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The Clarkson Controversy

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Which do you think?:
Yes, the word is too offensive to tolerate regardless of context or intent and so Clarkson deserves the pillorying
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
No, it was clearly accidental an was never broadcast, so the ones who should be censured are those who stole and published the edited material to further another agenda
96%
 96%  [ 24 ]
Total Votes : 25

PDR
1183271.  Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:13 pm Reply with quote

Friggin android keyboard!!!!

That SHOULD have read "I doubt they WOULD've turned it down.

If there had been a rejection tgat was challenged it wojld have been at the early planning stages of the shoot (months earlier) so the vehicle availability wouldn't have been a governing issue. I'm not sure how you can so definitively state that it would be an arbitration process. Do you have an authoritative siurce for that?

PDR

 
barbados
1183284.  Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:56 pm Reply with quote

Yes, Westminster council's process.
An appeal is made through the directorate, if it were I that made the decision then your first point of appeal would be my boss, then his boss, and then finally her boss. All work within the council, all there looking to come to an agreement.

My decision would be no, because the damage to the road would cause too much disruption to put right, your appeal would by to my boss who would agree then suggest that we could accomodate but without the addition of the additional rubber provided by your car. You then either have the choice to accept my bosses decision, or take it to the next stage. Up to the Chief Executive on the council.
There is no legal recourse, not saying you wouldn't be able to a remedy through the courts, however that would prove costly just to do some wheel spins on a road, and if you hadn't gone through the correct process, it is quite likely that you wouldn't be looked upon too favourably by the court - I don't think the courts are too keen on them being a first port in the event of a dispute, perhaps you know better?

 
barbados
1183289.  Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:26 am Reply with quote

Come to think of it, who are The London Authority? Each of the boroughs has their own department (may be made up of just one part time person) that deals with this kind of event. It's just Westminster's, because of the location, has quite a well organised one. And they don't actually answer to the public, the general public would have dealings with them (hence the fuss when Jackie Chan blew that bus up on Lambeth Bridge recently - the people that needed to know logistically knew, but the people that were driving to St Thomas's hospital didn't) so why would they be concerned about the Tunbridge Wells resident who happened to be on a the number 137 complaining? They would just need to issue the response along the lines of dr.bob earlier - that "the shoot was to drive past the cenotaph, then when they got, what was considered a reasonable distance to perform some driving stunts. We checked and the only person who would have been affected was George Osborne, and that would only be a bit of a headache from the noise." Then there would be no story.

You also suggested that it was the job of this "London Authority" to promote filming in London, it isn't. Their job is to make sure that things are done properly, and the relevant people are informed - in Whitehall, you could quiet easily need to seek consent from more than one authority - in an end to end shoot you would need to speak to, Westminster, The Parliamentary Estate, The Crown Estate, The Royal Parks, and the GLA. The film unit would help you liaise with all of those to make sure your shoot went smoothly (which is really what they are there for). There is no need for them to be in contact with MOTP, and had TG fully disclosed the plan, there would have been no need for themto defend themselves.

 
PDR
1183291.  Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:01 am Reply with quote

No authoritative sources again, so we set those remarks aside.

If you read the authoritative sources I linked to previously all of your points are addressed - which authorities cover what, the bases on which permission is granted/refused, the appeals process (which is not an arbitration process) and the over-riding aspiration to promote the streets and buldings of London as a filming location.

And all such permissions and associated powers are (in law) "powers of officials) which are subject to the doctrine of Ultra Vires so that at if anyone believes they have made decisions capriciously or without sound basis in law there is instant resort to the courts regardless of any extant complaints or appeals process.

PDR

 
dr.bob
1183314.  Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:14 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
They didn't decline the permission because they were told the car "would drive along Whitehall, then move on to another location."


This seems to come from this statement by Westminster Council. In it, they say "permission was given for the Top Gear car to drive down Whitehall before moving to another location. However, what the Top Gear team did on the day was not what had been agreed during the planning process. At no time had the BBC producers made Westminster City Council aware that the car was going to be doing anything but drive down Whitehall."

Sadly, this is not much information to go on. For one thing, it's only one version of events. If Westminster Council are engaging in an arse-covering exercise, then I'm not sure we can wholly rely on this version to be 100% accurate.

