Clarkson's Sunday Times Columns

You have to remember that a lot of TGUK's international stories (particularly the Europe-based ones) depended a lot on goodwill from the EU bureaucracy, especially when crossing state borders. Series 10's "greatest driving road in the world," for example, would be a lot more cumbersome to organize had it *not* been for the EU. So it's no surprise that Clarkson would vote to stay in.
 
I've followed this forum for many years, but haven't ever felt the need to post anything. However, Clarkson's recent Sunday Times article on the EU referendum has goaded me to respond.

What is really irritating to me is the snide suggestion on the part of the remainers that those who voted to leave are either a) stupid; or b) old, and therefore have less right to vote than the young. They then follow this up (in classic EU dictatorial fashion), by claiming that those who voted out were simply wrong and we should have a re-run of the referendum because they didn't like the result (assuming that they will get a different result having talked the country down in the meantime).

The arrogance of the chattering classes in proposing this is astounding and profoundly anti-democratic, yet they seem to think it is OK because the outers are just too thick to know what is best for them.

Well, I voted to leave, and I don't think I'm stupid. I'm an accountant who has worked in various European countries over the years, and have closely followed the "development" of the EEC to the EC, and now the EU. Ultimately, for me, it comes down to a matter of accountability and representative government, something the EU has effectively taken away from the nation states by taking ever more political powers into the hands of the (apppointed rather than elected) EU Commission. This is a path that cannot be reversed within the current EU structures.

So, I'd like to tell Clarkson and similar well heeled europhiles to kindly STFU and accept the democratic wishes of the majority of voters.
 
In the beginning, I feel sad the British voters decided to leave, but I fully respect their vote and their right to decide so. Nobody is liable to criticize them for what they did, especially from outside.

The EU has a serious problem which, unfortunately, the leadership still does not want to accept. While free movement and a sort of trade union are HUGE benefits of being in the EU, being governed by the lunatics in Brusseles (who live in their own artificial world isolated from the outside) is not. There is immigration crisis, extreme youth unemployment in southern countries, no-go zones, etc., etc., and what do they focus on? Emission limits for lawnmowers or limitting the power of electric kettles. Or the subsidies.

It's like contemplating haircut while being seriously injured.

That resulted in the rise of UKIP in the UK, AfD in Germany, Le Pen in France, FP? in Austria and so on. When it is country after country, I don't think the people got suddenly crazy. What they protest against is the root of the problem. And no hope of change.

What they should have said after Brexit is: WHAT DID WE DO WRONG (can we do something to keep the UK) and not MORE EU (more power to Brusseles).

And, what is really sad, and people that haven't encountered communism can't comprehend, they behave to the individual countries in EXACTLY the same way as former Soviet Union did to its former satellites. The Czechs, Hungarians or Slovaks and Poles are extremely sensitive to this.

I don't care about negative rep I get from some but this is true.
 
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calvinhobbes

Well-known member
There is immigration crisis, extreme youth unemployment in southern countries, no-go zones, etc., etc., and what do they focus on? Emission limits for lawnmowers or limitting the power of electric kettles. Or the subsidies.
The immigration crisis wasn't addressed on a European level because the national heads of state couldn't agree on anything.
Youth unemployment, same as all employment issues, is not an issue that the EU can address.
No-go zones: there is no EU police that could take over from national police forces.

Complaining about the EU not solving problems that it isn't supposed to address is unfortunate.

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Ultimately, for me, it comes down to a matter of accountability and representative government, something the EU has effectively taken away from the nation states by taking ever more political powers into the hands of the (apppointed rather than elected) EU Commission.
As for powers that you want transferred back from the EU to the British government: Which ones?
As for political powers in the hands of the Commission: Did you miss the gradual, but constant, transfer of power to the European Parliament?
As for "appointed rather than elected": Who do you think appoints the Commissioners?
Finally, are you familiar with the European Council?
 
The immigration crisis wasn't addressed on a European level because the national heads of state couldn't agree on anything.
It unfortunately was by mandatory quotes which are no solution* as it's impossible to put out one's house fire by igniting all his neighbours' houses too. (no offense) :)

Worse then as it was not an unanimous decision which used to happen in such important cases.

I just mentioned only a few of many important problems that should be addressed and showed what the Europen Council and Parlianment really do care about ("lawnmowers" etc. just being a good and recent example).

And this might have been a question for an ordinary UK citizen: why can't I use light bulbs? Why should the power of my kettle or a vacuum cleaner be limited? Why, what... and then they might have come to their decision. And for that they don't deserve to be considered moronic.

