Nick Harvey condemns “poor taste” Jimmy Carr

The celebrity website eleven reports:

He’s never been known for his politically correct sense of humour, but comedian Jimmy Carr has incited the rage of MPs over a joke about wounded soldiers. … Audible gasps could be heard [at the Manchester Apollo on Friday night] when Carr quipped: “Say what you like about the servicemen amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan, we are going to have a f**king good Paralympics team in 2012.” …

… Lib-Dem Nick Harvey exclaimed: “Most people will think it in completely poor taste to try to extract humour from what are catastrophes.”

A smart-arse quip too far; or deliberately provocative humour designed to get a reaction? What do LDV readers think?

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • Jimmy Carr’s style has always been to take things just one step beyond – and anyone who goes along and is offended is suffering a sense of humour bypass. The man is known for that sort of ‘gag’. Get over it, Mr Harvey.

  • Liberal Neil 26th Oct '09 - 9:17am

    It probably is in poor taste but ‘Jimmy Carr in poor taste shock’ is hardly headline news. (At least it shouldn’t be!). If you don’t like offensive gags, don’t watch Jimmy Carr. It is,of course, a lot less offensive than a) sending them over there in the first place and b) not looking after them properly when they get back. There is also probably some truth in it. Quite a few disabled service personnel do go into competitive sport.

  • Certainly just over the margins of acceptability, but not without a grain of truth – there actually is a campaign going on just now within sport to recruit more ex-servicemen with a view to 2012 – there was something on BBC Breakfast about it a couple of weeks ago.

  • Nick Harvey has made a prat of himself. Ridiculous manufactured ire is much more offensive than anything Jimmy Carr has said.

  • Poor taste but that’s what comedy usually is.

    It’s bad enough the party’s media strategy seems to revolve around commenting on the agenda set by other parties and their issues, but now we’re reacting to stand-up comedians!

  • Perhaps we ought to bring back the Lord Chancellor and censor all scripts in advance ?

    Nick Harvey is a bit of a disaster area for naff comments about MP’s expenses.

    I am reminder that Michael Flanders of Flanders and Swann was approched by anti-censorship campaigners for support and asked if he had anything really good censored. He hadn’t, as he later revealed, the scripts often came back with notes like very good written in the margin.

  • Oranjepan, I fear you’re analysing Carr’s work in a slightly over-the-top (and with perhaps intentional irony on your part) manner. Carr’s professed comic motivation is the construction of jokes. He finds the structure of humour fascinating, which is why his stand-up differs from someone like, say, Billy Connelly who tends to narrative , and is more focused around jokes themselves. It would never be part of his act to go through the circumstances surrounding the conflict in any great depth, so I wouldn’t view this as being an end to his development – to be honest, this isn’t really any worse than his glee at discovering what he claims to be the worst sentence in the English language: “Hey now, let’s not turn this rape into a murder”. In fact, I imagine he’ll be immensely proud of this one, because it’s an extremely unexpected conclusion from the antecedent, thus fulfilling one of the prime criteria for jokes.

  • Pointing out that a great many servicepeople have lost limbs in our constant wars since 2001 and no-one seems to care about it is in bad taste and has gone too far? Sometimes it takes linking two things seemingly in bad taste to highlight the sheer scale of a problem. That ‘Ooooo’ that came out of their mouths was the caused by the image of a soldier with missing limbs that wasn’t there a minute ago and probably hasn’t been there since the first casualty report from Afghanistan in 2001.

  • Lost LibDem 26th Oct '09 - 1:23pm

    The problem is that the “joke” is just not funny. Its like excessive swearing – if a comedian insists on using “f**k” for every other word it loses any impact. Just crossing the PC boundary does not make Carr funny. The only reason for doing this (as with swearing) is to cover up a lack of genuinely funny material.

  • We’re getting more and more desperate to shore up our Tory credentials in the marginals I see….

  • Jimmy Carr is simply not funny, but then again, I don’t think any comedians today actually are funny.

  • This is bad taste (if with a grain of accuracy – the subject has been discussed on Radio 5).

    But it’s not up to politicians to regulate taste. Good, bad or otherwise. Maybe Nick should remember that impersonating and satirising the Prime Minister was once regarded as being unacceptably bad taste.

  • Cllr Patrick Smith 26th Oct '09 - 8:22pm

    I`m with Nick Harvey is reprimanding the bitter irony contained in the comedic personal of Jimmy Carr who has visited the troops in Afghanistan and probably understands their courage more than anyone.

    Why does Jimmy Carr then choose to make these kind of jokes at the obvious cost of hurt to the many relatives of our British active servicemen/women and vets from Iraq and Afghanistan?.

  • Cllr Patrick Smith 26th Oct '09 - 8:54pm

    I am basically shocked that one of Britian`s best known comedians should have risked hurt to relatives and wounded servicemen/women in Iraq/Afghanistan.

    However, I know that Jimmy Carr has been out to entertain British service personnel abroad, like national treasures like Katherine Jenkins and many others, in choosing to perform, where there is potential risk.

    It is difficult to square this circle.

    I would like to see the wounded British Servicemen/women from Iraq/Afghanistan given complimentary tickets to the Olympics 2012 and welcomed into the international arenas, as heroic veterans with seats of honour.

  • No-one seems to have noticed that a liberal leaning comic sees the Iraq and Afghistan wars, and the soldiers who come home without limbs, as worthy of tragic irony. Whilst the people who are criticising him are the ones happy to send, indeed encouraging, the soldiers out to get their limbs blown off?

    It’s just yet another example of how the authoritarian right is happy to do horrible things whilst talking civilly, and liberal commentators say horrible things to make a point and actively campaign against doing horrible things.

    Which group should we be supporting here again?

  • This is quite bad, and I mean our MP trying to get tabloid pleasing publicity out of siding with ‘our boys’ rather than the fact that a not very funny comic made people think, albeit briefly, about the realities of war. I think it was Obama who sai ‘Enough phoney outrage’? Says it all.

  • Malcolm Todd 26th Oct '09 - 11:41pm

    Can we just have a rule for our MPs to never comment on anything that a comedian has said? It just makes you look stupid, humourless, reactionary, or all three.

  • Andrew Suffield 27th Oct '09 - 11:21am

    I think that when politicians and serious press start commenting on ‘taste’ then it’s time for their lunch break to end so they can get back to work. Seriously, this has got absolutely nothing to do with what they are getting paid for.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Mel Borthwaite
    As I see it, about half of voters in England would support rejoining the EU yet no major party is willing to represent this position. I can’t understand the r...
  • David Franks
    It is all so frustrating. What do ordinary members have to do to get the 'leadership' to shout about our clear and distinctive position on relationships with th...
  • Tim Rogers
    In general I agree with this although perhaps longer than I would have gone for. It explains why brexit has,is and will fail and cool level headed thinking is n...
  • Peter Martin
    " if nothing is done about the taper rate GBI will suffer from exactly the same problem as UC does now" The UBI also has an effective worsened "t...
  • Ian Shires
    "Thomas Price", thanks for this excellent article. There was much that was good in Ed's speech to conference, but there was something that was sadly missing. Yo...