The £147 BBC Licence Fee Is a Tax on the Poor to Pay for Chris Evans’ Latest Ferrari

In order to protect the £2.25million salary of an irritating millionaire, squads of bullies are paid to hunt down those who don’t pay the unfair fee.

WOULD you rather go to prison than contribute to Chris Evans’ next vintage Ferrari?

Preposterously, this is a genuine choice.

Chris Evans
GOFF PHOTOS. Is it fair that people can be thrown in jail for refusing to pay for Chris Evans’ next luxury car?

Suppose last year you accidentally watched his brief, disastrous stint as ­Jeremy Clarkson’s replacement on Top Gear, and suppose in disgust you had refused to pay your £147 BBC licence fee.

First you’d have been given a fine of up to £1,000 — and if you still couldn’t, or wouldn’t, cough up then next you’d face a stint behind bars and a criminal record.

Is this fair? To anyone outside Britain, it’s not just unfair but sheer insanity.

The marvellous thing about our ancient justice system, we’re always told, is that it protects rich and poor without fear or favour.

Yet here we have a situation in which, in order to protect the £2.25million (approx) salary of an irritating millionaire, squads of bullies are paid to hunt down defaulters with such aggression and zeal you’d think they were hunting fugitive serial killers.

Read the rest in the Sun.

Graphic Novels Are Produced by Sad Blokes Stuck in Arrested Adolescence

Plus: Why the BBC’s new Top Gear is doomed to fail.

Top Gear with Chris Evans

Sometimes I wonder whether, of all the literary genres, graphic novels aren’t the most stupidly overrated. I can say this because I’m old enough to remember when they were just this obscure thing you had to seek out in specialist stores like Forbidden Planet, understood only by pale, nerdy teens and twenty-somethings who felt superior to, but unappreciated by, the real world outside.

Then Watchmen came along and spoiled the party in much the same way Britpop ruined indie. Suddenly, graphic novels became everyone’s domain. See how the Guy Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta (Alan Moore was the author; David Lloyd the illustrator) has become almost as recognisable a global symbol as the McDonald’s golden arches. See how they took over the Batman franchise, with all that trademark brooding grimness, and chiaroscuro and spectacular ultraviolence.

As an early fan, reared on 2000 AD, I’d say there’s lots about the comic-book genre for which we should be grateful: the riotously cynical dystopianism of the Judge Dredd sagas; the exuberance and inventiveness of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; the wit of D.R. & Quinch; and, more recently, the joyous fun-violent escapism of Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass and Kingsman. Also, I do bloody wish they’d get on and make a movie of Fiends of the Eastern Front.

My goodness, though, there’s a lot of Emperor’s New Clothes pseudery and — let’s be honest — visual and literary incomprehensibility we’ve had to put up with on the way. While it was a cult, this was forgivable. But now that the graphic novel has become so revered that it even gets studied on university courses, its limitations deserve closer scrutiny. Basically, it’s a load of depressive wank produced by sad blokes stuck in arrested adolescence with dodgy left-wing politics to match, who are too petulant and self-regarding to follow the conventions of naturalistic storytelling, and with an understanding of human psychology about as sophisticated as Kevin the teenager’s.

I’m not sure exactly where Garth Ennis’s late-Nineties Preacher series fits on this scale but it certainly embodies most of the genre’s faults and weaknesses. On the upside, all the significant characters are memorable and arresting: Cassidy, the hard-drinking tattooed Irish vampire with the interesting haircut; Arseface, who tried to blow his head off in the manner of his hero Kurt Cobain, and now has a puckered hole where his mouth should be; and Jesse Custer, the small-town Texas preacher, whose USP isn’t just that he is tortured and extremely handy with his fists, but that he has actually been possessed by a mighty angel-demon entity called Genesis, the sum of whose powers are greater than God’s.

More powerful than God: that’s quite a big deal for any plotline to bear because it means that literally anything can happen. It’s like magic realism, only worse. The author is freed from all constraints of verisimilitude — the whole exercise can be like his personal acid trip. But do we want to experience anyone else’s personal acid trip any more than we’re interested in hearing someone’s dream recounted over breakfast? This is my problem with Preacher — as it is with the entire superhero genre. Perhaps I’m being an old fuddy-duddy, but I believe that the greatest literature is the product of its characters’ limitations: Emma and her snobbish self-regard; Pierre being a semi-mystical, excessively idealistic drunken arse. These novels are involving because they tell us about the nature of life. X-Men and so on just comprise bundles of intense characteristics bashing into one another noisily and ad infinitum.

