I tweeted yesterday about the figures regarding the Jeremy Clarkson debate. Essentially what got my temper flaring was that whilst over 300,000 people have signed a petition to support him, only 164,000 support Mind.org.uk by following their Twitter account. In the same vein, variations on the Clarkson hashtag were trending above #NHSChangeDay. It makes me wonder what is going on in this country that means people care more about a knob-head, overpaid TV presenter than they do about mental health issues and awareness.
Jeremy Clarkson didn’t kill anyone – in the UK in 2012 suicide was the cause of male deaths to the rate of 18 per 100,000 people. To the people supporting his cause; where do your priorities lie? My cause is mental health awareness, but that’s not to say you can’t spend your effort on something close to your heart. There was a tweet earlier that more people had signed the Clarkson petition than signed the end female genital mutilation one, as an example. It is unbelievable to my mind that people care more about their light entertainment than real issues facing us in the world.
And to Mr Clarkson himself, I would suggest that your audience is currently a rather captive one. To quote the Dalai Lama: “You have a microphone – use it to say something.” Sure, you may not believe that mental health campaigning is in your wheel house. That’s fine with me, but what do you care about? And is lining your Levi pockets more important to you than doing something worthwhile that will make a difference to the world we share?
Let’s see more public figures using their influence to make a difference, and hopefully less of this celebrity-obsessed melodramatic showboating. Wade in on the debate, speak up and change the world for the better.