A good decision

Pommy bureaucrats work out that “should be shot” is a figure of speech…which is altogether different again from wondering out loud what would happen if a mad man entered a news room and discharged firearms:

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson’s comment that striking public sector workers ”should be shot” did not breach broadcasting rules, TV watchdog Ofcom has ruled.

Clarkson was forced to apologise and the regulator launched an investigation after his remark, made on The One Show, sparked around 31,700 complaints and led to condemnation from union leaders and politicians, with Prime Minister David Cameron branding the TV star’s statement ”silly”.

On November 30, on the evening of Britain’s biggest public sector strikes for 30 years, Clarkson said that he would take the striking workers outside and ”execute them in front of their families”.

Ofcom said that the comments, while ”potentially offensive”, were justified by the context.

Hosts Matt Baker and Alex Jones introduced Clarkson on The One Show by alluding to his provocative and outspoken nature, the watchdog said.

It added that viewers of the BBC1 show would have expected Clarkson to make ”potentially controversial or offensive statements” because of his ”well-established public persona and that it would have been clear ”that his comments were not an expression of seriously held beliefs”.


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  • Richard B. (formally poorman)

    Come back Mr Laws, all is forgiven………

  • Euan Rt

    and yet ‘Cheeky darkie’ is just soooo offensive.

  • Agree with you Euan Rt – I’m still uncomfortable about race mud slinging – I always equate that with a lack of any real argument to the contrary.

  • Super_Guest

    Freedom of speech in Britain is a slowly dying animal. Killed by Gordon Brown, New Labour and a bizaree “go” for it from certain wankers. Good to see Jeremy isn’t going to be gagged.

  • jay cee

    yep coincidently that comment came out when he was promoting his latest book.free speech my arse more like any publicity is good publicity.

  • Mrodliffe

    No-one mentions that the comment was taken out of context.  He first said that the strikes were a good thing for him because it meant they was very little traffic about.  He then added “as this is the BBC I must balance it by saying they should all be shot”.

    Slightly paraphrased there, but he was also making a dig at the BBC’s attempts to keep all coverage balanced and not have any agenda.