Well, no Owen, not really, no

He’s off again, this time apparently publicly denouncing his employers as “fucking bastards”. If most of us were accused of punching a colleague to express our displeasure at the lack of a hot meal, as Clarkson allegedly did, we would expect a disciplinary process, that might culminate in a P45. Abusing our employer in public would make such an outcome a certainty. Particularly if we had a history of, say, posting tweets of signs inscribed with “gay cunt”, using racist abuse like “slope”, employing the “n” word, and mocking Gordon Brown’s disability and nationality by calling him a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”. His legion of hardcore fans think this is all “bantz!” and anybody who disagrees is a metropolitan liberal elitist living in an ivory tower made out of copies of the Guardian, muesli and flip-flops. If they’d spent a chunk of their lives forced to adjust to a barrage of racist or homophobic abuse, they’d probably be less likely to bellow “laaaaaaaaaad” every time Clarkson spews out a bit of casual bigotry. But (assuming the inquiry finds the latest allegation proven) the case is straightforward. He assaulted one of his producers. He has a track record of homophobia and racism. He publicly derides his employers while being disciplined. You’d be sacked for that. So why shouldn’t he?

Let’s recast this model. Imagine that I worked for a bank. And I pulled in a £60 million a year profit for the bank, the bank paid me £6 million a year to do so (those aren’t accurate figures but they’re the right sort of order for Clarkson’s BBC deal).

I then went off on one: “Lord Browne is a botty boy, who is this niggerboy Phillips to tell me what I can say about race and why the fuck does that cunt muncher Balding appear on my TV screen so much. And as for you, food delivery boy*, here’s your knuckle sandwich”. The reaction from my employer would be “And what colour would you like your bonus cheque to be?”

If I was the tea carrier in a corner caff, sure, I’d get fired. But there’s £54 million reasons why the banker wouldn’t. Same with Clarkson.

Money really does matter.

* The “producer” is in fact an “associate producer”, someone whose job is to make the sandwiches and organise the tea boy.

43 thoughts on “Well, no Owen, not really, no”

  1. Err….The BEEB went down the road you describe with Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter…and probably will never recover from the public outrage. Their cosy little world has been disrupted and they’re under scrutiny as never before. The rent-seekers dream, the TV licence fee, is under serious threat. I’ve absolutely no doubt that the bedwetting management will have a special interest in defenestrating such a piratical character as Clarkson, but a cold meal is not an excuse for assaulting the tea-boy. We will see who needs who more over the not-to-distant future.

  2. The reaction from my employer would be “And what colour would you like your bonus cheque to be?”

    Which is what I said in the earlier post about this.

    But Clarkson’s problem is that he doesn’t work for a *private* entity. The BBC is a government agency in all but name. So it doesn’t really matter how much money he makes for them – they can always get more with the gun.

    It *does* matter that he’s embarrassed/crossed top BBC/government people and they may just use their power to save face. I mean, does the DG get a bonus check based on how well the BBC did over the last year? Nope. So how much money Clarkson’s worth to him is diddly/squat.

  3. The NZ version of X-Factor has just sacked two hosts for being too rude to the contestants. The said hosts were quite disposable nobodies, so they got the arse almost instantly. If it had been a Cowell or Clarkson, they wouldn’t have had a thing to worry about.

  4. What the public want has never been a serious consideration for BBC chiefs. The more popular Top Gear is, the more it makes them physically ill.

  5. Owen Jones has made a rod for his own back here. Next time some leftie he likes does something that lesser mortals might be sacked for Jones won’t be able to defend them, not without looking like a hypocrite. Oh wait…..

  6. I have a different view.

    How often does that hotel manager important and well know people staying? He should have told the kitchen staff, hey, our VIPs guests still have to eat, please stay until their done.

    It is the lack of customer service on the part of the hotel staff that is the underlying cause.

  7. I feel quite lucky at the moment to be in that demographic who don’t give a shit about Jeremy Clarkson.

  8. Tim’s original concept is wrong here.

    I’m acquainted with a couple of absolute scumbags who are also extremely successful city traders. They work for small boutique firms (on highly favourable profit share deals, of course), because they’ve been fired by all of the big banks that have any interest in looking serious, avoiding lawsuits and bad press.

    The BBC is definitely in the same position as Credit Suisse or HSBC here – and by the same token, Clarkson is welcome to sod off to some shady production outfit where the bottom line is the be-all-and-end-all.

  9. So, Owen wants employees who publicly insult their employer to be disciplined or sacked? OK Owen, but you’ll have to apply this rule to public sector workers too, you know.

    No more public attacks on the government, or you’re sacked.

  10. “It is the lack of customer service on the part of the hotel staff that is the underlying cause.”

