How Clarkson brought out the Partridge in Coogan.

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.

28 thoughts on “How Clarkson brought out the Partridge in Coogan.

  1. Clarkson doesn’t remind me of a classroom bully, he makes me think of the naughty boy at the back of the class, always brewing mischief and trying to dodge getting the cane.

    Cougan reminds me of the spotty “I’m telling teacher of yeeew!” sneak.


  2. The Clarkson Show is just too sycophantic most of the time to put up with. Supposed journalists relying on racial humour is laziness and just means they don’t have to do any real research. If it’s an un-pc comedy then rebrand it otherwise at least have some presenters who understand basic mechanics.


  3. Accurately and hilariously put John, thank you.

    Coogan (who, in his Paul Calf incarnation, is sexist and anti-“student”) seems to be one of those people who find themselves able to say, without blinking, “I believe in free speech, but….”. It’s free speech or it’s nothing Old Sport, now piss off and have another think.


  4. Brilliant. Where would “THAT Was The Week That Was” be in today’s world? Please also remember if am right my understanding about your reference to, “the C-word,” please remember that they are useful.

    McDicko speaks


  5. Anthony

    I do tweet – @nbyward

    What you say is blindingly obvious, and for some reason I missed it – so thank you.

    By the way, without going all girlie here, my full name is John Anthony Ward.


  6. John

    Once again this is a case of the PC brigade (and the Mexican Ambassador) having a sense-of-humour bypass. In the past I seem to recall cartoons of the feckless Mexican stereotype (Speedy Gonzales?) going unremarked.

    If you watch Top Gear (as the Mexican Ambassador or someone within the Embassy does) you know what to expect. Therefore you shouldn’t get upset by the remarks of the threesome (and wasn’t it The Hamster who made the remark not Clarkson?) – it’s all good laddish humour that attracts nearly 7 million viewers each week. People have control of their viewing – it’s called the remote or the off button – if they don’t like it, use one of them.

    You are right about Clarkson – he does say it like it is and all power to his elbow for doing so. His is a lone voice of sanity in a world of PCness that is losing its grip on commonsense. Long may he, and his partners in Top Gear continue to entertain and, occasionally offend. (Personally I was more offended by some of Coogan’s comments and attitude in “The Trip”).

    Rod Liddle summed the situation up far better than I can in his Sunday Times column today. Good on you Rod – don’t always agree with you but today: Spot On!


  7. Wardy, old bean,

    This is all very well, but Clarkson and his chums sounded as if they were trapped in Esher Conservative Club, in cavalry twills, blazers and cravattes, in 1956.

    That’s Harry Enfield’s and Paul Whitehouse’s job.


  8. Ah John, you are truly unique. I mean there’s no-one else out there who’s willing to prick the pompousness of the liberal, leftie, pc-brigade. There’s not a single other middle-aged bore out there who’s willing to drone on endlessly about his latest little beef with the imaginary “pc brigade”.
    Once upon a time the English conservative was a remarkable, proud & dignified man. Now all he can do is moan incessantly about the broken pavements, and the taxi driver with the funny accent, and the lefty, liberal, media, salad-eating, tree-hugging idiots who are ruining everything. Bury your head in the Mail and then re-type what they tell you here on your wonderful blog. Like-minded Mail readers are in awe of your wit & originality.


  9. You don’t actually watch Top Gear, do you? Otherwise you’d have known it was Richard Hammond who made most of the comments you quote. Though Clarkson did make the joke about Mexican food being “refried sick”, something I would go along with.

    Another thing is that Coogan and Clarkson are best mates, or at least were. Maybe Steve is just helping to take the piss out of the people who are actively looking for something to be outraged about. Giving the mixture another stir.

    Lastly, Clarkson has always played a larger than life version of himself, because at heart he is a satirist, holding up an extreme version of views so that we may laugh at them, and therefore see how ridiculous those views are.


  10. Rob
    This is the correct answer. How appalling that the choice is between the ECC and the PC.
    Twixt us girls, however, Coogan is a prick.


