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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Geography Teacher

£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...

Do you want to work in Education?

£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...

Private Client Senior Manager - Sheffield

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Arts Editor: The Great Character Actors of Football

David Lister
 

What I saw on the night my husband was hit by a car

Rebecca Armstrong
Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players