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How football outgrew the BBC The Lineker Affair reveals how it can't be tamed

Who would replace him? (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Who would replace him? (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)


March 13, 2023   6 mins

The embarrassment was clear even from the continuity announcer. “Now on BBC One, we’re sorry that we’re unable to show our normal Match of the Day,” he intoned gravely. There was no theme tune, no presenters, no commentary, no post-match interviews, no purpose, no journalism. Just dislocated clips from each of the day’s six Premier League fixtures. It was a joyless shadow of what used to be and, as such, a perfect emblem of where we stand.

Nothing works anymore. There are shortages of fruit and vegetables; energy is cripplingly expensive; strikes have become an everyday occurrence. Then there are the NHS, the railways and the Post Office. Match of the Day and, by extension, the BBC, is just another great institution run into the ground. But its collapse also reveals something about football and its place in society, its potential as a locus of dissent.

On 2 May 1953, the great cricket writer Neville Cardus went to Lord’s to watch the opening first-class match of the season: the MCC against Yorkshire, the champion county. “Play was not possible until 3.15pm,” he noted glumly in a letter to the Times. “Then the players came into the field and in an hour 20-odd runs were scored without a sign of a daring gesture, without a hint of personal relish.”

Nine miles to the west, at Wembley, Bolton Wanderers led Blackpool 3-1 in the FA Cup final. It looked like the 38-year-old Stanley Matthews, widely regarded as the best footballer in England, was again going to be denied the first medal of his career. But in the half-hour that followed, Matthews inspired a fightback and Blackpool won 4-3. Journalists, breaking all codes of etiquette, stood on their seats to applaud one of the most emotional of victories. As Cardus left Lord’s and ran into excited fans leaving Wembley, he spoke of his fear that cricket would “gradually disappear, not greatly lamented, into profound oblivion”. When Geoffrey Green, in his report of the FA Cup final in the same paper, spoke of football as “the game of the people”, Cardus said he felt he could no longer argue.

Although commentary of the FA Cup final had been available on the BBC World Service, the BBC Light Programme carried commentary on only the second half, preferring to cover the touring Australians at Leicester and a championship match between Hampshire and Essex. It wouldn’t happen again. What really hammered home football’s advantage was the fact that, for the first time, it had reached a mass television audience, as many people buying televisions for the Coronation did so a month early to watch Matthews and his last shot at silverware. As Martin Kelner argues in Sit Down and Cheer, this was the day when football supplanted cricket as the national sport.

FA Cup final coverage on BBC soon became a staple and, in 1964, Match of the Day was broadcast for the first time. Football, suddenly, was taken into people’s homes on a weekly basis. It became possible to see teams and players without actually going to the ground. Football became a mass cultural phenomenon.

Football was initially sceptical about television. The 1968 League Cup final between Leeds and Arsenal, for instance, wasn’t screened live for fear of reducing the attendance at Wembley, while for years the league games whose highlights would be broadcast were kept secret. But England’s World Cup success and the emergence of George Best, the first bona fide footballing celebrity, intensified the relationship, which soon became symbiotic. What was cause and what was effect is difficult to say, but in the late Sixties and early Seventies, English football was blessed with an array of colourful and controversial managers: Brian Clough, Bill Shankly, Don Revie, Tommy Docherty, Malcolm Allison. It became a great soap opera that was just about able to withstand the worst years of hooliganism that followed.

And it was television that offered an escape from the dark years of the Eighties, as Sky funded the breakaway Premiership in 1992. Even then, though, Match of the Day remained: highlights on free-to-air were essential for awareness of the product. Football gentrified, stadiums became less unpleasant and gradually its worldwide appeal took the game away from its roots. Thanks to television, football became a case study of globalisation. Match of the Day had made it easier to support a club from afar — you could follow Manchester United or Liverpool and have a reasonable idea of how they played without ever visiting Old Trafford or Anfield. But over the last couple of decades, as the Premier League has been aggressively marketed overseas, this process has accelerated.

On the one hand, English football is a tremendous success story, a potent tool of soft power. Hundreds of millions watch each week, with the result that audiences from Argentina to Ethiopia have a vague understanding of such disparate places as Burnley, Hull and Swansea. But on the other, this leads to tensions between the demands and expectations of, say, Chelsea fans in Ghana or Japan, and those who haven’t missed a game at Stamford Bridge in 30 years. To whom a club belongs seems a fundamental question with implications far beyond football.

And that’s why football has become so important. It offers a sense of community and identity, but it is also as close to universal as anything can be. Football brings broader, often intangible, issues into focus. Politicians recognise this. That’s why the Government intends to create a regulator for football when the economics alone make the expense hard to justify. It’s why, when Roman Abramovich was sanctioned, Chelsea were treated as a special case rather than simply having their trading suspended. And it’s why oligarchs, sheikhs and petrostates are so eager to involve themselves in the game.

Which brings us to the Lineker Affair and the absurdity of the fall-out from a sports presenter’s tweet about the language surrounding the Government’s immigration policy. It’s hard to discuss, because while it’s about fundamental issues of free speech and government policy, it’s also about a former Leicester striker being able to guide Martin Keown and Danny Murphy through a discussion about VAR.

Quite apart from anything else, it’s striking just how badly the BBC management has handled this. Journalism is a precarious and far-from-lucrative business. But the one class of people in the industry who have a level of financial security are the former players who serve as pundits. And football is based on mateship and not letting the team down. Once Ian Wright had withdrawn from Match of the Day in solidarity with Lineker, there was little doubt that others would follow; it was football’s “I’m Sporticus” moment.

What was perhaps less foreseeable was that commentators would then follow. And it turns out that watching three minutes of highlights without commentary is a weirdly alienating experience. Even for those of us who cover the game professionally, identifying Dango Ouattara or Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall or Max Wöber with little context in a clip of five or six seconds is extremely difficult. If nothing else, and despite John Redwood’s unconvincing tweet to the contrary, what this affair has demonstrated is just how necessary commentators are.

And by suspending Lineker, the BBC leadership has shone a light on itself. That it is either craven or hypocritical is undeniable. Some will believe this is all part of a Right-wing plot to undermine the BBC, to make people ask what exactly the licence fee is for. At the very least, there is a growing recognition that it’s a bit rich for a former advisor to Theresa May (Robbie Gibb), a Conservative donor who helped arrange a loan to Boris Johnson (Richard Sharp), and a former Conservative councillor (Tim Davie) to be preaching about impartiality. Nobody, surely, is surprised this storm has blown up over comments from Lineker, rather than by a BBC freelancer of more Right-wing views such as Alan Sugar or Andrew Neil.

Rishi Sunak’s statement on Saturday, contradicting a number of his MPs, including the culture secretary Lucy Frazer, seemed intended to distance the Government from Lineker’s suspension and to paint it as an internal BBC affair. It suggests he feels public opinion may be on Lineker’s side. Yet the danger now for the BBC is that this spreads beyond sport. Might others at the broadcaster concerned by this issue take action? Can the BBC back down or at least find a workable fudge? And if it does not, will Match of the Day survive? Who, credibly, could present it now?

Lineker’s hand is strong: he is 62, highly respected and co-owns a successful production company. With BT Sport and Discovery merging to form TNT, there’s a high-profile presenting job still unfilled for next season. His decision to go to watch Leicester play Chelsea on Saturday was, whether conscious or not, reminiscent of Brian Clough’s appearance at Derby vs Leicester days after Derby had sacked him. He was pointedly relaxed and, as with Clough, fans took the opportunity to demonstrate their support for him.

The Premier League, presumably, is not impressed about its product being overshadowed, with its coverage reduced to a perfunctory 20 minutes. BBC Sport is already a shell of what it used to be. It’s lost the cricket, the golf, the rugby league and the Formula One. If it were to lose the Premier League highlights as well, its days as a serious sports broadcaster would effectively be over, prompting further questions about the value of the licence fee.

Six decades ago, through Match of the Day, the BBC took football into people’s homes and elevated itself to a whole new level of popularity. It may now be that football, through Match of the Day, destroys the BBC, or at least forces it to consider the extent to which its credibility has been damaged by the present leadership. Football has outgrown its nurturer to become a powerful political force in its own right — and nobody quite knows how to tame it.


Jonathan Wilson is a columnist for the Guardian, the editor of the Blizzard, the co-host of the podcast It Was What It Was and author of 12 books on football history and one novel.

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Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago

Lineker’s hand is strong: he is 62, highly respected and co-owns a successful production company

This weekend I encountered peak irony. Irony so so dense, so massive, so unstable and brilliant, it may just collapse into a singularity.
Among the various individuals voicing support for Gary Lineker, perhaps the most prominent is one Alastair Campbell who works with the aforementioned production company…and no, I’m not bothered by the conflict of interest.
No, Campbell would never march into a live Channel 4 news broadcast and demand a retraction from the BBC and a punitive response to a journalist fact checking the government’s claim of Iraqi WMD. That would never happen.
Nor would there be a parliamentary enquiry into the BBC’s coverage of Campbell’s dossier, which is all rather fortunate as it wouldn’t result in the untimely death of the journalist’s source.
Thus, the BBC would never collapse under the weight of government pressure removing any final impediment to an invasion of a foreign country where hundreds of thousands would lose their lives, the rise of terrorist groups such as ISIS and the beginning of a two decade long refugee crisis.
This is all rather fortunate for Gary as using dehumanising language is, indeed, unfathomably cruel but perhaps not quite as cruel as causing those people to be refugees in the first place. So it’s rather fortunate that his business acquaintance and number one supporter never did anything resembling the above actions as it might otherwise cause him to look like a massive hypocrite.

