Ofcom says Clarkson comments were acceptable

21 February 2012

The media watchdog Ofcom says Jeremy Clarkson's comments that striking public sector workers ‘should be executed in front of their families’ was not in breach of broadcasting rules. ‘Then what on earth do you have to say to breach their rules?’ asks ASLEF’s general secretary Mick Whelan.

‘Ofcom said the remarks were ‘potentially offensive’,’ Mick says. ‘Potentially! What is up with these people? Of course it was offensive – almost as offensive as it was stupid.’

The public sector union Unison made a formal complaint at the time of Clarkson’s outburst and invited him to spend a day with a healthcare assistant. Unsurprisingly the rich right-wing presenter has not taken up the invitation.

But while Mick condemns Ofcom for a ‘soft’ decision on a serious subject, he says at least they have offered an opinion, which is more than the BBC has done in respect of the formal ASLEF complaint. The union reported Clarkson saying, ‘I do sometimes use the train to come to London but it always stops in Reading. It's always because somebody has jumped in front of it and somebody has burst.’

Mick pointed out that ‘this abhorrent view shows contempt and disrespect for the victims of the families of suicides as well as an utter disregard for the welfare of railway staff, and especially train drivers, who experience these incidents’.

No reply has been forthcoming.

‘We appear to have silenced the BBC,’ Mick says.

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