Sunday, 3 March 2024

Free Thought, Free Speech & Free Assembly For All!

GARY LINEKER has been all over the news recently.  For those who don’t know, Lineker hails from Leicester and began his football career with Leicester City in 1978.  He’s also played for Everton, Barcelona & Spurs.  He ended his playing career in Japan with Nagoya Grampus Eight and retired in 1994.  

He also represented England at international level.  Here, he remains England’s fourth-highest scorer, with 48 goals.  

He’s since carved out a very successful career with the BBC.  He’s probably best known as the presenter of Match of the Day and as lead presenter for live matches & competitions like the World Cup.   

According to this BBC News item – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-62133808Lineker earned an eye watering  £1.35m over the 2021/22 financial year.  He’s undoubtedly done well for himself & we have absolutely no problem with people earning big money.

Lineker has come a long way.  As far as we’re aware, Lineker is from a humble & ordinary working-class background.  He started off life working on the family fruit & veg stall in Leicester Market  

He’s been married & divorced twice & his eldest son (George) survived a rare form of leukaemia when he was a baby.  So, life hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses for him.  

Over the years, Lineker has expressed views that are often described ‘woke’ – although many people disagree on what this term actually means.  We believe that many on the reactionary ‘right’ are simply opposed to him because they are reactionaries.  We also believe that some on the ‘left’ support him because his views wind up those on the ‘right’.  

Sadly, many of the online comments we’ve read about him (both for and against) are simply juvenile.  Very few have attempted to address the fundamental issue of freedom of thought, freedom of speech (& freedom of assembly for all).  Hopefully our potted history has provided some context to his life & what may drive his views.   

So, what did Gary Lineker say that got him in so much hot water?   

Basically, he took to Twitter to oppose the governments Illegal Migration Bill – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/illegal-migration-bill – which bans migrants who arrive on small boats from settling in the UK.  

Here he noted: “This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the ’30s, and I’m out of order?”  

This simple tweet led to many on the ‘right’ to condemn Lineker.  Some even demanded that he be sacked as a BBC presenter.  They pointed out that the BBC contract of employment has the following rule:

We’d argue that bringing ‘the BBC into disrepute’ (point 2) is so wide ranging & subjective that it’s next to useless.   

Indeed, how would one define ‘disrepute’ these days?  How many people have to disagree with your point of view before the company you work for is brought into ‘disrepute’?    

Some people like Gary Lineker hold – and express – strong views.  This in itself means that someone, or some group, are inevitably going to object to what he says.  Let’s face it, mankind has been arguing about politics (in particular) forever and a day.  Social media only amplifies this & Twitter can be a bit of a cesspit, to say the very least.   

It’s also important to point out that Lineker is a BBC sports presenter & is not a newscaster.  Therefore, we’d have thought that the third point (above) doesn’t really apply to him.  Even if it did, we’d run into the same subjective problems relating to what subjects are ‘controversial’.   

National Liberals believe that both ‘left’ and ‘right’ are engaged in a dangerous form of tit for tat cancel culture.   

Here the ‘left’ object to something that’s been said by someone from the ‘right’ (or who is perceived to be from the ‘right’).  The ‘left’ create an online storm hoping that their target will self-censor themselves or will be disciplined – or even sacked – by their employers.   

We only have to look at the treatment meted out to JK Rowling & Matthew Le Tissier who’ve been accused of expressing ‘dangerous’ views (JK Rowling in respect of her views relating to the Trans debate & Matthew Le Tissier in respect of his views relating to the Covid lockdowns and the possible relationship between onfield collapses & Covid vaccinations after three footballers collapsed in one week).  

To counter this, the ‘right’ then employ the same tactics & create a storm over the views of someone from the ‘left’ as Gary Lineker has found out.

It should come as no surprise that the ‘left’ effectively act as a mirror image of the ‘right’.  They pay lip service to the twin ideals of civil & religious liberties for all and free thought, free speech & free assembly for all.  In fact, they’re all dangerous posturing fools who wouldn’t understand the concept of a principled stand.  

In contrast, we prefer open, honest & respectful debate.  No subject matter should be taboo.  Our view is that either we all have rights – or none of us have rights.  And those rights should be extended to everyone, no matter what their point of view is.  

 

•  IT’S OFTEN SAID that whilst the media is fixated on one subject, one has to look around for the news item that they’re not telling you about!  As we all know, Gary Lineker has dominated the headlines for the last couple of weeks.  So what’s been going on in the background – any thoughts?

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• ARE YOU particularly interested in elements of the State (often in conjunction with big Corporations) trying to curtail free speech?  If so, check outFree Speech:  How Do We Protect It? https://www.facebook.com/groups/1607711629485795
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