Gary Lineker’s Nazi comparison was grotesque but I’m sorry he’s stepped back

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THE crisis in the English Channel is escalating – 45,756 people crossed in small boats last year and in 2023 the figure is expected to be over 60,000.

Some of them are fleeing war zones and some of them are just seeking a better life.

It's grotesque to compare migrant policies to Nazis… but I'm sorry Gary Lineker has stepped back

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It’s grotesque to compare migrant policies to Nazis… but I’m sorry Gary Lineker has stepped backCredit: Getty

Almost all of them are coming from France, that notoriously war-ravaged Third World hell hole.

All of them are desperate enough to risk their lives, and sometimes the lives of their children, for a chance to live here in the UK.

They all deserve our human sympathy. If we had been born in Afghanistan or Albania, then that could be you or I in one of those leaky dinghies.

But all of them will need support when they arrive. All of them will need to have their claims for asylum heard.

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All of this, the Home Secretary estimates, costs the taxpayer £6million a day.

The Left offers a simple solution: Let them all in! But there is a housing shortage in this country and every illegal immigrant makes it worse.

Sorry, comrade, they do. But if you do not believe that our borders should be totally open and asylum should be available on demand, then the current situation is untenable.

Solutions need to be found.

The Government’s Illegal Migration Bill is designed to destroy the people- trafficking industry and deter the armada of dinghies. Some of what is proposed might not work. But it is a serious and humane attempt to address the problem.

And what is wrong about our immigration policy is what is happening right now.

The status quo cannot be allowed to endure.

The only people who profit from the current situation are people-traffickers, whose evil business is flourishing.

There are flaws in the Government’s proposals. My eyes glaze over with mute disbelief every time I hear, “Rwanda”.

I don’t believe the idea of shipping illegal immigrants to Rwanda will ever work. Someone jumps off a dinghy from France and we send them to . . . Africa?

Er, what’s wrong with France?

Rishi Sunak met President Macron on Friday and has offered more millions for the French police to patrol their own borders

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Rishi Sunak met President Macron on Friday and has offered more millions for the French police to patrol their own bordersCredit: AP
Does anyone seriously believe Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour would do anything to stem this tide of human misery?

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Does anyone seriously believe Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour would do anything to stem this tide of human misery?Credit: Getty

Rishi Sunak met President Macron on Friday — the first Anglo-French summit for five years — and has offered more millions for the French police to patrol their own borders. It might work. We will certainly never stop the people-traffickers without the assistance of the French.

So at least Sunak and Suella Braverman and the Tories are trying. Does anyone seriously believe Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour would do anything to stem this tide of human misery?

The status quo is unfair on refugees who are made to risk their lives for the sake of a better life, wherever they are running from. And it is unfair on our own people who already find it hard to get healthcare, housing and a decent education for their children.

And if Sunak’s efforts to stop the boats succeed, or even if he significantly reduces the numbers of illegal immigrants, then wouldn’t that be infinitely better than the wretched situation we have right now?

Anyone who thinks the Illegal Migration Bill is fascist should read a history book. To compare the Government’s policies to those of Nazi Germany is crass, grotesquely insensitive and plain dumb.

45,756 people crossed in small boats last year and in 2023 the figure is expected to be over 60,000

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45,756 people crossed in small boats last year and in 2023 the figure is expected to be over 60,000Credit: PA

Gary Lineker is entitled to his opinions and I am sorry he has “stepped back” from his day job.

But Gal really should not look quite so pleased with himself.

Isn’t it bloody obvious? We put illegal immigrants in nice hotels.

The Nazis put Jews in concentration camps. Then slaughtered six million of them.

I understand and applaud Gary Lineker’s desire to speak up for people who have no voice.

But nobody has less of a voice than the six million innocent souls who were murdered in the Holocaust.

It Mae be our year

I have to say Mae Muller’s I Wrote A Song is pretty good

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I have to say Mae Muller’s I Wrote A Song is pretty goodCredit: Alamy

FOR decades the Eurovision Song Contest was a national joke where we all knew the punchline: “UK, nul points!”

What an eye-opener to learn the UK only scored the dreaded nul points on two occasions (2003, 2021). Although there were plenty of bleak years earlier in the century when we came last but managed to scrape together a few lousy points.

But the biggest shock of all is discovering that Eurovision is now cool.

Even the British, with our insufferable superiority complex about pop music, can no longer sneer at the contest.

Not after Ukraine won last year when the country was fighting for its survival.

And not after Sam Ryder became an overnight star by coming second with his beloved Space Man.

I have just heard our entry into this year’s Eurovision – Mae Muller’s I Wrote A Song. And although my old pal Sid Vicious might raise a wry eyebrow, I have to say it’s pretty good.

