And don’t come back

After describing Britain as "mosque-drenched", progressives don't need persuading. Jeremy Clarkson should follow his own advice and leave Britain.

Progressives don’t need persuading. Jeremy Clarkson should follow his own advice and leave the country.

After describing Britain as “mosque-drenched” and denouncing Albanians for taking university places and stealing wheelbarrows in his Sunday Times column yesterday, Jeremy Clarkson went on an extraordinary diatribe about his emigration options:

“You can’t go to France because you need to complete 17 forms in triplicate every time you want to build a greenhouse, and you can’t go to Switzerland because you will be reported to your neighbours by the police and subsequently shot in the head if you don’t sweep your lawn properly, and you can’t go to Italy because you’ll soon tire of waking up in the morning to find a horse’s head in your bed because you forgot to give a man called Don a bundle of used notes for “organising” a plumber.

“You can’t go to Australia because it’s full of things that will eat you, you can’t go to New Zealand because they don’t accept anyone who is more than 40 and you can’t go to Monte Carlo because they don’t accept anyone who has less than 40 mill. And you can’t go to Spain because you’re not called Del and you weren’t involved in the Walthamstow blag. And you can’t go to Germany … because you just can’t.

Do we have to go on? Oh alright then:

“The Caribbean sounds tempting, but there is no work, which means that one day, whether you like it or not, you’ll end up like all the other expats, with a nose like a burst beetroot, wondering if it’s okay to have a small sharpener at 10 in the morning. And, as I keep explaining to my daughter, we can’t go to America because if you catch a cold over there, the health system is designed in such a way that you end up without a house. Or dead.

“Canada’s full of people pretending to be French, South Africa’s too risky, Russia’s worse and everywhere else is too full of snow, too full of flies or too full of people who want to cut your head off on the internet.”

Frankly, Jeremy, we don’t care where you end up so long as you leave and do so quickly.

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26 Responses to “And don’t come back”

  1. Billy the Kid

    For Gods sake this is called comedy.

    It’s FUN… all together now you New Labour peeps F U N ….fun.

    It’s John Prescott repairing two toilet seats at the taxpayers expense and having a penis described as a chipolata…

    It’s called humour guys…

    Lighten up. Less than six months to go and your opinions will be ignored…

  2. Graham

    Yes, really. Save your ire for people that matter. Clarkson’s comments are fairly tame.


  3. Joe FD

    Jeremy Clarkson and Melanie Phillips should be left to their own devices or we’ll end up like Billy the Kid above and Toynbee’s Cif stalkers, picking sad little cyberfights with people who couldn’t give a toss about their views.
    Meanwhile, Clarkson’s column seems to have been removed from the Times website, so maybe they agree with you!

  4. pam

    On the other hand, he’s saying how great the uk is, and how nowhere else is as good – not so much wrong with that?

  5. Liz McShane

    Well said LFF.

    Jeremy Clarkson and his ilk are repulsive and they try to pass off their offensive and outmoded views as comedic. I resent paying the BBC licence fee for these kind of people who present programmes which will hopefully cease to be relevant.

  6. Owen

    In general terms I’d be more than happy to see the back of Clarkson – he’s a total knob. But I don’t think the stuff you’ve quoted is the best example of that. It’s clearly meant to be a joke – most of the stuff you’ve put in bold makes that especially clear. And I can’t see anything for any decent leftwinger to object to in his assessment of the present state of the US healthcare system. But maybe I’m missing something.

  7. Will Straw


    Good to have a decent debate here but let’s keep it nice. I had to remove a comment from our friend Billy the Kid for calling another commenter a “liar”. There’s no reason for that.

    And in case anyone thinks I’ve had a complete sense of humour bypass: Of course there are some humourous elements to Clarkson’s article but calling Britain “mosque-drenched” is not on. And clearly plenty of people agree from the comments above, on facebook, and on twitter.

  8. Owen

    No, saying Britain’s mosque-drenched isn’t acceptable, I’d agree with you there. Do you have another link to the article? It seems to have been pulled from the Times site.

  9. sarah

    He hasn’t changed much since the totally unneccessary comments he made about Gordon Brown’s eyesight, then.

