Grist to the Mill

10 June, 2005


Apparently, Oxford Brookes University want to award Clarkson with an Honorary Degree. So, although I don't usually bother to sign Internet petitions, on this occasion I did.

This was the message that arrived in my in-box, sent by a friend: Jeremy Clarkson? Honorary Degree? No way! Please sign this petition. It takes 30 seconds and will make a positive statement for an inclusive, sustainable and caring world. Please follow this link: The system centralizes signature collection to provide consolidated, useful reports for petition authors and targets. Please forward this email to others you believe share your concern.

Unfortunately, mixed up with the predominantly anti- messages there are a lot of pro-Clarkson people. Here is a selection of messages, including my own. (Hint, it's not the last one).

Jeremy Clarkson's career, beliefs and writing represent a dying past of car-dominated consumerist environmental vandalism. No matter how post-modern, ironic or publicity-seeking Oxford Brookes University seeks to be, such an appointment would be disaster for this institution.

Enginering is great, but it needs to be shaped in the right direction by us.

Naturally, a thinker of Clarkson's stature could only become an honorary fellow at one of the very finest seats of learning. Such as Oxford Brooks University... Why Oxford Brooks would want to give a degree to such a halfwit is a mystery. This reflects so very badly on them.

I don’t like anything he does.

Jeremy Clarkson promotes the message that motorists should have unfettered freedom to drive recklessly, that climate change and other environmental concerns are irrelevant, and that if cyclists and other vulnerable road users are concerned for their safety it is their fault for getting in his way. As such, he is deeply implicated in creating a culture of hostility towards all efforts to tackle the environmental, congestion, safety and community impacts of the car and to promote safe, healthy, neighbourhood-friendly and sustainable alternatives.

Jeremy Clarkson thinks he can mock MG Rover when he really doesn't have a clue what he is talking about. If MG Rover were so crap, why did Lotus and BMW use Rover technology in their cars?

Honorary Degrees should be for people who can inspire us. Clarkson is just a flippant idiot.

A Degree should be a reward for hard work and study. Not a freebee to help the university get some publicity.

This is a cheap publicity stunt for the University that only brings it in to disrepute. Clarkson has done nothing to justify this award and much to disqualify himself. His vendetta against MG Rover was a disgrace and did much damage to British engineering. As a Chartered Engineer I am appalled that Clarkson would be considered for such an honour.

Clarkson rocks! Clarkson deserves the Honorary Degree more than anyone else. When he drove the Discovery to the top of that mountain it made great viewing, so much so that I'm going to drive my Range Rover up it. Clarkson has strong views, but he's just confident and speaks what everyone else is thinking. You should all grow up.

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