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

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor’s Letter: The Easter message

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
 

There is far too much sexism in the UK - but a point scoring system against other countries won't help to tackle it

Victoria Richards
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
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit