As Match of the Day goes out on BBC One, chopped to twenty minutes and with no studio punditry or even commentary on the action, here are some random thoughts on Gary Lineker’s tweet:-
There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries. This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) March 7, 2023
- He is absolutely correct to point out similarities between the language being used now and that used in 1930s Germany.
- He is a sports presenter, so his views on issues outside of the sporting arena are irrelevant to his ability to do his job.
- Compare the reaction to that when Andrew Neil regularly spoke out on political matters, including calling Carole Cadwalladr a ‘crazy cat person’ after she exposed Brexit corruption.
- If Lineker had gone the other way and praised the government and its policies, there would have been no outrage and no suspensions – Tim Davie refused to deny this when asked about it earlier today. The BBC has capitulated to the right-wing ideologues again.
Lineker will be just fine whatever happens – his skills as a presenter and pundit will have him in high demand from sports channels. The BBC, I’m not so sure about. I cherish it and want to see it thrive, but it has lost its way on matters of impartiality and needs to have a good long rethink of its purpose and goals. A clearout of the Tories at the top couldn’t hurt either.