    We’ve read all sorts of stuff around this that it’s hard to know what is true and what is not.

    It has been reported that, the *organiser of the tea boy* as Tim so condescendingly describes had made the arrangement for Clarkson to dine late, that the hotel was prepared for this and then Clarkson in his infinite VIPdom stayed late drinking in a pub with his fellow VIP mates knowing full well what arrangements had been made.

    He chose to ignore them, imagining that his infinite VIPdom would ensure continued fawning from all supposed to service his needs.

    The hotel was blameless.

  11. A recent Guardian article described Clarkson as a “dick”. Should that journalist be sacked?

    The real issue here is between Clarkson and his alleged victim. Should there be some recompense? Certainly. And Clarkson should pay. But how much will it help the victim to be known as the guy who got Clarkson sacked?

  12. Most have a period in their career when they are almost bulletproof. From time to time we piss off our employer, our behaviour embarrasses. If we are given our jotters, however, a valuable slice of business follows. The key, as others allude, is whether it’s a public or private organisation – though that didn’t prevent the likes of Gordon Brown or Alex Ferguson from throwing mobile phones or football boots instead of a punch.

  13. “…we would expect a disciplinary process, that might culminate in a P45. Abusing our employer in public would make such an outcome a certainty.”

    Hey, the boy Owen’s actually got a point here. Remember Brown and the infamous ‘that bigoted woman’ remark, right before the public gave him his P45…? 😉

  14. Lets recast this, Bwanker creates masses of new money (which anybody else would get arrested for) and instead of passing it on to proper businesses stakes the whole lot on increased residential land values .Then he gets to go round swearing and punching people .Even Clarkson is n’t this bad : he does actively provide some kind of service.The Banks con people they’re lending savers’ money then invest passively in politically sponsored land price inflation.
    Wake up Matrix pod people, its time for the morning chant: “Wage inflation bad: Land Price inflation good!”

  15. Agammammon,

    “But Clarkson’s problem is that he doesn’t work for a *private* entity. The BBC is a government agency in all but name. So it doesn’t really matter how much money he makes for them – they can always get more with the gun.

    It *does* matter that he’s embarrassed/crossed top BBC/government people and they may just use their power to save face. I mean, does the DG get a bonus check based on how well the BBC did over the last year? Nope. So how much money Clarkson’s worth to him is diddly/squat.”

    No, but one factor in all of this is that Top Gear is a huge export earner for the BBC. Without Top Gear, there’s less money for all the other programmes on the BBC.

    Plus, the license fee depends on popular support. Get rid of the one show on the BBC that huge numbers of men like, and you’ve now got more men either stopping their license or thinking it should be paid by subscription, and all those women who want it can pay for it.

  16. The “producer” is in fact an “associate producer”, someone whose job is to make the sandwiches and organise the tea boy.

    That’s the problem. If he’d punched the actual producer, fair enough. But punching a minion is out of order.

    And yes, banks will and do sack profitable traders who behave badly. They tend to believe that traders are replaceable.

  17. “He has a track record of homophobia and racism”–He has a expressed thoughts that upset leftists. Good.

    K R Lohse: No–Savile almost certainly did nothing at the BBC and even their accusers never suggested that Glitter or Rolf had done anything on BBC property or with BBC connivance. The crawling leftist cowards who run the BBC will of course fold and “confess all” in the manner of participants in a Chicom self-criticism session.Mainly because the supposed allegations were long before their time in charge of ruining the BBC. See the upcoming mass of standard lies and twaddle–sorry, the upcoming Report on Savile at the BBC.

  18. Bankers may not be a good example. There are lots of stories of entertainers who have got physical and it makes little difference. The BBC didn’t seem to have much problem with Cheryl Cole appearing on Comic Relief despite serving 120 hours of community service for assault a few years ago.

  19. I’m with Owen on this one.

    It’s a matter of principle. I mean, look at Marie Rimmer, Labour PPC for St Hlen’s South. She’s been charged with assault and had her trial postponed until after the GE, thus achieving the distinction of being the first election candidate awaiting trial for a criminal offence.

    Now Owen has been on this lady’s case for some time. He’s written numerous articles protesting this woman’s candidacy and he’s given various TV interviews stating that if an ordinary hard working person had done this, their firm would dismiss them.

    By the way, the first and third paragraphs are totally untrue, so fuck off Jones.

  20. I’m inclined to agree with PaulB that it’s worse to punch a minion. Punching the Director General might verge on the heroic, not punching “the organiser of the tea boy”, let alone the tea boy.

    And how would we feel if the organiser of the tea boy were a woman?

  21. I like DBC’s idea of re-casting this. Now, does anyone else, someone who knows what the fuck they’re talking about, feel like doing the re – casting?

