Top Gear; Three Men & A Babe

Three middle aged blokes doing bloke things in a bloke manner

Back in the nineties I used to marvel at how sober suited American business on trips to the UK and Europe would immediately go “off piste,” when it came to the après. They drank, smoked and flirted way more than they would ever do at home. While that may be true of many men on business travel, as a group they simply seemed more enthusiastic than did any other because some said, “they got to be guys again.”

American Bloke

That is, at home under a suffocating thought police in the work place and tight domestic reins they could finally drink more than two beers and enjoy a packet of Malboro or a cigar without looking over their shoulder.

The suffocating  thought control has of course, over the years, infected our own society and this perhaps explains some of the joy and popularity of Top Gear. Three middle aged blokes doing bloke things in a bloke manner without regard to any pronouncements from health or transport Quango’s. The audience, from schoolboys to middle aged men take solace in life beyond their own and its become Sunday night escapism for many, most of whom have only a passing knowledge of cars and beyond a lottery win, no chance of driving most of those on the show.

British Bloke

After the latest storm in a teacup, (an apology, a handshake and a beer is all that was required to calm things down here), the shows future is in question. The odd thing is, most of the 700,000 who have now signed the petition to reinstate Clarkson would be include the many who have been complaining about the stale format and scripted and contrived adventures on the show in recent years.

Who is to say this situation isn't just as contrived? Are we seriously asking is Clarkson a bloke or a Diva? After all, the publicity is global and they've got every media organisation by the nose. Viewing numbers will rocket when they have milked this and finally do the apology, handshake and beer thing.

Jodie Kidd from the Classic Car Show and Sabine Schmitz from the German Top Gear

Competition of course is encroaching. Jodie Kidd on the Classic Car Show is somewhat easier on the eye than Big J so a media frenzy over a minor tiff is a cheap way of maintaining global dominance. In their shoes, I’d sort out the issue today, get Clarkson back on board while telling him not to be a big girl Diva, (if indeed he was), and just for extra spice hire Sabine Schmitz making a team of four........... Three Men & A Babe. Job jobbed, move on. Oh and Jeremy, or Punchy Clarkson as we affectionately know you, if you have to practise stick to Piers; no one complains when you do that. 



The howls of indignation about phone hacking and the News of the World emanating from the Outrage Bus parked outside Westminster has, to my ears, a hollow and tinny sound; like the sort of pinging a cheap Chinese watch makes. It's an absolute fact that to the detriment of anything resembling standards in our society the leaders of all parties have for years courted Murdoch and his papers, even to the extent of employing former editors as their spin meisters. Well, Cameron's got a big old septic boil to lance now.

That it took the revelation that a murdered child's mobile telephone was hacked to give Westminster some backbone after years of sycophantic toadying to News International is just profoundly depressing. Perhaps our formally unelected upper chamber was the only constituency in the country which was independently minded enough to stand up to them. Well, they're not around anymore.

Moreover, hacking into bereaved relatives phones leave one wondering if the story can get any worse. Don't worry; it can and very probably will for these vermin know no limits in their pursuit of so called "stories." 

No-one to whom I have talked is in the least surprised by any of this. The general public long since abandoned any confidence in the ability of our tabloid press to lift themselves out of the grimy, manipulative and nasty sewer which they call home. 

Audience participation though will no doubt spike when we get to the point when some of these cornered rats begin to turn on themselves and begin to spill the beans on each other, Westminster and their competitors. It's just a fact that the press always have more stories than they dare publish. None of them have yet gone nuclear but I suspect someone will, "I found Jesus and he led me to the truth.... when I worked at the ........" and so on. 

The broadsheets needn't take on that holier than thou stance either. In "Newspaper Reporters Plumb New Depths," I discussed how reporters from the Mail and Times trawled the Facebook pages of children for gossip and stories. Odd too how the Mirror is strangely quiet; given they were happy to fabricate stories about British soldiers under that supercilious reptile Piers Morgan it's only a matter of time before their name pops up in the frame. I have experience of their reporters door stepping bereaved families; contempt doesn't come close to what I think of them.

However, the deeply troubling aspect of this disgraceful episode is the reprehensible action of a small number of police officers who accepted bribes from journalists. They will be found and they will go to prison, it's as simple as that. We should chuck the editors and journo's in with them and melt the keys.

