Of terrible errors and moral expediency

Brits love their celebrities, and even more so giving them a bloody good kicking. One should therefore not be surprised at the howls of outrage over the much-loved arsey comedian Jimmy Carr‘s use of a morally suspect though as far as we know legal tax avoidance scheme to hide his millions from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. This while lampooning Britain’s bankers and other fat-cats. How dare he, the hypocrite!

Well, the hypocrite has this morning heeded the advice of his PR advisors and apologised for his “terrible error”. However, I can imagine him doing so while crossing his fingers behind his back.

A few years ago, Carr had his collar felt for using a mobile phone as a voice recorder while driving a car. The plod who pulled up the miscreant driver thought that the latter was making a call without a hands-free kit. This is against the law in England, but the law is rarely enforced. “Hands-free” in this context tends to mean steering a vehicle with one’s knees on the wheel, phone in one hand, and gear stick in the other.

In his defence, Carr argued that the prohibition applies only to mobile phones used as phones, and not as dictation machines. And so it does, so Carr got away with it. This did not go down well with Carr’s critics, including, if I recall correctly, his co-presenters on the 10 O’Clock Live show.

Carr’s response to his detractors then was that he hadn’t done anything wrong, so “Fuck you!”. His behaviour today is a little more refined, but I do not detect any contrition. Carr is pretty honest and up-front about it, but he is being honest and consistent in his amorality.