Until last Sunday, I was a big fan of Jeremy Clarkson. I have a couple of his books, I enjoyed Top Gear, and I thought that beneath Jeremy’s rougish exterior lay an intelligent, interesting and funny man. Then he did this. (N.b. emphasis added to help you read this Jezza-style.)
You can watch the entire episode via the BBC’s iPlayer until Sunday 27th July. The item starts 47 minutes and 50 seconds into the programme. If you watch the whole item, you’ll find out why Jeremy is so upset.
Now, I’m not an ‘environmentalist’ or a ‘rambler’. I am passionate about Formula 1, I was going to go to the Air Tattoo at Fairford until rain stopped play and I fly long distances quite a lot. I don’t own a single pair of sandles. And I smoke. That’s how unenvironmental I am. I even think 4x4s are a good thing: they are virtually essential in Africa, I find, although arguably not so useful here in Southern England where we have things called roads.
But I am also passionate about the English countryside and I do rather like walking (not rambling) through it, with our dogs. So if Jeremy’s little joke results in more of this, videoed early this morning, I will be very cross. Very cross indeed.
In the first section you can see, although the vegetation has grown back a little, the tracks of 4x4s which have been driven from a local ‘green lane’ down to the road. When I first saw this damage in the winter, it was an absolute scar, ripped across the grass on the edge of the two and a half thousand year old hill fort. I nearly threw up.
This may have not been done by proper green laners, who – see below – are almost angrier about Jeremy’s hilarious piece than I am. Let’s say that it was done by TAUMs instead. That would be Total And Utter Morons. Later in the clip you can see where some TAUMs have made life more interesting for themselves by driving off the track up a steep bank, causing yet more damage. If TAUMS were a car, they’d be the most moronic car you COULD imagine.
If you agree with me, I think we need to use the power of the web to do something about Jeremy.
Now, I’m certainly not advocating that we do something illegal. That would be illegal. It had occurred to me to hire a tank and drive it around Jeremy’s garden a bit, and perhaps over his no doubt extensive collection of cars. But that would not only be illegal, it would be stupid and would damage the countryside even more.
We can be much more imaginative than that. So the rules are nothing illegal (see above) and nothing that would affect anyone other than Jeremy. I think some humiliation would be good as would some humour. I will be awarding my complete set of (2) Clarkson books for the best idea submitted in an email to email@example.com. If we really think hard we’ll come up with lots of things to do about Jeremy and could spend years having fun doing them. So long as they weren’t illegal.
If you include a mobile number in your email we might even be able to organise a flashmob so that we could all meet Jeremy. which would be nice.
In order to comment you’ll need to register with WordPress, which only takes a minute, and all comments
will be vetted by me before they are posted. If there’s even a sniff of anything illegal in your suggestion I won’t publish it. Sorry. I have this thing about not doing anything illegal.
I miss the old Jeremy and regret the fact that I won’t be able to watch Top Gear any more or read his undemanding books on long flights. When I remember Jezza championing one of my own heroes, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, or entertaining us with his excellent tour through Europe or his intelligent and moving documentary about the Victoria Cross I think “That’s the old Jeremy, before his brain went wrong“.
Jeremy even managed to upset Green Laners themselves. He upset them quite seriously. See the letters they’ve written to Top Gear on that page. A bit of Googling will reveal more outraged comments. Obviously the TAUMs will think that the piece was very funny, but that’s because they are total and utter morons.
I have no idea whether it’s possible to ‘green lane’ in a way that doesn’t destroy precious bits of our green and pleasant land, but no doubt they would argue that it is.
Finally, what particularly upset Jeremy was the idea that some people apparently want to make green laning illegal. I can’t imagine that would work – how would it be policed? Anyway, burglary and robbing banks are illegal and people still burgle and rob banks. There must be a better way to preserve the best feature of this currently green and pleasant land.
Update: although the Youtube version of the offending item has been removed. The Top Gear website has a video of part of if. Unfortunately it doesn’t include the studio discussion during which Clarkson and co. trashed those with concerns about green laning.