  10. Anon E Mouse

    Yes nice one Will – why not remove his ‘liar’ bit from his points and not his whole set of comments? Basically this blog has just turned into some Derek Draper kind of ‘controlled space New Labour love in’. Shame.

    Coming here after seeing you on Sky News I’m disappointed by this and expected you to be more objective.

    Owen uses words like “total knob” and that’s ok?

    “Liar” it seems is a very applicable word with smears as Billy mentioned against David Cameron the week his disabled son died used by Gordon and his cohorts.

    David Kelly being smeared and killing himself got a mention and the Gurkha’s as well. All valid complaints about this government and to some the lack of helicopters when the Generals on the ground say we need them to protect our troops is also disgraceful and yet when Billy mentions it you act as judge and jury and censor it on the lame excuse that “liar” is unacceptable?

    There are 13 helicopters in a country with 9000 of our troops and in an area the size of Wales. If Brown says that is enough what is it if not “untruthful”?

    Also WMD and the deaths of 100,000 civilians killed in Iraq in the Labour government’s illegal war and GB spending thousands of pounds of our money on his cleaning bill after ‘still’ not sorting out the poor in the 10p tax thing.

    Billy also mentioned the fact Jeremy Clarkson has raised millions of pounds for the troops “Help for Heroes” charity. Gordon shows disrespect at the ceremony on Sunday but can write to X Factor to check on Susan Boyle and a footballer who missed a goal.

    And you remove comments from your blog because someone with freedom of speech is horrified by the way this government behaves?

    Shame on you Will and I bet this doesn’t get displayed either….

  11. Caroline Not Happy

    Why can’t Clarkson say “Mosque Drenched” when he believes it to be true?

    Have a look at your Dads constituency Will.

    Who asked the folk living there if they wanted Mosques in their communities and all that follows – burkhas, woman treated unequally, homosexuals threatened with death, female genital mutilation, “honor” killings, forced marriage …etc etc

    Just because you don’t see these things in the worlds you live of Kensington dinner parties and with jobs like Media Outreach Coordinators it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

    I’m a feminist which is why I really dislike a religion whose translation is “Submission” and one that treats woman so appallingly and one it seems that isn’t criticised by Harriet Harman, Polly Toynbee etc

    But judging by your new policy of censorship on this blog (how New Labour) this is unlikely to be printed as well..

  12. Will Straw


    Caroline, Anon – there is no policy of censorship, anyone can leave a comment, we do not pre-moderate. But we do have a comments policy, which Billy the Kid breached by accusing another commenter of being a liar. You can read our comments policy here:

    We want this to be a space where progressives can come and debate the issues that they care about without being insulted. Simple as that.

    Caroline – Clarkson can say what he likes. So can you and so can I. I rarely go to Kensington but I do go to Blackburn frequently and still live in Lambeth where I was born and grew up. Multiculturalism is a complicated issue but describing Britain as “mosque-drenched” is about as unhelpful as it gets.

    Anon – Sorry you think this is a “controlled space new Labour love in”. I’m not sure how that is consistent with our articles in recent weeks supporting Professor Nutt, supporting Vince Cable’s mansion tax, attacking Trident, questioning nuclear power, challenging Heathrow terminal 3, and so on. And looking at yesterday’s content, there wasn’t a single article about Labour policy. In fact going back to last week, there are only four articles about Labour or Government Ministers.

    And for those who couldn’t open the link to Clarkson’s original article, try this:

  13. Anon E Mouse

    Will, the reason there hasn’t been any Government Policy on your blog is because there isn’t any Government Policy.

    Vince Cable got it right when he said Parliament may as well stay at home – there is genuinely nothing to do except wait for Labour’s certain defeat at the hands of the electorate.

    I know Billy (same office block) and I simply do not believe he called another commenter a liar – he’s (rightly) angry about the disgraceful way this fag end government is behaving but believe me people absolutely DETEST Brown and Co.

    In our workplace only one person has ever voted Tory (it’s a strong Labour area) and next time round they probably won’t vote Tory but they also are ADAMANT they are not going to vote Labour either – with a passion.

    Forget peoples opinion of Thatcher – round here Brown is HATED by the plumbers, sparks and chippies and they will cause the complete collapse of the Labour vote at the election.