Also I return, once again, to my point about a Top Gear film being made with a souped up car driven by a professional rally driver. If Westminster Council were happy to agree to that, surely they would've know this would involve high speed antics and, probably, screeching turns when changing direction. If they didn't know that, then I would call into question their ability to run a major council or, indeed, cross the road without adult supervision.

barbados wrote:
had they had all of the information then they say they would have refused.


That is, indeed, what they say. After the fact.

It's a shame we don't have access to the original application to see what had been agreed in advance with the council.

barbados wrote:
the problem that I have is why didn't the Top Gear production team disclose what they intended to do - and the only reasonable explanation is they didn't think that the stunts intended would be appropriate, and permission would have been refused.


That is not the only reasonable explanation.

A perfectly reasonable explanation is that the presenter and rally driver got a bit carried away on the day of filming and thought that smoking some tyres would make for good TV. Since we weren't there at the time, we have no way of knowing for sure what happened.

barbados wrote:
it allows them to brief the police (who they work very closely to) in the event of things like buses being blown up by Jackie Chan


Interesting point. Jackie Chan blew up a double decker bus on Lambeth Bridge, within sight of both the International Memorial to Seafarers and the monument to honour the memory of members of the Special Operations Executive. I'd love to hear Westminster Council's explanation as to why blowing up a bus is perfectly acceptable, while burning some rubber is not.

barbados wrote:
My decision would be no, because the damage to the road would cause too much disruption to put right


I know this is merely a hypothetical scenario, but I just thought I'd bring this to light as it was mentioned in the Westminster Council statement:

"What was the cost of filming and clean up?

Any costs have been picked up by the event organiser (the BBC) as is standard with all filming applications on the public highway."

 
barbados
1183340.  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:15 am Reply with quote

Quote:
A perfectly reasonable explanation is that the presenter and rally driver got a bit carried away on the day of filming and thought that smoking some tyres would make for good TV. Since we weren't there at the time, we have no way of knowing for sure what happened.

What would make you come to that conclusion? The Top Gear team said that the driver performed as required, So he didn't get carried away according to Top Gear, and I'm not sure why you would want to question that?

Quote:
Interesting point. Jackie Chan blew up a double decker bus on Lambeth Bridge, within sight of both the International Memorial to Seafarers and the monument to honour the memory of members of the Special Operations Executive. I'd love to hear Westminster Council's explanation as to why blowing up a bus is perfectly acceptable, while burning some rubber is not.

Yes he did, it is a bit of a stretch to suggest that it is in sight of both those monuments as you would struggle to get a picture of either of them, knowing what they are from the bridge, but lets say for example you were a seafaring special operative, you might know they are there, but the key factor for this is what would Westminster council think of this - and we can tell how they think - because they gave eermission. They were quite happy for the stunt to take place, and when they were asked why they didn't tell the world that the stunt would take place, they replied that they didn't need to because all of the permissions had been granted, and everyone that needed to know did know. It would have been easy for them to run away and be all apologetic - but they didn't need to - same here if they had been in possession of the plan.

Quote:
"What was the cost of filming and clean up?

Any costs have been picked up by the event organiser (the BBC) as is standard with all filming applications on the public highway."


Just out of interest - what cost do you think would be involved in the clean up? It is a major route through London that had to be closed - that closer could potentially have been for a lot longer.
But as you say it was purely hypothetical - and the reason thought up simply to point out that the reason given could be disguised as a legitimate one, a bit like when you offer a job to a man based on his gender, you don't say that is the reason (ie we refused because we didn't want to cause offence)

 
dr.bob
1183342.  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:57 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
What would make you come to that conclusion?


Wild speculation. The same kind you use to come to your conclusions.

barbados wrote:
The Top Gear team said that the driver performed as required,


Do you have a link to the exact quote from the Top Gear team? It's much easier to have an informed conversation if people link to quotes, rather than just paraphrasing them.

barbados wrote:
So he didn't get carried away according to Top Gear


That seems quite a leap from three simple words, but perhaps the quote goes into more detail. I'll know when you're kind enough to provide it.

barbados wrote:
it is a bit of a stretch to suggest that it is in sight of both those monuments


No, it's not a stretch at all. It's factually accurate.

Take a look on Google Street View. Here is a view* from Lambeth bridge towards the International Memorial to Seafarers. I do hope you're not going to try and convince me that you can't see that giant bronze ship sticking out of the front of a building, with a wee man on top.