Mae moves like a young Madonna and her song is ferociously contemporary – like one of those Taylor Swift tracks about the ghost of a boyfriend past.

The days of nul points and national humiliation have gone at last. Eurovision is now a stepping stone to pop glory. Rather than a landmine that destroys your career while everyone laughs.

Kate’s the queen of camo lot

ON the snowy Salisbury Plain, The Princess of Wales sported Army fatigues as she trained with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards.

Kate said the experience brought the realities of combat “to life”. She also demonstrated a dazzling charisma unmatched by any other royal.

On the snowy Salisbury Plain, The Princess of Wales sported Army fatigues as she trained with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards

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On the snowy Salisbury Plain, The Princess of Wales sported Army fatigues as she trained with the 1st Battalion Irish GuardsCredit: AP
Nobody has looked that good in camouflage since Demi Moore was crawling through the mud in G.I. Jane

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Nobody has looked that good in camouflage since Demi Moore was crawling through the mud in G.I. JaneCredit: PA:Press Association

Nobody has looked that good in camouflage since Demi Moore was crawling through the mud in G.I. Jane.

One rule for Harry, another for Amy

Amy Winehouse was refused entry to the US for a drug offence so could not pick up her five Grammys

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Amy Winehouse was refused entry to the US for a drug offence so could not pick up her five GrammysCredit: Rex

IN 2008, Amy Winehouse won five awards at the Grammys.

Amy was not present for the high point of her tragically short career – three years later she was dead aged 27 – because she was refused entry to the US for a drug offence.

The previous year she had been arrested in Norway for possession of cannabis and received a small fine. It was enough for her to be refused entry.

The Americans have always been very hard on British drug users.

So why does Prince Harry, so boastful about his drug-taking, get to come and go as he pleases? Do the Yanks have one law for rock stars and another for royalty?

Oscar bravo, Lesley

Lesley Paterson turned her excruciating triathlon into an Oscar-nominated film

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Lesley Paterson turned her excruciating triathlon into an Oscar-nominated filmCredit: Splash

LESLEY Paterson once did a triathlon with a broken shoulder.

That is a half-mile swim with one arm. A bike ride of 12.4 miles. And a run of three miles.

And all of it done in excruciating agony.

But after doing the triathlon, Lesley did something really difficult.

She turned a dream into a film.

More than this, her film turned out to be an Oscar-nominated cracker.

She used the money she earned for competing in that one-armed triathlon to renew her option on a book she had been obsessed with for years – All Quiet On The Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of the First World War.

It took Lesley two decades to turn her dream into a Netflix film.

Tonight she attends the Oscars, where All Quiet On The Western Front is nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Who would have thought that a film about the horrors of the trenches could feel so shockingly contemp- orary?

But as a land war rages in Europe, All Quiet On The Western Front feels as modern as tomorrow’s headlines.

I wonder if Putin can get Netflix.

Bottle of Rod

The distinctive bottle of Mateus Rosé was as much a symbol of the 1970s as platform boots or the three-day week

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The distinctive bottle of Mateus Rosé was as much a symbol of the 1970s as platform boots or the three-day week

TERRY THEISE, a wine writer, says he first fell in love with wine when he saw a Rod Stewart concert and Rod was “chug-a-lugging his Mateus Rosé on stage”.

Me too! Back in the Seventies, Rod made drinking wine look fun, accessible and cool.

The Portuguese pink in the distinctive bottle was as much a symbol of the time as platform boots or the three-day week.

Babycham – another Seventies icon – is being relaunched for a new generation. But Mateus Rosé never really went away.

A bottle in Morrisons will cost you £6.

Although these days you might want to drink it out of a glass.

Zulu do they think they are?

We're being told Zulu, one of my favourite films as a kid, could inspire far-right extremism

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We’re being told Zulu, one of my favourite films as a kid, could inspire far-right extremismCredit: Getty

ONE of my favourite films as a kid was Zulu.

Now we are told by counter-terrorism programme Prevent that Michael Caine’s classic could inspire far-right extremism.

Sir Michael, right in the movie, snorts the claim is, “The biggest load of bulls**t I have ever heard”.

I must concur – the 1964 film is a faithful depiction of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, between the British Army and Zulu warriors in January 1879 during the Anglo-Zulu War.

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You know, this actually happened. How can history be dangerous?

Life would be easier if they just gave us a list of stuff we are still allowed to like.

Simple maths, Jeremy

CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt’s plan to hike corporation tax from 19 per cent to 25 per cent next month is stark raving bonkers.

If firms relocate to more tax-friendly climes – and they sure as hell will – what does Mr Hunt get to bank in the Treasury’s coffers?

Er, let’s see now, that would be . . . 100 per cent of nothing.





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