Given the publication of Joey Barton’s photo with the English Defence League’s (EDL) Tommy Robinson tonight, I wonder if some of those from within the liberal intelligentisia that have been in awe of Barton in recent months have begun to have a rethink…?
Tom de Castella at the BBC reflected on how Barton “…has debated the ideological underpinnings of the Big Society, revealed a fondness for the lyrics of the Smiths, expressed an admiration for the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and shared aphorisms by Virgil, Seneca and Nietzsche”.
Robin Scott-Elliot in the Independent described him as “Barton the football-philosopher” noting his apparent “fondness for Nietzsche”.
A day later, Andy Martin in the Independent wrote, “Move over Eric Cantona. Enough trawlers and seagulls. Joey Barton has taken over as football’s No 1 philosopher”. He went on, “…as he is being squeezed out by Newcastle United, he has turned to philosophy for support. On Twitter, he has recruited a Premiership team of attackers and defenders, including Nietzsche, Goethe, Virgil, Proust, Norman Mailer, and the well-known nippy left-winger, George Orwell”.
Martin concluded by describing Barton as “an intellectual manqué…” before somewhat flippantly suggesting that all his “misdemeanours can be attributed to his frustration at the lack of a decent dialectician to tackle”.
Those ‘misdemeanours’ include having been convicted twice on charges of violence. On 20 May 2008 Barton was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for common assault and affray during an incident outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Liverpool City Centre for which he served 77 days in prison.
On 1 July 2008 he was given a four months suspended sentence after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm on former Manchester City teammate Ousmane Dabo during a training ground dispute. For that, he was also charged with violent conduct by the Football Association.
Whilst also at Manchester City, in 2004 Barton was fined £60,000 for stubbing a lit cigar butt in Jamie Tandy’s eye, Tandy being a youth player at the club at the time.
Add into that various other on and off field incidents including the fact that his half-brother is in prison for racist murder and Barton’s list of ‘misdemeanours’ are impressive to say the least.
So how might the ‘football-philosopher’ explain the photo with Robinson…?
A mistake…? Maybe he didn’t know who Robinson was…? Could it be that the EDL duped him into having the photo…???
Surely given Barton’s significant intelligence and political awareness, he would have known who Robinson was and so none of these can possibly stand.
Of course if Barton is indeed as intelligent as some are suggesting, then maybe the photo of Robinson was a deliberate attempt to negate the negation (see theories of dialectic philosophy for more information). Then again, maybe that’s all part of the hype of the intelligentsia.
Personally I don’t believe the Barton hype: anyone can find a good quote from Nietzsche, Goethe, Virgil, Proust, Mailer, Orwell et al by searching on Google. Over the years Barton has shown his true colours again and again and so this photo surely comes as no surprise to most people.
Philosopher or idiot, I’ll leave you to decide but as we can draw from Nietzsche, Barton’sphilosopher of choice, “all credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses”. Use and come to your senses people and the truth about Barton is clear.