The people primarily care about the ordinary daily-life issues which shouldn't be a question for the EU. Unfortunately the EC or EP create new ones that have impact on them and that's why I mentioned it. A "problem" for EC / EP is completely different from what is considered to be a 'problem' by ordinary people.

*) might explain by PM
 
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calvinhobbes

Well-known member
It unfortunately was by mandatory quotes which are no solution* as it's impossible to put out one's house fire by igniting all his neighbours' houses too. (no offense) :)
It would have helped if people hadn't stood around screaming "You set it alight!" "No, you did!" but started a bucket chain...

Worse then as it was not an unanimous decision which used to happen in such important cases.
IIRC, a decision was reached on the "redistribution" of 120.000 refugees. At the peak of the crisis, that was fewer than the number who arrived in a month.

I just mentioned only a few of many important problems that should be addressed and showed what the Europen Council and Parlianment really do care about ("lawnmowers" etc. just being a good and recent example).
So what? They keep doing what they're supposed to be doing and keep out of the many, many issues that the member states haven't delegated to the EU. Once again: please don't blame them for not doing what's not their job.

And this might have been a question for an ordinary UK citizen: why can't I use light bulbs? Why should the power of my kettle or a vacuum cleaner be limited? Why, what... and then they might have come to their decision. And for that they don't deserve to be considered moronic.
Conventional light bulbs were phased out because they waste colossal amounts of energy. Essentially, they are inefficient dirt-cheap room heaters that happen to produce a bit of visible light on the side. The damn things were only ever acceptable as long as nothing better had come around, which it did, but because the purchase prices of the better alternatives were higher, they never made it into the mainstream - until the room heaters were banned. Good riddance to bad rubbish. As for household appliances, what's wrong with increased efficiency? I'm quite happy with the efficiency of e.g. my fridge.

The people primarily care about the ordinary daily-life issues which shouldn't be a question for the EU.
I'm sorry, but that is the biggest load of nonsense I've read on the issue. There's no other way to put it.

The whole idea behind the EU is to make life in Europe easier by bringing down artificial barriers from the era of omnipotent nation states. Want to buy a cooker that was made in Spain? Go ahead, it's made to the same standard as one from Germany. Want to go shopping across the border because they've got an offer that'll save you ?50? Suit yourself, you won't even have to exchange any currency. Sell your product to a Finn? Fine, no customs. Study in Sweden? Sweet, no visas. And so on.

If you choose to forego many or all of the advantages, have at least the decency to acknowledge their existence.

Unfortunately the EC or EP create new ones that have impact on them and that's why I mentioned it. A "problem" for EC / EP is completely different from what is considered to be a 'problem' by ordinary people.
I don't know what "ordinary people" you hang out with, but almost all I know don't limit themselves to their home countries. As such, they would definitely notice a whole lot of problems suddenly arising if the EU ceased to exist.
 
And all you have to do is agree to lose your right to the democratic process, sounds like a great deal to me!

And as a side note: Clarkson fled from the UK and went to Man, he did that for the exact same reasons the majority of brexiters voted to flee from the EU.
 
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a) they lack the power to start any sort of vote making it all a bit futile

b) I don't like how other countries with different economic systems and economies get to decide where we have to spend our hard earned and saved money on. Right now a bill was passed, pretty much unnoticed without any sort of back and forth and kept under the rug, that all our pension savings are no longer under Dutch law but allows them to change to other country's laws with less strict securities built in meaning they could very well just vanish. This of course was an idea of the EU. THANKS EU! That money is probably going to be spent on EU politicians, the Ukraine and clown countries who were surprised that the money stream from the EU suddenly dried up like, I dunno, Portugal?

c) when the boss of your beloved parliament is drunk most of the time and tells the chosen electorate of the EU countries that they should stop listening to their citizens then that gets me a bit worried
 
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calvinhobbes

Well-known member
a) they lack the power to start any sort of vote making it all a bit futile
Which is why I'm glad that the powers of the parliament have been increasing for decades and are set to continue in that direction.

b) (...) Right now a bill was passed, pretty much unnoticed without any sort of back and forth and kept under the rug, that all our pension savings are no longer under Dutch law but allows them to change to other country's laws with less strict securities built in meaning they could very well just vanish. (...)
You seem to be talking about something specific. Please name it.

clown countries who were surprised that the money stream from the EU suddenly dried up like, I dunno, Portugal?
Come on. That one has got to sound immature even to your own ears.

c) when the boss of your beloved parliament is drunk most of the time and tells the chosen electorate of the EU countries that they should stop listening to their citizens then that gets me a bit worried
Martin Schulz is an alcoholic? That's news to me. :lol: Get back to me when you're no longer confusing the President of the European Parliament with the President of the European Commission.

