Hold The Back Page: 23/04/2011



It's a big weekend for...



Sectarianism


Or its prevention, containment and punishment.

Yes, tomorrow is Old Firm day (again), and this week's build-up has been pretty run of the mill – bombs in the post, bullets through letterboxes, etc. Maybe we should let Justice Richard Blake take charge. He's the knowledgeable chap who, on sentencing a hooligan this week, demanded a 1 per cent tax on football clubs and players to help "hard-pressed police". So, football turned this lad into a wrong'un, your honour? Can't wait to hear him blame the Reformation, Irish immigration, Depression, Northern Ireland and just about every other root cause of sectarianism on Celtic and Rangers. Everyone knows they were all El Hadji Diouf's fault.

We applaud you wholeheartedly

Scott Parker

In a season of few outstanding candidates and few outstanding teams, it's fitting that the football writers' player of the year is someone who has shone for a side who escaped mediocrity – West Ham are much worse than that. Poor team-mates and poor management: without Scott Parker they lose; with him they have a chance, and the ball-juggling boy who came to prominence in a 1994 McDonald's TV advert now has to play another kind of "keepy-uppy" for the relegation-threatened Hammers. Guess who those who voted for him will be supporting in the run-in. Just one thing, as some of my Midlands brethren have been asking, if the West Ham scenario was taking place at, say, Wolves, would Parker have won then?

Plus the stories you may have missed

Backward Badminton

Hark back to the days when the Wimbledon women's finals were played in body-hugging corsetry and long flowing dresses? No, us neither. But tennis's loss is badminton's gain – almost. Sorry sexists, but the introduction of the "skirt rule", which does exactly what it says on the tin, has been delayed by a month "to allow players more time to adapt to the dress code". Seems the female shuttlers of China, Indonesia and India (that's just about anyone any good, then) aren't quite as keen as the Malaysia-based Badminton World Federation to "ensure attractive presentation of badminton".

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss