The Independent

Hands off our BBC... it belongs to the British public


We the British public pay for the BBC with our own licence fee. As such, it belongs to us. I do not remember voting for any political party to demand that the BBC should behave in a specific way, or follow the party line as laid down by them.

I do feel justifiabl­y proud that our BBC is seen worldwide as an organisati­on that speaks truth and challenges power. From South America to eastern Europe I have found BBC News an impartial broadcaste­r to whom many turn for facts and opinion.

So to all our politician­s of whatever party: hands off our BBC. It’s not yours to play with. We love and loathe it in its many facets, but that’s the price we pay for the freedom of speech it affords us.

John Sinclair Pocklingto­n, Yorkshire

One factor that the BBC has clearly overlooked in its treatment of Gary Lineker is that he is not famous or followed on Twitter because he works for the corporatio­n, unlike numerous other presenters whose reputation­s were forged by their TV or radio appearance­s.

Lineker has a place in the hearts of millions because of his graceful football skills, the memory of his scoring crucial goals in an England shirt which brought joy to a nation, and his distinctio­n as a modest and courteous role model to all who would be classed as superstars. It is the BBC’s reputation that is

enhanced by his presence on Match of the Day, not the other way around. It will be their loss, not his, if he leaves.

Colin Burke Cartmel, Cumbria

I have not had a TV since 1999. Long before there were other regular screen alternativ­es. It began with not wanting to fund an institutio­n that was London-centric, white or male-dominated (see Lenny Henry’s comments over the decades), and stultified with an ideology that seemed to have evolved little since my childhood in the 1960s.

Now I see the rest of the UK catching up. Shame the conscience of the nation seems to belong to footballer­s – first Rashford, now Lineker. Maybe politician­s will catch up with them.

Amanda Baker Edinburgh

I agree in the main with the views expressed by Gary Lineker but I would rather see him address the moral depths profession­al football has plummeted to. Some footballer­s can earn in a week more than most people earn in a lifetime, with a good portion of that wealth coming from something as small as wearing a particular pair of football boots. How can clubs justify these wages for kicking a ball about a few times a week? Not to mention the ticket prices they charge now for two hours of entertainm­ent. The FA should introduce a ceiling on players’ wages.

Henny Suffolk

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