I am ashamed to admit that Jeremy Clarkson is a Yorkshireman. Yesterday, live on BBC's early evening "One Show", he said of public sector strikers: "I'd have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families." This may have been Clarkson's Gerald Ratner moment. I sincerely hope so.
Remember Ratner, owner of a chain of successful high street jewellers? It was at a meeting of the Institute of Managers in 1991 that he said of the stock in his shops: "People say 'How can you sell it for such a low price?' I say, 'Because it's total crap!' ".
In that moment his business was lost. Sales figures plummeted. Ordinary people with humble aspirations felt somehow insulted by Ratner's arrogant assertion, as if they were just pawns in his money-making enterprise. They voted with their feet and within a few short months Ratner's Jewellers disappeared from our high streets.
Opinionated and insensitive Clarkson has been making a comfortable living courtesy of the BBC which is of course funded by the British people. I have never liked him and never watch his inane "Top Gear" programme which glorifies the car industry, speed and schoolboy prankery. For some reason, the boorish presenter has developed a cult following - mainly of other men who similarly dislike playing by the rules even as they live their nine-to-five lives in obscure suburbia.
No. Clarkson's not for me and yesterday he may have gone a bridge too far in deriding working people who form the backbone of this great country - people who work for the public good - school cleaners, environmental health officers, nursing auxiliaries, care workers, firemen, police officers and the like. Unsung people who work hard week after week, often in trying circumstances while Clarkson okays his latest Christmas DVD or test drives the latest Ferrari. Why the hell shouldn't they, in a democratic society, tell the government where to stick their unfair proposals for the public sector?
I wish there was some way that Clarkson could have his Yorkshireman status rescinded. He looks and sounds like a southern old Etonian softie. People like him reveal the true character of hardened Tory voters, behind their masks and weasel words. He doesn't deserve his job with the BBC. Let him go elsewhere - perhaps to News International or better still to downtown Tehran. You've gone too far this time Jezza!
LATEST: Apparently Clarkson has this evening made a grudging apology for his reprehensible remark - no doubt seeking to avoid being sacked whilst privately defending his ignorant point of view.