Most of the people I know - actually all - think that this is one of the slowest moving transitions between Winter and Spring they have ever known.
For me, some things are moving too fast to keep up with and others are are taking their horrible time. I have had a subtle but debilitating illness for the last few weeks and I am just getting over it now. With aching joints and pain that moves slowly - very slowly - Southwards, I thought it might be another form of covid, but tests were negative. Yesterday I heard of a friend who had the same thing, so my suspicion that it was a non-identifiable virus going around was confirmed. Non-identifiable because her doctor could not put a name to it.
So the process of destroying the BBC has accelerated by them taking Gary Lineker off Match of the Day for comments he made about the government's latest vote-catching (as if) policy to prevent small boats full of migrants from crossing the Channel and arriving - or not - on the shores of Britain in their thousands.
He said that what they are proposing is 'beyond awful' and words being used were reminiscent of 1930s Germany. That gave them the excuse to pile pressure on the Board of the BBC and accuse it of breaching the impartiality protocol normally applying to news journalists, not footballers. Lineker has hosted two young, asylum-seeking men in his own home in the recent past, so he cannot be accused of shouting from the sidelines.
Rishi Sunak has been on a mission to try to undo the damage caused by the previous two Prime Ministers, who were openly - and stupidly - hostile toward Macron and France at a time when you would think we needed all the friends we could get just 30 miles away over the water. He has taken almost £500,000,000 with him to sweeten the message, but I wonder if that will do any good. It certainly won't get him re-elected.
Nobody - at all - does not think that there is a huge and growing problem with asylum-seekers and economic migrants arriving in the UK, but in 13 years the Tories have done nothing to help anyone or anything facing a future as unpredictable as ours is right now. They have systematically sacked or ignored anyone who might have been able to put a firm hand on the tiller of this vast ship as it sails through troubled waters in a storm of its own making, and are now obsessed with tinkering about to save their own jobs in a party which they destroyed years ago for what appeared to be short-term gains.
In bowing to government pressure by suspending Lineker, the BBC has shot itself in the foot. Both his co-presenters have refused to appear on tonight's Match of the Day, and there will be no commentary either. Further to that, many - if not all - of the footballers playing will refuse to give post-match interviews on the pitch as they normally do, so the whole two hours will be in total studio silence. No pundits, no commentary and no post-match assessments. Sky Sports are going to love it.
Ironically, I don't think you can get closer to the sort of authoritarian state which Gary Lineker alluded to than to attempt to stifle free-speech on a publicly owned and government-funded TV network.
UPDATE: Almost every sport show - radio and TV - is being pulled by the BBC presenters in support of Lineker this weekend. Solidarity. Everyone who does not love Lineker seems to respect him. Also, if the government get away with this one, they will be the next for attention.
Stifling free-speech seems to be common today. Leadership does not want to be countered nor questioned. Recently, in the US, town and city politicians were told they must accept questions and criticism from the public. About a year ago, in a public forum, when I asked a question from the floor, the response was, "This is not a debate." Those in positions of power and authority must be kept in check. Otherwise, democracy is at risk.ReplyDelete
There has been a massive global swing to the right and now people are beginning to react. The danger is that when in power, the right legislate in such a way as to make opposition impossible, illegal or both. In case anyone thinks I am talking from the left, I saw New Labour as 'right' and the USSR as far right.Delete
Well the right wing element in the conservative party might have gone a step too far in branding WWF and the RSPB as rogue charities in funding Sir David Attenborough's summing up of the terrible state the natural environment in Britain has become. Just to add to the terrible lockdown on public debate this government is practising at the moment. Hope you improve in your health, this winter has had it ups and downs.ReplyDelete
There are some institutions which politicians of any colour mess with at their own peril. Attenborough, the RSPB and football. Those three things cover just about every level of social status imaginable, and you have to be pretty bloody stupid to publicly take them on. This lot are beyond stupid.Delete
The virus I had was unidentifiable and I am still not back to normal. I wonder if I ever will be. I didn't know about Lineker. The migrant problem was the making of the overthrow of Gaddafi. He had North Africa under control and no free highway would have been allowed to the Med and the problem of migrants like we have never existed then. Not that that observation helps us with the problem we have now.ReplyDelete
Tyrants tend to keep the lid on things. Old feuds remerge when they are gone.Delete
I wonder if the government are still smarting from being shamed into doing the right thing previously by another footballer - Marcus Rashford.ReplyDelete
They seem to be pretty thick-skinned. They have been forced to u-turn on so many issues now. Public opinion is something they would rather be able to ignore. Quote from Rishi Sunak on Kier Starmer: "Just another leftie lawyer getting in our way..."Delete
I am glad to hear that your health is on the way to get better, Tom. And am highly interested in your description - because I had shortly an infect with fever (I very seldom have fever, the last about 6 years ago), and now pain in my joints I never had before. After one try I stay away from the weight training club since two weeks...ReplyDelete
As to firing Gary Lineker it was commented in German journalism too, and I am impressed and welcome the great support for him. Democracy is a very high value.
It is a strange little virus, I think. Not bad enough to put you to bed, but debilitating never the less. The sport on the BBC this weekend was destroyed. Very surreal. There government here are becoming desperate in their last year.Delete
Tom I do agree with Thelma's response above and your reply. I guess Gary will be back in a couple of weeks.ReplyDelete
Their biggest fear must be that he defects to a commercial company, for which he will get even more money. I hope he doesn't.Delete
It will be interesting to see how this turns out for your country. It is an important moment. I love that he garnered such support. I love nothing more than people willing to stand on principle.ReplyDelete
Standing on principle is not the same as sticking to it, no matter what this government says.Delete
An astonishing incident all round - and not one that anyone really came out of too well - least of all the BBCReplyDelete