All I wrote was ‘Well said Gary Lineker’. I posted this on a social media platform shared by a group of men in a local organisation. Little did I realise what a can of worms I had let loose. His comments on the latest asylum policy have caused absolute chaos. Many Tory politicians have called for his removal from his sports presenting position. My own group have got excited with people telling me not to post anything that is about religion or politics. 

The key issue seems to revolve around the BBC being impartial. Everyone in the organisation is required to stay totally neutral on all subjects. This position is not possible. 

News programmes must be edited. Producers must decide which stories are to take the lead in any broadcast. Surely this in itself will be a political decision.  The decision to put a story on the latest Boris Johnson nonsense may well be the top story with a famine in Africa way down the list. Decisions on the importance of stories are clearly influenced by the views of the editorial team.

Free speech I always assumed was at the heart of our democracy. When I walked across Spain in 2010 I was joined for most of the 800 kilometres by a lifelong friend.  We would both consider ourselves opinionated characters always looking to debate issues.  As we set off at dawn for the next 20k journey it would not be long before we started to enter a discussion about a wide range of topics.

 It was cut and thrust with us both giving vent to our opposing views. After a couple of hours on the trail we would seek out a café for coffee. As we sat to recover from the trek the debate would fade from our minds as another issue arose. At no time did we fall out but enjoyed the banter that helped us cope with the walk. 

The BBC has got itself into a complete mess and the members of parliament calling for the sports presenter to lose his job are totally out of order. We must remember the same members of parliament were telling us in 2016 that if we left the European Union we would be very much better off. 

The health service would get loads of cash, trade with the rest of the world would be booming and the fishing industry and farming would be free to have better times.  All of this was presented to us as a certain outcome by voting to leave. Reality suggest this was all a load of wishful thinking. 

When we then compare the statement by Gary Lineker to those of political leaders it would appear that his comments fade into insignificance yet they have generated a lot of hot air.

We may not agree with each other on many issues. Whilst I do not hold your views I defend your right to express them. However that is not to condone comments that are clearly offensive.  Sending refugees who arrive by boat to another country and giving them a lifelong ban on entering our country will struggle to get past the courts as human rights lawyers will vigorously claim the policy is illegal.

Once individuals are forced to stop having a public opinion it is a slippery slope to state censorship. Sadly I have had to leave the group social media page as my four word comment was seen as bringing politics into a discussion which offended some people. Being told what to say and think and write is not something I am happy about. 

The BBC saga will now be played out over several months. The chairman is under review. Many presenters have in the past used their position to make political comments. Trying to devise a policy to ensure total neutrality of everyone on air will be a challenge.