This is a view of the SOE memorial. Sadly that's harder to pick out due to the resolution of the camera, but the dark grey blob in the centre of the picture is this monument. It's clearly in an unbroken line of sight and, with the better resolution of a human eye, it would be clearly visible.

barbados wrote:
as you would struggle to get a picture of either of them


This is, as demonstrated, factually incorrect. Please try and refrain from peppering your posts with factually incorrect information as it makes it very difficult to have a sensible discussion.

barbados wrote:
the key factor for this is what would Westminster council think of this - and we can tell how they think - because they gave eermission. They were quite happy for the stunt to take place


That is why I'm accusing them of hypocrisy, being happy to allow an exploding bus within sight of two monuments, but (in my opinion) pretending to be shocked by a car smoking some tyres close to a different monument.


*These links work best when using Google Maps on full mode. If anyone's using "Lite Mode", you'll have to zoom in a bit, though the massive bronze boat is pretty obvious even when not zoomed in.

 
Jenny
1183378.  Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:00 pm Reply with quote

<opens fresh pack of popcorn>

 
barbados
1183413.  Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:24 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
No authoritative sources again, so we set those remarks aside.

If you read the authoritative sources I linked to previously all of your points are addressed - which authorities cover what, the bases on which permission is granted/refused, the appeals process (which is not an arbitration process) and the over-riding aspiration to promote the streets and buldings of London as a filming location.

And all such permissions and associated powers are (in law) "powers of officials) which are subject to the doctrine of Ultra Vires so that at if anyone believes they have made decisions capriciously or without sound basis in law there is instant resort to the courts regardless of any extant complaints or appeals process.

PDR


My bad, I understood the word arbitration to be a process where mediation between two parties took place - turns out that isn't strictly the case so please replace my use of the word arbitration with mediation, although I'm not 100% convinced that is the correct word either because the mediator should be impartial, but he or she is only impartial in as much as he or she is the next step up in the ladder of authority within the film unit at Westminster council.

The authorititave source you highlight in post 1183235 is, as you say a good starting point. Film London do provide a very good service, however they would have had little or no input in the matter at hand - one woud have thought that Top Gear would have known the ation they wanted, and would have known who they need to speak to in making the arrangements (the service that film london offers is the sales one, speaking to the creative teams in the studios selling London as a location then pointing the teams in the right direction to secure the permissions from those that makethe decision). A better source of information woukd have been the proverbial horses mouth, in this particular instance the film and events unit at Westminster Council. Are you keeping up? Good.
If you check out their information, then you will see that they have a defined appeals policy - it's here by the way -> https://www.westminster.gov.uk/events-and-filming-appeals-and-complaints
And that will tell you what recourse anyone has if they feel the decision to not allow filming is incorrect.

Quote:
There are 3 possible appeals:

appeal against the policy (if your proposal is not supported)
appeal against a decision
appeal against charges or refusal to provide financial assistance
Unless the decision was made by the City Promotions, Events and Filming Account Director, the first appeal should be directed to them.

If the decision was originally made by the City Promotions, Events and Filming Account Director, or after consultation with the lead planner and the City Promotions, Events and Filming Account Director supports the decision, you can appeal to the Head of City Promotions, Events and Filming (charging and waivers) or the Commissioner for Events and Filming (decisions and policy).

If you are still unsatisfied, the final appeal stage will rest with the Chief Executive.

As you can see, there is no remedy in law, if the ncouncil don't want to give permission, they are not legally bound to do so.

 
PDR
1183414.  Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:11 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:

As you can see, there is no remedy in law, if the ncouncil don't want to give permission, they are not legally bound to do so.


Erm...yes they are. 4:12 - 4:13 of the LLA&TFL Act 2008 (as amended), as previously mentioned above, explcitly provide the power to give permission for the closure of roads and amenities for the purpose of filming.

All powers given to councils and individual officials (including ministers) are subject to the doctrine of Ultra Vires - powers must only be used for their intended purpose and consents must not be granted/witheld capriciously or forvreasons other than those given in the enabling leguslation. There is no requirement to pursue an ultra vires challenge through a complaints process before going to a court, especially where time isof the essence - where needed interim injunctions can bee sought within hours.

But we know that TG didn't do anything significantly outside the lawful bounds of the license the y purchased, because if they had the Council swould have announced that they were issuing default notices with the intention of levying fines rather than just whining.