    Governments lose elections it’s true and in this ones case rightly so but all your so called “progressives” will also carry a burden of responsibility for not standing up for core Labour values.

    ID cards? Iraq? 42 days? 10p tax?

    What were you guys thinking for 12 years?

  14. Anon E Mouse

    And finally Liz McShane says she hopes Clarkson’s program goes to the wall – no chance it regularly gets 8 million viewers plus and sells worldwide.

    Liz and her out dated backward opinions are (fortunately) in a minority.

  15. Will Straw



    Thanks for engaging. I’d be happy to rerun any comment from Billy that didn’t insult another commenter. Your comment above is, to my mind, a good example of taking on another commenter in a way that is not insulting.

    I understand that this government, any government in power for 12 years is likely to anger people. I am certainly no apologist for the many things it has done that I have disagreed with (although I do think there are a number of other things to feel proud of – please indulge me if I don’t right now back this up with a list).

    But, all that said, I want Left Foot Forward to be a space where commenters are respectful of each other even as they criticise politicians and other public figures. Making editorial judgments will always be subjective but I felt that Billy crossed a line. But I welcome you both to continue challenging LFF’s writers and readers.

    Best wishes,


  16. Shamik Das

    “Anon E Mouse”, the only person whose opinions are backward and out dated is Clarkson. Someone should tell him this is 2009, not 1959!

  17. Liz McShane

    Anon E Mouse – Clarkson’s views are snide and offensive. He loves mocking political correctness when all it is, is having mutual respect for ‘others’ – nothing more, nothing less. It is outdated for someone to behave like he does.

  18. Anon E Mouse

    Shamik and Liz – he has a right to those opinions – you may disagree with them – that’s ok – but he has that right. Just like Question Time were right to have Nick Griffin on – he’s got over a million votes – far more than Gordon Brown ever got.

    All people saw (not me but comments I hear in the pubs locally)was an elected MEP being picked on by a sanctimonious bunch of bullies. The fascist behavior of those crowds outside was a disgrace.

    If he wants to hold those views as long as he doesn’t incite any trouble then why shouldn’t he? I have homosexual friends but don’t want to see men kissing either – I must have the right to feel like that.

    I heard that awful Yvette Cooper on Radio 4 this morning lying about the Tories (supposedly) cancelling Tax Credits and these lies are allowed to go unchallenged for some reason. It’s why Labour and their cronies are due to be ousted BIG time at the election and rightly so.

    Nick Griffin flourishes because Labour try to shut down conversation they don’t like – the party has become too dogmatic and controlling.

    Regarding political correctness I just don’t see it like you Liz – you really are in a minority and it’s dangerous. It may be misconstrued but when a 97 year old man can’t have a cake cooked by his niece in his home in Devon… well you get the point. Playgrounds have no witches hats any more and the roundabouts are all slowed down with soft tarmac in case the kids scrape their knees – goggles to play conkers where has the “fun” of childhood gone?

    It’s why “Caroline Not Happy” above states: “Who asked the folk living there if they wanted Mosques in their communities and all that follows – burkhas, woman treated unequally, homosexuals threatened with death, female genital mutilation, “honor” killings, forced marriage …etc etc”

    Tell me Liz, in your Utopian, disconnected from reality world, why I should have respect for anyone that holds those views?

    Once these things start there does not seem to be any end and once combined with the control freak tendencies of New Labour there seems to be no way out.

    Someone needs to say STOP THAT’S ENOUGH – IT’S GONE TOO FAR but they won’t.

    So we get terrorists from Afganistan who hijack a plane, fly it to Gatwick and instead of being immediately deported our taxes are used to give them hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation and we are told we can’t deport them? There are hundreds of other cases like this Liz but get some perspective here.

    Jeremy Clarkson has raised millions for “Help For Heroes” – money needed due to the underfunding by this government. You may not like him – I don’t like Marmite – but I find this governments views are snide and offensive – Damian McBride etc are beyond words and judging by the opinion polls I’m not alone.

