Before I carry on, I would just like to explain that before his TV career began he was a professional footballer and a stalwart of England's national side - scoring forty eight goals for his country in eighty appearances. Famously, he was never booked or sent off in his entire career. He was and still remains football's Mr Nice Guy.
Earlier this week, the country's Home Secretary announced that rebooted plans were afoot to halt the flow of illegal immigrants arriving on our southern shores in inflatable dinghies. These dangerous voyages are invariably arranged by criminal gangs to which the desperate migrants have paid large sums of money.
It is a very complicated problem involving international law, the huge cost of temporarily housing would-be asylum seekers, arrivals from peaceful countries like Albania, children arriving on their own, absence of documentation plus the long-winded legal processing of asylum applications complete with the possibility of appeals.
Referring to government plans in his private Twitter account, Gary Lineker said this:-
Largely as a result of this tweet, Gary Lineker has been forced to "step back" from his "Match of the Day" role. This follows pressure from the Tory government and its agents such as Tim Davie - The Director General of the BBC who was an ardent member of The Conservative Party before taking up his current position in 2020.
This is meant to be a free country so why can't Gary Lineker express his opinions about evolving government policies in relation to illegal immigration? He has in effect been censored.
In support, several pundits and sports reporters have pulled out of their jobs this weekend showing sympathy with Gary Lineker and clearly the BBC under Tim Davie have managed to get themselves into a very difficult situation with the way forward now appearing most uncertain.
Gary Lineker is fabulously rich but he has put a lot of his money where his mouth is. I understand that he has quietly given funds to several needy charities and housed some refugees in his own home. At the age of sixty two he never needs to work again.
As I wrote somewhere on my own page, I had hoped that the two political sides would have joined forces on this one, but GL's intervention has (if anything) widened the gulf. A good opportunity lost.ReplyDelete
The thing about the inflatable boats problem is that illegal migrants and asylum seekers are getting into this country in several other ways. Wasn't the narrow Brexit victory meant to stop this influx? It clearly has not worked. Gary Lineker was expressing a personal opinion - not speaking for a particular political party.Delete
Brexit stopped the 'right people' getting in.Delete
I don't know how it works there but here you can say mostly anything you want (as long as it doesn't incite/threaten violence); however, you still have to deal with the consequences and it's often the loss of your job. The government can't come after you or throw you in jail though.ReplyDelete
Free people should be able to speak their minds as long as what they say does not incite violence. Just now I have read that there is pressure on The Director General to resign! That would be a kind of poetic justice.Delete
He was never booked when he played so why do they want to yellow card him now? I have a lot of time for him.ReplyDelete
Lineker for PM! Free bags of Walkers' "cheese and onion" for all!Delete
Another Leicester Premier league title? He was a brilliant striker.Delete
So was Arthur Scargill!Delete
I would buy Arthur a pint any time.Delete
He made some mistakes but his heart was in the right place.Delete
He should have been commended, not censured.ReplyDelete
The Tories have been in power for thirteen years and every year the migrant/asylum issue has got bigger. They have nobody to blame but themselves.Delete
I see that it was a reply to someone else. If the original was provocate and in any way hateful, then I see no reason why his freedom of speech should bother anyone. He did not have a bullhorn at a football match, he did not utter those words in any public forum but on his own social media. Let the man say what he really thinks!ReplyDelete
Trumpism is an infectious disease. This issue may be evidence of that.Delete
Completely agree with you, and so do, i suspect, a lot of presenters at the BBC.ReplyDelete
The Tories are almost certainly trying to use this issue to win them votes as they are currently way behind Labour.Delete
Without any knowledge I read that story with great interest yesterday. Unusually for me I don't have an opinion. However, from your writing I have new information, that the BBC's Director General was an ardent Tory supporter. Maybe I am forming an opinion now.ReplyDelete
It took me a while to work out how I felt about this. Many BBC employees have expressed political opinions over the years and have not been censured. Tim Davie seems like an oily, untrustworthy guy to me.Delete
Things just keep getting more complicated.ReplyDelete
Why can't things be simple any more?Delete
Were they ever?Delete
Politics and the national broadcaster should not mix. And then she laughed herself silly.ReplyDelete
I agree with sending the scumbags back to where they came from. Furthermore, how can they justify housing them when so many of your own poor don't have homes? I realise some are homeless by choice, they prefer to live outdoors, but there are families living in cars here and I suspect the same there, so why not house them instead?ReplyDelete
I suspect Lineker has been temporarily punished by the BBC and he will be back. It is in the end all to do with words. So, so easy to let fly on social media, we have forgotten how to measure our words when we speak in public. He had every right to speak out, but Suella Braverman was using politico speech, used I would think to stir the 'shires' of this country. Democracy still reigns in our country, shown by how many people gathered behind Lineker, a man rich enough to speak out, as is Carol Vorderman doing very much the same. And as I always say, don't you need two to have an argument? Those that disagree with our present government and the government itself.ReplyDelete
There is a surprising amount of pressure from organizations, to not speak out against the party line. I have gotten into hot water for comments I made on my blog.ReplyDelete
I don't think he said anything out of line. It's an opinion and we all have them.ReplyDelete
If he were a journalist covering migrant issues and expressed such an opinion, that would be one thing. But he's a sports commentator. His job has nothing to do with reporting on migrants. So why can't he say what he wants? (Besides, he's right!)ReplyDelete