TOM BOWER: Nazi thugs beat up my mother. I know the real language used in 1930s Germany… Gary Lineker surely knows that this is not the same as proposing a law to control immigration
Preening himself as a defender of free speech with a God-given right to undermine BBC impartiality, Gary Lineker has successfully promoted himself as a victim of Tory bias and a champion of Labour’s support for open borders.
In doing so, he has won garlands as a hero of the ‘freedom-loving’ Left. Fronting Match Of The Day has raised his profile hugely – enabling him to top up his BBC pay to earn millions more from commercial contracts.
Without regular exposure on the BBC, Lineker’s visibility would evaporate – as Emily Maitlis discovered after leaving Newsnight. That explains why, so far, he’s refused the temptation of quitting the BBC and grabbing a bigger cheque from a rival.
Remarkably, in much coverage of the story, there has been little debate over the grotesque fallacy of his tweet about the Government’s migration policy.
He equated the ‘language’ of Suella Braverman, promoting a new immigration law, to that used by the Nazis during their murderous persecution of German Jews in the 1930s.
Preening himself as a defender of free speech with a God-given right to undermine BBC impartiality, Gary Lineker has successfully promoted himself as a victim of Tory bias and a champion of Labour’s support for open borders
Lineker resorted to one of the Left’s default positions – distorting the Jews’ history to make a political argument. The fact is, though, that the truth never disturbs the Left’s malice.
Although born 15 years after the end of the Second World War, Lineker surely knows that the Nazis’ pre-war persecution of German Jews and the language underpinning their policies are not the same as proposing a law to control immigration.
After Hitler took power in 1933, Germany’s Jews were hounded to death in their own country. No one is proposing to hound immigrants in Britain to death.
Within a year, Hitler’s regime sent hundreds of German Jews to die in concentration camps and in police cells.
In 1935, the Nuremberg Race laws expelled all Jews from the civil service, universities and professions.
Marriages between Jews and German Aryans were dissolved; Jewish shops were ransacked and books written by Jews fed on to bonfires.
Before the outbreak of war in 1939, thousands of German Jews had been murdered.
And the language underpinning these genocidal atrocities are what Lineker compares to the ‘language’ of a British Prime Minister – from an immigrant family himself – seeking to control entry into one of the world’s most densely populated countries.
Like all on the Left, it seems that Lineker fears the popular support the Tories will receive if they deter illegal migrants crossing the Channel.
Of course, Lineker and his fans don’t say how many migrants they would admit to Britain – out of the 100 million the UN estimates want to emigrate to Europe. Hundreds of thousands every year? And who’ll pay for their health services, housing etc?
Also, disingenuously not mentioned by the Left – but which is a constant hidden theme – is that Rishi Sunak and the Home Secretary, whose father came to Britain from Kenya and whose mother arrived here from Mauritius, are traitors to their race.
For Labour’s liberal elite loathe how the Tories appeal to the majority of Britain’s white community, alias the Red Wall – a factor which could prevent Labour winning the next Election.
No one would argue that racial prejudice is not toxic. In that respect, Lineker would have been right if he had expressed his opinion in neutral terms, urging Ministers to use caution in their language about migration.
As the child of refugees from Nazi persecution, I know better than most the importance of Britain giving sanctuary to those fleeing for their lives.
I also know how hard it was for my Austrian mother – beaten up by Nazi thugs in Vienna – to enter Britain.
Her father died in Auschwitz. But I don’t see a similarity between Europe’s persecuted Jews and the hundreds of thousands of Albanians, Eritreans, Iraqis, Sudanese and Somalis who would prefer to live in Britain.
By breaking the BBC’s impartiality guidelines, Lineker is doing immeasurable damage to what has been one of Britain’s greatest institutions for decades.
Having been a BBC producer for 26 years, of course I had political prejudices which were well-known to colleagues. But like all staff, I understood the critical need that every programme had to appear to be balanced.
Impartiality means that BBC journalists and presenters require the skill to know how to reassure the audience who pays their wages that both sides of an argument are fairly presented.
Arrogantly, Lineker denies that his contract requires that obligation – one which, if broken, could lead to the BBC’s collapse.
Unless its best-paid employee agrees to political neutrality on social media as well as while broadcasting, he must go.
Tom Bower is author of Broken Dreams: Vanity, Greed And The Souring Of British Football and was a producer of BBC TV’s Panorama between 1975 and 1
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