Saturday, September 23, 2006

How Hitchens can Emulate the Hefferlump

Things are looking up for David Cameron. In his Telegraph column today, Simon Heffer doesn't slag him off. OK, he doesn't mention him at all, but that in itself is progress. All DC needs now is for Peter Hitchens to emulate Heffer in tomorrow's Mail on Sunday, or at least avoid using his extremely tedious 'useless Tories' phrase, and DC's weekend will be complete. Ain't life grand?

Simon Heffer also achieves a notable first today - a column where I agree with every word he writes. I'm not sure if that is more worrying for him or me, but this piece in particular appealed to me, as I too am a car lover and Top Gear fan...

We all have to have some vices, and mine is Top Gear. It has long struck me as the last outpost of politically incorrect programming on mainstream TV. I love the jokes about inferior foreign cars, the cruel banter with members of the audience, the puerile rivalry among the presenters and, above all, the sheer joy of being environmentally unfriendly with high-speed, gas-guzzling motors. Yet it is the way in which Top Gear accepts risk as a normal part of life, and the two fingers it puts up to the national obsession with health and safety, that most endears it to me. I do hope the ghastly accident that befell Richard Hammond this week does not spell the end of this wonderful entertainment: but I rather fear, once the jobsworths have done their worst, that it will.

And I defy you to read THIS Jeremy Clarkson column in today's Sun without laughing out loud and getting misty eyed. Brilliant stuff.

22 comments:

Peter Hitchens said...

Dont count on it.

Andrew Woodman said...

I love the 'Neil Lyndon — that’s you, you sanctimonious, rent-a-soundbite little t**d' quote.

I do hope it doesn't get taken off air. Only decent programme on TV on a Sunday night throughtout the year.

f.r. said...

The paper reviewer from the Sunday Telegraph on Sky this morning took rather a different view of the Clarkson article. A precis: Clarkson doesn't care that much - he was at a party on night of accident, article is self-serving as he is trying to save tv job,other journalists would have given fee for article to charity. Ah well.

james higham said...

Truly wonderful programme. Truly wonderful and so sad about the hamster, my favourite. It was on account of these gentlemen that I found myself in the North Yorkshire forest, sipping Drambuie at 5 a.m., waiting for vehicles to fly by on that stage of the rally.

Peter Black said...

The claim that this is almost certainly the world’s fastest ever car crash must be in dispute however. Donald Campbell was doing well over 300mph when he crashed in his Bluebird K7 on Coniston Water in 1967.

Iain Dale said...

Peter, I think you'll find Donald Campbell wasn't in a car on Coniston Water!

Andrew Woodman said...

Lib Dem education spokesman fails to tell difference between car and boat.

Some tabloid journos could have a field day with that.

houndtang said...

I would have thought Cameron would welcome being slagged off by Heffer and Hitchens, the Statler and Waldorf of right wing politics.

newmania said...

Aha, the Elephants are at their ballet in Fantasia again. This would be the inexcusably large Heffer trying to be chatty and normal both of which qualities he is entirely without. Top Gear has always been over rated by those who think we have a British PJ O Rourke. We do not, what we actually have is an Esther Rantzen for men …and finally Cyril and finally Esther an amusing (?) anecdote about cars ….yawn. .I `m not playing this Richard Hammond is the new Lady Di game, I didn’t play the original one and my integrity and rightness will allow no such slip into the maudlin. Richard Hammond was a desperate man, he was as desperate,as agent Smith , to copy himself , endlessly into our lives .He embarked on this utterly stupid and `Faustian` project because the show was running out of steam. It had nothing to do with cars and everything to do with a career badly in need of a new outlet. If anyone recalls any of his stultifying remarks on Physics you can see how bad it had become.

`That force pushing on my back … That’s physics that is …. ` Well no actually physics is a process of study by which we understand, oh never mind…
Any pain is to be regretted but as that does not exclusively apply to famous people and life is finite I do hope we aren’t going to go all silly again… Also Jeremy Clarkson has, on several occasions described Conservatives as `mad` and will therefore go to hell. I admit it, I received that Clarkson nonsense for Christmas, it’s in the loo, and it looks at me as if to say `Ever got the feeling you’ve been had` on a regular basis. For real quality irreverent writing of this sort we are a fetid backwater compared to the US. (Another of Clarkson’s brainless targets)
Am I harsh, Oh really? Well look out for the toe curling attempts by the twerp Clarkson to resuscitate his career ala Noel Edmunds. Car enthusiasts everywhere, grow up get a bike and get a little action in. I can leave any of you in my dust .V V V V VVVVVVVVRRRRROOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!