BTW, it isn't "my beloved parliament". It's the parliament of over 500 million EU citizens; beloved, hated or otherwise.
 

calvinhobbes

Well-known member
And, what is really sad, and people that haven't encountered communism can't comprehend, they behave to the individual countries in EXACTLY the same way as former Soviet Union did to its former satellites.
How so? Did I miss e.g. an EU invasion of Hungary over the disagreements between the EU and Orb?n?
 
I can't handle the amount of stupid in here... jesus christ on a moped.

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They then follow this up (in classic EU dictatorial fashion), by claiming that those who voted out were simply wrong and we should have a re-run of the referendum because they didn't like the result (assuming that they will get a different result having talked the country down in the meantime).
The arrogance of the chattering classes in proposing this is astounding and profoundly anti-democratic, yet they seem to think it is OK because the outers are just too thick to know what is best for them.

Well, I voted to leave, and I don't think I'm stupid. I'm an accountant who has worked in various European countries over the years, and have closely followed the "development" of the EEC to the EC, and now the EU. Ultimately, for me, it comes down to a matter of accountability and representative government, something the EU has effectively taken away from the nation states by taking ever more political powers into the hands of the (apppointed rather than elected) EU Commission. This is a path that cannot be reversed within the current EU structures.
A referendum can be re run if there is reason to believe the public opinion has shifted from the time the first referendum was ran, or that it had bogus results.
Many people came out afterwards saying they voted leave to protest, to voice their concerns, but they really didn't want the UK to actually LEAVE. Starting by the leaders of the whole movement who promptly fled the sinking ship.

What is the huge issue with running a second referendum if the leave camp is so sure of the result? Could it possibly be that they are genuinely aware that the result was a fluke and it would not repeat?

As for the highlighted part of your post, watch this video and then come back.
 
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How so? Did I miss e.g. an EU invasion of Hungary over the disagreements between the EU and Orb?n?
Not physically but the rhetorics is very similar. And so is to Poland (just because their government did exactly the same as the previous and praised one, did).

It would have helped if people hadn't stood around screaming "You set it alight!" "No, you did!" but started a bucket chain...
While hardly anybody was interested, the Hungarians were the first to bring a fire engine (started to protect the borders and letting only those people who came through official checkpoints, who were identified etc.) They were immediately despised for that.

We can't agree on that. I'd rather stop it here, thanks.
 
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MacGuffin

Well-known member
Apparently many here rather follow demagogues and populists than using their own brain to actually collect some background knowledge. It's so easier letting others do the thinking for you and repeat like a parrot what they fed you, isn't it?

You know, there is something you can do about your educational deficits: READ UP ON IT. And I'm not talking about tabloids and shady internet bloggers. The sheer unbelievable amount of ignorance and lack of knowledge in some people here absolutely baffles me. It is a bit like trying to discuss with monkeys...

I understand you're lazy and can't be bothered to busy yourself with learning but when you cannot help it and need to remain lazy and slow in your thinking, at least listen to people who's only agenda isn't their hunger for power, profit and influence. The EU might be faulty and imperfect but at least it is built on principles and good intentions. Those who seek to destroy it, should get a free time travel within their respective countries to the year 1941 to get a taste of how life in Europe was before it became united.
 
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:bow:

Not only is that a superb point brilliantly made but there is no doubting her genes when it comes to the written word.

Emily Clarkson, I salute you in a totally non-sexist or patronising way and can't wait to read more.

And there is a pokey motoring show that might be looking for a new lead presenter soon, run by an organisation with quotas of political correctness to fill. You should apply.
Agree completely, that article came across with her Dad's acerbic wit and magic with words. Someone should save TG, and a Clarkson would be the right person to do it, and bin Joey and the jerks.
 
Jezza returns!

No bull, Miguel, you look nuts in that gold lame (July 17)

If you grow up in Spain, there are many sports to keep you fit and amused. Spanish football is about as good as it gets. Tennis is big too, thanks to Rafa Nadal. And for those in the north of the country, there's pelota, one of the most beautiful and exciting games I've ever seen.

Sadly, however, a young man called Victor Barrio decided that none of these things was quite his bag and that he wanted to be a bullfighter. It didn't go well. Because last weekend, in front of a good-natured summer crowd, and his pretty wife, he was stabbed in the aorta and died.

