Metro Letters March 13: Lineker readers are taking a break from MOTD

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What are the readers concerned about? (Image: Getty)

Gary Lineker has resigned from Match Of The Day after giving his views on ministers’ plans to stop migrants from crossing the Channel in small boats.

The football expert and ex-sportsman should be allowed to exercise the right to freedom of expression without running the risk of seeing the red card, readers say.

Also, our contributors are angry about e-scooters, e-bikes and plastic bags clogging the streets.

Read on to see what else people are talking about…

■ Gary Lineker has withdrawn from presenting Match Of The Day after giving the “ridiculously inappropriate story” of his falling out with ministers over his use of Twitter.

The ex-England international is accused of breaching guidelines on impartiality and has been criticized by the Home Secretary for “lessening the unspeakable tragedy” of the Holocaust after comparing the language to Nazi Germany in their asylum policy.

I’m not a fan of Lineker – I think he has too much to say. I also disagree with his comparison of asylum policies to Nazi Germany.

However, I agree that this incident is “ridiculously disproportionate”. We live in a time where social media is calling the shots. Lineker-style issues will continue to appear while this is happening and because people constantly need to voice their opinions on these platforms. Martin Lawrence, South Croydon

■ It seems to me that you are ok if you are a highly paid BBC person and post opinions on Twitter if they are the ‘right’ opinions.

Lineker is being dragged over the coals, but what about Sir Alan Sugar – he of BBC’s The Apprentice fame? He was quite critical of the strike by Mick Lynch and the RMT railway union on his Twitter account just before Christmas. I can’t remember that he was warned. Should he have been? Jim, Warwickshire

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: BBC Sport TV pundit Gary Lineker looks on ahead of the Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium on March 21, 2021 in Leicester, England. Sports stadiums across the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic as state social distancing laws ban fans in venues, resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) FILE: Gary Lineker steps down from presenting the BBC's Match Of The Day.

Gary Lineker taking a break after his tweets (Picture: Getty)

■ M Metcalf (MetroTalk, Fri) misses the point when he says Gary Lineker should not be paid by the BBC for expressing his political views on social media.

Just because he works for the BBC doesn’t mean he isn’t entitled to voice his opinions on his own Twitter account.

If he offered his opinion while presenting Match Of The Day, that would be a different story. Shouldn’t your employer pay you more for writing Metro to express your own opinion? Ed, Portsmouth

■ Andrew McLuskey (MetroTalk, Fri) writes that Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s plans on illegal immigration are designed to improve Tory party polling results.

Isn’t that an admission that the majority of the people of this country are fed up with people queuing up in little boats to come to this country, safe in the knowledge that once the liberal establishment gets here, heaven and earth will move hell to keep it here? John Daniels, Redhill

■ Gary Lineker, a football presenter, has every right to voice his opinion on government policy if he chooses to do so. So did Prue Leith, presenter of The Great British Bake-off, without censure when she said she voted for Brexit. George Curley, London

You said…

On Friday we asked you if Gary Lineker was right to speak his mind.

You said:

  • No – well paid by the BBC and should be politically neutral – 59%
  • Yes – he should be free to use his platform forever – 41%

Antony left a comment saying: When you start working for the BBC you know that there is a policy of impartiality. If you can’t handle it don’t join, if over time it becomes a problem for you then be principled enough to quit. What you shouldn’t do is be so important as to believe that the rules don’t apply to you. That’s regardless of what you have to say.

■ HS2 has gone beyond parody with the announcement that the second leg of the rail service – Birmingham to Crewe – will be delayed by two years (Metro, Fri). Transport Secretary Mark Harper blamed rising costs. The project had a budget of £33bn but is now £71bn.

Based on construction cost figures and projected fares, I believe it will take tens of millions of passenger trips before it’s profitable. It is truly an economic catastrophe of unprecedented proportions, not to mention the environmental catastrophe. Nigel Savill, Northolt

■ I wholeheartedly agree with Julian Self (MetroTalk, Wed) who complains that rented scooters and bicycles are ‘just left behind after use’ and ‘scattered randomly on the pavement’. I found one outside my front gate in the suburbs. And the best was in Vauxhall where I had seen one left behind blocking access to a pedestrian crossing.

There is a simple solution for this. These things have unique IDs somewhere. They are GPS-enabled, so their position can be pinpointed. The landlords have payment data of the tenant.

We require “no dump” zones based on GPS coordinates and require landlords to report any violations. Penalize the company, not the renter, and let them reclaim it from the individual instead of letting the public foot the bill. Bob, Kingstone

e-scooters and e-bikes

E-scooters and e-bikes are often parked in odd locations and parking zones (Image: Getty)

■ More than 171 trillion pieces of plastic clog the oceans (Metro, Thursday). And no wonder.

I carry reusable plastic bags with me when I shop, but although supermarkets now charge for them, local grocery stores hand out hundreds of free, cheap, flimsy tote bags every day — and there’s no crackdown on them.

I see them blowing in the park, on trees and in the streets. You can’t seem to give them away fast enough. S Manning, London

And also…

■ Is it a new trend for people to take their pets on the London Underground during rush hour? There’s barely enough room for people, let alone pets. Mudher Al-Adnani, Harrow

■ In relation to fairy tales (MetroTalk), I am nominating my bus schedule for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. You couldn’t invent it. Alex Kinniburgh, Glasgow

■ Jacq (MetroTalk, Fr) says that as a child in the 1960s she proved “untraumatized from reading all these horrible books, eating plain food and not having social media”. You were truly very blessed. However, not all of us who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s were so lucky. Michele, Berry

■ I can only agree with Single Guy, Sussex (MetroTalk, Thurs) who says being single is awful. After being dumped by my partner after 32 years of lockdown I am lonely and hurt. It’s ok when you’re young – you can relax – but as a pensioner it’s not that much fun. Elizabeth, via email

■ In relation to the death of Mystic Meg (Metro, Fri), I foresee Mae Muller’s UK participation in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest receiving ‘zero points’. Martin J Phillips, Leeds

■ Nurses, doctors and firefighters are fighting for better wages, but Ben van Beurden, ex-Shell boss, had a 50 percent pay rise to 294 times the average salary last year (Metro, Fri). Explain this to those defending Shell profits with the ‘investment card’ while the rest of the world is mired in an energy crisis. Pedro, via text message

Begin an SMS with VIEWS followed by your comment, name and city to 65700. Standard network charges apply. Or email Views, Rush-Hour Crush and Good Deed Feed helpline: 020 3615 0600. Full terms and conditions at Metro is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organization. Comments may be edited for legality, clarity or space reasons. Metro Letters March 13: Lineker readers are taking a break from MOTD

Justin Scacco

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