Pipe down and come with me on a tour of Trump’s Britain

Jeremy Clarkson


Almost all my friends are bleeding-heart liberals. They weep when they see pictures of those poor Syrian children having their backs waxed to make them look younger. They host fundraising evenings to buy padded bras for people with transgender issues and they are utterly bewildered and devastated by the Brexit vote.


They cannot understand why we are having to leave the EU, because everyone they ever meet, in every pastry shop and at every dinner party and on the touchline of every school sports pitch, wanted to remain. I've tried mentioning Barnsley, but to them it's the pretty little Cotswold village they pass through on the way to Babington House. "Liz Hurley used to live there," they say, wondering why my eyes are rolling.


Of course they are completely stunned by the Donald Trump thing, because the Americans they know seem so sensible. "I was with Gwyneth only last night, trying out some of her new smoothies, and she's such a lovely girl ..." Then they wander off to talk to Gary Lineker.


He's their new Messiah. He started off by preaching about the awfulness of Brexit, moved through the iniquities of immigration and is now in full Biblethumping mode on Trump. In Gary's mind, everyone's a racist or a sexist or a bully or a homophobe, and his disciples are to be found applauding wildly. My friends love him.


They can't understand the US election result, because they all go to America a lot and to them the place always seems so reasonable. They stay at the Mercer in New York and Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, California. And they've all partied with Sean Penn and Jay Z and Bruce, all of whom were behind Hillary Clinton. And yet somehow she lost.


Naturally, my mates have decided that everyone who lives between the Mercer and Shutters is stupid because they either voted for Trump or they didn't vote at all. And now they are all wondering out loud whether democracy has had its time. If I were to suggest that people with low IQs should be given less of a say in who runs a country than those in Mensa, most would nod sagely and say pensively: "It may have to come to that, because it's ridiculous that my cleaning lady has the same influence in an election as me."


Yes, but this would mean that for the rest of time, our leaders would continue to be cut-out'n'repeat clones of Mr Blair and Mrs Clinton and Mr Cameron. And they'd continue to push for gay rights and transgender traffic lights and cycle lanes and anti-bullying campaigns and tougher rules on hate crimes and more immigration and lower speed limits and healthier polar bears. And they'd be warmly hugged by everyone they met for their tireless campaign to make saying "period" a crime.


But I'll let you into a little secret. All the words I cannot use any more in this newspaper. All those jokes no one can say any more on television. All those phrases that are no longer socially acceptable in Notting Hill and the home counties. Well, up north you will hear all of them, all the time. Political correctness simply does not exist in a Doncaster pub. Because there's no time to worry about the correct word for "cross-dresser" when you haven't got any money.


In parts of America there are people who spend all day in the cold, freezing half to death in a queue for the food bank. Many have no warm clothes or teeth and, forgive my language, but exactly how much of a shit do you think they give about transgender issues or the effing polar bear? And it's not just America. In the parts of Britain that my friends see only from their Range Rover windows as they drive to Scotland for a bit of shooting, there are towns and villages that are full of young people who have nothing to do all day but mate. "Dims breeding dims," is what my grandfather used to say.


Every time there's an election, a politician comes on the television they've half-inched from the social to say he will make life better for the underprivileged. So they vote for him and then find out later that his idea of "underprivileged" is actually someone who wants to dress up in a frock.


Yes, my heart bleeds for those who are bullied because of their sex or their looks or their sexual orientation. Yes, it bleeds for the dispossessed of Syria and the victims of female genital mutilation in Egypt. But it only bleeds because I've got a ton of money and two houses. If I had an empty larder and a rash and a terrible hacking cough, I assure you of this: I wouldn't care a bit.


Trump talked a lot of nonsense in his campaign, and I think if I were to meet him, I'd dislike him on a cellular level. However, he maintained throughout that politicians had let the poor down. Ker-ching. He said they would always let the poor down. Ker-ching again. And the only thing that could provide them with jobs and money was business. Big ker-ching. They liked the sound of that and said to themselves: "Yup. The future's bright. The future's orange."


It was the same story here with Brexit.


Poor people in the north of England were given a chance to poke the liberal elite of London in the eye. And they took it.


And it's going to get worse. Because the more we continue to ram political correctness and cycle lanes and environmentalism down everyone's throats, the more they'll think: "Oh why don't you sod off, you southern poofs."


We will end up with extremism. A lunatic party will sweep into office on a tide of resentfulness. We will have our own Trump in No 10.


Happily, however, I have a solution. The Palace of Westminster is to be closed for essential refurbishments. This means MPs will have to meet somewhere else, and I reckon they should all go to Hartlepool. Because after a few years in this former steel town they might start to understand that in the big scheme of things Eddie Izzard's right to wear a pink beret is not that important.



Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson is an English broadcaster, journalist and writer who specialises in motoring. He is best known for co-presenting the BBC TV show Top Gear with Richard Hammond and James May from October 2002 to March 2015. He also writes weekly columns for The Sunday Times and The Sun.