Needless to say, everyone is now running around, waving their arms in the air and saying that no sport is worth the life of a participant and that bullfighting must be outlawed immediately. But that of course is nonsense. Almost everyone who takes part in horse riding is killed at some point, and it's the same story with the Isle of Man TT races, which have a higher rate of attrition than the ebola virus. And no one is suggesting that these sports should be banned.

Then there's golf. On almost every course in the land, there's a dead 55-year-old businessman in one of the bunkers, his heart a ruined bag of mush and his face etched with pain and regret.

But again, no one is saying that golf should be outlawed. Well, I am. Not because it will eventually kill many of my friends, but because I don't like their trousers.

Bullfighting, however, is different. Yes, the trousers are pretty terrible, obviously, but actually it's safer than Formula One motor racing, which these days is more safe than sitting in a box full of eiderdown, and about as exciting. Until Barrio got gored, no participant in Spain had died for 30 years. Apart from the bulls, obviously.

We can't therefore ban it on safety grounds, and neither am I overly bothered about the animal cruelty issues. I'm happy to poison a fly and watch it headbutt itself to death in a series of high-speed impacts against the french windows, so why should I get my knickers in a twist about a bull bleeding to death? However, I do think bullfighting should be stopped, because it is stupid.

Let me put it this way. If the concept of sport were to be invented next week, people would look at football and say: "Yes. That's pretty good." It's the same story with 100-metre races and rounders and the aforementioned pelota. But I'm fairly sure that if someone proposed bullfighting, everyone else would say, quizzically: "Just run that past me again."

It goes something like this. A "matador" goes into a ring, where a four-year-old bull, which weighs getting on for a ton, is wondering what the hell it's doing there. The matador observes the bull's behaviour and character while attempting to form an emotional bond with it.

Having failed to do this, because he's a man and the bull isn't, he summons a junior bullfighter, who arrives in the ring on a horse. The bull attacks the horse and tries to disembowel it. This makes several children in the audience cry. After the bull has failed to disembowel the horse, because it's wearing a funky padded hazmat suit, the junior bullfighter sticks a spear into the bull's neck, which makes it angry.

In the next stage, more junior bullfighters stick more spears into the bull's neck until most of its blood is on the outside of its skin and its neck muscles are so worn out it can barely hold its head up. And at this point the matador himself, the senior man, waves a red rag at it, while doing a disco dance. And then after a little while he stabs it with a sword and he's the winner.

Sometimes, he decides for no particular reason that he will not stick a sword into it and the bull is allowed to live out the rest of its days on a farm, with a gaggle of lady cows, until one day Lamborghini names a car after it.

Now. If you were to suggest that as a sport, everyone would say: "Don't be an idiot", and that would be that. Which is exactly what happens whenever someone suggests that it should be banned. They are told, firmly, that this will not be possible, and the debate is over.

The argument centres on the fact that bullfighting can trace its roots back to 2,000BC, when men would prove their manliness by fighting animals. Well, yes.

But that's because in those days they needed some light relief from making bronze and they had no PlayStations. Today, if a young man wants to prove he has testicles the size of water melons, he can invite a girl to watch him play Call of Duty.

Which causes bullfighting enthusiasts to say that it's a tradition. And that makes me so angry that even my hair hurts. Because on that basis we could amuse ourselves by drowning women in a duck pond.

Britain's red telephone box is a tradition. It's a symbol of everything that made us great. But only a handful of lunatics minded when it was replaced with the iPhone. A policeman's tall helmet is a tradition. But it was phased out because it's not really practical in a terrorist shootout. And it's traditional for our soldiers to wear red. But they don't any more because it would be silly.

We have learnt to let things go when they start to look ridiculous, and I'm afraid that Spain's bullfighting enthusiasts must do the same. If they want to impress girls by killing animals, then fine. It's not for me to stop them sneaking into the neighbours' garden and strangling a cat. And if they want to make some kind of sacrifice to amuse their God, again, it's not for me to interfere.

But I would point out that dressing up in a gold lame suit and waving a red rag at a bull, on television, makes you look like an imbecile. Because the rest of the world has known for some time that bulls are colour-blind.
If you're looking for the latest installment of Clarkson's Sun column, read it here.
 
You just gotta love this line from the Sun column.

He and George Osborne have now been replaced with May and Hammond which is good news too, because it means I can spend the next few years making jokes about how they are slow and useless. And lost.
Only Jezza coulda got away with that one.
 