Read the rest at the Spectator.

Jeremy Clarkson Chops off His Own Balls

Dan Kitwood/Getty

Jeremy Clarkson has just lopped off his privates in public.

It wasn’t an edifying sight.

I’m trying to think of an analogy that captures the enormity of what Clarkson has just done. In terms of sheer cringeworthiness, I suppose it would be that sick but oddly compelling documentary I saw the other night called Dan’s 80lb Testicle, about a man with an unfeasibly large growth on his undercarriage which he had to lumber round the streets of LA using an upside down hoodie.

In terms of pusillanimity, it would be something along the lines of Sir Francis Drake on the bowling green at Plymouth looking down at the Spanish Armada and saying: “You know what, me hearties? Let’s get in our ships, sharpish, and sail off somewhere nice and safe, like the other side of the world. It’s plain as a pikestaff that England is lost.”

In terms of nauseating, oleaginous, social climbing disgustingness it’s like Uriah Heep on his knees ever so ‘umbly presenting a BBC tribute to the late Princess of Wales, filmed at Althorp with  hour long interviews with Earl Spencer and Tony Blair with songs by Sir Elton John performed by the children of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, entitled “Still Queen of All our Hearts.” On Brown Nose Day.

Really, though, there is no metaphor or image or simile on earth quite dramatic enough to capture the shaming spinelessness, the platitudinous vapidity, the intellectual feebleness, the surrender-the-pass cowardliness of the piece Clarkson wrote yesterday in the Sunday Times “explaining” why, all things considered, he thinks it’s a good idea for Britain to remain in the European Union.

Here is an extract to give you a taste.

Whether I’m sitting in a railway concourse in Brussels or pottering down the canals of southwestern France or hurtling along a motorway in Croatia, I feel way more at home than I do when I’m trying to get something to eat in Dallas or Sacramento. I love Europe, and to me that’s important.

I’m the first to acknowledge that so far the EU hasn’t really worked. We still don’t have standardised electrical sockets, and every member state is still out for itself, not the common good. This is the sort of thing that causes many people to think, “Well, let’s just leave and look after ourselves in future.”

I get that. I really do. And after I’d watched Hannan’s speech, that’s briefly how I felt too. But, actually, isn’t it better to stay in and try to make the damn thing work properly? To create a United States of Europe that functions as well as the United States of America? With one army and one currency and one unifying set of values?

So Jeremy Clarkson’s arguments for Britain remaining in the European Union boil down to two things.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Why Losing Clarkson Is the BBC’s Biggest Mistake Since Keeping Jimmy Savile – James Delingpole

March 28, 2015

This isn’t so much a piece about Jeremy Clarkson as about all the other celebrities the BBC employs who aren’t Jeremy Clarkson. I call them the “Wankerati.”
Here are some examples:

Ian Hislop; Dara O’Briaiaiaan; Brian “PermaSmile Astro Boy” Cox; Bill Oddie; Russell Howard; Simon Singh; Noel Fielding; Marcus Brigstocke; Jeremy Hardy; everyone else on the News Quiz; the unfunny has-beens from the Now Show whose names I can’t be bothered to look up; Chris Packham; Rick Edwards; Graham Linehan; Lenny Henry; Emily Maitlis; Ian Katz; David Mitchell; Russell Howard; Bill Bailey; Jo Brand; Monty Don; Simon Schama; Russell Howard….

As you can see, the list is by no means complete because it needs to include more or less everyone at the BBC who isn’t Jeremy Clarkson. Some of you may be concerned at the fact that Russell Howard doesn’t appear nearly often enough for one so lame and annoying. Others may be perturbed by the presence of presenters they admire – such as, maybe, Ian Hislop who, I’d quite agree, is really, really good at fronting programmes on Victorian hymns, World War I or railway timetables.

