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Barton Banged Up

It's been an interesting end to the football season: Man United and Chelsea finished on equal points, but the Premiership trophy stayed at Old Trafford, thanks to a superior goal difference; Portsmouth, under the stewardship of the irrepressible Harry Redknapp, clinched the FA Cup; and then Man Utd added to their haul with the European Cup, with another victory over Chelsea.

All good stuff, but the thing that got my attention more than anything was the Joey Barton story, partly because I'm a Newcastle fan and partly because it illustrates just how fucked up and stupid the world really is. For those not in the know, Mr Barton was this week sentenced to a six-month prison term for a violent altercation outside McDonald's (he gets paid thousands of pounds a week and he still eats shit), in which he repeatedly punched a man while he was on the ground and then smashed in a 16-year-old's teeth. Considering his previous history, it’s amazing he wasn’t jailed for longer. The man is clearly scum.

What is wrong with the world?

Not only do we value entertainers and sports stars more than we do doctors and nurses, we give them shitloads of money, let them do what they want, and continue to pay them even when they break the law. If it was anyone else, they’d lose their job in an instant, but these people are untouchable.

I’m not suggesting that we can stop offering these wages, but sports stars need to realise their huge salaries are a privilege, and that they can be taken away if they act out of order. David Beckham earns possibly more than any footballer on the planet, and although he’s certainly a bit of a nob sometimes, he’s generally well behaved and could be considered an ambassador for the sport. I’m quite happy for him to be earning the money he gets, because he doesn’t use it as an excuse to get pissed and break people’s faces.

I sincerely hope that Joey Barton spends the next six months being gang raped, but it’s more likely he’ll be out in two, having spent his time in a cushy, low-security prison. There is no justice in the world.
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