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Metro letters, March 13: Readers on Lineker taking time out from MOTD

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What’s on readers’ minds? (Picture: Getty)

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

The football pundit and former sportsman should be allowed to exercise the right of free speech without the risk of being shown the red card, readers say.

Also, our contributors are up in arms about e-scooters, e-bikes, and plastic bags cluttering up the streets.

Read on to see what else people are talking about…

■ Gary Lineker has stepped down from presenting Match Of The Day after what he called the ‘ridiculously out of proportion story’ of his row with ministers over his Twitter use.

The ex-England international is accused of breaching impartiality guidelines and has been slammed for ‘diminishing the unspeakable tragedy’ of the Holocaust by the home secretary, after he compared language in her asylum policy to Nazi Germany.

I’m not a fan of Lineker – I think he has too much to say. I also don’t agree with his comparison of the asylum policy to Nazi Germany.

However, I do agree with him that this incident is ‘ridiculously out of proportion’. We live in an age where social media rules the roost. Lineker-type issues will continue to occur while this is the case and because of people’s constant need to voice their opinions on these platforms. Martin Lawrence, South Croydon

■ It seems to me you’re OK to be a highly paid BBC person and publish opinions on Twitter if they’re the ‘right’ opinions.

Lineker gets hauled over the coals but what about Sir Alan Sugar – he of BBC’s The Apprentice fame? He was pretty critical of Mick Lynch and the RMT rail union going on strike on his Twitter account just before Christmas. Don’t remember him getting told off. Should he have been? Jim, Warwickshire

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: Gary Lineker, BBC Sport TV Pundit looks on prior to the Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on March 21, 2021 in Leicester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) FILE: Gary Lineker To Step Back From Presenting BBC???s Match Of The Day.

Gary Lineker is taking some time out after his tweets (Picture: Getty)

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

Just because he works for the BBC does not mean he’s not entitled to express his views on his own Twitter account.

If he were to express his views while presenting Match Of The Day, then that would be a different story. Should your employer stop paying you because you write to Metro to express your own views? Ed, Portsmouth

■ Andrew McLuskey (MetroTalk, Fri) writes that home secretary Suella Braverman’s plans for illegal immigration are intended to improve the Tory Party’s poll ratings.

Isn’t that an admission that the majority of the people in this country are fed up with people in small boats jumping the queue to get into this country, sure in the knowledge that once here, the liberal establishment will move heaven and earth to keep them here? John Daniels, Redhill

■ Gary Lineker, a football presenter, has every right to voice his opinion of government policy if he so wishes. Just as The Great British Bake-off presenter Prue Leith did, 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 – he’s paid handsomely by the BBC and should be politically neutral – 59%
  • Yes – he should be free to use his platform for good – 41%

Antony left a comment saying: You know when you start working for the BBC that there’s an impartiality policy. If you can’t deal with it then don’t join, if it becomes an issue to you with time then be principled enough to resign. What not to do is to be so self important to believe that the rules don’t apply to you. That’s regardless of whatever it is that you have to say.

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

Based on figures for construction costs and the projected fares, I believe it will require tens of millions of passenger journeys before it breaks even. It is truly an economic, not to mention environmental, disaster of unique proportions. Nigel Savill, Northolt

■ I completely agree with Julian Self (MetroTalk, Wed), who complains that hire scooters and bicycles are ‘simply abandoned after use’ and ‘strewn haphazardly across pavements’. I found one across my entrance gate in the suburbs. And the best was in Vauxhall, where I saw one that had been left so that it was blocking access to a pedestrian crossing.

There’s an easy solution to this. These things have unique IDs somewhere. They are GPS-enabled so their position can be pinpointed. The rental companies have payment details of the renter.

We need to have ‘no dump’ zones based on GPS coordinates and require the rental companies to report any contraventions. Fine the company, not the renter, and let them reclaim it from the individual rather than having the public bear the cost. Bob, Kingston

E-scooters and e-bikes

E-scooters and e-bikes are often left in odd places, as well as in parking zones (Picture: Getty)

■ More than 171 trillion pieces of plastic are clogging up the seas (Metro, Thu). And no wonder.

I carry reusable plastic bags when shopping but despite supermarkets charging for them now, local convenience stores are still handing out hundreds of free, cheap, flimsy carriers every day – and there’s no crackdown on them.

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

And another thing…

■ Is it a new trend that people bring their pets on the London Underground during rush hour? There’s hardly enough space for people, let alone pets. Mudher Al-Adnani, Harrow

■ Regarding fairy tales (MetroTalk), I’m nominating my bus timetable for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. You couldn’t make it up. Alex Kinniburgh, Glasgow

■ Jacq (MetroTalk, Fri) says as a child in the 1960s ‘reading all these terrible books, eating plain food and having no social media’, she has turned out to be ‘untraumatised’. You were indeed very blessed. However, not all of us who grew up during the 60s and 70s were so fortunate. Michele, Bury

■ I couldn’t agree more with Single Guy, Sussex (MetroTalk, Thu), who says it’s awful being single. After being dumped by my partner of 32 years in lockdown, I’m lonely and hurt. It’s OK when you’re young – you can rebound – but not so much fun when you’re a pensioner. Elizabeth, by email

■ Regarding the death of Mystic Meg (Metro, Fri), I foresee Mae Muller’s UK entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest receiving ‘nul points’. Martin J Phillips, Leeds

■ Nurses, doctors and firefighters are fighting for better wages, yet Ben van Beurden, ex-boss of Shell, had a 50 per cent pay rise last year, taking his pay to 294 times the average salary (Metro, Fri). To those defending Shell profits using the ‘investment’ card’, explain this while the rest of the world is in an energy crisis. Pedro, by text

Start a text with VIEWS followed by your comment, name and where you live to 65700. Standard network charge applies. Or email Helpline for Views, Rush-Hour Crush and Good Deed Feed: 020 3615 0600. Full T&Cs on Metro is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation. Comments may be edited for reasons of legality, clarity or space.

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