The one-eyed Scottish idiot, and other stories

You have to be careful who you call an idiot, what with the Barkha Dutt saga and all, but politicians tend to have thick skins. This is not about Gordon Brown, but about political correctness, and I am not writing anything about it; just pointing you to a long op-ed by Michael Bywater – “It’s PC gone mad! How did taking offence become a national obsession?”

The apology has become the defining gesture of the age. Russell Brand had to apologise for making off-colour remarks. Jeremy Clarkson – a man who would eat his own testicles rather than petition for an apology, even though he’d have to remove them from his own personal brain where they’ve been living for all these years – had to apologise for making a startlingly fine joke about lorry drivers, and, subsequently for calling Gordon Brown a “one-eyed Scottish idiot” at a press conference in Australia. His calling Gordon Brown a “one-eyed Scottish idiot” would probably have escaped much attention had it not been for the BBC – powerfully complicit in driving the Apology Culture – publishing on its website a video of Clarkson calling Gordon Brown a “one-eyed Scottish idiot” accompanied by a story saying that Clarkson’s calling Gordon Brown a “one-eyed Scottish idiot” had “provoked anger in Scotland”.


So much for anger, but what of the anger Clarkson supposedly “provoked”?

First of all, he didn’t provoke it. He didn’t sit there thinking: “I know: I’ll make Scottish people angry.” He sat there thinking: “Gordon Brown’s a clod. What a bozo. The fellow’s a complete dork. And I’m so going to say so.” It was the people of Scotland (and how many people do you need to be angry before you can talk about “anger in Scotland”?) who made themselves angry because the media told them they should be. But why? Clarkson didn’t say that all Scottish people are one-eyed. He didn’t say that all one-eyed people are idiots. He didn’t say that Scottish people are idiots. What he said was:
1) Gordon Brown is one-eyed.
2) Gordon Brown is Scottish.
3) Gordon Brown is an idiot.

Talk about eloquence.

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  • UK Voter  On February 14, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Last I heard there was nothing wrong with stating fact. People may not like what was said, but I haven’t heard anyone denying it, least of all GB himself.

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