It seems that the BBC is likely to achieve one of its most cherished aims, the silencing of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson. The fact that Clarkson is the wildly popular host of the BBC’s most popular program means nothing to the humourless Stalinists who run the BBC. Clarkson does not toe the politically correct line so he must be eliminated.
Why should this matter to conservatives? For the very simple reason that Clarkson is virtually the only dissenting voice left on the BBC. He is just about the only person you’re going to see on BBC television not pushing the monolithic PC line.
I was rather surprised by the hostility towards Clarkson displayed by Peter Hitchens (a man for whom I have enormous respect). Hitchens’ argument appears to come down to this – Clarkson is not a real conservative, or even if he is a conservative he’s not the right sort of conservative, therefore he doesn’t matter. It seems to me that Hitchens is missing the point. It doesn’t matter what Clarkson’s actual political views are. Any dissenting voice is valuable. And the stilling of any dissenting voice matters. It matters a great deal. If we cherish freedom of speech we must cherish the freedom of speech of others, even if their opinions do not coincide precisely with our own.
I hope the day does not come when conservatives have to say, “First they came for Jeremy Clarkson and I did not speak because he was the wrong sort of conservative.”