Jeremy Clarkson was the jokey boy at school. He kept you amused by taking the piss out of teachers and less popular kids. He wasn't the sort of bloke who got caught doing anything really naughty though because...well... he didn't actually do anything very much, come to think of it. And he still trades on the same talent. He's hilarious on all sorts of topics, particularly variations on the "it's political correctness gone mad", "snowflake" and "treehugger" themes. He makes tonnes of money, lives on the Isle of Man, has a good time and does...well... not very much else. Clarkson has written an odd column in the Sunday Times in treehugger attack mode complaining about something in Blue Planet 2
. I'm still not sure what it was about other than to wind people like me up. It worked a treat. It was the usual b****cks, I assume written after lunch. Am I surprised that a bloke who makes a living out of messing about in cars knows not very much about nature? Treehuggerscan be eccentric, self absorbed and over-earnest. They can be humourless, patronising and sanctimonious. They're also an obvious target in the playground, rich in comic potential. It's a well worn genre - AbFab, The Young Ones, The Good Life, and, before TV, noted newt fancier Gussie Fink-Nottle. The point is though, Jeremy, that this doesn't necessarily make them idiots or - more importantly - wrong. Because they're concerned about the environment doesn't necessarily make them mad or threatening. And why should I bother with what you have to say about nature conservation? Why should I bother listening to Nigel Lawson on climate change? Why should you listen to what I have to say about Wankel rotary engines? Contrary to popular belief, the world really does need experts. Or at least people who know what they're talking about and don't spout - as you would put it - complete cock. Because you're funny you have a column in a national newspaper. You reinforce a set of casual stereotypes from fifties suburbia to a particular audience. They are at once entertained but also comforted by your rubbishing alarmist and outlandish theories about the state of nature. Sadly I don't think their children will find you as amusing.