Opinion: Gary Lineker is a counter weight to an unchecked far-right regime

The Match of the Day presenter was right to government with 1930s Germany.

Few voice their concerns regarding the protection of refugees in the UK, and when publicised within the news they are quickly hushed away.

What did Gary Lineker say on Twitter?

The sports pundit has made his feelings clear about the treatment of refugees by the Home Office on many occasions. This time though, he went all out saying: “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?”

Was Lineker right to say this?

Absolutely. For too long, politicians have had the biggest platform to emote their distaste for people seeking safety. Donald Trump compared refugees to “snakes”, Nigel Farage published a demeaning poster about refugees during the EU referendum and MP David Davies went as far as to call for dental examinations of asylum seekers to confirm their age. All this, on top of a far-right leaning press make for an extreme platform and a hostile environment at that. Their rhetoric has been so influential, that it has seen an increase in violence towards refugees by far-right groups which have continued into 2023.

So when Gary Lineker made his feelings clear, the backlash against him was immense. His rebuttal of the aforesaid was shut down by Westminster’s tool of choice – the BBC.

For all the government have said there has been little to no counter argument. The Match of the Day pundit was more like a needle in a haystack and if what Linekar said bore little evidence, the Home Office would have given it little thought. Though, in reality, the sports presenter held up a mirror to an appallingly fascist like regime. Detaining people without legal cause, allowing few rights and little health care is of course in line with authoritarianism. Threatening to send refugees on a plane to Rwanda to void any legal responsibility is in keeping with rendition flights, and far from the responsibility of believing in a fair and free society. This makes the Rwanda plan very dangerous for vulnerable people.

If this does not remind you of Hitler’s politics, you must be living in a totally different reality.

Fact check: How many refugees are there in the UK?

According to the UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency), the number of refugees in the UK is 231,597 (including Ukrainian resettlement cases), making up as little as 0.54% (less than 1%) of the UK population.

Why do refugees not claim asylum in France?

Many refugees stay in the first country they seek refuge in but there are a lot of reasons why asylum seekers choose the UK. These include better cultural support and/or family are present here.

Which country takes in the most refugees?

The UK does not take in many refugees whereas, Pakistan (1.4 million) and Iran (780,000) host the most Afghan refugees and 3.5 million Syrians reside in Turkey.

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