Mashie Niblick
Mashie Niblick
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Campbell is both a nasty piece of work – and an eejit.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Mashie Niblick

And a war criminal.

Paul Grimaldi
Paul Grimaldi
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Alistair Campbell a war criminal? Not everyone’s favourite I know but isn’t this debate about inflammatory language?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

Hard to think of any language inflammatory enough where Campbell is concerned.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

You clearly lack much knowledge about Campbell’s personal contributions to the invasion of Iraq.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

Hard to think of any language inflammatory enough where Campbell is concerned.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

You clearly lack much knowledge about Campbell’s personal contributions to the invasion of Iraq.

Paul Grimaldi
Paul Grimaldi
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Alistair Campbell a war criminal? Not everyone’s favourite I know but isn’t this debate about inflammatory language?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Mashie Niblick

And a war criminal.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Superb comment.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Alistair Campbell is no saint and you’ve put that brilliantly. Small point: being a hypocrite does not make you wrong.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Classic unherd reading experience here. A sensible, balanced article and what’s at the top of the comments? A massive ad hominem attack that does not address the argument on its own terms. Respect to the unherd editors – don’t cave in to this lot. They want this outlet to be another capital-friendly churning ground of culture warmongering that has no interest in solving the huge economic problems this country faces and would rather we worried about dwindling numbers of refugees ‘invading’ our country than taking on the wealthy interests currently choking our productivity, livelihoods and dignity in working, cheerfully breaking our families and communities down until every last bit of shareholder value has been extracted from us.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

“wealthy interests currently choking our productivity, livelihoods and dignity in working, cheerfully breaking our families and communities down until every last bit of shareholder value has been extracted from us”
… whilst promoting open borders policies that inflate rents and house prices, degrade public services and push down wages at the same time as trying to deflect from this activity by pretending to be altruistic and compassionate.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I’m not actually in favour of open borders. The single hope I had in Brexit was that by reducing our access to cheap workers it might increase the bargaining power of labour and kickstart the high wage economy the Tories like to promise but never give. But this issue seems to be about aslylum seekers, whose applications to Britain are actually reducing. Braverman admitted that the law she is passing violates a human rights convention that Britain led the signing of (Chruchill also keen on human rights) – and now we are breaking this in the name of one party’s political desperation masquerading as patriotism and indeed it is the patriot in me that most dislikes what she is doing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXqVGtxFppQ
And from the fact you did not directly challenge the part of my comment you quoted, can I assume you also think that our current problems are as much a consequence of the battle between work and wealth as they might be of that between the woke and the broke? (although the anti-wokies do seem to be well represented among the super-rich..)

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

“And from the fact you did not directly challenge the part of my comment you quoted”
Of course I did – by pointing out that it’s wealthy ‘progressives’ who are actually the ones destroying the lives of working people by insisting on open borders policies which enrich rent seekers – like Lineker et al – at the expense of the rest of us.
It was the same with Brexit: what is ‘free movement of labour and capital’ if it’s not class war? Yet the endless propaganda of the plutocratic ‘left’ brutally stigmatises anyone who opposes their parasitic, corporatist agenda with every disgusting epithet they can come up with.
Fortunately, at last, the worm is turning.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

You really see high rates of immigration as a greater threat to living standards than say the fact many companies don’t want to pay a living wage or refuse to lower gas bills despite record profits? Or the fact that, as Roger Scruton admitted when he co-chaired the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission, there are many wealthy vested interests (connected with the Tory party) blocking the building of council housing for those who need it?
I don’t agree with unlimited immigration as I’ve said, but the discussion about whether immigrants enrich or impoverish us seems far more contestable than whether rent seekers do…
Also, Braverman is going after the 35,000 or so immigrants who arrive here illegally. I don’t understand the controversy firstly because of numbers and secondly because of the nature of these arrivals. This group is a small portion of the overall number of 330,000 annual arrivals, largely made up of Ukranians, Hong Kongers and Afghans (the second group fleeing a colony and the third a war we helped create) who are in a similar situation to many of the 35,000 illegal arrivals targetted by Braverman. Most of these, once processed, are granted asylum, so why should we treat them any differently to the Ukranians, Hong Kongers and Afghans who are also all fleeing oppression? And if we should, what is their essential difference with those arriving illegally? And then there’s the possible fact beneath the phrase ‘arriving illegally’ – i.e. just because you *arrived* illegally doesn’t mean you *are* illegal. Many with a legal right to claim asylum do not have the means to find a legal route (mainly because the UK has been hopeless at making itself accessible).
And so for all these reasons I cannot for the life of me get as upset with people arriving here as I do with the elites who run and rent the place!

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

What experience do you have of the mainly working class towns that have had huge numbers of illegal immigrants foisted on them? As much experience as Lineker, perhaps?
Each passing month, criminal elements are slipping across the Channel and starting to build their networks to exploit and extort other human beings, and you’d prefer to let them flourish because of a socialist agenda that seeks to bring everyone down to a level that you feel comfortable with?
Turkish and Albanian gangs are already fighting over control of certain parts of London. We’re basically allowing the worst elements of societies whose values are antithetical to ours to succeed at our expense; that is, until the planned legislation becomes law. It’s the only hope we have of putting a stop to this before it’s too late. Try using your arguments against someone whose grasp of the finer points of socialist rhetoric doesn’t quite match your sensitivities.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Not much (I live in the ‘socialist’ Netherlands where higher wages and lower rents means that as a young person I can still hope to support a family) – but that doesn’t matter because I’ve said that immigration can be a problem, but that it is not the *main* problem. I’m just asking for a concession from some of you here that immigrants cannot be the central reason say 1 in 4 children in the UK now live in poverty, as do 8 million working age adults. Or that we have lower productivity levels than most other western European countries (because of an economy that encourages speculation and asset-hoarding), as prominent small c conservatives (Hichens and Scruton) whom I suspect you admire, have admitted in the past. And in what way are a ‘living wage’ and ‘affordable housing’ examples of the ‘finer points of socialist rhetoric?’ I’m interested in building a more resilient and productive form of capitalism that gives people a stake in society and the future. I suspect those suggestions would go down very well with this imagined ‘someone’ to whom I’d apparently sound unpalatably elitist.

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Not much (I live in the ‘socialist’ Netherlands where higher wages and lower rents means that as a young person I can still hope to support a family) – but that doesn’t matter because I’ve said that immigration can be a problem, but that it is not the *main* problem. I’m just asking for a concession from some of you here that immigrants cannot be the central reason say 1 in 4 children in the UK now live in poverty, as do 8 million working age adults. Or that we have lower productivity levels than most other western European countries (because of an economy that encourages speculation and asset-hoarding), as prominent small c conservatives (Hichens and Scruton) whom I suspect you admire, have admitted in the past. And in what way are a ‘living wage’ and ‘affordable housing’ examples of the ‘finer points of socialist rhetoric?’ I’m interested in building a more resilient and productive form of capitalism that gives people a stake in society and the future. I suspect those suggestions would go down very well with this imagined ‘someone’ to whom I’d apparently sound unpalatably elitist.

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
A Willis
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

“Braverman is going after the 35,000 or so immigrants who arrive here illegally”
Where do you get that figure from?

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  A Willis

https://www.dw.com/en/uk-immigration-nearly-triples-despite-brexit-promises/a-63878757
Ok so it’s gone up to 45,000 in the last year – I agree this is an issue that needs to be addressed, but if you believe that the high rents and the low wages suffered in this country are purely the result of immigration then we have a fundamental disagreement. Have you ever considered that those who own most of the media have an interest in you directing your anger at immigrants (who often – i’m not saying always – often, do make a contribution, and work same as me and you) rather than at the owners of papers, companies and houses who do *not* have to work for their money and would rather you were angry about people fleeing disaster than with their greed?

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  A Willis

https://www.dw.com/en/uk-immigration-nearly-triples-despite-brexit-promises/a-63878757
Ok so it’s gone up to 45,000 in the last year – I agree this is an issue that needs to be addressed, but if you believe that the high rents and the low wages suffered in this country are purely the result of immigration then we have a fundamental disagreement. Have you ever considered that those who own most of the media have an interest in you directing your anger at immigrants (who often – i’m not saying always – often, do make a contribution, and work same as me and you) rather than at the owners of papers, companies and houses who do *not* have to work for their money and would rather you were angry about people fleeing disaster than with their greed?

