The Jeremy Clarkson Distraction

That Jeremy Clarkson should be fired is pretty much indisputable, The Guardian’s Owen Jones explains why here. Clarkson’s continuing employment with the BBC is not, however, what this article will be discussing.

The Clarkson debate came out of nowhere to dominate the news cycle and political discourse since details of the fracas emerged on the 9th of March (Derailing coverage of a major Ed Miliband interview). His list of supporters include David Cameron, and now apparently his hunger striking daughter Nancy, not to mention the million plus people who signed the petition calling for his reinstatement.

But where did this petition come from? A right-wing blogger called Paul Staines, better known as his pseudonym Guido Fawkes. The self-confessed anti-establishment blogger, who incidentally is better connected to the Conservative Party than your average Daily Mail journalists, created and publicised the campaign for Jeremy’s reinstatement. The campaign has dominated the hearts and the minds of ordinary voters for the past fortnight, it has distracted attention away from David Cameron’s cowardly refusal to engage in a leader’s debate, it has distracted attention away from George Osborne’s vote buying budget. In the midst of the most important general election campaign for a generation the biggest discussion taking place in the United Kingdom is whether a talentless middle age man should keep his job after conducting a racially aggravated assault on a co-worker.

The campaign of distraction, led by Paul Staines, culminated in a former vice-president of Conservative Future, the youth wing of the Tory Party, driving a tank across London to BBC headquarters. This blatant headline grabbing act happened before the petition had reached the one million signatures mark Staines said would trigger the stunt.

In short what we have is a Troy outlier, obstinately crusading on behalf of the common man, getting his Tory mate to drive a tank across London to stop a rich toff losing his job. Meanwhile Staines’ friends in government poll rating spike after a budget giveaway, with the public to distracted by Clarksongate to properly see the budget for what it is. So much for being anti-establishment eh Paul?



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