"Execute public sector strikers": Complaints over Clarkson's comments reach 21,000

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Thread: "Execute public sector strikers": Complaints over Clarkson's comments reach 21,000

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    Registered User vuvuzela2010's Avatar Archives Junior
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    Default "Execute public sector strikers": Complaints over Clarkson's comments reach 21,000

    Complaints over Clarkson One Show comments reach 21,000

    The BBC has received more than 21,000 complaints over Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson's remarks on The One Show, including comments that striking public sector workers should be shot in front of their families.

    Unison had called for the presenter to be sacked and he later apologised.

    BBC Audience Services said the corporation had received 21,335 complaints as of this morning.

    It said it had also received 314 messages of support for Mr Clarkson and his comments on Wednesday night's show.

    During the programme Mr Clarkson also made a remark about people who threw themselves in front of trains. One Show presenter Matt Baker made an apology during the show about those comments.

    Trade union Unison said it welcomed Mr Clarkson's apology and invited him to spend a day with a healthcare assistant.

    The deputy general secretary of Unison, the UK's largest union, Karen Jennings, told the BBC: "We've accepted the apology.

    "He's recognised that he went too far in saying what he said and what we're doing now is extending our hand to him to come and work with a healthcare assistant to see just how they work and the healthcare they deliver.

    "I think he would enjoy that."

    The complaints came after an exchange, on Wednesday, in which Clarkson presented two views when asked about that day's strike over pensions by public sector workers:

    "I think they (the strikes) have been fantastic. Absolutely. London today has just been empty. Everybody stayed at home, you can whizz about, restaurants are empty," he said.

    "It's also like being back in the 70s. It makes me feel at home somehow," said the Top Gear presenter, before adding: "But we have to balance this though, because this is the BBC" and went on: "Frankly, I'd have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families. I mean, how dare they go on strike when they have these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed while the rest of us have to work for a living?"

    When the presenters pointed out that these were Clarkson's personal views, he said: "They're not. I've just given two views for you."

    Clarkson, who has flown to China, has said he had not intended for his comments to be taken seriously and was "happy to apologise" if offence had been caused.

    Unison initially called for the Top Gear presenter to be sacked by the BBC over what it described as "appalling" comments. It said it was seeking legal advice over the issue about whether Clarkson could be referred to police.

    Prime Minister David Cameron said it was "a silly thing to say... I'm sure he didn't mean it".

    The BBC apologised over the comments on Thursday, saying "the item was not perfectly judged".

    BBC Audience Services has had 21,954 contacts, including 21,335 complaints and 619 comments, from viewers who felt that Mr Clarkson made offensive comments regarding the strikes and suicide.

    A BBC spokeswoman confirmed that due to the level of complaints the episode of The One Show would not be put on the iPlayer. She said each decision about the iPlayer was made on its own merits.

    Tens of thousands of people joined rallies around the UK on Wednesday as a public sector strike over pensions disrupted schools, hospitals and other services.

    Unions oppose plans to make members pay more and work longer to earn what they say will be smaller pensions.
    I supported the public sector pension strikes completely (goes without saying). But this was obviously a joke, and unfortunately, some people have no sense of humour. And the majority of the complaints are likely from people who didnt even watch the programme in the first place, and only heard about it once the news started coming out.

    Were you offended?

    Here is a video of the interview, for those interested.

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    Default Re: "Execute public sector strikers": Complaints over Clarkson's comments reach 21,00

    Quote Originally Posted by vuvuzela2010 View Post
    And the majority of the complaints are likely from people who didnt even watch the programme in the first place, and only heard about it once the news started coming out.

    Were you offended?
    If I was part of that union, then yes, I would be offended.

    I supported the public sector pension strikes completely (goes without saying). But this was obviously a joke, and unfortunately, some people have no sense of humour.
    Yes, but this is Jeremy Clarkson. He's one of the most controversial people in the UK, and he always makes jokes like that. And did anyone find that funny?

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    Default Re: "Execute public sector strikers": Complaints over Clarkson's comments reach 21,00

    Quote Originally Posted by NintendoGamer View Post
    And did anyone find that funny?
    Actually, yes, I did. The comment itself was in poor taste, but the comment was not the punchline, nor was meant to be taken seriously. He said something positive about the strikes, and then gave a viewpoint that was the complete opposite, while stating that these were not even his personal views. They were just two opposing views.

    Had he been serious, I could understand the outrage. Had he not made it very clear that he was not serious whatsoever (multiple times, mind you), I could understand the ourtage.

