Jeremy Clarkson and the 'N' word

Well, Jeremy Clarkson has managed to do it again, that is, to offend a large chunk of the population. This latest faux pas centres on his latest recorded programme where he recites the old nursery rhyme, 'eeny meeny miny moe' when choosing between two vehicles. Descriptions of the event seem to suggest he started off on reciting the rhyme then realised where it would take him so he 'mumbled' the 'N' word at the end. The Daily Mirror decided to 'investigate' further and employed the services of an Audio Forensics expert to examine the tape, it was he who decided Clarkson didn't just mumble, he mumbled the 'N' word.

I am a little perplexed by this story, firstly because all the newspapers are saying the clip containing this 'offensive material' is labelled as 'unaired footage' suggesting it was only seen by the newspaper who noticed this and decided to make sure everyone in the country heard this racist slur and thereby offend a lot of people who otherwise would have not been offended.

Yesterday there was meltdown over this event, lots of people screaming for Clarkson to be sacked or worse, including the unblemished, whiter than white Piers Morgan (!) Who has suggested 'Clarkson should be TV Toast' an Asian actress has taken legal action against Clarkson calling him a 'racist bully'. What do you think? Is Clarkson a loveable idiot akin to Boris Johnson or a racist who deserves everything he gets?

Well, like him or hate him, (I like him) he IS an entertainer first & foremost, & a rich & successful one at that. His way of expressing things & acting the incompetent fool is his fortune. His sense of humour is not to everyone's taste. But it's an ACT! Yes, he reviews cars that most of us will never afford - thank god someone is otherwise we would never have a clue that they exist.

For a someone to be accused of racism do they not have to show some kind of hostility? Guy Gibson, he of Dambusters fame had a dog called Nigger - there, I'ved used the word, quick, lock me up immediately!.

As previously pointed out, the word is often spoken by black people without comment so one must assume that if JC was black he could get away with using that well known nursery rhyme ON AIR without comment. That's racist, surely? One rule for whites...

I agree with Carol, the word was mumbled, the piece was not going to be made public so what has he done to offend anyone except those within hearing range of the filming (& to be offended by a word not aimed at anyone you have to be oversensitive, in which case get a life!)

As a child I never thought about what the word or phrase meant. I never related it to black people until I was told that it was offensive & why. THEN I discovered that it could be used to antagonise.

Maybe Clarkson learnt this at school..............

She said that he had a hairstyle like a ‘golliwog’!
Have you never said that someone has a hairstyle that looks as though they have been dragged through a hedge backwards?
It is quite obvious that you are coming from the extreme left and referring to children as ‘spawn’ is offensive in itself.
Thatcher senior freed tens of thousands from the oppression of closed shops!

I understand that at the time this remark was made it was the convention in the green room that these were private conversations. The BBC later said that that was not so, but rather moving the goal posts after the event.

I rather think that causing someone to lose their job by reporting what was said "in private" is extremely ghastly.

Perhaps you would like to have recording equipment in your dining room Dorothy, which takes us back to the fact that someone here went digging to cause trouble and this remark was never aired.

The first point is not entirely so, that is custom but not law. As I said earlier, I knew of somebody with the German family name Krapp who decided to take his wife's more 'acceptable' English name when they married in England which is quite possible. In fact, one can combine names to make them formally 'double-barrelled' without questions about why or anything else.

Yes, German law is very different. My German born son was not automatically 'mine' when his mother died although I was the registered father and had him living with me whenever I could. We were not, however, married. His grandparents 'claimed' him when his mother died because she had chosen to make them responsible for him whenever I was not there and she had to leave him with somebody. When I tell that to people in the UK they jump up and down and tell me it is wrong, etc. I could have taken it to court and contested it but because I spent at most a third of each year in Germany may well have lost, also because of the status of his grandparents as formal carers I could not apply for a passport for him alone. Different countries, different laws, none makes the other righter or wronger.

