As a lawyer I dislike double standards. They violate a basic maxim of modern jurisprudence that all parties should stand equal before the law.
A double standard according to Wikipedia is “the application of different sets of principles for similar situations.” A double standard may take the form of an instance in which certain concepts (often , for example, a word, phrase, social norm or rule) are perceived as acceptable when used by one group of people, but are considered unacceptable –taboo-when used by another group.
Another reason for my animosity towards double standards is that they violate the principle of justice- impartiality- which assumes that the same standards should be applied to all people without regard to subjective bias or favouritism based on social class, rank, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age or other distinctions.
Over the years Jeremy Clarkson, the hugely popular presenter of Top Gear has notched up a long list of misdemeanours. In 2013 when in Australia Clarkson yelled at the Paparazzi after they snapped him coming off a boat with Philippa Sage “You can take them out of England but you can’t take the convict out of them.” In France talking about the Renault Clio V6 he said “In typical French fashion it just gives up! A bit like the French did with the Germans.” There were warnings about his behaviour and demands for apologises but only with his latest fracas when he apparently hit a producer for not having dinner ready on time after a long day’s filming has Clarkson finally been suspended.
If a Glasgow youth had whacked someone in the chippie for taking too long to fry his sausage supper criminal sanctions would certainly apply and if a casual sectarian remark is made at a football match and legal action has subsequently been taken, the accused fan might as well be told to remember to bring his pyjamas to court.
The double standard employed by the BBC angers me. Until now they have applied the “principle” of popular laddish culture to Jeremy Clarkson- he is not really a racist and diplomatic disaster but just a laugh and a bit of a character but now with the imposition of old style moral rectitude on Clarkson’s most recent antics hundreds of thousands of petitioners are requesting in outrage his re-instatement.
The optimism I had in the clarity of legal fairness is losing its shine. I want the double standards to stop. I know,I am an idealist.