Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on Lineker, Luther and the Madagascar Plan

After all the grisly, glorious BBC episodes, the first Luther movie appears. Luther: The Fallen Sun (Netflix) is distinctly different from the television series with more of a James Bond feel to it, including the obligatory explosive climax.

Idris Elba as Luther. Photo: BBC/Des Willie

Strangely, given Idris Elba's onscreen appeal, there's no love interest in this movie. But, without spoiling the ending, some golden rules endure. For instance, if you are a super-villain who has just captured Luther, under no circumstances should you give him a hammer.

Has anyone else noticed Keir Starmer's latest tactic in interviews? An interviewer asks a question. Starmer gives his answer. The interviewer then asks a follow-up question, attempting to move the discussion into new territory. But instead of answering this second question, the Labour leader repeats his first answer, almost word-for-word. I suspect some highly paid spin-doctor has told Starmer this is a great tactic. It is not. It simply makes you look shifty.

The strangest part about the entire Gary Lineker affair is that no-one has asked him to explain his original comments. Criticising the Government's migration policy, he Tweeted that it was directed “at the most vulnerable people, in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s.” Language, Gary? What language?

Focusing on the Nazis’ use of words and looking for any similarities between, say, the speeches of Adolf Hitler and Priti Patel is a mug's game. And yet there is one aspect of today’s migration policies which has uncomfortable echoes of the past.

The Madagascar Plan, devised by the Nazis in the 1930s and seriously discussed in 1940, envisaged the forcible deportation of the Jews of Europe to the African island which would be run as a police state. The project was later scrapped in favour of firing squads and gas chambers.

The Madagascar Plan, born out of hatred for a people the Nazis considered sub-human, is light years removed from the UK government's Rwanda scheme, which is inspired by compassion and designed to save lives by stopping the small-boat armada in the Channel. Even so, it is sobering to think that the last time a European government considered deporting unwanted people to African soil, the officials all wore swastika armbands.