The point about such things as congenital health are a valid argument but in practice do not work. Mother's who dump babies unregistered in England and Wales are not that common any longer, nor the various equivalents of it, but do number an average of pushing a thousand a year and is on the increase at present. Yes, but how to find out medical histories happens far too often?

As for passing a sibling on the street feeling, my mother gave birth to a son two years after me who died in two days. I have the same kind of feeling about whether or not we would have got on had he lived and would my sister have been born?

As for civil servants. When I married my present OH, the registrar muttered something about my 'bad track record', supposedly out of hearing range. That was in Ely where we chose to go in case the registrar in Cambridge recognised me and said something about 'him/you again'.

No Veronique it is not different for boys, but as they don't change their name when they marry, I used the female case.

I obtained my "first" birth certificate when I decided to try and find my natural father, but he was not named. I subsequently found out that he had not even been given the chance to know of my existence.

My elder daughter who lives in Munich told me that there was a case that a woman was sent to prison for not telling her child the name of their father.

I believe in the UK that there was a proposition that a mother cannot obtain benefits if the name of the father does not appear on the birth certificate. However, it is always easy to say that she does not know!

If your adoption is trouble free then there is not the same need to know and I have had so many problems with mothers that I really did not want to have anything to do with my natural mother either. However, she was the only way to find my father and despite being entreated to let me know his name by my half-siblings, she went to her grave without divulging his name, or leaving it in her will.

We do know that she knew his name, as she admitted to having this affair with the Australian RAF officer, although at court she gave evidence that she did not know where in the UK he lived!

I find this French system extremely cruel. Sometimes it is very important for medical reasons to know who your parents are and for myself I was wondering if I was passing my brothers or sisters on the street and not knowing it.

To rub salt into the wound the fonctionnaires in Chalon sur Saone insisted on telling me that I did not know the correct date of my birth, when they had mixed up the date of my birth and adoption. No they didn't apologise.

The French system also sounds rather like Animal Farm, and despite Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, some are more equal than others.

My original reply has re-emerged from the ether!

It is grim, isn't it. I think it was a reaction to a) abortions & b) children being dumped on the street by mothers who had had no health care at all.. & c) so families wouldn't chuck out 'filles mères'. & it isn't just 'filles mères' anyone can give birth sous X so plenty of married women with 'too many or inconvenient' children did/do, which is even grimmer...

A friend of mine has adopted a baby born sous X: his mother decided to give birth sous X when she discovered he had Downs & didn't want to have an abortion. So although my friend knows the mother & has known her since before the boy was born, the mother, legally, doesn't exist. Very difficult :-( It isn't a right here to know your origins.

How sad for the children who would like to trace their roots. We are lucky in the UK to be able to find birth mothers/fathers with comparative ease. My husbands father was born and adopted in Canada, and despite their laws being based on UK laws, they differ in minor ways. One of those ways is the 100 year law, my father in law if alive, would be 100 in 4 years time, but my husband has been told its not an automatic right to be given the birth name of his true grandmother, its up to the local authorities who may decide they wish to protect the mothers family. Very, very frustrating.

I am sorry Jane as I said to have been insensitive - but this is v interesting, "an adopted female person will always be referred to by her adoptive surname" is it different for boys? What happens?

Here under Fr law you get your mother's name unless she married (when you automatically get the husband's, no matter who the father is) / or if there is a reconnaissance d'enfant, then you get the father's name.

Even if you are adopted here your birth name is still on your papers (unless you were born sous X, when there is nothing). Legal adoption of minors has been legal in France only since 1923 (bar briefly for about 5 years during the Revolution) - you could adopt only an adult eg because you had no heirs.

So a French person (unless born sous X) always has a legal name, either the mother's or the father's. Whether they want their name to figure on the papers or not, whether the child is subsequently adopted or not. If a child IS adopted he/she still has a name of his/her own, even if the nom d'usage is the adoptive parents'.

That is what makes it so very hard for the children of people who give birth 'sous X' - they don't have their mother's name on the certificate either, just X.