  22. John Miller

    Exactly right! The leftist double standards sicken me. So much so that I find myself supporting a complete knob whose antics should, well, get him sacked.

  23. And yes, banks will and do sack profitable traders who behave badly. They tend to believe that traders are replaceable…

    And yet Tony Manero’s employer at the hardware store had similar qualms about sacking a star.

  24. …mocking Gordon Brown’s disability and nationality by calling him a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”

    Which disability is he referring to here – the one eye or the idiocy?

  25. I’ve worked with a few middling-celebs like Clarkson. I very much doubt he’d have done anything but demand the sacking of somebody who took a swing at him.

    Meanwhile, Ironman gives us a masterclass in bad reasoning, as usual-

    The leftist double standards sicken me. So much so that I find myself supporting a complete knob whose antics should, well, get him sacked.

    Sigh.

  26. “The BEEB went down the road you describe with Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter…and probably will never recover from the public outrage. ”

    Didn’t I see that odious little PSBE Russell Brand pimping one of their charity events the other night?

  27. “Err….The BEEB went down the road you describe with Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter…and probably will never recover from the public outrage. ”

    I hate to defend the Beeb, but:-

    – Savile – no credible evidence of wrongdoing or cover-up has yet been presented.
    – Rolf Harris – a man in prison who deserves an appeal based on the weakness of the evidence presented against him.
    – Gary Glitter – last appeared on the BBC long before he was convicted of being a paedophile.

    I’d love to be able to link the BBC to a load of paedophiles, but

  28. theoldgreenfascist

    Rob might like to note that many ( if not most) public sector workers are prevented from insulting their employer. For example civil servants who are governed by a code of behaviour which would make this a sackable offence.
    As for Timmy’s argument that it wouldn’t apply to the hypothetical banker this just shows the level his arguments have descended to. All that matters is the amount of money you bring in. Does he think it right that a person who has a higher earning capacity and punches someone should be treated differenty from one who earns less?

  29. “should be treated differenty from one who earns less?”

    By th criminal law? No. By an employer? Sure.

  30. TW @ 1949
    You were pissing about on your blog instead of watching the rugger? What sort of man are you?

  31. sackcloth and ashes

    If Owen Jones is serious about tackling bigotry he’d surely support disciplinary action against a ‘Guardian’ colleague (Deborah Orr) who sneered about Jewish supremacism with her ‘chosen people’ article.

    Or if he thinks that there are some things best left unsaid then he’d have had a word with another ‘Guardian’ colleague (Kia Abdullah), for making jokes about some ‘posh’ kids that died in an accident whilst travelling overseas.

    Or he indeed might find something worth saying to a race-baiter (Joseph Harker) who said that only whites could be racist, and that by virtue of his own ethnicity he couldn’t possibly be prejudiced.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  32. Kaffeesachse

    “Which disability is he referring to here – the one eye or the idiocy?”

    The disability of being Scottish……

  33. The Stigler
    March 21, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Plus, the license fee depends on popular support. Get rid of the one show on the BBC that huge numbers of men like, and you’ve now got more men either stopping their license or thinking it should be paid by subscription, and all those women who want it can pay for it.

    The thing here is, if you stop sending in the license fee Check (cheque!), then at some point men with guns come round to collect it personally.

  34. So Much for Subtlety

    There are any number of sports stars who are vile horrible people but have some talent when it comes to kicking a ball. Or punching people in the head. Mike Tyson for instance.

    I doubt that a little bit of casual racism and physical assault would get you kicked off Manchester United – or the British Olympic team.

  35. SMFS: Look at Suarez at Liverpool the other year. He was accused of racism and the kangaroo court at the FA naturally found him guilty as charged. Then there was all the biting. If he was shit at kicking a ball Liverpool would have binned him immediately; he happened to be the best player in the country so the club did everything they could to defend him.

  36. Agammamon,

    The only reason I pay the TV Tax is that someone other than me in the house might open the door to the filth of Capita rather than telling them that they’re trespassing. That’s all you do with them.

  37. What johnb78 says.

    I am a minion of some kind at a large financial institution. My boss punches me. I call HR and demand that he be sacked. I call the police and demand that he be prosecuted. I call a fancy lawyer and demand that both he and the employer be sued. (Calling the Evening Standard and giving them a juicy story of City misbehaviour is something I don’t do unless really necessary). In a large financial organisation that cares about its public reputation or an organisation of any size that cares about its reputation amongst its potential clients, there is no chance he will will survive, and it really doesn’t matter how much money he makes for the firm.

    The downside is that if I do all this, I might have to leave the firm too, although I will likely go with quite a lot of money.

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