THERE are those who find Jeremy Clarkson offensive.

And there are those who are racist. Not torch wielding, sheet wearing racists, just the casual workaday kind. The kind a little bit intimidated by anything progressive or different, who are insecure about their place in the world and who mask their prejudices with "edgy" jokes. The sort who miss Love Thy Neighbour and so watch the cartoon madness of Top Gear instead.

I highly doubt Clarkson himself is racist, he just knows there's a market for the sort of shtick expressly designed to upset beardy vegans who, I imagine, are high on the list of his bête noires.

I feel a little sorry for the poor boy this week, though. All this fuss over the alleged assault of a colleague. Listen, we all get hangry. Don't tell me you don't want to punch the nearest co-worker in the face when the vending machine's all out of cheese pieces and you have to settle instead for Burt's Lentil Waves with sour cream and chive.

It's a medical fact: when a person's blood glucose drops they lose the energy required to regulate their temperament.

After a hard day messing about with motors, Clarkson wanted sirloin steak with fondant potatoes. Instead he was offered a cold platter. Or soup.

"We were surprised at his reaction," said one onlooker, a hotel guest, "Because we were all thinking 'surely soup is food'."

And surely that onlooker would be correct, had they been talking about the likes of you and I. No, they were talking about talent and what talent wants, it gets.

While filming in Yorkshire, the crew was staying at Simonstone Hall. Earlier in the day Clarkson is said to have kept a helicopter waiting for three hours because he was drinking rose wine in a pub. Dinner service was then cancelled because the crew was two hours late back.

Poor pet must have been practically hypoglycaemic. No wonder he lashed out. This is the man who once said, "I don't understand bus lanes. Why do poor people have to get to places quicker than I do?" How on earth is he supposed to subsist on ham?

Clarkson, now suspended after apparently swearing at and then punching a colleague who failed to lay on hot grub, is said to be "intensely relaxed" about the affair.

Even his disciplinary will take place in a "top London hotel," which begs questions about best value.

David Cameron has made an appeal on account of the children, who will be crushed by the denial of access to a show where Asian people are called "slopes" and Mexicans "lazy, feckless, flatulent and overweight."

"He is a constituent of mine, he is a friend of mine," said the Prime Minister, before sticking on Clarkson's "talent". "He is a huge talent. All I would say, because he is a talent and he does amuse and entertain so many people, including my children who'll be heartbroken if Top Gear is taken off air, I hope this can be sorted out because it is a great programme and he is a great talent."

The Deputy Prime Minister, not wishing to be caught napping, was also quick also to comment on what he called the "cold/hot meal fracas."

While the rest of us are giggling with the absurdity of it all, Noel Edmonds has suggested the BBC doesn't know how to properly handle talent, which seems to suggest the public broadcaster should be providing these exalted demi-gods with the level of kid-glove care normally afforded to royalty.

That's right, Noel, Clarkson's show brings in a reported £50 million a year for the BBC. He is too rich and powerful to be treated like just any misbehaving staff member because blindly acquiescing to celebrity has worked quite well so far.

A Bring Back Clarkson petition has attracted more signatures than the combined membership of the SNP, Greens, Tories, Lib Dems, Labour, Plaid Cymru and Ukip. It was inching towards one million on Friday night, all people wishing Clarkson forgiven due to his talent.

Talent? Talent my foot. Hopefully the Bring Back Clarkson petition is a cunning trick and all those who sign it will be jettisoned off this island to a remote penal colony of wealthy, middle class, middle aged, white blokes and their young pretenders, all gnawing on steak and guffawing at their decades' old ideas of humour.