a horrific haze of fake spontaneity and bigotry-lite – that I had to immediately burn down my own house just to cleanse the hate.
Why then, you may well ask, did I put myself through it? Well, following Jeremy Clarkson’s Twitter threat to run for parliament this weekend, I felt it was time to harvest the hate. Because although it was probably just a ‘hilarious’ jape cooked up under a gazebo at Chequers, Clarkson’s tweet is yet another reminder of his pretensions to act as some sort of defender of English values. Now, unless you consider English values to include racism, misogynyand the mocking and general denigration of the disabledand the poor, it may be quite satisfying to see old Jezza drag his bloated, ugly, privately-educated face out on the campaign trail. Just to watch him squirm, George Osbourne style, as he desperately tries to conceal his contempt for anyone with a net worth of less than £50 million, especially those ghastly wheelchair people, would be pure joy.
Presently Clarkson gets away with projecting his vile outlook on the nation’s media because he is most famous for, alongside a pair of under-twits, presenting a television show which tests out and reviews mechanical commodities. Not a range of commodities either, just cars. Now because this is an inherently dull concept, every show contains some form of mocked up ‘hilarious’ scenario which enables Clarkson to come across as a harmless, bumbling everyman (a sort of proto-Boris), effectively disguising his true, creepy, elitist nature.
A move into politics for Clarkson would see him take his rightful and deserved place in the ranks of the reviled – alongside Farage, Thatcher, Griffin, Moseley. If this is how he chooses to cement his place in history, who are we to stop him? I, for one, would fully support his campaign for Doncaster (election HQ: Chipping Norton, naturally). So Vote Clarkson! Because, like Boris Johnson and like Nigel Farage, in the glare of political life, the pseudo-buffoon act can only last so long, before you are exposed as the ‘nasty piece of work‘ you really are. With Clarkson, I suspect this wouldn’t take long. We are already a good part of the way there.
Neil Harrison is a Social History student at Manchester Metropolitan University, he is an aspiring journalist and a terrible guitar player. Follow him on Twitter @looseriver