But this isn’t about talent – or lack of – it’s about personal politics. Everyone on that list ranges in outlook from the nauseatingly bien-pensant to the rabidly left-wing, to the point where you could fairly confidently predict their position on any number of topics from Nigel Farage, Israel/Palestine and global warming all the way through to mildly racist jokes, foxhunting, bankers, positive discrimination and the European Union. Oh, and Jeremy Clarkson, of course. Few, if any of the people on that list would be able to find much good to say about Jeremy Clarkson. Which, of course, is one of the reasons why the BBC’s sacking of Clarkson is going to turn out to be such a massive mistake. He was the one major talent in the entire organisation who wasn’t like all the others…

And till Clarkson’s nemesis BBC Controller of TV Danny Cohen came along, the BBC appears instinctively to have understood his value. Not his commercial value (the BBC likes to think it’s above such vulgarities) but rather his propaganda value. Top Gear was the BBC’s equivalent of a Potemkin Village or – a bit of Clarksonesque bad taste here, why not? – those films the Nazis used to make of jolly, well-fed Jews playing in orchestras and sitting in cafes near their delightful new living quarters in the Warsaw Ghetto. Any time unhelpful people started banging on about the BBC’s entrenched left-wing bias and maddening political correctness, all the Beeb had to do was point at the self-evidently notleft-wing and not PC Top Gear as proof of the contrary.

Till the BBC sacked Clarkson, my view was that they were going to get away this game for many years hence. But now I am not so sure.

Over a million people signed that petition urging the BBC to reinstate Clarkson. A fair proportion of them, I suspect, will belong to precisely that demographic the BBC finds most embarrassing: white, obviously; probably Thatcherite in outlook, but quite fond of Nigel Farage; highly sceptical of “global warming”; petrolheads, again obviously; not averse to telling the odd racist joke when they’re with their mates, not so much because they have anything against “coloured” people (as they probably call them, not knowing the correct term) but more as a reaction against political correctness; might not have gone to “uni” because they could tell it was a complete waste of time. People who – at least in the BBC’s Weltanschauung – are pretty much beyond the pale.

Unfortunately for the BBC, however, these disgusting, frightful people, very few of whom live anywhere civilised like North London or have ever knowingly eaten cavolo nero, represent a much larger percentage of the population than any of the worthy groups it would prefer to cater to (the “Asian” community; gay people; disabled people; Roma; environmentalists; activists; etc). While Top Gear was on – the modern equivalent of “bread and circuses” – this mob were kept at bay. But with Top Gear gone, they may incline to feel that they have been cheated – like a serially abused child whose one and only toy has finally snatched away from him by his prissy, unloving, perma-stubbled, tofu-eating stepfather.

In short, for many years the BBC has been living a lie. It has pretended – as its Charter requires of it – that it’s for everyone when really it has continually and ruthlessly shut out any presenters, programmes or opinions which don’t fit into its narrow, metropolitan, left-liberal narrative. And what the Clarkson sacking has done is brought this issue to a head. Also – a bit like Gamergate did for gamers – it has woken large numbers of people who hadn’t hitherto thought of themselves as particularly political into an appreciation of how badly they’ve been conned and abused by a narrow, self-selecting and very political elite who despise them.

Read the brilliant pay-off at Breitbart London

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Comedian Frankie Boyle Is a Bully and a Politically Correct Coward. Wish I’d Never Stood up for Him

‘Outspoken comic Frankie Boyle has called on the BBC to sack “cultural tumour” Jeremy Clarkson.’

Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this opening sentence from a recent news report?

Clue: it’s that first word. In order to qualify as ‘outspoken’, surely, you need to be the kind of person who fearlessly, frequently and vociferously sets himself in opposition to the clamour of the times.

Does demanding that a public figure lose his job for some mildly sexist/racist/homophobic/ableist remark fit into that category? Hardly. In the current climate it’s about as heroically contentious as, say, a private school prospectus that promises ‘We believe in educating the whole person’; or a sign at a Co-op declaring its commitment to social justice, diversity and sustainability; or a Conservative Prime Minister declaring that three letters — NHS — are engraved on his heart.

The only mildly interesting aspect of the statement is that Frankie Boyle is not, contrary to all impressions, a junior policy co-ordinator at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, nor the head of diversity at a firm of chartered accountants, nor yet the health inequalities, disability and lesbian affairs officer at Strathclyde council. Amazingly — don’t laugh, because it really ain’t funny — Frankie Boyle is one of Britain’s most successful comedians.

Read the rest at The Spectator

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