PDR

 
Strawberry
1183418.  Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:35 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
<opens fresh pack of popcorn>


Mm, popcorn. :P

 
barbados
1183424.  Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:06 am Reply with quote

Sorry dr.bob

The point I was trying to make - unsuccessfully - was that you in recording mobile phone footage of the Jackie Chan bus - you would not see the monuments, not that you couldn't see them from the bus.

In truth, from my years carrying out tours in London, I always though that the seafarers memorial was a remnant of the shipping companies that used to be based in that part of the Thames rather than a memorial (takes us back to knowing about memorial locations I suppose)

 
dr.bob
1183443.  Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:10 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
The point I was trying to make - unsuccessfully - was that you in recording mobile phone footage of the Jackie Chan bus - you would not see the monuments, not that you couldn't see them from the bus.


OK, I understand now, but surely that depends on where you're standing with your mobile phone. If you're just poking out from behind one of the monuments, then I would suggest you'd be able to see it just fine.

Also, is that really the point? Are things only offensive if they can be captured by a mobile phone in the same frame as a memorial? Sounds pretty unlikely to me.

In my opinion, it's perfectly possible that someone could be standing by a memorial statue paying their respects to fallen comrades when they look up and see a bus exploding on the bridge above them. If that kind of behaviour is apparently acceptable, why is burning rubber on Whitehall so dreadfully offensive?

Personally, I'm not offering an opinion on whether either of these events are offensive or acceptable, merely pointing out the inherent hypocrisy on the part of Westminster Council.

 
barbados
1183453.  Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:54 am Reply with quote

I have no opinion really on whether something is offensive or not either. But as to your point regarding the mobile phone footage, I think that is very much the point here.
The "MOTP" that filmed the top gear footage (I have my doubts really) probably wasn't offended by it - they probably just thought "WOW" But were people right to be offended by it, I'd say yes they were - much in the same way that you can be offended by something you find in poor taste. I'd bet that if you look at the top gear camera footage (rather than the mobile phone offering) the people who were offended would not even bat an eyelid, because all they will see is the car driving past, then performing the stunts in front of an area that is set aside normally for celebration. You can only be offended (visually) by what you see, so if you can't see the memorial, then it isn't part of the action so to speak.

There were people who were concerned about the Jackie Chan stunt, but for different reasons. What they saw was footage from the top of a bus or from a window. they didn't know what was going on. Westminster Council (who contrary to what some believe) gave permission for that shoot to take place, and they informed everyone that needed to be informed - 999 call centres and the like, not everyone in the world needed to know - you for example in Scotland wouldn't have known anything about it in much the same way you probably are unaware of all of the filming that does take place in London. In hindsight, it might have been a good idea to let the people who are in the area know that there will be filming in the area involving explosions etc by way of street signs - but people weren't offended by it - they were shocked.

I have a feeliing that the reason for the response from the film unit was simply because they were put on the back foot - had they been made aware - and we have no real reason to doubt their claim, then they could have pointed out that the footage was shot from a different angle and was carried out in a respectful manner. then the storm in the tea cup is put out before it has a chance to gather any momentum. Instead, they had to work on the footage from the phone - which was completely different to the proposed footage from Top Gear, and if someone is going to be sensitive about such a thing, the problem isn't the wheelspins, it is the respecting of the area, and Westminster would have been able to confirm that they had gone through the storyboard with the production team and agreed that the footage would not be disrespectful.

 
PDR
1183456.  Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:38 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
and Westminster would have been able to confirm that they had gone through the storyboard with the production team and agreed that the footage would not be disrespectful.


The thing is that this is the part of the process that you keep making up - it doesn't exist and the council have no remit to do it. The council's remit is to assess the impact of any road closures, confirm that the appropriate crowd control measures are planned to be implemented by competent people and confirm that the appropriate risk assessments have been undertaken and documented. Other than minor tasks about notifications for use of simulated firearms, pyrotechnics and police/military uniforms & people that's it.

The council do not, and have no remit to do, a scene-by-scene review of the story boards for the shoots. And looking at the scale of charges for road-closure licenses they don't have the funding for the required resources to do it even if they wanted to.

Unless the proposed activity breaks some other law (there is no law making it illegal to do something disrespectful within eyeshot of a monument) they *cannot* withold a license on the basis of "not liking" what they intended to film. Heck, if the item being filmed didn't require a road closure and the film crew comprised fewer than five people they wouldn't even need a license...

PDR

 

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