Friday, 2 May 2014

Clarkson, Childhood and Eenie Meenie.

I do feel sorry for Jeremy Clarkson.  That rhyme, Eenie Meenie Minie Mo, was sang constantly in my childhood.  It wasn't right but in the 1960s, 1970s and doubtless before, nobody told us children it was wrong.  Thus it became part of our schooldays and our play days.  It is as ingrained in my memory as the two-times table.

But like the times table, I don't have to recite it any more.  Sometimes when making an either-or decision, it comes, unbidden, into my head.  Owing to the offensive word it contains, there it must stay, forever unspoken except during discussions such as this.

Clarkson is a talented writer and presenter who not only can mould a new image using language, but also taps into the British stream of consciousness.  That rhyme is part of that stream for those of us who are older.  His mistake was to give voice to it.

As far as race relations in the UK is concerned, the situation has improved markedly since my childhood.  Real equality however, is still a battle being fought.  If he is guilty of anything, Jeremy Clarkson is showing poor awareness of the current situation; either that or he simply doesn't care.  I do hope it is the former.

The bottom line though is that Britain has moved on since the 1960s.  Clarkson should have too.

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