PEOPLE have been calling for Gary Lineker to be sacked because he says Britain’s new policy of slamming the door on anyone who arrives in Kent on a small boat reminds him of policies used in 1930s Germany.
Well now look. Gary’s bright and likeable. And he’s entitled to air his views on the matter.
I know the BBC gets its impartiality knickers in a twist every time he says something controversial but he’s a football pundit. Not Huw Edwards.
All that being said, I disagree with him.
All of the people arriving in Kent have come from France which, last time I looked, is not a war zone.
And many are economic migrants who see the UK as a soft touch.
So there you are. Two differing views.
One from a former footballer and crisp enthusiast and another from a motoring journalist turned farmer. Take your pick.
But remember, whatever you decide, you have to accept that in a free country, you can’t really go around sacking people for expressing an opinion.
Germans bagging the sun loungers? No that’s our job
FOR many years, the Spanish resort of Lanzarote has been a favourite summertime haunt for Britain’s boisterous “sun, sex and sangria” brigade.
But now the island’s tourist chiefs say they want a higher class and perhaps better-behaved sort of visitor.
So they’ll be concentrating more heavily in future . . . on attracting the Germans.
At this point I’m sure you’re expecting me to launch into a furious Monty Python-style rant about how the Germans are appalling holidaymakers because they barge in the queues and frighten the children and perform dangerous stunts on the high diving board.
Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you but in my experience the Germans are excellent tourists.
They’re usually quiet, impeccably polite and keen to remind us all that their mid-20th Century reputation for arriving everywhere in a tank is a thing of the past.
So what about getting up early to bag all the best sun loungers? Nah, that’s now our speciality. Along with a few other things.
We spend all day vomiting in the pool and all night catching chlamydia.
And we insist on downing pints at breakfast time so we are ready to spend the rest of the day fighting with pretty much anything that comes our way.
Policemen, waiters, wheely bins, phone boxes, you name it.
By and large, we are shocking tourists, but we are not the worst.
Not by a long way, and nor, you may be surprised to hear, is it the Russians.
Yes, they are surly and rude and often armed, but thanks to their fantastic budgie smuggler swimwear choices, they are also hilarious.
And most of them make us look thin and healthy.
The Dutch? No one knows what they’re like in a hotel because they only ever go on holiday in a caravan.
The French? No one knows what they’re like either, because their own country is so lovely, they never bother going abroad.
The Americans have a broadly similar policy but sadly, a few do leak out and, dear oh dear, they really do set the standard for holiday terribleness.
You hear them coming for about an hour before they actually arrive and then they get louder still because they spend all day making foghorn “woo” and “all-right” noises at one another from different sides of the pool.
And they don’t just talk to each other at this Saturn V rocket volume.
They talk to everyone else too, usually in the lift.
They think they’re being friendly and open, but mostly it’s just annoying.
It’s nearly as annoying as their fondness for scowling at you if you order a second glass of wine.
Happily though, they’re mostly in Rome wondering why they built the Colosseum in the middle of a roundabout, or Cairo, looking puzzled that the pyramids were built right next to a slum.
You rarely see them in places like Lanzarote. You rarely see Russians there either.
So if the island’s tourist bosses turn their backs on us Brits, it might just become the best holiday destination . . . (drop a cog) . . . in the world.
Hunt’s a pipe dream
SIX whole months ago someone blew up the underwater Nord Stream pipelines that bring gas from Russia to Western Europe.
And still, no one has the foggiest who it was.
It certainly wasn’t the Germans because back then they needed that gas to keep the Volkswagen factories operational.
And it wasn’t the Russians either. Because if they wanted to shut off Europe’s gas supply, why would they blow up the pipeline?
Why not simply turn off the tap?
I’ve long suspected it was the Americans because they had nothing to lose and it was a good way of poking Putin in the eye.
But this week, US intelligence agencies denied responsibility saying, “It must have been, er, some underwater mercenaries working for the er, Ukrainians.
“Yes. That’s it Hank. Nice one. They’ll buy that”.
I’ve Fallen for dire flick
GOD knows why but last night I decided to watch a movie called Fall.
It’s about an annoying Instagram influencer (Virginia Gardner) and her also-annoying best friend (Grace Caroline Currey), who decide to climb a 2,000ft radio tower in the middle of the US desert.
The dialogue is wooden and the plot is predictable but holy mother of God, the scenes when everything starts to go wrong are next-level brilliant.
The tension will cause your heart to actually stop beating. I know mine did.
And the sense of being so far from the ground will boggle your mind.
I’ve never had vertigo but after watching that movie, I was scared to climb the stairs to bed.
It is, then, a terrible film. But it’s also a complete must-watch.
Food for thought
A CIVIL war about transgenderism seems to have broken out at the left-leaning and right-on New York Times.
In one corner, you have a bunch of senior journalists, and in the other a group of luvvies and young people who describe themselves as “thinkers”.
They probably believe this makes them sound intellectual, but my dog “thinks”.
So does my dishwasher. And as I look out of the window, I can see a bunch of songbirds thinking, “When is that fat bastard going to stop writing that column and come outside to fill our feeders?”
GEEKS have invented some new tech that spots when someone has posted pictures of you posing naked, then automatically removes them from the net.
All you have to do, apparently, is take a photograph of yourself naked and store it on your phone so it can be used as an identifying marker.
I’m not sure I want to do this though.
So I’ve taken a photograph of a beluga whale instead. That ought to cover it.
Stig it to them Ken
I LEARNED this week that Ken Bruce owns the rights to the PopMaster quiz he’s been running on Radio Two for the last 400 years.
So he’ll be able to take it to his new show on Greatest Hits Radio. That’s good news.
But how did he pull it off? I thought up The Stig.
Dreamed up the whole concept of a racing driver who never spoke, and even came up with the name.
But when I left the BBC, their legal people made it very plain that the man in white would NOT be coming with me.