Jeremy Clarkson helps out his mate David Cameron.
I think we've all met prats like Jeremy Clarkson. You know the type. Wealthy and privileged middle-aged white males who think the whole world is their playground. They're oafs but they like to think of themselves as 'lads'. Blokey-blokes. They just like a drink and a laugh and what's wrong with that?
Jeremy Clarkson is a high profile wealthy and privileged middle aged white male and he has the good fortune to get paid a lot of money to behave like a naughty schoolboy. On the BBC's Top Gear Clarkson gets to drive around in big fast expensive cars and joke around with his two fellow 'lads' , James May and Richard Hammond.
Actually I'm probably doing May and Hammond a bit of a disservice here because they're job seems to be mostly about stroking Clarkson's inflated ego.
Naturally Jeremy is a reactionary prat. I say 'naturally' because, as a rich and privileged middle aged white male he is always going to defend the world that allows him to be a rich and privileged middle aged white male. I doubt he's been on a protest march in his life although I do recall him defending the 'right' of the landed gentry to kill foxes. Perhaps he marched about that.
Clarkson, despite behaving like 'a good old boy', spends much of his time socialising with members of the British establishment. He goes to parties held by his good friend David Cameron, the British Prime Minister. He's also a good friend of the former chief executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks - and who he has consistently defended.
So it came as no surprise that Clarkson launched an attack British public sector workers taking part in a 24-hour walkout .
"I would have them all shot", said Clarkson on a chat show "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?"
Despite the deliberate hyperbole this is a politically charged comment. Clarkson suggests that the strikers all have fat pensions that are guaranteed. In fact British state workers are being squeezed to contribute more to their modest pensions and to work for longer before they are eligible for pensions
Let's be clear. Clarkson was doing his bit to ridicule and denigrate the strike. Not coincidentally his mate Cameron tried to dismiss the strike as 'a damp squid'.
But the BBC ended up having to apologise for Clarkson's remarks . Clarkson claimed he was only joking Cameron backed him up, claiming that his comments weren't meant to be taken seriously. Jeremy was only joking. So that's alright then. We are all like a laugh at the expense of the proles, eh?
Compare though Cameron's defence of his friend Clarkson with the punishments given to people supposedly associated with the recent British riots.
Two young men, Jordan Blackshore and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan both posted messages on Facebook calling for their friends to join in the unrest.
The two men said in court that they had only been joking and no riots had actually broken out. This didn't convince the magistrate who sent the two men away to jail for four years.
The 'only joking' defence didn't work for them but it has for Jeremy Clarkson. But it helps to have friends in high places...