Breathe easy Palestine, Joey Barton’s on the case. Plus: good press for the Lib Dems - at last!

Our Diarist congratulates the footballer on his intervention in the Middle East and weights up Hugh Grant's political prospects

Share
Related Topics

Joey Barton, the Queens Park Rangers footballer on loan to Marseille, has applied his specialist knowledge of conflict to advising the Israelis and Palestinians on how to resolve theirs. Writing in The Big Issue, he has judged that Israel does not have the right to defend itself simply “because a book said so”.

He went on: “So there are a group of Jews out there, with extreme beliefs, that think the Old Testament is all fact – which means Israel belongs to the Jews and the Palestinians must give all of the land back to them, as this book is, of course, the law. Now, come on – if someone turned up at my house and said they had found a book saying my house belonged to them, I would have my lawyers rip them a new a***hole.”

Mr Barton’s experience of conflict includes a prison sentence for an affray in Liverpool,  a suspended prison sentence for an assault on a former team-mate, plus a 12-match ban  and £75,000 fine from the FA for violent conduct during a match between QPR and Manchester City.

A euphemism for our age

These are grim days for newspapers. The Guardian, which used to be able to guarantee its writers jobs for life, is looking to shed another 68 jobs, and cannot rule out compulsory redundancies. However, to soften the blow, they have given the chief sacker, Sheila Fitzsimons, the title “executive editor of transformation”.

Good press for the Lib Dems at last

Just when you thought the Liberal Democrats were incapable of getting anything right, their press office has pulled off a double triumph. They have produced a new magazine for party members, Ad Lib, and to judge from Twitter, the customers are mostly satisfied. And last night their team came a triumphant second in the Press Gallery quiz, beaten only by a hybrid from Bloomberg and The Sunday Telegraph. Sky News came last, but had half an excuse in that Adam Boulton was not there. As for the Conservatives, they came last two years ago, failing even to identify some of their own ministers, and have not fielded a team since.

Time for Hugh to go into politics?

Hugh Grant describes himself as the “cover girl” for the current issue of Parliament’s trade mag, The House, and says that their photograph has him looking “grey and cross”. Politics has been defined as “showbusiness for ugly people” but, having immersed himself in the politics of the media, and being something of a looker, Grant denies this is so. He says he thinks all three party leaders are “charming”. The politicians will love this guy, even if his popularity among tabloid journalists is not all it could be.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Day In a Page

 

Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace

Gabriel Sassoon
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride