GARY Lineker’s criticism of the xenophobic measures proposed by Suella Braverman to halt “illegal” asylum seekers arriving in the UK by boat (“Downing Street rejects Match of the Day host’s 1930s Germany comparison”, The Herald, March 9) prompted a response from the Home Secretary that is extremely concerning.

Not only did she display her habitual cynical cruelty, but she also demonstrated a profound ignorance of history and a startling philosophical vacuity. Her rejection of the comparison Lineker made between her language and that of the Nazi regime in the 1930s appears to be based on the fact that what she was proposing would be legal because Parliament would pass a law to criminalise those asylum seekers. The implication was that what the Nazis did was not legal.

This is seriously and dangerously wrong. The oppression, dispossession and stripping of all civic rights from Germany’s Jews was carried out in accordance with laws enacted by the National Socialist government.

There were dozens of these laws, the most significant of them being the Civil Service Law (1933) banning Jews from working in any local or national government capacity; the Citizenship and Denaturalisation Law (1933) allowing the government to remove citizenship at their discretion; the Nuremberg Laws (1935) banning marriage between Jews and non-Jews and depriving all Jews of citizenship; the Reich Citizenship Decrees of 1938 banning Jews from being teachers, doctors, lawyers, vets, midwifes, auctioneers, etc, while expelling all Jewish children from public schools.

All these measures were legal and accompanied by propaganda which said that Jews were a danger to the stability of society and were leeching upon indigenous Germans. The Roman philosopher Seneca said: “What narrow innocence it is for one to be good only according to the law”, by which he meant that morality, justice and decency are of a higher order than mere legality.

This thoroughly basic principle of jurisprudence appears to have eluded Ms Braverman despite her having qualified as a lawyer. The implication that what is legal is good flies in the face of historical examples to the contrary, including not just Nazi Germany, but apartheid South Africa, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Putin’s Russia, and the segregationist Jim Crow laws of the US Southern states.
David White, Galashiels

Stick to the day job, Gary

FOR all I know, Gary Lineker may be a very good sports presenter; he certainly seems to be paid a lot for doing whatever it is he does. But as I wouldn’t know one end of a football from the other, I do not presume to express an opinion on his sporting or presenting talents.

Regardless of his sporting prowess Mr Lineker is not, as far as I know, an expert in matters political. He is of course perfectly entitled to his opinion on politics, but no more entitled than the rest of us. The difference is that he is one of a coterie of so-called celebrities whose every utterance attracts public attention and analysis ad nauseam.

Much of the blame for the present cult of shallow celebrity must lie with Mr Lineker’s sponsor, the BBC. He is one (but only one) of the corporation’s anointed; lauded, deified, over-exposed and disproportionately rewarded from our licence fee. In the face of such specious adulation it is hardly surprising that some of these individuals actually come to believe that they and their opinions are somehow especially worthy of respect.

To that extent Mr Lineker could, at first sight, be forgiven had he strayed innocently into commenting on the UK Government’s immigration policy – a subject well outside his bailiwick. But this is not his first such transgression, and I suspect he deliberately and provocatively took advantage of his celebrity status. He even seems to welcome the opprobrium it has brought him from Government ministers.

This is unedifying. For all our sakes, Gary, stick to the day job.
Iain Stuart, Glasgow

• GARY Lineker is a sports commentator. He and other commentators would quite rightly be vilified if they made personal comments against or in favour of a particular sports team. Those opposed to the comments made by Gary Lineker regarding policy on immigration are effectively trying to shoot the messenger, rather than refute the message.

When I hear of such attacks on the messenger it makes me think that the message might be correct since the message itself has not been attacked. I am therefore more persuaded by those attacking Gary Lineker than by Gary Lineker himself that our immigration policy is flawed.
Sandy Gemmill, Edinburgh

Read more letters: Gary Lineker compares Suella Braverman migrant plan to Nazis

Onus is on farmers too

WHAT a sad anti-dog rant from Rosemary Goring ("If your dog is worrying sheep, it deserves to be shot (and so do you)", The Herald, March 9).

She quotes the Countryside Code (actually a part of the Land Reform Scotland Act of 2003) on a partial basis, mentioning only the onus on dog owners. She fails to state the similar onus on farmers to safely fence their livestock (sadly by no means always the case) and not to keep pregnant livestock alongside well-established walking routes.

I’m not for a moment criticising farmers with their tough job in lambing at this time of year, nor do I excuse the small minority of dog owners who fail to control their pets, but Ms Goring’s generic tirade against “dog owners” as a species is unhelpful and uninformed.

Farmers wandering round with shotguns waiting to shoot errant dogs isn’t the answer – mutual respect, cooperation and education is.
Richard Hunter, Cupar, Fife

Yellow fever

WE'RE seeing plenty of yellow warnings for snow from the Met Office these days, but I'm more concerned to avoid yellow snow.
Gordon Berry, Ayr

Spanish ice

DAVID J Crawford (Letters, March 8) states that nobody appears to have the “balls” to challenge the proposed knighthood for Stanley Johnson. Sadly, hoping to use the effective Spanish word “cojones”, he inadvertently used “cajones” which means “drawers” – as in furniture – which altogether doesn’t have the same ring. Learning Spanish we were warned never to mix up three very similar words. The third was “cojines”, meaning “cushions”. As a result one was terrified to refer to either of the two domestic items in case...
Jennifer Semple, Uddingston

Read more letters: The best place to help migrants is in the countries they come from


Letters should not exceed 500 words. We reserve the right to edit submissions.