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
A Willis
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

“Poor? Stupid? Racist? Then don’t listen to a pampered white liberal like me.
‘It’s all right for you,’ say the white underclass. And it is all right for us – very much so.
Establishment liberals have it every way. When was the last time a white newspaper editor, a barrister or a white Minister felt his job was threatened by black or Asian rivals? 
When we talked about this at an Observer meeting, not a black face was visible. 
Actually, that’s not quite true. There was one black guy who passed. He was pushing the coffee-trolley.” 
Andrew Marr, The Guardian, February 1999.
https://www.theguardian.com/Columnists/Column/0,,311213,00.html

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  A Willis

I take your point that immigration may be driving down the pay of unskilled jobs, but that’s also because the Tories have no interest in creating skilled jobs for working class people (who are capable of so much more than supermarket work or deliveroo deliveries – both of which I’ve done). But if you disagree that’s ok too – it is your right to go on voting for a Tory government that does nothing to improve your pay or job security (the same party that uses our tax money to pay the train companies to not do a deal with the RMT) or to create the skilled working class jobs that were promised by Labour in 2019. But no, because Jeremy Corbyn had wonky glasses we can look forward to our children living in tents outside Amazon warehouses from which they can be fired over a tannoy.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  A Willis

I take your point that immigration may be driving down the pay of unskilled jobs, but that’s also because the Tories have no interest in creating skilled jobs for working class people (who are capable of so much more than supermarket work or deliveroo deliveries – both of which I’ve done). But if you disagree that’s ok too – it is your right to go on voting for a Tory government that does nothing to improve your pay or job security (the same party that uses our tax money to pay the train companies to not do a deal with the RMT) or to create the skilled working class jobs that were promised by Labour in 2019. But no, because Jeremy Corbyn had wonky glasses we can look forward to our children living in tents outside Amazon warehouses from which they can be fired over a tannoy.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

What experience do you have of the mainly working class towns that have had huge numbers of illegal immigrants foisted on them? As much experience as Lineker, perhaps?
Each passing month, criminal elements are slipping across the Channel and starting to build their networks to exploit and extort other human beings, and you’d prefer to let them flourish because of a socialist agenda that seeks to bring everyone down to a level that you feel comfortable with?
Turkish and Albanian gangs are already fighting over control of certain parts of London. We’re basically allowing the worst elements of societies whose values are antithetical to ours to succeed at our expense; that is, until the planned legislation becomes law. It’s the only hope we have of putting a stop to this before it’s too late. Try using your arguments against someone whose grasp of the finer points of socialist rhetoric doesn’t quite match your sensitivities.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
A Willis
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

“Braverman is going after the 35,000 or so immigrants who arrive here illegally”
Where do you get that figure from?

A Willis
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

“Poor? Stupid? Racist? Then don’t listen to a pampered white liberal like me.
‘It’s all right for you,’ say the white underclass. And it is all right for us – very much so.
Establishment liberals have it every way. When was the last time a white newspaper editor, a barrister or a white Minister felt his job was threatened by black or Asian rivals? 
When we talked about this at an Observer meeting, not a black face was visible. 
Actually, that’s not quite true. There was one black guy who passed. He was pushing the coffee-trolley.” 
Andrew Marr, The Guardian, February 1999.
https://www.theguardian.com/Columnists/Column/0,,311213,00.html

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

You really see high rates of immigration as a greater threat to living standards than say the fact many companies don’t want to pay a living wage or refuse to lower gas bills despite record profits? Or the fact that, as Roger Scruton admitted when he co-chaired the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission, there are many wealthy vested interests (connected with the Tory party) blocking the building of council housing for those who need it?
I don’t agree with unlimited immigration as I’ve said, but the discussion about whether immigrants enrich or impoverish us seems far more contestable than whether rent seekers do…
Also, Braverman is going after the 35,000 or so immigrants who arrive here illegally. I don’t understand the controversy firstly because of numbers and secondly because of the nature of these arrivals. This group is a small portion of the overall number of 330,000 annual arrivals, largely made up of Ukranians, Hong Kongers and Afghans (the second group fleeing a colony and the third a war we helped create) who are in a similar situation to many of the 35,000 illegal arrivals targetted by Braverman. Most of these, once processed, are granted asylum, so why should we treat them any differently to the Ukranians, Hong Kongers and Afghans who are also all fleeing oppression? And if we should, what is their essential difference with those arriving illegally? And then there’s the possible fact beneath the phrase ‘arriving illegally’ – i.e. just because you *arrived* illegally doesn’t mean you *are* illegal. Many with a legal right to claim asylum do not have the means to find a legal route (mainly because the UK has been hopeless at making itself accessible).
And so for all these reasons I cannot for the life of me get as upset with people arriving here as I do with the elites who run and rent the place!

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

“And from the fact you did not directly challenge the part of my comment you quoted”
Of course I did – by pointing out that it’s wealthy ‘progressives’ who are actually the ones destroying the lives of working people by insisting on open borders policies which enrich rent seekers – like Lineker et al – at the expense of the rest of us.
It was the same with Brexit: what is ‘free movement of labour and capital’ if it’s not class war? Yet the endless propaganda of the plutocratic ‘left’ brutally stigmatises anyone who opposes their parasitic, corporatist agenda with every disgusting epithet they can come up with.
Fortunately, at last, the worm is turning.

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Rishi Sunak followed up his tweet with a fuller and excellent analysis of ILLEGAL immigration, viewing with compassion the loss of lives in the channel but also touching on the points made above.
This submission was printed down the side of a Sky News items but was not broadcast, as far as I can tell, on the BBC. It would have put the man’s criticism into context and thus reduced the sensation he craved and which the Sports’ producers wanted to promote..
He has now been reinstated and the BBC has apologised for suspending him – without his having to retract his likening our elected government to the Nazi regime in the 1930s.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I’m not actually in favour of open borders. The single hope I had in Brexit was that by reducing our access to cheap workers it might increase the bargaining power of labour and kickstart the high wage economy the Tories like to promise but never give. But this issue seems to be about aslylum seekers, whose applications to Britain are actually reducing. Braverman admitted that the law she is passing violates a human rights convention that Britain led the signing of (Chruchill also keen on human rights) – and now we are breaking this in the name of one party’s political desperation masquerading as patriotism and indeed it is the patriot in me that most dislikes what she is doing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXqVGtxFppQ
And from the fact you did not directly challenge the part of my comment you quoted, can I assume you also think that our current problems are as much a consequence of the battle between work and wealth as they might be of that between the woke and the broke? (although the anti-wokies do seem to be well represented among the super-rich..)

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Rishi Sunak followed up his tweet with a fuller and excellent analysis of ILLEGAL immigration, viewing with compassion the loss of lives in the channel but also touching on the points made above.
This submission was printed down the side of a Sky News items but was not broadcast, as far as I can tell, on the BBC. It would have put the man’s criticism into context and thus reduced the sensation he craved and which the Sports’ producers wanted to promote..
He has now been reinstated and the BBC has apologised for suspending him – without his having to retract his likening our elected government to the Nazi regime in the 1930s.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

You need counselling before it’s too late!

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

The irony

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Too late for me! What about you?
You haven’t contributed much today.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Pah. Most of my comments are in the green. There’s something wrong.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Pah. Most of my comments are in the green. There’s something wrong.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The irony

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Too late for me! What about you?
You haven’t contributed much today.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The irony

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

If you’re paying I’ll do it! Though not quite sure what my psychological ill would be apart from not being able to fit in a BBC-bashing echo chamber!

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

The irony

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

If you’re paying I’ll do it! Though not quite sure what my psychological ill would be apart from not being able to fit in a BBC-bashing echo chamber!

Stephen Nelson
Stephen Nelson
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Agree entirely. I read unherd for the variety of opinions set out in interesting articles – some of which I agree with and others not so much (radical thinking I know).

Once you get to the comments section you realise that, at least the most “vocal” readers, haven’t quite taken on board the mission statement of Unherd (https://unherd.com/about-unherd/) and were expecting something “different” in the way GBNews is “different”.

As you say, fair play to the editors so far but I do fear that with time it may succumb to audience capture and become its own little echo chamber


Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Nelson

Yep – could be that those unheard dissenting readers are too busy working to pay rent to the vocal readers whose rent receipts pay for their free time on here

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Nelson

Yep – could be that those unheard dissenting readers are too busy working to pay rent to the vocal readers whose rent receipts pay for their free time on here

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Yes – you get the sense the top of the pile commenter was frustrated at not being able to savage Lineker, given how comically obvious the disparity between their treatment of left and right wing bias. The Beeb’s lawyers will have reminded them that they were on a hiding to nothing here, hence the climb-down

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

“wealthy interests currently choking our productivity, livelihoods and dignity in working, cheerfully breaking our families and communities down until every last bit of shareholder value has been extracted from us”
… whilst promoting open borders policies that inflate rents and house prices, degrade public services and push down wages at the same time as trying to deflect from this activity by pretending to be altruistic and compassionate.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

You need counselling before it’s too late!

Stephen Nelson
Stephen Nelson
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Agree entirely. I read unherd for the variety of opinions set out in interesting articles – some of which I agree with and others not so much (radical thinking I know).

Once you get to the comments section you realise that, at least the most “vocal” readers, haven’t quite taken on board the mission statement of Unherd (https://unherd.com/about-unherd/) and were expecting something “different” in the way GBNews is “different”.

As you say, fair play to the editors so far but I do fear that with time it may succumb to audience capture and become its own little echo chamber


Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Yes – you get the sense the top of the pile commenter was frustrated at not being able to savage Lineker, given how comically obvious the disparity between their treatment of left and right wing bias. The Beeb’s lawyers will have reminded them that they were on a hiding to nothing here, hence the climb-down

Kevin Foster
Kevin Foster
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Sir Kier Starmer supporting Lineker’s remarks is not surprising! He was an avid supporter of Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister at the last 2 Elections!!

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Foster

The less said about Davos Keith the better, I think.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Foster

!!

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Foster

The less said about Davos Keith the better, I think.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Foster

!!

Edward McPhee
Edward McPhee
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Fabulous comment

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Campbell has polluted public life in this country for far too long.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Hardly surprising, isn’t Campbell Gaelic for crooked mouth?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Hardly surprising, isn’t Campbell Gaelic for crooked mouth?

S G
S G
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Didn’t Gary watch the documentary showing thousands and thousands of jews buried in forests all over Europe as a result of Germanys policies? This flippant comment only goes to show how ignorant some people are of the history of the world that’s infront of them, even when that history was presented as present day only a month ago. These immigrants don’t have ÂŁ5K they don’t even have 5p, if 40K had ÂŁ5K each or even half, that would be ÂŁ100 million! Those people after traveling half way round the world have ÂŁ000 pounds. Obviously not all of them are criminals, but who cares as there all illegal.

Last edited 1 year ago by S G
Mashie Niblick
Mashie Niblick
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Campbell is both a nasty piece of work – and an eejit.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Superb comment.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Alistair Campbell is no saint and you’ve put that brilliantly. Small point: being a hypocrite does not make you wrong.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Classic unherd reading experience here. A sensible, balanced article and what’s at the top of the comments? A massive ad hominem attack that does not address the argument on its own terms. Respect to the unherd editors – don’t cave in to this lot. They want this outlet to be another capital-friendly churning ground of culture warmongering that has no interest in solving the huge economic problems this country faces and would rather we worried about dwindling numbers of refugees ‘invading’ our country than taking on the wealthy interests currently choking our productivity, livelihoods and dignity in working, cheerfully breaking our families and communities down until every last bit of shareholder value has been extracted from us.

Kevin Foster
Kevin Foster
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Sir Kier Starmer supporting Lineker’s remarks is not surprising! He was an avid supporter of Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister at the last 2 Elections!!

Edward McPhee
Edward McPhee
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Fabulous comment

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Campbell has polluted public life in this country for far too long.

S G
S G
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Didn’t Gary watch the documentary showing thousands and thousands of jews buried in forests all over Europe as a result of Germanys policies? This flippant comment only goes to show how ignorant some people are of the history of the world that’s infront of them, even when that history was presented as present day only a month ago. These immigrants don’t have ÂŁ5K they don’t even have 5p, if 40K had ÂŁ5K each or even half, that would be ÂŁ100 million! Those people after traveling half way round the world have ÂŁ000 pounds. Obviously not all of them are criminals, but who cares as there all illegal.

Last edited 1 year ago by S G
Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago

Lineker’s hand is strong: he is 62, highly respected and co-owns a successful production company

This weekend I encountered peak irony. Irony so so dense, so massive, so unstable and brilliant, it may just collapse into a singularity.
Among the various individuals voicing support for Gary Lineker, perhaps the most prominent is one Alastair Campbell who works with the aforementioned production company…and no, I’m not bothered by the conflict of interest.
No, Campbell would never march into a live Channel 4 news broadcast and demand a retraction from the BBC and a punitive response to a journalist fact checking the government’s claim of Iraqi WMD. That would never happen.
Nor would there be a parliamentary enquiry into the BBC’s coverage of Campbell’s dossier, which is all rather fortunate as it wouldn’t result in the untimely death of the journalist’s source.
Thus, the BBC would never collapse under the weight of government pressure removing any final impediment to an invasion of a foreign country where hundreds of thousands would lose their lives, the rise of terrorist groups such as ISIS and the beginning of a two decade long refugee crisis.
This is all rather fortunate for Gary as using dehumanising language is, indeed, unfathomably cruel but perhaps not quite as cruel as causing those people to be refugees in the first place. So it’s rather fortunate that his business acquaintance and number one supporter never did anything resembling the above actions as it might otherwise cause him to look like a massive hypocrite.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

Definitely a Guardianista’s perspective on this subject

Lineker is perfectly entitled to air his political views on Twitter, but the BBC should not be engaging/employing high-profile people who do.
A suspension of some sort is entirely the correct managerial decision for the BBC management to take.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Lineker is a fool. He lives a gilded life in a protected environment and has no idea of the effect that illegal immigration has on many struggling communities throughout the country. His views, to which he is entitled, are an insult to all who support the government. It’s his use of language which is unacceptable.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I think that’s a jump in interpretation SM. I suspect he does get it. The issue is Braverman indicating 100m are coming almost immediately to Dover deliberately exaggerated to generate fear and loathing, when actually she should be focusing on implementing practical policies to sort this. Lineker’s language and analogy was poor too, but if we are going to condemn we should condemn both.
Slightly separate – why do the boats keep coming when France a safe country? English language and potential family connection one reason obviously. But the other is in France they have ID cards. You can’t work as easily on the black market and not as easy to disappear. So why aren’t we doing the same? Tories had years to deduce this obvious difference and correct it. Public would go for it. The amount we share daily on-line about ourselves means we’d be fine with ID cards. The reason they don’t extol practical policies is because, one suspects, they want to keep playing this ‘scare’ tactic.

Kevin Foster
Kevin Foster
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Suella Braverman never said that 100million were coming, she quite rightly pointed out that the 100 million would qualify to come under the current legislation!!

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Foster

“Braverman indicating 100m are coming almost immediately to Dover deliberately exaggerated to generate fear and loathing”
How do you know that was her intention? Actually, the use of the word ‘invasion’ in this context is quite accurate.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

One does not know, of course.
But she’s not naive.
Dog whistling.
Unless you’re a saint.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

One does not know, of course.
But she’s not naive.
Dog whistling.
Unless you’re a saint.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Foster

Sorry Kevin – somehow managed to reply to the wrong comment. It was meant for j watson.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Foster

“Braverman indicating 100m are coming almost immediately to Dover deliberately exaggerated to generate fear and loathing”
How do you know that was her intention? Actually, the use of the word ‘invasion’ in this context is quite accurate.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Foster

Sorry Kevin – somehow managed to reply to the wrong comment. It was meant for j watson.

Kevin Foster
Kevin Foster
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Suella Braverman never said that 100million were coming, she quite rightly pointed out that the 100 million would qualify to come under the current legislation!!

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

‘His views, to which he is entitled, are an insult to all who support the government’ – and that’s why it’s ok for the government to try and remove him as a state broadcaster? I really thought I might have to make some arguments of my own here, but it seems they’re being made for me.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Maybe you should try “making some arguments of your own” 
.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Irony lost on you I see

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

It’s 2204 GMT Frank! You should get out of bed earlier, it’s too late for banter now.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

It’s 2204 GMT Frank! You should get out of bed earlier, it’s too late for banter now.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Well they’re all over the place now

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Irony lost on you I see

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Well they’re all over the place now

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Did the government try to remove him? Not sure there’s any evidence for that.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Not explicitly no – but do you not think it’s a fair assumption that the government, who appoint the BBC board, are behind much of its decision-making? Or at least that the BBC’s Tory donor leadership certainly weigh their decisions with the government’s interests in mind? Don’t get me wrong, I know Labour also exercised influence over the BBC when it was in power (this is why we need reform of the BBC, including a more democratic appointment process for directors), but given the cosy relationship between govt and the beeb it is fair to say that after 12 years of Tory rule we can expect a BBC that is quite compliant to this govt’s wishes.

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Not explicitly no – but do you not think it’s a fair assumption that the government, who appoint the BBC board, are behind much of its decision-making? Or at least that the BBC’s Tory donor leadership certainly weigh their decisions with the government’s interests in mind? Don’t get me wrong, I know Labour also exercised influence over the BBC when it was in power (this is why we need reform of the BBC, including a more democratic appointment process for directors), but given the cosy relationship between govt and the beeb it is fair to say that after 12 years of Tory rule we can expect a BBC that is quite compliant to this govt’s wishes.

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Maybe you should try “making some arguments of your own” 
.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Did the government try to remove him? Not sure there’s any evidence for that.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

And I suppose that’s why Andrew Neil and Lord Sugar should be kept on at the BBC (despite their overtly pro-Tory politics)? The litmus test, as you have provided us, is do they support the government?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

I haven’t read any comments making that case ..

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Fair point – I misread yours and Steve’s comments. Apologies. BUT, I still think that saying that high-profile BBC commentators should not be able to make ‘political views’ on their twitter commits you to suspending quite a few more BBC staff than maybe you’d like? Including of course Andrew Neil, Alan Sugar and Gary Lineker (on earlier occasions when he made the more party political comment that Corbyn should go)

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Fair point – I misread yours and Steve’s comments. Apologies. BUT, I still think that saying that high-profile BBC commentators should not be able to make ‘political views’ on their twitter commits you to suspending quite a few more BBC staff than maybe you’d like? Including of course Andrew Neil, Alan Sugar and Gary Lineker (on earlier occasions when he made the more party political comment that Corbyn should go)

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Of course they should. As should Lineker. However, he certainly shouldn’t be paid ÂŁ1.3 million to entertain what is, by broadcasting standards, a tiny audience, whilst much more valuable services are being axed. That represents an obscene pandering to celebrity culture and is much more of an insult to licence fee payers than his airing of his fatuous and ignorant ‘opinions’.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Keep him on but pay him less? I can’t argue with that!

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Keep him on but pay him less? I can’t argue with that!

