Thought: Freedoms?

For those of you not in the UK and unaware of yesterday, there was a massive Public Workers strike. Schools were closed, Airports may or may not have been jammed up, Hospitals & Emergency Care was affected - all sorts went on.

Now, to hear the Unions and strikers talk - and I am neither pro nor con the strikes before you start - they are unhappy with their pensions and what not, and it's their Right and their Freedom to strike to display their pissed-off-ness.

Fair enough - the right to protest is a good one to have. If The Man won't listen, mass as one and see if he listens then. I get that.

Yesterday, Jeremy Clarkson waded in during an interview and suggested that those on strike should be shot in front of their families.

Today, the unions and strikers are up in the air about how he should apologise, that it's disgusting that he should make such comments and yadda yadda yadda.

However. If we have to respect their right to strike, surely they should respect his right to Freedom of Speech? Surely it's a two-way street?

They are demanding an apology. Fair enough. But: are they apologising for shutting a shit-load of schools? Are they apologising for stretching the London Ambulance Service to the very limit (and this isn't a "made up" statement, a very talented Blogger/Tweeter - InsomniacMedic  (Twitter Link / Blog Link)- that works for the LAS, was there all day talking about how hard it was, and how 999 really really only needed to be done in a proper emergency).

No, they are not apologising because it's their RIGHT to strike.

Just like it's Clarksons RIGHT to say whatever the buggery he wants.

And let's also not forget - this bloke (and again, I am neither pro nor con or taking sides) is ALWAYS saying stupid things because it gets attention. Lorry drivers murder prostitutes? Him. All Romanians are gypsys? Him. The list is endless.

Surely if they want an apology from him, they should apologise too? Are their freedoms more valid than his?

And before you start banging on in the comments about how what he said was offensive and wrong - I reiterate: It's Jeremy Clarkson. Does that excuse it? No, but does that mean you should expect more from him? Probably not. Just like disrupting the entire country is going to appeal to some and piss off others, just like saying offensive things amuses some and irritates others.

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5 Responses to “Thought: Freedoms?”

Anonymous said...

Brave man, you are gonna get flaaaamed!

Dan said...

Possibly... But then, if people want to judge me for my thoughts on a single subject, so be it. If people think I am wrong, that the strikers don't need to apologise for - oh I don't know - putting peoples lives at risk (in the case of the paramedics not working), or disrupting the whole country for what they believe in, then one man voicing his own thoughts shouldn't be forced into an apology either. Freedom is a two-way street I'm afraid. You can't pick and choose your freedoms to suit.

Em's way said...

Freedom .. our right to freedom of speech, freedom of protest, freedom to do pretty much as we please all in my humble opinion needs to be tempered with common sense. Something JC lacks in abundance.

I see your point about the strikers though, down here in the rural shire there was minimal disruption, so guess it didn't make us think so much. So hey, lets make that true of them as well. Risking lives to make a point re freedoms of protest is just as wrong.

JC is still a knob though!! (and yes I did jokingly join the JC for PM *shamefaced smiley*)

Dan said...

The trouble is, everyone has the freedoms, common sense or not. I grant that he is a knob, but that people are shocked and/or surprised he said something outrageous? Sky reckons there have been THOUSANDS of complaints - I will bet good money 90% of those people weren't watching the show, they read about it online or in the papers, THEN complained, jumping on the "Oh we're so outraged" bandwagon.

The entire striking force we saw here in Basildonia was a large group - in the pub getting pissed. They weren't picketing, they weren't raising placards, they weren't stating ANY case - they were getting pissed.

Britain needs to work out what to be offended by and what to let slide. How can we be shocked and outraged by Clarksons comments, yet in Syria, there are people being shot and killed trying to have their Freedom of Speech?

InsomniacMedic said...

a) Thanks for the links and compliments - much appreciated.
b) Unlike many (most?) of my colleagues, I couldn't give a rat's posterior about what comes out of Jeremy Clarkson's behind. I mean mouth. He's well known for shooting from the hip, saying what he either thinks or will shoot up his ratings, and in this case, both. Weird that he's got a new video out and could do with some publicity, and like mugs, millions of people have given it to him for free.
Did I think what he said was offensive? Yes.
Do I think I need to complain to the BBC about it? No.
Why? Because he's a moron who could do with being brought down a peg or two, and the way to hit him hard is not by giving him the publicity he so clearly craves (because remember, there's no such thing as bad publicity), but by making sure you don't watch his show and don't buy his video.
Now, Britain, please go back to being normal and concentrating on the important things in life. And what's important is not some 6'4" lump of flesh who's big mouth constitutes all but an inch of his entire being, leaving very little room for brain.