Joey Barton backs Cameron’s ‘big society’
By politics.co.uk staff
David Cameron appears to have won Joey Barton's vote, following some moderate praise for the prime minister.
The footballer and Twitter phenomenon told the Evening Standard that he even signed up to his 'big society' agenda but warned that the recent riots suggested things needed to change in Britain.
"I actually quite like David Cameron but what's he got to lose by joining Twitter? It would be good for him to be at the forefront of technology and able to listen to what people are saying," he said.
"I agree with his theory of the smaller society taking care of the big society but we as a city and a nation have to be more accountable to one another – and that includes the prime minister."
The footballer served 77 days in prison for assault in 2008, but his use of Twitter to quote from George Orwell, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Smiths has propelled his image in the public mind.
"The riots highlighted a demand for a better society and increased accountability," he continued.
"There's a lot of social unrest, people unhappy with how this once great country is being run and whether they're getting a fair shake of it. But is the answer to loot and riot? I don't think so.
"It started off with people leaving colleges and universities and not having a future that was as bright as it once was. Cameron's government has to do something about it. They're employed by the people, for the people, as a representation of the people – so they should get out there and interact with them.
"If I was a politician I'd be out there speaking to people and working out how I can make things better.
"We're too concerned with how America and the EU perceive us. People are still going to want to trade with Britain but we need to get exporting more."
Barton grew up in a council estate in Liverpool but is now settling into London, where he has started playing for Queen's Park Rangers.