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Sugar is a Labour donor.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/alan-sugar-gives-pound-400-000-to-labour-campaign-1943767.html%3famp
He took the Labour whip in the HoL until becoming a crossbencher in 2015, presumably in protest over the increasing antisemitism in the Labour Party.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

I haven’t read any comments making that case ..

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Of course they should. As should Lineker. However, he certainly shouldn’t be paid ÂŁ1.3 million to entertain what is, by broadcasting standards, a tiny audience, whilst much more valuable services are being axed. That represents an obscene pandering to celebrity culture and is much more of an insult to licence fee payers than his airing of his fatuous and ignorant ‘opinions’.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Sugar is a Labour donor.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/alan-sugar-gives-pound-400-000-to-labour-campaign-1943767.html%3famp
He took the Labour whip in the HoL until becoming a crossbencher in 2015, presumably in protest over the increasing antisemitism in the Labour Party.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Oh lighten up – “his views are an insult” … just because you disagree with them?
And on the one hand, you state that “he is entitled [to] his views”; and then you state that “it’s his use of language which is unacceptable”.
Do enlighten us – how does one express views without “use of language”? And which particular words used by Lineker had you reaching for the smelling salts?
To any tolerant adult, his comment was rather uninteresting.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I think that’s a jump in interpretation SM. I suspect he does get it. The issue is Braverman indicating 100m are coming almost immediately to Dover deliberately exaggerated to generate fear and loathing, when actually she should be focusing on implementing practical policies to sort this. Lineker’s language and analogy was poor too, but if we are going to condemn we should condemn both.
Slightly separate – why do the boats keep coming when France a safe country? English language and potential family connection one reason obviously. But the other is in France they have ID cards. You can’t work as easily on the black market and not as easy to disappear. So why aren’t we doing the same? Tories had years to deduce this obvious difference and correct it. Public would go for it. The amount we share daily on-line about ourselves means we’d be fine with ID cards. The reason they don’t extol practical policies is because, one suspects, they want to keep playing this ‘scare’ tactic.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

‘His views, to which he is entitled, are an insult to all who support the government’ – and that’s why it’s ok for the government to try and remove him as a state broadcaster? I really thought I might have to make some arguments of my own here, but it seems they’re being made for me.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

And I suppose that’s why Andrew Neil and Lord Sugar should be kept on at the BBC (despite their overtly pro-Tory politics)? The litmus test, as you have provided us, is do they support the government?

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Oh lighten up – “his views are an insult” … just because you disagree with them?
And on the one hand, you state that “he is entitled [to] his views”; and then you state that “it’s his use of language which is unacceptable”.
Do enlighten us – how does one express views without “use of language”? And which particular words used by Lineker had you reaching for the smelling salts?
To any tolerant adult, his comment was rather uninteresting.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Will you be making the same point about likes of Sugar, Portillo et al? Or fact a Chairman knee deep in sorting loans for a PM. or an MD an ex Tory councillor. Or how Tory spin doctor promoted to the Board.
Spare us the self righteousness about Lineker and be consistent if one wants to adopt this line in the sand. IMO though public well able to differentiate between a light entertainer making outside work comment and a political correspondent/broadcaster who must demonstrate impartiality.

Kevin Foster
Kevin Foster
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Strange that so many of those complaining about Tory Appointments to the BBC had no problem with Tony Blair appointing Gavyn Davies as Chairman and Greg d**e as Director General of the BBC, both prominent Labour supporters and donors!

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Foster

Yes this is an important point and is why I think the BBC needs to be reformed (*not* ditched). One urgent reform would be of course making it more independent of government, and allowing say the public to vote for its leadership – a proposal that is made I think in Tom Mills’ book, ‘The BBC: Myth of a Public Broadcaster.’

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Foster

Yes this is an important point and is why I think the BBC needs to be reformed (*not* ditched). One urgent reform would be of course making it more independent of government, and allowing say the public to vote for its leadership – a proposal that is made I think in Tom Mills’ book, ‘The BBC: Myth of a Public Broadcaster.’

Kevin Foster
Kevin Foster
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Strange that so many of those complaining about Tory Appointments to the BBC had no problem with Tony Blair appointing Gavyn Davies as Chairman and Greg d**e as Director General of the BBC, both prominent Labour supporters and donors!

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Is this not like saying “Professor X is perfectly entitled to air his political views on Twitter, but the University of East Cheam should not be engaging/employing people who do”? Mr Lineker is nor a journalist, so I think it should be perfectly ok for him to express political views. My issue with him is not his disagreement with government policy (which he entitled to do), but his employing the same old tired trope of 1930s Germany, which is totally wrong when applied to Ms Braveman’s language and policies. I’m sure that, had this come from a “Right” persective aimed at a SJW, then it would be called “hate-speech”.

What is useful is the fact that what I, and I suspect many here, have thought for some time, that the BBC is swayed in their operations by thier employees, has now been shown openly.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

I agree with you with the exception that I am not forced to pay Professor Xs salary.
I would also hope that any educationally oriented organisation would try to encourage some balance in the political leanings of its staff. I won’t be holding my breath on that either.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Yes, using a Holocaust metaphor was pathetic and for that alone he should be dismissed.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

I assume, if we look back, that we’ll find a comment from you saying Boris Johnson should be sacked when he called the EU a ‘Nazi Superstate’. Lineker’s point is that dehumanising and demonising language has consequences and history shows that. The aim of the latest bill and the accompanying rhetoric is to fire up a Culture War and create division and hatred, whatever the consequences, not to solve a problem.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Wish somebody could explain to me, what Lineker meant by saying that S.Braverman and the government were using dehumanising and demonising language to stop illegal migrants to take the treacherous journey from France to the U.K.? Maybe I missed something. There isn’t even a shred of similarity to Germany of the 30s, when the Nazis took control of the country, and German Jews were starting to lose high profile jobs(civil servants, judges, doctors) and were forced to wear the Star of David, therefore becoming second class citizens. Eventually they ended up being transported in cattle trains to concentration camps in the early 40s, where they were gassed or died of horrible diseases. It really proves that most of Lineker’s high profile fans have no clue about Nazi Germany and history in general.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

“Wish somebody could explain to me, what Lineker meant”
“Look at me. Look at me. Look at me. No, no, no don’t look at them. Look at me. Over here with the jug ears and goatee. That’s me.”

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

“Wish somebody could explain to me, what Lineker meant”
“Look at me. Look at me. Look at me. No, no, no don’t look at them. Look at me. Over here with the jug ears and goatee. That’s me.”

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Did Boris really say that?
If so he is an even bigger buffoon than I took him for!

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Wish somebody could explain to me, what Lineker meant by saying that S.Braverman and the government were using dehumanising and demonising language to stop illegal migrants to take the treacherous journey from France to the U.K.? Maybe I missed something. There isn’t even a shred of similarity to Germany of the 30s, when the Nazis took control of the country, and German Jews were starting to lose high profile jobs(civil servants, judges, doctors) and were forced to wear the Star of David, therefore becoming second class citizens. Eventually they ended up being transported in cattle trains to concentration camps in the early 40s, where they were gassed or died of horrible diseases. It really proves that most of Lineker’s high profile fans have no clue about Nazi Germany and history in general.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Did Boris really say that?
If so he is an even bigger buffoon than I took him for!

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

It was not a holocaust metaphor – he was talking about *language* not actions

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

You are ‘splitting hairs’.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Am I? I’m not saying I fully agree with him but criticising the language used to justify a policy is quite sharply different to criticising the policy itself. And though I agree with much of what Stephanie says about how far removed we are from Nazi Germany (of course), our tearing up of the EU convention of human rights that could be required for Braverman’s bill is in some ways a rebuking of our commitment to a more humane future after the horrors of WWII, which is what that convention was. So although we are far from going back to the 1930s, I think Lineker is right that this signals a *step* back in that direction.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Am I? I’m not saying I fully agree with him but criticising the language used to justify a policy is quite sharply different to criticising the policy itself. And though I agree with much of what Stephanie says about how far removed we are from Nazi Germany (of course), our tearing up of the EU convention of human rights that could be required for Braverman’s bill is in some ways a rebuking of our commitment to a more humane future after the horrors of WWII, which is what that convention was. So although we are far from going back to the 1930s, I think Lineker is right that this signals a *step* back in that direction.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

You are ‘splitting hairs’.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Also a bit nasty as her husband is Jewish.

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 year ago

…and members of his family perished in the holocaust… rather beyond “nasty”, and well towards vile…as well as displaying total historical illiteracy and the intelligence one might expect from a man paid to think with his feet, not his brain…

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 year ago

…and members of his family perished in the holocaust… rather beyond “nasty”, and well towards vile…as well as displaying total historical illiteracy and the intelligence one might expect from a man paid to think with his feet, not his brain…

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 year ago

…not least because his jibe was aimed at a Woman from an Immigrant family, married to a Jewish Man, numbers of whose family perished in the Holocaust…and they have young children…I’d say Lineker’s assertion was pretty vile on those grounds alone…leaving aside the utter stupidity of a comparison between a Minister in a democratically elected Government seeking to manage migrants with no apparent right to be here (France is a safe country, nobody is at risk of “harm and persecution” there)…
…and decisions taken by an overtly fascist Government to remove the civil rights, property and ultimately the lives of a group of their own citizens who had been resident there for many centuries…
…no reason why Lineker shouldn’t make offensive, obnoxious and half-witted assertions…nor why the rest of us shouldn’t point that out…

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

I assume, if we look back, that we’ll find a comment from you saying Boris Johnson should be sacked when he called the EU a ‘Nazi Superstate’. Lineker’s point is that dehumanising and demonising language has consequences and history shows that. The aim of the latest bill and the accompanying rhetoric is to fire up a Culture War and create division and hatred, whatever the consequences, not to solve a problem.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

It was not a holocaust metaphor – he was talking about *language* not actions

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Also a bit nasty as her husband is Jewish.

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 year ago

…not least because his jibe was aimed at a Woman from an Immigrant family, married to a Jewish Man, numbers of whose family perished in the Holocaust…and they have young children…I’d say Lineker’s assertion was pretty vile on those grounds alone…leaving aside the utter stupidity of a comparison between a Minister in a democratically elected Government seeking to manage migrants with no apparent right to be here (France is a safe country, nobody is at risk of “harm and persecution” there)…
…and decisions taken by an overtly fascist Government to remove the civil rights, property and ultimately the lives of a group of their own citizens who had been resident there for many centuries…
…no reason why Lineker shouldn’t make offensive, obnoxious and half-witted assertions…nor why the rest of us shouldn’t point that out…

Catherine Jean Marsden
Catherine Jean Marsden
1 year ago

As I said in response to this issue the other day, Gary Lineker’s comments were clearly directed at the 1930s, which began with the burning of books, then the breaking and smashing of shop windows, the raiding of nightclubs and social entertainment venues, and the ‘othering’ of different groups of people.
The poem I quoted in that post, set out how this led to picking out people who disagreed, the artists, the intellectuals, and others; progressing to the Jewish community. and finally, the Priest who had been a supporter of the Nazi’s, until he became too vocal in his opposition to their actions towards his own creed, as his poem says ‘they came for him
Language is important. The term ‘invasion‘ is inflammatory and unnecessary, and if we wish to reduce illegal immigration, rather than building a facility in France which I understand is to house asylum seekers the French have already rejected; use all the money we are wasting and provide safe routes thereby, improving the means and speed by which claims are assessed, and passed or rejected.
Those rejected can then be removed within international frameworks and laws. As other countries seem to manage to do this perfectly well, I am sure we can if we have the will and use the mechanisms under international laws that are already in place. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t Winston Churchill the prime mover behind the eventual setting up the European Convention and European Court system?
Similarly, what has been done to tackle the inflammatory letter sent out in Suella Braverman’s name. Is it ok to say that she knew nothing about it and have those at Central Office, or whoever sent this, been taken to task over it? What about the provocative statements that the likes of Lee Anderson makes all the time? Shouldn’t he be reprimanded in the same way, and perhaps suspended for further investigation; rather than given his own show on a television channel? Or is free speech only for those we choose i.e. those we agree with?
Gary Lineker was not on his own in voicing concern, as he was joined in the clearly expressed opinions of the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Durham, the senior rabbi of Masorti (traditional) Judaism UK, and the chief executive of Liberal Judaism, and most of the respondents to BBC4’s ‘Any Answers’ on Saturday afternoon.
What was the saying I was taught in Sunday School, ah yes… ‘let him without sin cast the first stone‘!

Billy F
Billy F
1 year ago

Yes, Lineker’s likening of the current rhetoric to Nazi Germany is both incorrect, and to some people, hurtful and insulting. If Lineker had done his research, he could have found much better comparisons, closer to home, for example, the rhetoric in the Daily Mail of the 1930s, towards Jewish refugees fleeing Europe to come to the UK:
https://www.ourmigrationstory.org.uk/oms/jewish-refuge-and-the-nazi-regime#:~:text=A%20Daily%20Mail%20article%20from,the%20law%20to%20the%20fullest.
A Daily Mail article from 1938 (with the headline ‘German Jews Pouring into This Country’) illustrates this attitude:

‘The way stateless Jews and Germans are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage. I intend to enforce the law to the fullest.’

In these words, Mr Herbert Metcalde, the Old Street Magistrate yesterday referred to the number of aliens entering this country through the ‘back door’ – a problem to which The Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed.The number of aliens entering this country can be seen by the number of prosecutions in recent months. It is very difficult for the alien to escape the increasing vigilance of the police and port authorities.

Even if aliens manage to break through the defences, it is not long before they are caught and deported.

Last edited 1 year ago by Billy F
Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy F

Difference is present day refugees are only fleeing Macron’s EU paradise.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy F

Well spotted – might even include this source in a lesson sequence I’m doing on the history of anti- Semitism with year 9. There’s also a very strange book written around the same time by Daily Mail columnist G Ward Price called I Know These Dictators, full of loving descriptions of Hitler and Mussolini from interviews by a man quite under their spell.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy F

Well spotted – might even include this source in a lesson sequence I’m doing on the history of anti- Semitism with year 9. There’s also a very strange book written around the same time by daily mail columnist G Ward Price called I Know These Dictators, full of loving descriptions from his interviews with Hitler and Mussolini by a man quite under their spell.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

We like to pat ourselves on the back in this country about how welcoming we were to Jewish refugees in the 1930s, with the Kindertransport and all that, but I’m afraid the reality was more complicated. You should look at this resource: https://wienerholocaustlibrary.org/exhibition/a-bitter-road-britain-and-the-refugee-crisis-of-the-1930s-and-1940s-2/#:~:text=The%20British%20Government%20and%20Refugees%20in%20the%201930s%20and%201940s&text=Some%20were%20permitted%20entry%20as,been%20collaborators%20or%20war%20criminals.
One amongst many out there if you perform the right Google search. It seems genuine refugees only existed in our imagination of the past.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

This looks excellent (always on the look out for primary sources and personal stories) – thank you!

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

This looks excellent (always on the look out for primary sources and personal stories) – thank you!

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

We like to pat ourselves on the back in this country about how welcoming we were to Jewish refugees in the 1930s, with the Kindertransport and all that, but I’m afraid the reality was more complicated. You should look at this resource: https://wienerholocaustlibrary.org/exhibition/a-bitter-road-britain-and-the-refugee-crisis-of-the-1930s-and-1940s-2/#:~:text=The%20British%20Government%20and%20Refugees%20in%20the%201930s%20and%201940s&text=Some%20were%20permitted%20entry%20as,been%20collaborators%20or%20war%20criminals.
One amongst many out there if you perform the right Google search. It seems genuine refugees only existed in our imagination of the past.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy F

Difference is present day refugees are only fleeing Macron’s EU paradise.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy F

Well spotted – might even include this source in a lesson sequence I’m doing on the history of anti- Semitism with year 9. There’s also a very strange book written around the same time by Daily Mail columnist G Ward Price called I Know These Dictators, full of loving descriptions of Hitler and Mussolini from interviews by a man quite under their spell.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy F

Well spotted – might even include this source in a lesson sequence I’m doing on the history of anti- Semitism with year 9. There’s also a very strange book written around the same time by daily mail columnist G Ward Price called I Know These Dictators, full of loving descriptions from his interviews with Hitler and Mussolini by a man quite under their spell.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

I agree with you with the exception that I am not forced to pay Professor Xs salary.
I would also hope that any educationally oriented organisation would try to encourage some balance in the political leanings of its staff. I won’t be holding my breath on that either.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Yes, using a Holocaust metaphor was pathetic and for that alone he should be dismissed.

Catherine Jean Marsden
Catherine Jean Marsden
1 year ago

As I said in response to this issue the other day, Gary Lineker’s comments were clearly directed at the 1930s, which began with the burning of books, then the breaking and smashing of shop windows, the raiding of nightclubs and social entertainment venues, and the ‘othering’ of different groups of people.
The poem I quoted in that post, set out how this led to picking out people who disagreed, the artists, the intellectuals, and others; progressing to the Jewish community. and finally, the Priest who had been a supporter of the Nazi’s, until he became too vocal in his opposition to their actions towards his own creed, as his poem says ‘they came for him
Language is important. The term ‘invasion‘ is inflammatory and unnecessary, and if we wish to reduce illegal immigration, rather than building a facility in France which I understand is to house asylum seekers the French have already rejected; use all the money we are wasting and provide safe routes thereby, improving the means and speed by which claims are assessed, and passed or rejected.
Those rejected can then be removed within international frameworks and laws. As other countries seem to manage to do this perfectly well, I am sure we can if we have the will and use the mechanisms under international laws that are already in place. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t Winston Churchill the prime mover behind the eventual setting up the European Convention and European Court system?
Similarly, what has been done to tackle the inflammatory letter sent out in Suella Braverman’s name. Is it ok to say that she knew nothing about it and have those at Central Office, or whoever sent this, been taken to task over it? What about the provocative statements that the likes of Lee Anderson makes all the time? Shouldn’t he be reprimanded in the same way, and perhaps suspended for further investigation; rather than given his own show on a television channel? Or is free speech only for those we choose i.e. those we agree with?
Gary Lineker was not on his own in voicing concern, as he was joined in the clearly expressed opinions of the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Durham, the senior rabbi of Masorti (traditional) Judaism UK, and the chief executive of Liberal Judaism, and most of the respondents to BBC4’s ‘Any Answers’ on Saturday afternoon.
What was the saying I was taught in Sunday School, ah yes… ‘let him without sin cast the first stone‘!