Olympics this week:

Let Russia dope: I want to see the heroin hurdles (July 24)

So it's been claimed by various people with stern faces that the Russian secret service has been using all sorts of devious methods to conceal the fact that hundreds of the country's athletes and sports people have been routinely testing positive for drugs. I think we are supposed to be surprised by this.

Well, I'm not. When I was a small boy I clearly remember wondering why half of Russia's women shot putters appeared to be men. One, I seem to recall, had chest hair that went all the way down to her scrotum. Another, from somewhere behind the Iron Curtain, had plainly been taking something that had turned her into a tractor.

You had the pretty young woman from France and the game filly from Great Britain lobbing the discus 40 yards, and then out would lumber Ivana Shrek, who'd throw it out of the stadium. And we all sat there thinking: "Oooh, isn't the Soviet Union scary and impressive." Which I suppose was the point.

I assume that back then it was not possible to determine who'd taken what. But now it is hence the alleged involvement of Russia's FSB. It's said that at the Sochi Winter Games, laboratory staff passed tainted urine samples from athletes through a secret hole in a wall to agents, who somehow broke the tamper-proof seals and replaced them with urine that was as fresh and natural as Sophie Raworth's next fruit salad.

Investigators reckon that in the four years until 2015 there were 312 dodgy results covered up by Russia's sports ministry, which then said that the man mountains it was sending to toss the caber and the supercomputers who were turning up to play chess were able to become so brilliant because they'd been brought up on a healthy Russian diet of turnips and beetroot. And vodka.

Now of course there are calls for Russia to be banned from all Olympic competitions. And I get that. If I'd trained for 20 years to be the best pole vaulter in the world and then I was beaten by someone whose blood sample would trouble a Geiger counter, I'd be livid.

But I haven't trained for 20 years to be the best pole vaulter in the world. I'm just someone who quite likes to watch sport when I'm bored. And I must confess I find myself hoping Russia reacts to the proposed ban by setting up an alternative Olympic Games where anything goes.

That way, the athletes who've trained and done everything the old-fashioned way can play dodge the mosquito in Rio, which is all very lovely for those who enjoy watching people running about and jumping over stuff. While on cable TV the rest of us could watch all the way from Moscow Olympians on Drugs.

Come on. Who wouldn't want to watch a 400-metre race for people who'd just filled themselves up with heroin? Or a tennis match between two people who were suffering from massive paranoia? Stoned hurdling that'd be good too. I think this would work especially well at the Winter Games, because I know from many years of experience that my skiing in the morning is timid and slow and rather boring. But after lunch, when I've had some wines, it becomes fluid and fast and thrilling. And then I have a crash and break a small bone. Drunk skiing would be a tremendous spectator sport.

It's the same story with motor racing. When I was young and completely irresponsible I hosted a grass-track banger event for friends, and anyone suspected of being in proper control of their vehicle was summoned to the pits and made to take a breathalyser test.

If it revealed they were under the limit, they were made to drink three pints of beer before they were allowed to rejoin the race. A similar idea would, I think, transform Formula One. "Oh, look. It's Fernando Alonso and ha-ha-ha he's going the wrong way round the track."

I could of course go on, matching various sports to various hilariously inappropriate intoxicants, but actually there's a serious point to be made here. Scientists have already developed genetically modified wheat that is more resistant to disease than the wheat that nature invented. So why should they not be allowed to genetically modify human beings? Boffins have already worked out that by altering the CCR5 gene they could make someone incapable of catching HIV. Sickle cell anaemia, muscular dystrophy and certain types of blindness could be eradicated too.

Recently doctors announced that by using stem cell technology they had effectively cured a teenager from Bristol of a rare blood disorder that had already killed his big brother.

Jesus enthusiasts, I know, have some issues with this sort of thing, and so do various tub-thumping politicians. Even some very wise people have pointed out that we've only had a complete map of human genes for 13 years and it's too soon to start fiddling. They say more research must be done, and that brings me back to my Olympians on Drugs idea.

Because here we would have many fit young men and women who, because they want to be the best of the best of the best, would readily volunteer to become the first real-life Jason Bourne. They could be the guinea pigs.

Obviously they'd have to be neutered in some way. Because if the genetic modification and drug combo didn't work and they became werewolves or Daleks or something, we wouldn't want them breeding and creating a master race that would wipe the rest of us out.

But what if it did work? What if science could turn even the most stupid person into a genius? What if it could make Captain Fat capable of running the 100 metres in six seconds? And what if there were no drawbacks? So long as we all rush around, waving our arms in the air and accusing Russia of cheating, we're never going to know if they're on to something. Far better, I reckon, to shut up and let them get on with it.
And here is the Sun column.
 
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