  19. Shamik Das

    Anon E Mouse, if you’re referring to the European election results, the BNP got 943,598 votes, Labour got 2,381,760 votes. Nick Griffin did not get more votes than Gordon Brown. He did not get more than a million votes. You seem more than happy to accuse others of making false statements; maybe you’d like to take this opportunity to correct your assertion that Griffin “got over a million votes” and got “far more [votes] than Gordon Brown ever got”.

  20. Anon E Mouse

    Shamik, 943,598 votes? – near enough a million.

    Brown secretly planned Public Service cuts of 9.3% and ran down Cameron for proposing 0.7% more at 10%.

    You don’t see anything wrong with that Shamik? Really?

    For Labour to only get two and a half times the number of votes as the BNP is beyond belief – the Labour Party are horrified by that fact – why aren’t you?

    Regarding Browns votes, I meant for the leadership of their respective parties. Brown’s thugs and bullies, McBride and Co, leant on ordinary members to not ask for a leadership election.

    People like me also voted for Tony (Full Third Term) Blair. The way Brown and his cronies treated him was also a disgrace.

    Finally who did I accuse of making false statements? Yvette Cooper openly lied this morning on the Today program – even when challenged, albeit pretty lamely, by the presenter she continued to lie.

    What sort of an example is that to send to the public? Am I to assume you think that smearing and lying about people is an acceptable way to behave in life? Really Shamik?

  21. Liz McShane

    Anon…. I actually feel very connected and privileged to live in a multi-cultural city that respects diversity (sexual, ethnicity etc) of others. Nick Griffin’s vision of an all white, ‘ethnically’??? British country is perverse if not laughable.

    Yes he should not be censored, indeed he should be grilled ad nauseum on his racist and divisive views – even when he got a bit of a soft ride on QT he floundered. A lot of the votes received in the Euro elections were anti-Labour rather than a vote in favour of the BNP and their policies.

  22. Anon E Mouse

    Liz, you are mistaking common good manners and a respect for others that is ingrained in the majority of decent people worldwide with laws on “Political Correctness” used to force the views and opinions of others on everybody.

    I know of no one who would judge another by the colour of their skin or sexuality or whatever but if they decide they want to do that, they should, in a free society, be allowed to.

    When Catholic Adoption agencies decide they do not want children to be adopted by homosexual couples that should be their right.

    Why does Harriet Harman believe she knows better than those agencies? How can she bang on about the poor in her position of great wealth and privilege or complain about women being artificially promoted in jobs because of their sex and not their abilities? Especially since she’s trying to *fix* a safe Labour seat for her own husband, Jack Dromey.

    Freedom of expression can’t be forced – look at the Soviet Union and Cuba – but when the very tolerant fabric of our society is threatened by the actions of a stupid incompetent, government(If Labour represented the people properly the BNP wouldn’t have got those votes) then someone has to say something.

    Finally Liz does this “connection” you feel wrt ethnicity extend to not condemning the actions ‘Caroline Not Happy’ finds so disagreeable – “burkhas, woman treated unequally, homosexuals threatened with death, female genital mutilation, “honor” killings, forced marriage …etc etc” or do you just pay lip service and just gloss over and ignore the point?

  23. Gaps in the Dialogue

    Comments like those of Clarkson are annoying, but he is only relaying thoughts of large sections of the population – otherwise he wouldn’t be so successful. Even more dispiriting was Matt Fry’s casual reminder of an old anti-German joke (comparing German reunification with The Beatles reforming – and “lets hope they don’t go on another world tour”) on BBC news. These two public figures are perhaps not to blame because they reflect wider held attitudes but it is not surprising that Eurosceptism and Nationalist politics is so pervasive at the moment with the prevalence of casual references to them in the media.

  24. Anon E Mouse

    Nationalist politics are the same as they’ve always been. It’s why the French protect their culture so well. It’s why the European Cup works. Who cares? All jokes are anti something or someone but who cares?

    Clarkson is funny. That’s why he’s successful. He won’t stop what he does and why should he? Ignore him.

    Compared to pompous middle class humour, such as the Now Show on Radio 4 (why do they keep recommissioning that crap – who does it?), he is positively hilarious.

    Most people ignore Gordon Brown and although he won’t go away until six months from now (mercifully) there is always an OFF button on your TV.

    “Gaps In The Dialogue” is a great name mind 🙂

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