Billy F
Billy F
1 year ago

Yes, Lineker’s likening of the current rhetoric to Nazi Germany is both incorrect, and to some people, hurtful and insulting. If Lineker had done his research, he could have found much better comparisons, closer to home, for example, the rhetoric in the Daily Mail of the 1930s, towards Jewish refugees fleeing Europe to come to the UK:
https://www.ourmigrationstory.org.uk/oms/jewish-refuge-and-the-nazi-regime#:~:text=A%20Daily%20Mail%20article%20from,the%20law%20to%20the%20fullest.
A Daily Mail article from 1938 (with the headline ‘German Jews Pouring into This Country’) illustrates this attitude:

‘The way stateless Jews and Germans are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage. I intend to enforce the law to the fullest.’

In these words, Mr Herbert Metcalde, the Old Street Magistrate yesterday referred to the number of aliens entering this country through the ‘back door’ – a problem to which The Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed.The number of aliens entering this country can be seen by the number of prosecutions in recent months. It is very difficult for the alien to escape the increasing vigilance of the police and port authorities.

Even if aliens manage to break through the defences, it is not long before they are caught and deported.

Last edited 1 year ago by Billy F
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Lineker is as entitled to free speech as anyone else. What’s extraordinary is that anyone pays attention.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Lineker is a fool. He lives a gilded life in a protected environment and has no idea of the effect that illegal immigration has on many struggling communities throughout the country. His views, to which he is entitled, are an insult to all who support the government. It’s his use of language which is unacceptable.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Will you be making the same point about likes of Sugar, Portillo et al? Or fact a Chairman knee deep in sorting loans for a PM. or an MD an ex Tory councillor. Or how Tory spin doctor promoted to the Board.
Spare us the self righteousness about Lineker and be consistent if one wants to adopt this line in the sand. IMO though public well able to differentiate between a light entertainer making outside work comment and a political correspondent/broadcaster who must demonstrate impartiality.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Is this not like saying “Professor X is perfectly entitled to air his political views on Twitter, but the University of East Cheam should not be engaging/employing people who do”? Mr Lineker is nor a journalist, so I think it should be perfectly ok for him to express political views. My issue with him is not his disagreement with government policy (which he entitled to do), but his employing the same old tired trope of 1930s Germany, which is totally wrong when applied to Ms Braveman’s language and policies. I’m sure that, had this come from a “Right” persective aimed at a SJW, then it would be called “hate-speech”.

What is useful is the fact that what I, and I suspect many here, have thought for some time, that the BBC is swayed in their operations by thier employees, has now been shown openly.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Lineker is as entitled to free speech as anyone else. What’s extraordinary is that anyone pays attention.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

Definitely a Guardianista’s perspective on this subject

Lineker is perfectly entitled to air his political views on Twitter, but the BBC should not be engaging/employing high-profile people who do.
A suspension of some sort is entirely the correct managerial decision for the BBC management to take.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Simon Roper
Simon Roper
1 year ago

I don’t wish to be too picky, but in what way is the BBC free-to-air? I, and many others, pay a licence fee. I pay less to Amazon (and watch it a lot more), but I’m assuming their football coverage wouldn’t be classed as free-to-air.

Simon Roper
Simon Roper
1 year ago

I don’t wish to be too picky, but in what way is the BBC free-to-air? I, and many others, pay a licence fee. I pay less to Amazon (and watch it a lot more), but I’m assuming their football coverage wouldn’t be classed as free-to-air.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago

This whole situation is it seems to me a classic example of the tiny little Twitter bubble that celebrities, politicians and journalists live in being mistaken for the world that we all inhabit.
What was the BBC thinking? I can’t help feeling someone in govt is leaning on the Beeb, but any fool could have told them that doing nothing is the best option. If they’d done nothing it would have all been forgotten by now.
You can’t cancel people!
As for Lineker et al, I’m more affected by the odious self-importance of the lot of them, and kind of hope they all lose their jobs to show that maybe they aren’t the ‘change-makers’ they imagine themselves
be.
The cult of personality is dying, whether you’re a tv presenter or a movie star, and it’s being driven by the utter hypocrisy of multi millionaires lecturing the hoi polloi from the safety of their mansions.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

I agree, doing nothing would have been the best option. The discussion about the licence fee should have just intensified and hopefully led to make it voluntary. Who wants to be forced to pay for sports commentators, lecturing you on German history, when they probably never read a history book and just know how to advertise a package of crisps.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

On the contrary, the cult of personality has never been stronger.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

I agree, doing nothing would have been the best option. The discussion about the licence fee should have just intensified and hopefully led to make it voluntary. Who wants to be forced to pay for sports commentators, lecturing you on German history, when they probably never read a history book and just know how to advertise a package of crisps.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

On the contrary, the cult of personality has never been stronger.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago

This whole situation is it seems to me a classic example of the tiny little Twitter bubble that celebrities, politicians and journalists live in being mistaken for the world that we all inhabit.
What was the BBC thinking? I can’t help feeling someone in govt is leaning on the Beeb, but any fool could have told them that doing nothing is the best option. If they’d done nothing it would have all been forgotten by now.
You can’t cancel people!
As for Lineker et al, I’m more affected by the odious self-importance of the lot of them, and kind of hope they all lose their jobs to show that maybe they aren’t the ‘change-makers’ they imagine themselves
be.
The cult of personality is dying, whether you’re a tv presenter or a movie star, and it’s being driven by the utter hypocrisy of multi millionaires lecturing the hoi polloi from the safety of their mansions.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

The ironic thing is that Match of the Day is rather pointless nowadays if your soul purpose of watching it is for the football highlights. If you support a Premier League team, Sky Sports show the highlights of all the games within an hour of the match finishing on their YouTube channel. I’m not sure how many people can be bothered to listen to three ex-footballers prattle on a lot other games for the best part of an hour and a half or so.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Oops, should say sole, not soul. Hadn’t had my coffee then

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

But for some football followers, Bill Shankly’s dictum that “Football isn’t a matter of life and death. It’s more important than that” really would make it their soul purpose!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

But for some football followers, Bill Shankly’s dictum that “Football isn’t a matter of life and death. It’s more important than that” really would make it their soul purpose!

tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Yes what most struck me was that regular audiences for MOTD are 2 million people. That’s pretty small beer!

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  tom j

I thought it’d be more too to be honest. Don’t have the figures to hand, but not sure what the comparison is to say 10-20 years ago. Interestingly, highlights ok Sky Sports seem to get near a million each and then if you factor in highlights on the club YouTube channels, that almost certainly increases further. If the BBC were to become subscription only and if MOTD is barely profitable, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of it.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  tom j

I thought it’d be more too to be honest. Don’t have the figures to hand, but not sure what the comparison is to say 10-20 years ago. Interestingly, highlights ok Sky Sports seem to get near a million each and then if you factor in highlights on the club YouTube channels, that almost certainly increases further. If the BBC were to become subscription only and if MOTD is barely profitable, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of it.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Oops, should say sole, not soul. Hadn’t had my coffee then

tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Yes what most struck me was that regular audiences for MOTD are 2 million people. That’s pretty small beer!

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

The ironic thing is that Match of the Day is rather pointless nowadays if your soul purpose of watching it is for the football highlights. If you support a Premier League team, Sky Sports show the highlights of all the games within an hour of the match finishing on their YouTube channel. I’m not sure how many people can be bothered to listen to three ex-footballers prattle on a lot other games for the best part of an hour and a half or so.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Why on earth are ‘we’ wasting time discussing the temper tantrum’s of this vacuous prima donna?

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

Because ‘our Gary’ has been elevated into the Chattering Class – and the Chattering Class is always on the look out for something to express their moral indignation about (but not actually do anything).

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Not just elevated to the Chattering Class. According to one poster on here he’s been anointed as a ‘national treasure’, which apparently gives him a get-out-of-jail-card on virtually anything.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

The thing about national treasures is they can be quite precious. Always remember that.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

The thing about national treasures is they can be quite precious. Always remember that.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Not just elevated to the Chattering Class. According to one poster on here he’s been anointed as a ‘national treasure’, which apparently gives him a get-out-of-jail-card on virtually anything.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Because the man aside the issue has shown up the BBC for inconsistency and that it can be lent on by right wing media. They actually turned it into a much bigger story through stupidity.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Echoes of the Jo Brand affair and the ‘throwing of battery acid’ perhaps?

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

The inconsistency ‘yes’. That was of course almost an incitement statement by Brand and IMO much worse and not funny.
And evident now this AM with the decision just announced

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

There are others.
1: Danny Baker ‘fired’ for comparing Royal birth to a Chimpanzee.
2: Billy Connolly NEVER apologies for crude jokes over the beheading of Mr Bigley, but no action is ever taken.
3. The Aforementioned Brand* creature.
4. Alan Sugar. ‘ A law unto himself.’

