Multiple choice examination.  Tick one answer only. Only one answer is correct. (Answers now in bold – apart from Number 2, in case she sets her lawyers on me. But you know the answer, m’lud.)

  • Q1:
  1. Gary Lineker is a left-wing snowflake
  2. Gary Lineker is responding correctly to an important ethical issue.
  3. Gary Lineker is not a patriot.

What did Lineker ever do for his country?

  • Q2
  1. Suella Braverman is a deluded fascist
  2. Suella Braverman is a delusional fascist
  3. Suella Braverman is a patriot
  4. All of the above.

  • Q3:
  1. The Tories are justifiably aghast at Lineker suggesting that the Tories are like the Nazis
  2. Some Tories have Jewish backgrounds and are therefore correct to criticise Lineker’s referencing and label it ‘offensive’.
  3. Lineker is not comparing the Tories to the Nazis but is suggesting that Braverman and Sunak’s discourse is similar to that used at the onset of Nazi fascism.  The message is therefore an important one.
  4. Suella Braverman’s discourse is not, and has never been, remotely offensive.

New mug for BBC employees

  • Q4
  1. The right-leaning reaction to Lineker is correct because he has broken an impartiality clause with the BBC.
  2. The BBC impartiality clause is a convenient way for the Tories to avoid discussing the actual ethical issues surrounding the proposed law.
  3. Lineker is an ex-footballer and therefore unqualified to talk about issues of importance.

  • Q5:
  1. The Tories are not ex-footballers and are therefore qualified to determine the fate of people experiencing persecution and war.
  2. The Tories are genuinely concerned about these people, and that is why they want them to go to Rwanda – a stable democracy.
  3. The UK is not a stable democracy.

Democracy – this way

  • Q6:
  1. Lineker cannot express his views publicly because he is an employee of the BBC and his salary is paid for by the British tax-payer.
  2. Tory MPs cannot express their views publicly because their salaries are paid for by the British tax-payer.
  3. Lineker doesn’t give a fuck about (a) above because he is so outraged by the issue that he has decided to use his platform to speak out.
  • Q7
  1. The Tories are a party of moral probity and exemplary ethical behaviour.
  2. Marcus Rashford and Gary Lineker have achieved far more for the country than the Tories.
  3. Tories, and the media who float their boat, admire people like Rashford and Lineker and would never try to discredit them.
  4. The Nazis never tried to discredit anyone unfairly.

Here’s a wee clue to Number 4 above.

  • Q8:
  1. Lineker has taken in refugees and looked after them, but has not made a song and dance about it.
  2. Rishi Sunak would also take in refugees if he had the time.
  3. Suella Braverman would also do this if she had the time.
  • Q9:
  1. Right-leaning people favour freedom of expression.
  2. Right-leaning people favour freedom of expression until it contradicts their views.
  3. The left-leaning tofu-eating wokerati do not favour freedom of expression.
  • Q10
  1. Ian Hislop, editor and contributor to Private Eye, has been expressing his views politically on the BBC’s ‘Have I Got News for you?’ for years.
  2. Karren Brady works on a flagship BBC show but also sits in the House of Lords.
  3. Richard Sharp, chairperson of the BBC, is a Tory donor.
  4. Gary Lineker is not a Tory donor.
  5. All of the above are true.  

Impartial buddies

(Tick three only). Having successfully completed this examination, you now realise: (answers now in bold)

  1. That the fuss is not about the BBC and impartiality but rather about populist criticism of (Tory) government policy – which rarely occurs in mainstream media.
  2. Gary Lineker is wrong, on all counts.
  3. The BBC is left-wing.
  4. Impartiality clauses were invented before the age of social media.  They are therefore ineffectual and should probably be scrapped/re-worded.
  5. Suella Braverman is a first-rate intellectual.
  6. Match of the Day might be better without fucking pundits anyway.  

Phil Ball, March 11, 2023 (amended March 1th)

3 thoughts on “Gary-Gate”

  1. 1. A lecturer in Media Studies can now dedicate an entire module to the idea that a tweet is an anecdotal flap of the butterfly’s wing that goes on to cause a hurricane.
    2. Yvette Cooper was right when she said of Lineker, ‘I just don’t think you should make comparisons with the 1930s’.
    3. Yvette Cooper was right when she said an article in The Sun that claimed Britain had a “muslim problem” carried ‘echoes of 1930s Germany’.
    4. If we didn’t have a small boat problem we could afford to give tax breaks to people with large yachts.
    5. The Basque children who came to Britain by sea fleeing the Spanish civil war were welcome because some of them went on to become footballers. (Hang on, don’t mention footballers.)


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