Saturday 11 March 2023

Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler?

It is hilarious listening to the closest thing to an actual psychopath in public life, Alastair Campbell, arguing for Gary Lineker. It is a bit like, oh, I don’t know, the language used in 1930s Germany to defend the actions of that funny old Mr Hitler. Al-Goebbels-Campbell, was always good at spin and propaganda, but with the Lineker affair he has excelled himself, describing his latest brief as standing up against ‘these right wing extremists’ who have taken over the government.

Oh, my aching sides. On the journey home last night I heard Armando Iannucci, on BBCs PM programme, vigorously defending the jug-eared goal-hanger while Evan Davis tried his best to maintain the impartiality of the nation’s broadcaster. Would he, he asked Iannucci, defend the freedom of speech of a presenter who had, for instance agreed with the views of many tens of millions of Britons who would gladly repel the incoming migrants with force?

In the discussion, naturally, the case of comedian Jo Brand’s suggestion that protesters could maybe have thrown battery acid, instead of milkshakes at Pol Pot; sorry I meant Nigel Farage. Several other examples were raised, of occasions when the BBC had suspended or failed to suspend various other well-known people for their words on air, but such comparisons were batted away as entirely different; wishing harm on those who disagree with you is simply fair game for the left.

The issue is, as it always is, that your free speech is my offensive rhetoric, and my sensible viewpoint is somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan and likely to cause actual physical pain to all who hear it. For my part, I see Gary Lineker as a smug, righteous, lefty twat who nevertheless has a right to say what he likes just as long as I am afforded the same opportunities. My permanent Twitter suspension, however, does suggest that while Lineker is allowed free speech, I very much, am not.

If he comes back after a brief period off-air, he will not have learned anything, but then neither has Campbell. Being labelled a Nazi – and yes, I know everybody on his side has argued, semantically, that this is not what he did even though it is exactly what he meant – is just what you have to get used to when you don’t ascribe to the open borders, ninety-several genders, race-baiting, Tory-hating free-range communism, espoused by the notional left.

Gary Lineker was unavailable for comment.

What won’t happen is progress. If you agree with Lineker then you won’t budge an inch from your view; if you disagree with him then you are still a Nazi and there’s an end to it. You will just have to content yourself with carrying on as you normally do; go to work every day, obey the law, love your family, support your team and just try to keep the embroidering of swastikas on the down-low. Just accept that Gary Lineker is a decent human being, and you are a vicious, baby-eating storm-trooper, but don’t make such a fuss, okay?

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