Clarkson calls Miliband 'wrong in the head' for mental health dig

Labour leader singled out Clarkson for saying suicide victims should be left on train tracks

LAST UPDATED AT 13:16 ON Tue 30 Oct 2012

TOP GEAR presenter Jeremy Clarkson has hit back at accusations from Ed Miliband that he has belittled people with mental illness - calling the Labour leader "wrong in the head".

Miliband singled out the Top Gear presenter in a speech to the Royal College of Psychiatrists yesterday morning, saying attitudes like Clarkson's "reinforce the stigma that blights millions of people's lives, and holds our country back".

He refers to a column Clarkson wrote in The Sun last December, in which he called suicide victims “selfish”, saying: "Jeremy Clarkson, who may have at least acknowledged the tragedy of people who end their own lives, goes on to call them 'Johnny Suicides' whose bodies should be left on train tracks rather than delay journeys."

But last night Clarkson retaliated, tweeting: "So. Ed Miliband has said that I am making life miserable for people who commit suicide. Really?... I have read what Miliband said. And seriously, I'm not sure he's right in the head."

Last year, Clarkson wrote in his column that he had the "deepest sympathy" for those who commit suicide but said it was a "selfish way to go because the disruption it causes is immense."

He suggested: "Change the driver, pick up the big bits of what's left of the victim, get the train moving as quickly as possible and let foxy woxy and the birds nibble away at the smaller, gooey parts that are far away or hard to find."

Miliband has, however, received praise for his speech, in which he urged Britons to fight against intolerance to people with mental illness.

"It's a brave politician in these times of hardening attitudes that takes on 'the politically incorrect community'," wrote Mark Brown in The Guardian, welcoming the speech.

Toby Helm, political editor for The Observer, tweeted: "Everybody realises what Ed Miliband is saying about mental health except J Clarkson and he pretends he doesn't for PR reasons. Awful."

As Labour today achieved its highest position in the polls since 2010, one tweeter described Milband's speech as "inspiring", while another said she was "proud that people in high places are going to make mental health a priority". · 

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Well I think Clarkson's right and certainly a lot of people feel the same way. If you're going to commit suicide do it in private, the trauma it causes the driver or bystanders isn't even considered. We understand that one has to be depressed and not thinking clearly to jump in front of a train, but you won't hear people defending paedophiles so readily in public. You certainly won't get in trouble for making jokes about Jimmy Saville, so why is there a distinction? Imagine a busy station platform and a sensitive train driver are subjected to this? Miliband gives the impression that he doesn't have any idea about running a country, all he ever does is complain about other people, or suggest who 'is to blame'. I've never heard anything come out of him that I've thought, ah that's original or thoughtful. He's got the dinosaur mentality transplanted into the form of a naive little brat. It's shocking to hear that these journalists are lining calling his speech 'inpirational'. Rejecting Clarkson's opinions is inspirational? I would've thought that is one of the easiest ways to get a cheering section these days. It's the same tired old routine of saying what people want to hear instead of doing your job. The whole point of having politicians is that they are better equipped to come up with informed ideas than the population, not just to do what we tell them. We have to trust politicians to make certain decisions that we won't understand, and we can only really judge them on character and opinions. I'm yet to hear Miliband produce any opinions of his own, so I really can't see why he is anything more than completely pointless to British politics, I guess he's there to make Cameron seem like our only option. Just thinking of him I get the same feeling I get when I watch the England national football team. That deep frustration of knowing that no matter what they do or say they're going to do, they just don't get it.

RelativeEase. Swallowed the Tory rubbish have we?

RelativeEase - have you ever thought that people that jump in front of trains might do so as a desperate impulse? Bet you are one of those that "tuts" rather than has any sympathy for a fellow human being.

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