Let Them Eat Cake

We now have a 21st Century equivalent of; “if they have no bread, let them eat cake,” often misattributed to Marie Antoinette.

Who is this princess of the information age?  Good Lord!  It’s Jeremy Clarkson; that walking, talking embodiment of our collective id (iot).

Clarkson was erroneously linked to Jemina Khan in a Twitter campaign by someone who claimed to have the inside track on the identities of those who had taken out super injunctions to protect their privacy.  The tweeter claimed that there were intimate photographs of Clarkson and Khan.  No wonder the poor woman was upset.

The very notion of an intimate photograph of Clarkson is distressing in itself; his generous, middle-aged body squeezed into nothing more than a studded denim posing pouch, emblazoned with a ”Status Quo” logo (doubtless a gift from Francis Rossi himself) strutting in impressive undress, playing windmill air guitar á la Pete Townsend while singing excerpts from the Quo’s canon: “Whatever you want, whatever you need….”  Actually Jeremy, for you to put your clothes back on would grant one of my three wishes.

If that wasn’t bad enough Jemima Khan had to confront the chilling possibility that in the minds of millions, if not in reality, she had been photoshopped into this hideous tableau.  Her wealth shouldn’t prevent us from feeling sympathy.

Now Clarkson has stepped out to turn the old journalistic adage that ‘newspapers should afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted’ on its head. “It is said only the rich and famous can afford a gagging order. But only the rich and famous ever need one,” says Clarkson.

It’s true that such indiscretions as Mr Clarkson might choose to commit would attract the attention of the tabs in a way that mine probably wouldn’t (unless of course I represented a strand of thought that threatened the interests of those newspapers’ proprietors), but his wealth gives him access to justice by using the laws on libel in a way that is denied to those of us without the means to pay for the services of a Carter Ruck.

I know that Clarkson is supposed to speak for the ‘common man’, but this shows him as he really is; Marie Antoinette in blue jeans.

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