My Big Mouth: BBC’s Jeremy Clarkson, cream of the journalism crop?

By Alex Johnston

Jeremy Clarkson is the antithesis to the feeling of disgust currently centred on British journalists.

This country’s top journalists should be venerated and allowed to demand more than contentment.

The noble profession, an ancient link between the public and the Powers That Be, has had its name dragged into the muck recently by some who are unfit to bear the job title.

However, Britain’s stalwart hacks, Snow, Simpson, Paxman, Adie, et al continue to provide honest, productive journalism.

These people have persevered in seeking the truth, and continued in their acts of public service through difficult times, and deserve more than a say about their life beyond the words.

They, as with every other person in the country, should be able to choose where they bring up their children, where they live, and where they conduct their work.

This is where Jeremy Clarkson’s recent comments concerning Media City in Salford come to the fore.

This is a man who has persevered through a stream of almost constant hatred for more than 20 years.

He has continued to entertain and educate as a motoring journalist, a rare breed of writer, working in a part of the industry notoriously difficult to break into.

For this, he should be celebrated. His comments may not flatter Salford, but then he isn’t alone in this, is he?

If silence is stronger than words, then the decision of BBC Breakfast presenter Sian Williams not to move is surely a stronger indication of disgust at the proposed move than saying something.

Clarkson is not being forced to make the move. His work will remain at BBC Worldwide, for his magazine duties, and the City and Surrey for his newspaper and television work respectively.

Instead of celebrating cynicism and undertaking the age-old simplistic task of vilifying this man, who has worked hard throughout his career to elevate himself from humble beginnings to commanding a 7-figure salary, we should celebrate someone within the BBC who still has the guile and personal strength to take a stand and say what surely is on the minds of many people making the move to Salford.

Thank you, Mr Clarkson. You are the unlikely flag flyer and hero for the disillusioned and disrespected current crop of British journalists.

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