by Ben Sixsmith
Tuesday, 19
October 2021
Spotted
10:30

Come to Poland, Jeremy Clarkson!

The Top Gear presenter is loved here more than anywhere else
by Ben Sixsmith
Jeremiusz Clarksonski

Readers of Jeremy Clarkson’s most recent Sunday Times column might not be surprised to find him casually scorning Americans, France, Greece, Spain and Germany, but they might be surprised to read his kind words for Poland. The host of Top Gear, The Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm even suggests that it might make sense to emigrate from a troubled Britain to the land of pierogi and Pope John Paul II. “We’re sitting around now moaning about how all the lorry drivers and builders have gone home to Poland and won’t come back,” writes Clarkson:

So fine: if that’s what we want — well-made houses and regular bog roll deliveries — why don’t we all move to Warsaw as well?
- Jeremy Clarkson, Sunday Times

I do not think it is presumptuous of me to say that Mr Clarkson would be welcomed with open arms. He is generally popular here. In 2006 the Guardian reported that the Polish translation of The World According to Clarkson was “a… runaway literary success, sitting atop the bestseller list of the country’s biggest bookshop, Empik.” Top Gear Live broke attendance records in Warsaw in 2013. In 2015, I was in my local bar when one of the regulars, a giant man with whom I had almost got into a fight the previous week, stormed in and strode in my direction, fuming. I was preparing to die when I realised that his outraged invective was peppered with the word “Clarkson”. He was angry that the Top Gear host had been fired. We got on after that.

This popularity might surprise some readers given Clarkson’s more mischievous jokes about the country. As he writes in his column, though, Poles love a joke. They have enough of their own at the of expense Russians, Germans and other European countries.

It’s also true that Poland’s economic boom led to an explosion in car sales. The number of cars registered in Poland rose by more than 600% between the early 1980s and the early 2010s. As the Financial Times reported in 2019, “Poland’s growing middle class is increasingly splashing out on the finer things in life.” It is no surprise that Clarkson’s fast cars and fine travelling appeals to many increasingly rich and aspirational Central and Eastern Europeans.

Having lived in Poland for nearly 10 years, I can personally attest to the hospitality of the people here. If Mr Clarkson were to emigrate, I suspect he would receive a hero’s welcome. Perhaps he could even adopt a more Polish-sounding name: witaj, Jeremiusz Clarksonski!

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Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago

I must say Poland and Hungary are looking more appealing by the day if only because they are resisting the emergent rainbow police state that the EU is trying to impose upon them.

Eamonn Von Holt
Eamonn Von Holt
11 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Not just the EU Julian.
I live in Brisbane and cannot believe how quickly Australia has turned into a police state. Under the guise of keeping us same from Covid all personal freedoms and rights of individuals have been completely eroded in the past 18 months by the various state governments without a peep from our Federal Govt and Boris like populist PM, Scomo driven by the polls.
Never mind being allowed into Australia, as a citizen you haven’t even had the right to leave without govt approval.
Sadly, all of this has been carried out with support from MSM, major institutions and the judiciary.

Mike M
Mike M
11 months ago

I suspect Pan Clarkson’s style of driving would be right at home in Poland where the suggestion to Zachowaj Odstęp (keep a distance between cars) is blithely ignored at 150kph

jola.wisniewska.reading
jola.wisniewska.reading
11 months ago

Jeremiasz, not Jeremiusz 😉

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
11 months ago

Or just Jarema.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
11 months ago

I hope the coming Polish elections will not see them resiling, weakening, giving in to the Nanny EU, who is apparently ready to pressure them by crimping their recently acquired middle-class amenities. I hope it’s recent enough that they remember that life in a Poland dictated to by authorities outside of Poland isn’t much of a Polish life. I think their enthusiasm for Clarkson is a sign of a robust national spirit.