The outcry against Jeremy Clarkson who said that public sector strikers should be shot in front of their families has been taken as demonstrating the Left’s hypocrisy and humourlessness.
And so it does.
It is also illustrative of that great British passion for working oneself up into sense of moral outrage over something that does not come close to warranting it. We are now a nation that loves to take offence.
I used to think that this outrage was entirely spurious. Now I’m not so sure. I remember a teacher once telling me how, in order to keep discipline, members of his profession would fake anger over trivial transgressions such as throwing a paper pellet, but, he was alarmed to discover that, as time went on, those burst of rage became genuine.
This is what has happened with indignation. People pretend to be offended as a way of throwing their weight around, find it pleasurable and it becomes habitual and real.
Another point to make is that Jeremy Clarkson is one of the few conservatives to appear regularly on the BBC. It is a truth universally acknowledged that the BBC has a strong left wing and liberal bias, the science of this is settled.
It does, however, clearly feel the need to put a few token right wingers on the box, but, in order that they will discredit the opinions they champion, it selects buffoons such as Clarkson or David Starkie.
But the Left cannot tolerate even this. Any airing of a contrary opinion is per se a matter of outrage to them and must be silenced.
And that really is offensive.