What is asked of Clarkson and his posse is no more than we ask of primary-school pupils. Don’t name-call. Respect difference. I don’t pretend all sorts of stuff doesn’t happen outside the classroom, but it is not a bad ideal. Even small children know which discourses are legitimised by the grownups.
Clarkson and the grownup schoolboys know also that every shocking remark is shrapnel. It scatters and wounds multiple targets. If you can say nasty stuff about gay people, then why not about black people? Once you voice the idea that women ask for rape and can’t have careers, the next stage is to get rid of naggy old human rights because women don’t count as human anyway.
We have not been conned by Europe, feminism, political correctness or even bloody wind farms. The biggest con of all is that this coalition of “mavericks” is not seen for what it is. The establishment: in bullying, red-faced self-pitying mode. This is the rich and powerful deriding the powerless while pretending to be heroic victims. It is a revolting, sweaty lie. Let them slap each other’s back into oblivion. Decent blokes do not monetise their ability to pick on those weaker than them, never mind make entire careers out if it.