Steve Coogan’s Mexico ‘slur’ article is a classic of pc hypocrisy.
The Mexican stand-off just beginning between Steve Coogan and the Top Gear team (most notably School Bully Jeremy Clarkson) may seem like just another piece of media-watching-media-luvvies bollocks. But it’s about a lot more than that – if you judge it as I do: another episode in the fight for Britain’s grasp on reality.
I would normally say (if asked) that Coogan and Clarkson are merely a couple of C-words, but give Jeremy his due, one thing he isn’t is a hypocrite: what you see is what you get, and although you might not like it, it’s not a mask….there is little sense of affectation about the Top Gear presenter’s underlying views.
My objection to JC has always been based on his childish laddism. Some of it is amusing, and some of it is tedious. There are enough half-grown men in the world as it is without giving encouragement to any more. Clarkson’s socio-political views are a different matter: he says what many people and few extremists think, in that he uses his eyes and reports back via the media. The continuation of this tradition is vital to the survival of freedom of expression.
For those watching closely, his 2009 go at Brown as ‘a one-eyed idiot’ turned out to be 100% correct. But recognising that some disabled people would feel abused by it, he apologised. I wouldn’t have done, but that’s another argument for another day. This year so far, it is worth noting that Jeremy and his lads took the merciless piss out of Australians in a recent episode – and nobody batted an eyelid. Having done so (the recording took place before the recent floods and storms) Clarkson took the time to slot in a heartfelt riff about the Australian tragedy, and made a point of assuring the Aussies he had no desire to offend.
But this time it’s different. Clarkson took an archetype of most people’s feelings about Mexicans, and got a big laugh from the audience…after which the usual rentacall battalions rang the Beeb to say how awful it was. Thank goodness, thus far Jeremy has told the mob to naff off by writing another even more ‘offensive’ gag in The Sun.
Equally predictably, the mad Harman laws are now being invoked, in that lawyers for a Mexican woman living in London have demanded Top Gear be taken off the air and want an investigation into his ‘lazy, feckless, flatulent’ aspersions cast upon the average Gonzales.
Enter professionally ‘progressive’ Luvvie Steve Coogan. Writing in today’s Observer (where else?) he attacked the laddish sexism of the show, and blasted the derogatory comments about Mexicans as ‘misjudged, ignorant and typical’. Assuming that Steve meant typical of Clarkson rather than Mexicans, the left of centre comic jumped on the King’s Speech bandwagon by adding that the Top Gear team were the sort of chaps who would “beat up the boy with the stutter”.
I’d think that this last silly (and quite wrong) observation may well be libellous, but you’d stand a long time waiting for Clarkson to be litigious: his response to Piers Morgan’s insults was a thick ear, a punishment that delighted many in show business – where Morgan’s anagramatic nickname is Romping Arse.
However, working on the basis of the facts as we know them, The Slog would like to ask and then answer two questions: is Coogan a hypocrite? And even allowing for that being so, is he right to make a fuss anyway?
Hypocrisy is the criticism of vices to which one is secretly addicted. So if he hates laddish sexism so much, Steve should tell his audience for this nonsense why he has been a serially unfaithful husband, and user of sexist services for his personal amusement.
His marriage to society beauty Caroline Hickman ended after just 18 months, when Coogan was caught with two lapdancers called Joanne and Jenny.
He was also dumped by the mother of his nine-year-old daughter, solicitor Anna Cole, back in the Nineties, after affairs with not one but three women – including a topless model, who later revealed how Coogan flung £5,000 in £10 notes on his bed and told her: “Lie on them. Go on, lie on them.”
All sounds a bit laddish to me. Allegedly.
Coogan’s main beef of course was the Mexico slur, and here the Groucho regular is on a firmer wicket. For over the years, Steve has been an enthusiastic purchaser of products from the central American region. His former lover Courtney Love claims that the comedian’s selfless support for Mexican exports was so great, he spent most days ramming them up his nose. And while she can be dismissed as a woman scorned, other acquaintances of mine around the environs of Groucholand tell me he’s been known to get over-excited and speak very quickly at times, often using his catchphrases “a-ha” and “back of the net” while under the influence of Mexican mind-alteration.
However, although he may be Cocaine Coogan the Slapper-shagger, that shouldn’t alter our judgement if the bloke is making a fair point: is what Clarkson said atypical of Mexicans, and ignorant?
To which the correct answer is ‘no’. And this is where the reality battle comes to the fore in my assessment of what’s being played out here.
When in 2005, Iqbal Sacranie’s Muslim Council tried to twist Tony Blair’s arm into passing a law banning criticism of Islam ‘whether it be true or not’, the horror of the 5/5 bombings intervened in the nick of time to bring the former PM to his senses. My point here is very simple: compared to many other countries, Mexico is a shambolic, financially incontinent, criminally dangerous place where just the standard of buildings once you arrive make it clear to anyone of sound mind that a degree of laziness has been involved in their construction.
I would further declare my complete belief in the fecklessness of drug lords, and that Mexican food makes me fart. It may not have that effect on them – but if not, then somebody needs to explain to me the gastro-enteritic science as to why.
Failure to face up to such realities has got us into all kinds of trouble recently. It has enabled extreme Islam to take a hold in Britain (although David Cameron has at last tackled that), and it enabled the foolish architects of the euro to trust dodgey cultures when it came to reporting about their misuse of cheap money.
Ahah I hear the Left say, so you’re having a crack at the Irish now? Not at all: Slog posts show my unserving support for the Irish…and I’ve never seen anywhere in Ireland that gives one the same feeling of ramshackle brick arrangement one gets on entering Mexico. I’ve also never had threats to cut my fingers off for the rings in Dublin, but I have in Mexico City.
We come back to what has been my bottom line on ‘racism’ since I began blogging in 2003: the word is both a red herring and a red rag to the Leftie Bull. Clarkson’s remarks were about a culture, the aspects of which are there for anyone to see or read up on at their leisure. The truth is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t stop it from being the truth. We came last in the World Cup bid last year because we started from a daft, pc assumption: that the other cultures involved would behave in the way our culture would prefer to.
I am not now and have never been a racist. But I am a culturalist: I do not believe that all the world’s cultures make an equal contribution to mankind, and everyone who agrees with me should cry foul whenever the mad folks of Labour try to blind us to the obvious science about this.
So stand your ground, Jezzer: for once, I’m with you. And I suspect that – in the privacy of their Sunday papers – most British people are too.