I had to switch the computer on and write this blog because of the first question on Question Time. The question was "do the panel feel that Jeremy Clarkson should be prosecuted for his comments about strikers and if found guilty should he be taken outside and shot?" This joke was met by widespread approval, with applause and laughter.
The first to answer was Deborah Meaden who added to the humour by saying that we should forget about the prosecution bit and just take him outside and shoot him. She didn't like what he said, it was an awful thing to say and it wasn't funny. Yet she has just been laughing at exactly the same joke when it was directed at Clarkson, and she made a similar joke. She either thinks this joke is funny or she doesn't and for me her body language was stronger than the words that came out of her mouth.
The second to answer was Mary Bousted, a trade union leader who didn't want to be "po-faced about this" and then she was po-faced about this because she had been to a country where people had been shot for being members of a trade union. She obviously finds Jeremy's comments plausible rather than humorous and because of this his comments were unacceptable. As for me, I can't believe that people in this county can fail to see that Jeremy was trying to be funny - even people who have visited Colombia. She asked if you replaced the word strikers for another group of people then would you still see it as funny. Well the questioner did replace the word strikers with Clarkson and it was funny.
Even Ken Clarke felt it was a really bad taste joke but admitted that the question was funny and had been laughing when the question was put. He failed to see that it was the same joke but he was right when he said the indignation was mock.
The real point (which happened to be the second question) is about disagreeing or agreeing with the strikers. We should not shoot them, that was just a joke, but many agree with Jeremy and feel that the strikers were wrong. This really was a non-question. We should not be thinking about prosecuting Jeremy Clarkson and we shouldn't be thinking about shooting him - unless of course it is a joke.
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