  11. Hate to disappoint you, but I never miss Top Gear. And having met Clarkson a couple of times, the off-screen version is rude and up himself: he is to satire what Ed Miliband is to style.

    But at least he’s honest. He just needs to get measured for a pair of long trousers.


  12. Why thank you for that, Mr Whinge.
    By the way, one is either unique (comme moi) or not.

    Thank you for recommending the Daily Mail: every time I read it from now on, I shall think of you.


  13. Whats the difference between Clarkson’s script taking the piss out of Mexicans and a Coogan script which called all Irish people terrorists, toothless simpletons and have eyebrows on top fo their cheeks?

    Seems Coogan besides being an enormous arsehole, is a bit of a hypocrite too.


  14. Well I defer to your advanced knowledge, John. But you are right about Ed the Head — not so much bad style as lack of any style at all. And he can’t pronounce his “T’s” properly.

    “We need to renova’ our Ci’y Cen’res.”


    “You know — make them be”er.”


  15. Bit late to this and I think I agree with it. Bit disappointed that you didn’t criticise the bankers. Now I will have to go and read your other posts.


  16. Coogan did around the world in 80 days, which was woeful, and one of 2 films I’ve ever left and didn’t bother asking for my money back. Clarkson gets more viewers in a week than Coogan has yet to manage for any film or tv show Coogan has ever been involved in. They used to be freinds and perhaps they still are, but the obvious jealousy of Coogan for Clarkson’s fame and the relevance of how he uses his car show, which is one of the top watched shows in the world. Clarkson gets to use this medium to point out all the stupid hypocrisies and insanity of the modern world, which is just a little bit to concerned with feelings, which is apparently mistaken for love. You can love something or someone and still bash it horribly. Coogan said it himself “you can only make fun of something you truly love”


  17. Interesting article. I agree that we don’t need to be told what to think by leftie hypocites like Coogan constantly looking for moral high ground.
    In fact, Coogan’s article shows more bigotry to Mexicans than the comments made by the Top Gear presenters.
    I’m sure Mexicans are more than capable of looking after themselves without being patronised by the likes of Coogan with his liberal leftie agenda. To patronise them in the way he did shows outrageous bigotry on his behalf.


  18. Why bother to comment on either of these two. Clarkson always comes across as someone who is trying to be macho, but having come up against and dealt with the school bully in my day I’d say he was not the genuine article. I would suggest he was soft as a boy, hence the interest in cars rather than say boxing, he’d rather pit one machine against another than put himself in the ring. Today of course, he tries to cultivate a macho image, but he’s playing a part and as I can see through it he must be playing it rather badly.Programs about cars are for overgrown boys,grown men play with more interesting toys. As for the comedian, well I doubt it was any more than an off the cuff remark. I’ve never watched Top Gear, in fact I haven’t watched the television for years,who does, but I would say it plays to the gallery, in other words, it caters to those who follow, and Clarkson, like Steven Fry, like to think they are some sort of crusader for a disenfranchised minority. Fair enough, let them both enjoy there day, royalty must stick together.


  19. No, I think you over react. Coogans left wing slant balances Clarksons right wing bias and his comments were more chivalrous than partisan I suspect. Old fashioned Englishmen never made comments about other nations publicly,they may have thought plenty but the didn’t open their mouths to fill up other peoples, which is in effect what this Clarkson man does all the time so I’m told. The best way to avoid clashes of this sort in the future would be for Clarkson to show other nations a little more respect. There’s nothing left wing about polite behaviour.


  20. Having looked this Clarkson chap up I would question your assertion that he’s a satirist. I would tend to think he is to satire what Bernard Manning is to ballet dancing.


  21. I should be wary of confusing quantity with quality. I don’t watch Top Gear and I don’t follow Coogan but to assume that either must be good because they draw a large crowd is to misunderstand human nature. The lower the element the larger the crowd is a good maxim. A street scrap will draw a bigger crowd than poetry reading any day.There is always more sediment at the bottom of the bucket than at the top.


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