Jerry Finch

There is a huge difference between ‘Customer Services’ in China and the UK. Having lived in both countries for more than ten years each, I can unequivocally say, without prejudice, and I am sorry, sincerely sorry, for the shock this may cause in some circles, that the Chinese are light years ahead in customer services and also in how to handle sensitive HR situations.

When reading thoroughly and deeply about the Jeremy Clarkson affair, myself as a British citizen, who was born in the UK, who grew up there and attended a prestigious school, and yet lived in China for ten years, it is very clear to me how the rising super power culture would have handled this situation. (Yes, this does have lessons for us!)

Those of the UK population who are at all interested in the situation of Clarkson vs. the BBC have almost polarised opinions.

Let’s face it most of us know Jeremy Clarkson is an opinionated man, and that is the basis of all that follows.

However it seems a huge majority of British TV viewers seem to enjoy his middle aged ‘white-male’’ petrol-head’ view of life and motor cars especially. Why is his program so popular? It’s a money spinner for the BBC. And this is exactly where the BBC and the UK split their pathways with how the Chinese would have handled this impasse.

For us in China it’s a no brainer.

Here you have a mega star who brings in riches to your corporation, company, government and country.

(This is called ‘Pragmatism’, step one) He, that is ‘Clarkson’, is ‘Face’ itself, he is ‘Prestige’ itself, he is ‘Importance’ and ‘Mianzi’ (面子), and he directly and indirectly glorifies the country of Great Britain by the simple fact that he is exporting British culture in a phenomenal way, probably at this time in history, statistically speaking, second only to the Queen of England. (Yes, think about that!)

In fact we here in China can’t even understand in the first place why you are calling his currently unsubstantiated actions into question.

The Chinese would have done this: they would have supplied the very best beef steak when he wanted it, before he asked or even wanted it, and would have made every effort in their eternal pragmatism to make sure their megastar was content and more than satisfied. Imagine!! -- Cold meats after a long days work, the Chinese would shudder in revulsion. Fire the producer! Fire everyone who couldn’t provide hot food in the evening. My God!

Unfortunately there are some aspects of British culture today, masquerading as 'decent' but are actually just politically correct who cannot handle such culturally-valuable people like Clarkson because of the self righteousness of either themselves or those controlling them. To much of the rest of the world it’s a mystery and to the Chinese it’s a total no brainer.

But the outcome is just as sure as the refined version of British self righteousness; Clarkson will probably be eliminated from the Politically-Correct BBC (unless someone who loves cars from Saudi Arabia objects) and he may or may not take up a further offer of fame and glory from a far more pragmatic competitor. But that isn’t the main story.

The main story is how long will it take to detoxify Political Correctness in the United Kingdom and bring in a revolution of common sense?

Sure, we know Clarkson has his problems but when you look at the photo of the man who was his producer, the Chinese would have laughed out loud. How can you have a man of such minimal age and therefore experience (and not even English like Clarkson), handle a mega star like Clarkson? It’s time to be pragmatic. Not double-faced.

Why is this important? Because we should look not only at our own diabolical political correctness, which is inherently biased in any case, but at what is the practical thing to do? The 'Decent Thing' is a matter of subjectivity in many cases and often shrouded in secrecy also, which is why some many have lost faith in politicians themselves.

There are millions of fans of Clarkson, not only in the UK, but globally also, and if he needs mental or emotional help to carry on in his twilight years, then the BBC could or should first help him, (and the Chinese definitely would have) instead the BBC withheld steak after a long day's work. That’s more than annoying, that’s totally outrageous to the Chinese!

And why is this important? Because unlikely as it may seem, the clock is ticking on Political Correctness, (and I do hate to glorify that with capital letters!) and all its subsequent global ramifications.

The British people, and I also believe, the substantial part of ‘the rest of the world’ are very tired of it and are either confused or totally angry with it (for lack of other non-publishable words).

The BBC and others of like mind have their days numbered and their sand glass is running out fast. Thank God.

We will all rejoice when such unrighteousness is dead and buried. 'Even so come quickly!'

Jerry Finch

© Jerry Finch March 2015. Chinese cultural expert and Consultant. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.