Has Mark Thompson lost the plot?

clarksonAccording to a piece on the Daily Telegraph website that appeared on Sunday afternoon, Mark Thompson Director General of the BBC 2004-12 has been reflecting on the decision of Tony Hall, his successor in sacking the ‘deeply objectionable’ Jeremy Clarkson. His comments are in turn quoted from a Sunday Times interview in which Thompson states “Clarkson can be a deeply objectionable  individual, and I say that as a friend. I don’t think people should punch their colleagues. It’s hard to keep them if they do.” I wonder if Mark Thompson really believes that someone who was one of the stars of a very popular show can truly be called a ‘colleague’ of a junior member of the production staff who was waiting up for Clarkson to return from a drinking session to provide him with what Clarkson expected as a steak meal. Thompson goes on to say “But I would say his pungent, transgressive, slightly out-of-control talent was something the BBC could ill afford to lose. He spoke to people who didn’t find much else in the BBC.” It is very sad that Mark Thompson is showing such contempt for people who he appears to believe should be paid to be punch bags by bullies such as Clarkson. No doubt there are big gaps in the talent provided by the BBC as far as market reach is concerned. However that is no reason to ignore what woule be a sackable offence in pretty much any place of employment I am aware of. As someone who has been a Street Pastor for over 6 years I have observed a small number of people who are indeed very drunk picking fights with one another and under such circumstances one could not easily identify who was at fault and often their dispute is halted wherever possible by outsiders and they are sent in seperate directions by Police officers. However the moment one of them decides to hit a Police officer or a member of the doorstaff at a nightclub, let alone an innocent passer by, they are shown no such tolerance and quite rightly get arrested and dealt with accordingly. The attitude which Mark Thompson displays is shown to certain people simply because they have the power and influence to ‘get away with it’. This is deeply disturbing and I would have hoped that Mark Thompson would understand how wrong that is.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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