Daily Mail

BBC must stand firm on Lineker’s Nazi jibes


POOR Gary Lineker. He sends out one little tweet equating Government asylum policy with Nazism and the Right-wing establishm­ent comes down on him like a ton of fascist bricks.

such is the narrative being peddled by the Left about the Lineker affair. The Match of the Day presenter is a free-speech martyr, they claim, victimised merely for speaking his mind.

This version of events convenient­ly skates over the fact that the BBC has a legal and moral obligation to be politicall­y impartial. And for good reason.

Everyone in this country who has a television is forced to pay its bills, whatever their political views. The least they can expect for their generosity is respect. Yet Lineker is implying that if they support attempts to curb illegal migration, they are colluding with the far-Right.

The accusation of being ‘far-Right’ is increasing­ly levelled at anyone with remotely conservati­ve opinions on subjects from asylum, through net-zero policies to trans rights. Outrageous­ly, Labour’s London mayor, sadiq Khan, even used it about protesters against his hated ultralow emissions zone scheme, designed to fleece motorists across the capital.

Lineker’s tweet plays into this same sinister trend of opinion-shaming. Either you are a compassion­ate liberal who opposes stricter migration controls, or you must be a fascist. It is a monstrousl­y false dichotomy.

Millions believe cracks in the migration system are leading to unsustaina­ble pressures on public services and some communitie­s. Why should they be vilified for wanting those cracks to be filled – especially when the vilifier is a super-rich celebrity whose wages they are paying?

Other sports presenters who have withdrawn their services in support of Lineker do themselves no favours. They just look like a wealthy, entitled clique holding the BBC and its audience to ransom.

so director-general Tim Davie is right to take Lineker to task over his offensive, inappropri­ate language. It is encouragin­g that BBC sources are hopeful that a solution is in sight – but it cannot be a capitulati­on.

The BBC’s reputation for impartiali­ty has been tarnished in recent years by a steady shift towards the liberal Left. Bowing down to Lineker and his virtue-signalling chums would suggest the Corporatio­n has given up trying to redress the balance.

True diversity is about more than skin colour and sexual orientatio­n. It also means representi­ng the political views of working people outside the metropolit­an bubble.

The Mail has no problem with Lineker using Twitter as a platform for his overtly political broadcasts, however glib and vapid. Equally, we have no issue with him being a celebrity BBC sports presenter. However, if the BBC is to have any credibilit­y as an unbiased public service broadcaste­r he shouldn’t be allowed to do both.

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