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Thursday 26 March 2015

Guido Fawked - Clarkson Fail

After the BBC made its well-trailed decision, and Jeremy Clarkson was not only shown the door, but caused to exit through it, some accepted that, as Director-General Tony Hall said, a line had been crossed with the verbal and physical assault that Jezza had meted out to unfortunate producer Oisin Tymon. But some out there had invested their personal credibility in keeping Clarkson in place. So they accepted nothing.
All that credibility staked. And all for nothing

Most prominent among these were the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who had invested not just credibility, but shelled out a non-trivial amount of the old folding stuff to lay on a characteristically tacky stunt whereby their petition to “Bring Back Clarkson” (who had, inconveniently, not at that point gone anywhere) was delivered to New Broadcasting House by armoured vehicle.

And so it came to pass that Staines fetched up on the hated BBC - well, one can only take hatred so far, especially when the target offers More And Bigger Self-Publicity Opportunities For Himself Personally Now - to discuss the Clarkson sacking. There should, he decreed, be some kind of proportionality here. There had been Christmas parties ending in punch-ups without the factory being closed down.

One had to wonder at this point when Staines worked in a factory, rather than the varied career on his CV. But I’ll deal with this aspect directly: this was not a Christmas party, and nor was it any other kind of party. As Ken MacQuarrie’s findings tell, “the incident occurred on a patio area of the Simonstone Hall Hotel, where Oisin Tymon was working on location for Top Gear”. That means it was a workplace incident.

Staines then compares Clarkson to a Premiership footballer in order to suggest the docking of a few weeks’ wages would be more appropriate. Once again, let me put him straight: this was a workplace matter, a Premiership footballer’s workplace is on the field of play, and if he so much as raises an arm there, that is a sending-off offence. And sending-off is exactly what happened to Clarkson.

And to maintain his pretence that this incident didn’t amount to anything significant, Staines then asks why, if it really was serious, the Police did not get involved. Er, hello Paul! The North Yorkshire Police, on considering MacQuarrie’s findings, decided that they were indeed going to get involved. But by this stage, Staines is telling his interviewer to “look over there” at an incident some years ago involving Mark Thompson.

However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, the BBC had to deal with this incident by the rules in place now, and well Staines knows it. Clarkson was dealt with correctly and fairly. The kind of behaviour to which he subjected Oisin Tymon is not acceptable in a modern-day workplace, whatever the Fawkes rabble may like to pretend.

It should be borne in mind that here on Zelo Street the right call was made from the start, but, not for the first time, the Fawkes blog backed the wrong horse. Another fine mess.


rob said...

Agree with your main thrust here but I don't think your analogy of the premiership footballer works either Tim as his workplace would also be considered to be the training grounds, dressing rooms or the physios couch if injured.

And many a reported bust up has occurred on training grounds between players and/or staff suitably dealt with by fines.

On the pitch scuffles are allegedly dealt with by "independent" referees. That is until the SkySportsBetting Channel gets involved with their "slo mo" endless replays inciting another "independent" body the FA to take action.

Pity the Beeb haven't got video of the Clarkson fracas for a Sky analysis of the action.

A Kelly said...

I worked in a factory over thirty years ago, long before all these lefty PC gone made workplace laws we have now. In my time there were two fights and a bit of bonking on the factory floor. All involved were sacked.