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    Default Re: "Execute public sector strikers": Complaints over Clarkson's comments reach 21,00

    When The One Show originally aired there were a few hundred complaints. I highly doubt the majority of the 20,000-odd actually came from people who watched the show and read the comments in context. Also as others have said, it's Jeremy Clarkson. Sure some may say his sense of humour is dark or dry, but he wouldn't be co-presenting one of the BBC's highest earning shows if people didn't secretly like it. Sure, when I first heard about it in the news (Does anyone actually watch The One Show?) I did think "Shit, what have you said there?" but when I later saw the comments in context, I was fine with them, because I knew that Clarkson wasn't serious.

    Since then, Clarkson has apologised for any offence he may have caused, which has been accepted by the main union that was offended. This isn't the first time he's said something that has set us over-sensitive Brits off and it won't be the last...so what's the big deal? It's like with Frankie Boyle; people have just stopped caring, and hell, he writes for The Sun now.

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    Default Re: "Execute public sector strikers": Complaints over Clarkson's comments reach 21,00

    Well if he was serious, then yes, you might have been offended. But, for a third time, this is Jeremy Clarkson, who's made lots of controversial jokes in the past. But you have to admit that it was a bit stupid saying that joke on of the BBC's most popular shows, at 7:00 PM when a lot of people will be watching it. You could tell that the two presenters got embarrassed after the comment was made, as well.

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    Default Re: "Execute public sector strikers": Complaints over Clarkson's comments reach 21,00

    It's called a sense of humour. People need to get one. You take something like that out of context and it will always sound worse. He's always been controversial and he was simply making a joke about how he had to provide a balanced view of the strikes and so made a negative comment following a positive one which, conveniently, most people complaining about the whole thing have forgotten.



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    Default Re: "Execute public sector strikers": Complaints over Clarkson's comments reach 21,00

    Much as I think Jeremy Clarkson is an absolute prick, it's clear from the context that the comments were intended as part of a joke. I dislike the man, his politics and his swaggering chauvinism, but this kind of cherry-picking can be used to accuse anybody of anything. Of course, there's an argument that mentioning such a thing, even in jest, was in poor taste considering the actual violence striking workers have suffered throughout recent British history. But that's not what we're getting from the reporting of this incident: we're simply told that he said this thing; no context given. The implication in most of the early reports was that this was something Clarkson said with sincerity.

    There is a small component of this, though, that is arguably of Clarkson's own making. The mere fact that people hearing about this were so ready to accept that these were Clarkson's actual views says something about the image he's created for himself. He's made a living out of airing outrageously reactionary right wing views that he may or may not sincerely hold. He is also known to be pretty right wing in reality. So when he publishes his columns or airs these views on television, what he says exists in a Schrodinger's cat-like state of real and unreal. If you share those same views, you feel vindicated. Jeremy Clarkson agrees with me! Hooray! And if you find those views abhorrent, but you still like Clarkson, then you can easily rationalise that he probably doesn't mean it, not really. It's just a joke!

    But unfortunately, when your act is not sufficiently distinct from your actual personality, these things can happen. One would hope that Clarkson could emerge from this incident a little wiser about how the media image that he himself created colours everything he says. But he won't, will he?

    I suppose I'll leave the last word on this affair to good old Charlie Brooker:
    I hope the BBC don't sack Jeremy Clarkson. Imagine how much he'd go on about it. It'd be like hurling wanker fuel into a prick engine.

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    Default Re: "Execute public sector strikers": Complaints over Clarkson's comments reach 21,00

    Here's got more controversy, this time over comments made in his article in "The Sun" regarding train suicides, The Mirror reports.

    Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson was embroiled in further controversy today after branding people who throw themselves under trains as "selfish".

    Advertisement >>

    The 51-year-old, who was forced to apologise earlier this week after saying all striking workers should be shot, reiterated his view that those who commit suicide at railway stations cause "immense" disruption for commuters.

    In his newspaper column, Clarkson said: "I have the deepest sympathy for anyone whose life is so mangled and messed up that they believe death's icy embrace will be better.

    "However, every year around 200 people decide that the best way to go is by hurling themselves in front of a speeding train. In some ways they are right. This method has a 90% success rate and it's extremely quick.

    "However, it is a very selfish way to go because the disruption it causes is immense. And think what it's like for the poor train driver who sees you lying on the line and can do absolutely nothing to avoid a collision."

    Later in the article the presenter refers to those who choose to jump in front of trains as "Johnny Suicide" and argues that following a death, trains should carry on their journeys as soon as possible.

    He adds: "The train cannot be removed nor the line re-opened until all of the victim's body has been recovered. And sometimes the head can be half a mile away from the feet.

    "Change the driver, pick up the big bits of what's left of the victim, get the train moving as quickly as possible and let foxy woxy and the birds nibble away at the smaller, gooey parts that are far away or hard to find."

    The comments have sparked criticism among suicide and mental health charities.
    Honestly, here I can't help but agree with the comments on how it affects the train drivers and how it disrupts numerous commuters. While it's very sad that they have to do it, so it can easily be seen as selfish...and it kinda is.

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