News International meanwhile is sinking into a world of financial and reputational hurt, Sunday should certainly be interesting. Some people are even wondering if they used the same password for their email as they used for their Myspace and News International accounts, if they had them. News Internationals statement in 2009 in response to police interest reads as if it were penned by Lewis Carrol, "It is untrue that officers found evidence of News Group staff, either themselves or using private investigators, hacking into "thousands" of mobile phones." Well done Hayley Barlow and Alice Macandrew; just oozing journalistic integrity.

It would of course be warming to think that the News of the World will now go into a death spiral and be quickly buried and forgotten forever. It's unlikely, sadly. Never underestimate how low our fellow citizens will go in their happy pursuit of sex and scandal; however fabricated some of it may be.

And the thing that leaves me feeling like my lungs have been ripped out by an 800lb gorilla? The fact that the Guardian has been the only entity to consistently illuminate the wrongdoing and subversive influence of News International. I'll never be able to bring myself to buy it but they do chalk up some good guy points for the stand they've made. 

As a said earlier, the entire debacle is unedifying and profoundly depressing. Lets conclude then with a story which lays the lie of good journalistic practice bare but leaves us with a smile. Over to Uncle Marvo,


Pilot Philip Foster's skill and training saved his pregnant wife from certain death yesterday when his aircraft's engine failed whilst returning to his home airfield. He averted disaster by landing in a field, avoiding surrounding villages ...

What a hero, eh?

This is the reality.

Philip Foster (the name they used, and nothing like mine) was actually buggering off somewhere else because the weather was nice, rather than returning home, and was skiving off work. The wife at the time was indeed a bit pregnant as I remember, and was reading a book, oblivious to the engine failure which the hero, Marvo, was addressing with what can only be described as the full three degrees of incompetence.

Having looked around for a suitable landing site and found something vaguely greener than most other possibilities, Marvo proceeds to fail to turn off the fuel. He then descends, because this what aircraft do when they have a buggered engine, normally. He fails to apply the flap, then careers into a field of winter barley, about two feet or so higher than the wings, at a rather unusual angle and executes what can only be described as a "crash" which, had it not been for the height of the crop, would have taken out a small village, church and sub post-office.

Marvo then finds the nearest pub and proceeds to drink it dry.

Now, compare that to the MSM article above? Any similarity at all?

No, didn't think so."


Bye then Piers..

I see we've finally managed to rid ourselves of that odious, shameless parasite Piers Morgan who is off to the States to take over the Larry King Show on CNN. Well good luck America! His first show is tonight and I hope it's a galloping success because the last thing we want is him turning up back here; America, he's all yours, forever if you like.

For a country that supports it's military so visibly it's ironic that they've taken to a man who was fired as a national newspaper editor for running stories which fabricated evidence to wrongly allege brutality by soldiers of the Queens Lancashire Regiment in Iraq. The made up photographs were actually taken in the somewhat less exciting environs of north Lancashire. Unrepentant to the end, he had to be summarily fired and escorted from the building of the Mirror. For the average soldier, Morgan is probably the most reviled man in the country. As one soldier said on a vets site,

"I spent 30 hrs stood on a baseline in Basra cos of that twat, it was one of the hottest days that Iraq had ever seen, petrol bombs, rocks, paving slabs, rpg (i kid you not) grenades, small arms fire. We had guys getting injured left right and centre, quite a few with heat stroke."

Indeed, it's amusing to reflect that America normally hosts people who damage their military and act as recruiters for AQ not in a CNN studio but running around Guantanamo Bay with a free orange jump suit.

Still, they're welcome to him and we can only hope that his first interview with Oprah Winfrey goes a little better than did his last meeting with Jeremy Clarkson. In fact, when once asked what kind of car Morgan should be in, Clarkson replied, "a hearse." Oh and by the way, please send Hugh Lawrie back, we rather miss him.

Standby for Election

This morning,  otherwise content and happy souls were woken to the news that we're all in for the treat of watching Gordon Brown shed tears in an interview with that chilling reptile Piers bloody Morgan on television next weekend. 

I won't be watching Gordon Brown crying because I've been crying for 13 years, ever since ZanuLabour pulled the biggest confidence in history and set about devoting their every waking moment to hurtling us into the Third World, despatching a thousand years of hard won common rights in the process.

Still, it's quite obvious the election is coming early. Won't be long now.