So why this inconsistency?
Well:-
1. Qualifies as Public Enemy No1, eg: “White Van Man”.
2. Scotch exceptionalism.
3. Lefty luvvy & former NHS worker.
4. Any criticism would be regarded as anti-Semitic.

ps. (* On first seeing her one of my grandchildren had the temerity to ask “Why did she eat so many buns?”. To which I could NOT reply.
Out of the mouths of babes etc.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
j watson
j watson
1 year ago

All v different to Lineker’s tweet so let’s not conflate. Lineker’s tweet was about the use of Ministerial language – an entirely reasonable thing to comment upon. albeit one can disagree and debate.
And in fact as now more apparent when he’d made previous similar tweets on immigration/asylum policy in 2018 and 2016 BBC statements quickly distinguished between his paid role and his right to make such statements. The thing that changed here is the pressure put on the BBC by right wing media, right wing politicians and right wing leaders of the BBC – Davie, Sharp and Gibb. What an own goal.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Having idiotically invoked the Holocaust he should have immediately apologised.
He could then have retried with something more sensible. But no,VANITY got the better of him and now both he and the BBC look ridiculous.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Please explain how this differs from the pressure put on the Conservative party by left wing media to dump Andrew Bridgen MP for a very similar sin?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Having idiotically invoked the Holocaust he should have immediately apologised.
He could then have retried with something more sensible. But no,VANITY got the better of him and now both he and the BBC look ridiculous.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Please explain how this differs from the pressure put on the Conservative party by left wing media to dump Andrew Bridgen MP for a very similar sin?

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago

I actually think the actual comment was anti-semitic as it conflated the Government’s intention to secure the safety of its citizens & legal residents (including imigrants who have used the correct & legal means to come here) with an attempt to commit mass murder of particular races & groups.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

All v different to Lineker’s tweet so let’s not conflate. Lineker’s tweet was about the use of Ministerial language – an entirely reasonable thing to comment upon. albeit one can disagree and debate.
And in fact as now more apparent when he’d made previous similar tweets on immigration/asylum policy in 2018 and 2016 BBC statements quickly distinguished between his paid role and his right to make such statements. The thing that changed here is the pressure put on the BBC by right wing media, right wing politicians and right wing leaders of the BBC – Davie, Sharp and Gibb. What an own goal.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago

I actually think the actual comment was anti-semitic as it conflated the Government’s intention to secure the safety of its citizens & legal residents (including imigrants who have used the correct & legal means to come here) with an attempt to commit mass murder of particular races & groups.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

There are others.
1: Danny Baker ‘fired’ for comparing Royal birth to a Chimpanzee.
2: Billy Connolly NEVER apologies for crude jokes over the beheading of Mr Bigley, but no action is ever taken.
3. The Aforementioned Brand* creature.
4. Alan Sugar. ‘ A law unto himself.’

So why this inconsistency?
Well:-
1. Qualifies as Public Enemy No1, eg: “White Van Man”.
2. Scotch exceptionalism.
3. Lefty luvvy & former NHS worker.
4. Any criticism would be regarded as anti-Semitic.

ps. (* On first seeing her one of my grandchildren had the temerity to ask “Why did she eat so many buns?”. To which I could NOT reply.
Out of the mouths of babes etc.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
j watson
j watson
1 year ago

The inconsistency ‘yes’. That was of course almost an incitement statement by Brand and IMO much worse and not funny.
And evident now this AM with the decision just announced

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Echoes of the Jo Brand affair and the ‘throwing of battery acid’ perhaps?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

I would just have Gdsmn. Lineker bumpering the white lines on Adair Walk at Pirbright… always seemed to do the trick…

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

Unfortunately Mr Lineker is not IN the Army, let alone the Brigade of Guards – so that’s about as much use as me saying that IF he were a schoolboy at Rugby c. 1929 AND I were simultaneously the Head Master there, I would cane him till he couldn’t sit down for three months. It’s neither here nor there and just, I think, another chance for you to parade your odd obsession with having been in the Guards. Which would be an odd thing for any genuine ex-Guardsman to bang on about….
What are the chances of a Guardsman making such a criticism of HMG’s immigration plans/ aspirations/ kabuki theatre to pretend there’s any reason to vote ‘Conservative’ ever again, anyway?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Tut tut 03 , it’s only a bit of banter, no need to get so excited.

However to answer your question ‘what reason is there to vote Conservative’ ever again? NONE!

ps. The Brigade of Guards vanished in 1969 when it was replaced by the Household Division. You need to improve your research.

pps. Most Public Schools continued ‘flogging’ until the late 1960’s. Perhaps you are too young to recall that?
If so try and find the late Lindsay Anderson’s (1923-1994) epic film: If….
You may even enjoy it!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

N S-T* attended Sandhurst as a Coldstream Guards Officer Cadet, but on completion decided on a different career path.

(* Please correct me if I’m wrong.)

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Tut tut 03 , it’s only a bit of banter, no need to get so excited.

However to answer your question ‘what reason is there to vote Conservative’ ever again? NONE!

ps. The Brigade of Guards vanished in 1969 when it was replaced by the Household Division. You need to improve your research.

pps. Most Public Schools continued ‘flogging’ until the late 1960’s. Perhaps you are too young to recall that?
If so try and find the late Lindsay Anderson’s (1923-1994) epic film: If….
You may even enjoy it!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

N S-T* attended Sandhurst as a Coldstream Guards Officer Cadet, but on completion decided on a different career path.

(* Please correct me if I’m wrong.)

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

Unfortunately Mr Lineker is not IN the Army, let alone the Brigade of Guards – so that’s about as much use as me saying that IF he were a schoolboy at Rugby c. 1929 AND I were simultaneously the Head Master there, I would cane him till he couldn’t sit down for three months. It’s neither here nor there and just, I think, another chance for you to parade your odd obsession with having been in the Guards. Which would be an odd thing for any genuine ex-Guardsman to bang on about….
What are the chances of a Guardsman making such a criticism of HMG’s immigration plans/ aspirations/ kabuki theatre to pretend there’s any reason to vote ‘Conservative’ ever again, anyway?

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

Because ‘our Gary’ has been elevated into the Chattering Class – and the Chattering Class is always on the look out for something to express their moral indignation about (but not actually do anything).

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Because the man aside the issue has shown up the BBC for inconsistency and that it can be lent on by right wing media. They actually turned it into a much bigger story through stupidity.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

I would just have Gdsmn. Lineker bumpering the white lines on Adair Walk at Pirbright… always seemed to do the trick…

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Why on earth are ‘we’ wasting time discussing the temper tantrum’s of this vacuous prima donna?

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

Over at the Guardian comments pages, the principal defence of St Gary, the Toby-jug of Woke, is that he’s not a News Presenter, so what does it matter if he opines on political matters. …. He is, however, the BBC’s most highly paid presenter. He is the top of the pyramid of BBC presenting, the corporation made flesh. If the Beeb’s many pronouncements on the need to follow impartiality guidelines are to mean anything, then they MUST be applied to their biggest star, or it is meaningless – surely?
If the poor, put-upon crisp-monger really feels the terms and conditions of his ÂŁ1.3million contract are too onerous he is free to seek employment elsewhere.
The BBC, as a national broadcaster funded by the public, is a unique case. Sky, ITV, any of the other broadcasters are commercial ventures and their staff can blurt their insultingly-stupid, historically-ignorant opinions as much as they like. But when you’re one of the most recognisable faces of the BBC you have to follow different rules. I struggle to sympathise – if he doesn’t like it he can see if any other those other broadcasters will match his current salary.
The fact that the chattering classes have only woken up to the free speech debate when it affects Gary saying something with which they agree, tells you all you need to know about the elasticity of their principles. They were the first people to complain when Alan Sugar, another BBC presenter not involved in News broadcasting, vented opinions on Twitter with which they disagreed.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Sugar wasn’t suspended though was he. Quite an important difference you seem to ignore. It’s fine for folks to criticise the views he or a Lineker make on Twitter etc. All part of public discourse and free speech. But only the fella with the deemed left wing statement got suspended.
What an own goal, to make a cheap link, from the BBC and it’s Right supporters.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Let’s maybe look at some differences you ignored then.
Sugar, when he realised a post had caused offence, immediately apologised and retracted the tweet. He was trying to be humorous, but when he realised the “joke” had been taken badly, apologised for it.
Lineker refuses to apologise – even though his comment was offensive. To elide a govt policy on tackling ILLEGAL immigration (that would be perfectly normal for almost any country in the world) with the horrors of Nazism – thinly veiled as “1930s Germany” – he is not only ignorant of history, but belligerrent and dishonest.
Lineker has form – he has been told several times before that as one of the most public (not to mention highest paid) faces of an organisation with a charter obligation to remain above party politics, he should refrain from airing contentious political views on public platforms. He doesn’t like that – and so rather than leaving the BBC, he tests the resolve of a DG who came in with a specific remit to tackle the institutional bias of the Beeb.
Would you, I wonder, man the barricades to defend a BBC presenter who made his contentious and offensive political opinions public, if you did not agree with them?
I have no problem with him airing his opinions – however idiotic they are. But not whilst thumbing his nose at licence fee payers, his bosses and the terms of his own over-generous contract.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Precisely, having the ‘strength of character to apologise’ is what really counts.

We all, without exception, ‘drop the occasional b*llock (to use a technical term), but to refuse to apologise is simply pathetic.

Hence my did disgust at the performance of Lineker, Brand, Connolly and many other so called ‘public figures’.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

at least Connolly is a good tough Glaswegian Papist jock who worked in the shipyards- In another life he could have been Lance S’arnt Connelly , Scots Guards…

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

He preferred 15 PARA.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago