GARY Lineker’s criticism of the xenophobic measures proposed by Suella Braverman to halt “illegal” asylum seekers arriving in the UK by boat 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.

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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 wereof 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, midwives, 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 Suella Braverman despite her having qualified as a lawyer.

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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 southern US states.

I would suggest that Gary Lineker was right to say what he did, because in 1933 many people thought that those criticising the Nazis’ rhetoric were exaggerating the danger they posed. Bad law and scaremongering propaganda are a potent and ominous brew.

David White

LAWS are not always good and just and if they are not, they should be opposed, vigorously. Morality and law do not always go hand in hand and the UK has increasingly shown this very clearly. I am not a supporter of the unelected House of Lords, but have been glad when they have not endorsed some the Draconian laws from the Tory government.

The UK Government are very similar to the Third Reich in the way that they foment fear and thereby hatred of “the other” by lying. Straight out of the Nazi playbook. This is what they used to demonised not only Jews, but the mentally and physically impaired, Roma people, Catholics. How anyone from any of these groups can endorse what the Tories are trying to do, and criticise Gary Lineker, is beyond belief.

Margaret Brogan

I DON’T remember anyone in Westmonster calling for the sack for all those BBC personalities who tried to influence the referendum back in 2014, or anyone asking for Paxman to be sacked when he compared Salmond to Mugabe. Still, I don’t really expect anything different.

Kenny Moffat