Friday Ephemera
The Master’s Tools

Don’t Bother Me with Details

I see the Guardian has wheeled out Linda Bellos, another high priestess of identity politics, to air her umbrage at Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson, we’re told, “makes a living by being gratuitously offensive.” Unlike the elevated Ms Bellos, who makes a living by, among other things, being gratuitously offended. And saying things like this: 

Where, for instance, is the disabled community on our screens – either as drivers or presenters? When have we had the feature on Top Gear about cars and motoring for disabled drivers? You’ll have noticed from the supermarket car park that there are a few around. But, apparently, Jeremy Clarkson hasn’t.

As Tim Worstall notes, Ms Bellos might have fared better if she’d done a little research and actually watched the programme she presumes to criticise. In fact, Top Gear has addressed issues of disability on at least three occasions, including, in season 2, a search for the fastest disabled driver in Britain. Fans of the series may also recall a race involving hastily customised double decker cars, during which a driver’s artificial arm became detached from his person while still gripping the wheel.

Given Top Gear’s popularity outside of Guardian circles, it’s no great surprise the series has disabled fans. And it’s perhaps worth noting that Clarkson is a founder of the Help for Heroes charity which raises funds for those injured and disabled during military service. The Guardian actually mentioned the charity and its advertising earlier this year, prompting a reader to complain,

There are only two people who are not white in that commercial... possibly three, there’s someone totally covered in a wet suit.

Ms Bellos will doubtless be pleased to find others airing a worldview very similar to her own. And it’s always good to see moral one-upmanship and complaints of “the same sad old stereotypes” coming from a woman who abandoned her own children to live in a separatist lesbian commune. 

Related: Clarkson versus Monbiot