Peter Hitchens said...

Iain Dale said...
Peter, I think you'll find Donald Campbell wasn't in a car on Coniston Water!

Maybe he was Iain, that may explain why he sank. (+:

Peter Black said...

Right, that is what comes from obsessing on the speed of the accident without thinking about its nature. Must learn how to use google properly!

raincoaster said...

But Iain, do you mean the real Peter Hitchens, or that one who writes for the Mail on Sunday?

Sam Tarran said...

Top Gear seems to be a big thorn in the side of the nanny-state. What happened to Richard Hammond was a big shock, but he was doing what he does best.

Long live blokish fun.

wonderful for his age said...

In his article in today's Daily Telegraph, Simon Heffer wrote:

I have long been of the view that professional football exists for two main reasons. First, it keeps more or less under control various people who would otherwise be in prison (though that may not be true for much longer). Also, it helps make other dubious people, such as politicians, feel good about themselves. I keep hoping that the endless squalid tales about "the beautiful game", and the bovine conduct of seemingly everyone involved with it, will one day lead to its being banned. Until then, and since we are always now looking for new things to tax heavily, isn't this an obvious target?

In a post to his blog earlier today, Iain Dale wrote:

Simon Heffer also achieves a notable first today - a column where I agree with every word he writes.

Shome Mishtake Shurely?

Iain Dale said...

Wonderful for his age - yes, you are quite right, I take it all back. I missed that one! I should have known it was too good to last

Newmania said...

wonderful for his age - I rather agreed with him about Europe the other day. It was first for me .

F0ul said...

They can play about with our liberties, ban foxhunting, introduce fingerprinting of our children and take us to war over a lie - but if they take Top Gear off the air - I would seriously consider emulating the original Guido!

And no, newmedia, it isn't really a car programme anymore, but as a biker - I still watch it because anything with an engine on TV is worth watching (and my bike's faster than yours!)!!

Philipa said...

Good link Iain. Heard about crash and was most concerned. Good article by Clarkson I thought. Honesty best policy. Sincerely hope they don't shut them down. I enjoy the prog it's true, one of the few progs I truly enjoy. But I do hope they don't pull the plug. I've had a serious road accident and suffered a brain injury - Richard Hammond doesn't need that guilt trip. He needs time. Time and patience and forgiveness/understanding if he's not quite the same person he was before. He'll be there somewhere. I hope they keep a welcome for him and trust they will. I think it would be better if he wasn't tempted to feel responsible for ending the prog.

I don't suppose Peter Jonathan (little bro) Hitchens would understand as he hates cars and hates driving. But perhaps Iain you could ask him about HIS days on a motorbike with long hair, and suggest a real rebel yell in his column, instead of a grumpy Hitch-bitch?

Adrian Yalland said...

My wife is bored stiff by cars - but I love em - even though I am a bit of an eco warrior! But she LOVES top gear - as do I. It is the best TV show on air at this time - and I think we should start a 'keep Top Gear' website to counteract the twats that wan't to wrap the whole world in cotton wool and clingfilm! Any takers.

Good old Clarkson (who would be a very fine president of Great Britain) for pointing out that they come up with the stunts (like the exploding caravans and car football), and are usually held back by the pen pushers at the beeb!

Also, I bet a fiver that Hampster will be back behind the wheel/joystick/lever of a vampire in the not too distant future.

Glad to hear you are on the mend Hammy!

Adrian Yalland said...

Peter - a car has wheels (they are usually noticable because they are round and covered in rubber). Campbell was piloting a boat. Baots are usually noticable because they don;t have weheels, and sit on water.

If there is still any confusion, put them both on water, and if it sinks, its a car, and if it floats, it's probably a boat!

What exactly do you do for a living?

Adrian Yalland said...

Oh my God - Peter - you are an ELECTED member of the Welsh Assembly! That means people actually pay you to represent them, and you cannot spot the difference between a BOAT and a CAR!

No wonder trust in politics has gone down hill so badly!

Sorry to take the mickey - but you have to admit, you deserve a good ribbing for this!

Peter Black said...

Fortunately, they do not pay me to pilot a boat!