Quote taken out of context
The quote in question, thrown around with no regard for what it actually meant, was part of a larger conversation, as typically happens when someone speaks. The offending remark in question was used as an example by Clarkson to oppose his own actual view, in light of the BBC's unbiased reporting requirement. His own opinion was on one side, and this alternative opinion was presented to balance the views. Subject to Clarkson's exaggerative humour, the comment was quickly adapted as a offense to the very nature of humanity, grinding society to a halt with its explosive needle point of insensitivity.
Basically it's used out of context. Clarkson's lack of humour was interpreted as hate speech by those that had not even seen the programme.
The inability of people to judge a situation by context not withstanding, the oddest part of the entire situation is a celebrity chastising public sector retirees to "work for a living." But at least the bumbling Mr. Clarkson is able to provide a distraction from the inaction of those in a position to address the strikers concerns.
The article should be redacted to provide the actual context of this situation. It should include an explanation of the joke that was attempted, as well as explicitly pointing out Clarkson's actual opinion. That this was satire directed at the BBC, the government and the general public, instead of an attack on the striking workers should be explicitly clear in the article, because currently it is extremely misleading.