So no names at all, no information either. Hospitals sometimes try to persuade the mother to leave information to be opened at a given date or when the adult child starts looking but often (mostly) they don't leave any. The law supports this though things are changing.

The whole 'sous X' system was set up to ensure that nobody would be 'found' by their child & has been law since the Revolution.

All the hospital care, notes etc etc is anonymous.

There is no principle in Fr law that says you always know who a person's mother is (unlike in most other legal systems). The law also makes no difference between 'legitimate' and 'natural' children any more - the terms themselves have disappeared from law.

ah....How strange....thank you for providing that bit of information. Last night I went out to supper with friends and we carried on the discussion re: Jeremy Clarkson, and we couldn't remember who it was that leaked Carol Thatchers comment. I would think withdon't Clarkson it would most likely be a BBC employee, I don't believe he was in a studio when this occurred...could be wrong, but think he was filming in a closed set outside.

OK, yours is exceptional and probably what you are doing is the only chance, albeit it by now unlikely to work. I am not entirely sure why we do it, but I felt compelled to try and now having reached the end of the line was satisfied enough.

Sorry, Brian it is not always the case.
I was adopted privately and from sixteen had my papers.
I traced my natural mother who was adamant that she would not tell me the name of my father. She was frightened of repercussions because he had never been told that he had a child.
She took out an injunction to stop me using her name to try and find him, which was the only clue I had. This case was scheduled to go to the High Court in Leeds, as it was deemed to be an important case for Human Rights and she eventually withdrew the injunction.
This injunction was granted solely on the basis of what she and my half siblings said without my or my solicitor’s knowledge that it was taking place, even though I had written proof that they were lying.
I subsequently learned that she had admitted to having had an affair with an Australian RAF officer, no name!
I have used the national press and tv to try and find him without success.

She was the person who leaked Carol Thatcher’s private conversation in the green room to the authorities at the BBC and got her banned for referring to a french tennis player’s golliwog hairstyle.
One of the French players immediately sprang to my mind, but it turned out it was the other one!

Pity, that is the so-called 100 year rule Jane. I got round it because my father's birth name was Ross, however his father took him and 'adopted' him formally so that he took his name. The mother's name is on his birth certificate which has always meant that for things where that is required his adoption paper always had to be presented too. I went to Aberdeen to see if I could locate his mother since her full name was on the certificate. The 100 year rule prevented me looking at adoption documents, thus finding her address at that point in time, but the birth certificate gave me it then. In fact, as I found out fairly quickly, she died giving birth to him and would probably have married my grandfather given the way Scotland was in 1925. If you get just a sliver of information you can get there.

My whole reply has been lost here when I made my final change.
I do not intend to go through all that again, but yes I was adopted and I never had the chance to use the name of natural father, so not a matter of preference.

@ Veronique and Sheila. It is exactly the same in UK and for the same reason. It was because you were so adamant that what you were saying was totally correct./>
I have tried for years to try and find the name of my natural father Sheila, and his was never my legal name.<
I was born in Lancaster and I have subsequently discovered that there was another girl born at the same time as myself to an Irish girl who came over on the boat from Belfast to Heysham. I had a shortened birth certificate and when I went to Liverpool Passport Office for a passport I was refused and given a temporary one with proof of British citizenship required. The man handling my case actually said that I could have been smuggled in from Ireland!/>
In UK an adopted female person will always be referred to by her adoptive surname and there will be no reference to the actual birth name or ‘sous X’.

Until fairly recently it was impossible for an adopted child to trace their natural mother as their files were kept closed, except for private adoptions, which was my case.

If fathers were not named on your original birth certificate it can be impossible to find them without the assistance of your natural mother.

Sorry....what has Jo Brand done? Ive always loved her.

Actually you can change your christian name by deed poll Tracy, my daughter in law has done this. Changed it from Clare to Klaire, which now appears on her passport and all legal documents.