James May and Richard Hammond are going wherever Clarkson goes. Daily Mail
James Delingpole argues that “the wankerati” at the BBC shot themselves in the foot by firing Clarkson.
[T]ill Clarksonâ€™s nemesis BBC Controller of TV Danny Cohen came along, the BBC appears instinctively to have understood his value. Not his commercial value (the BBC likes to think itâ€™s above such vulgarities) but rather his propaganda value. Top Gear was the BBCâ€™s equivalent of a Potemkin Village or â€“ a bit of Clarksonesque bad taste here, why not? â€“ those films the Nazis used to make of jolly, well-fed Jews playing in orchestras and sitting in cafes near their delightful new living quarters in the Warsaw Ghetto. Any time unhelpful people started banging on about the BBCâ€™s entrenched left-wing bias and maddening political correctness, all the Beeb had to do was point at the self-evidently notleft-wing and not PC Top Gear as proof of the contrary.
Till the BBC sacked Clarkson, my view was that they were going to get away this game for many years hence. But now I am not so sure.
Over a million people signed that petition urging the BBC to reinstate Clarkson. A fair proportion of them, I suspect, will belong to precisely that demographic the BBC finds most embarrassing: white, obviously; probably Thatcherite in outlook, but quite fond of Nigel Farage; highly sceptical of â€œglobal warmingâ€; petrolheads, again obviously; not averse to telling the odd racist joke when theyâ€™re with their mates, not so much because they have anything against â€œcolouredâ€ people (as they probably call them, not knowing the correct term) but more as a reaction against political correctness; might not have gone to â€œuniâ€ because they could tell it was a complete waste of time. People who â€“ at least in the BBCâ€™s Weltanschauung â€“ are pretty much beyond the pale.
Unfortunately for the BBC, however, these disgusting, frightful people, very few of whom live anywhere civilised like North London or have ever knowingly eaten cavolo nero, represent a much larger percentage of the population than any of the worthy groups it would prefer to cater to (the â€œAsianâ€ community; gay people; disabled people; Roma; environmentalists; activists; etc). While Top Gear was on â€“ the modern equivalent of â€œbread and circusesâ€ â€“ this mob were kept at bay. But with Top Gear gone, they may incline to feel that they have been cheated â€“ like a serially abused child whose one and only toy has finally snatched away from him by his prissy, unloving, perma-stubbled, tofu-eating stepfather.
In short, for many years the BBC has been living a lie. It has pretended â€“ as its Charter requires of it â€“ that itâ€™s for everyone when really it has continually and ruthlessly shut out any presenters, programmes or opinions which donâ€™t fit into its narrow, metropolitan, left-liberal narrative. And what the Clarkson sacking has done is brought this issue to a head. Also â€“ a bit like Gamergate did for gamers â€“ it has woken large numbers of people who hadnâ€™t hitherto thought of themselves as particularly political into an appreciation of how badly theyâ€™ve been conned and abused by a narrow, self-selecting and very political elite who despise them.
Ron Liddle, at the Spectator, agrees:
[W]hatever the rights or wrongs of this latest â€˜fracasâ€™, the BBC was uncomfortable with him. It wanted him out. It was torn a little by the fact that â€“ again almost uniquely for a BBC star â€“ he was genuinely popular, and popular with a section of the audience the BBC normally fails to reach â€“ ie British people who are not PC neurotics. Yes, millions and millions and millions of people. But collectively it loathed his politics. And that is really why he has gone. And so who is left at the BBC who isnâ€™t left?