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Paper Monitor

11:58 UK time, Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A service highlighting the riches the daily press.

Paper Monitor approves of Wellington boots.

Strong, solid, dependable and impervious to the rain, they seem to encompass all that is good about the British character.

So it was with delight that Paper Monitor spotted images in most of today's papers of the boots given by the prime minister on behalf of the country to US President Barack Obama's children.

The colours - bright pink and purple - may be a little lurid for Paper Monitor, who prefers pea green with off-yellow soles, but it certainly seems a suitably British gift.

However, it was Mr Cameron's present to the president which captured the imagination of most writers, coming as it did in the form of a painting by a graffiti artist. "What do you give a US president?" asks the Times, before answering: "Try Brighton's answer to Banksy."

They are referring to Ben Flynn, apparently Samantha Cameron's favourite artist, whose painting depicts the letters of the phrase "twenty first century city" in bright colours against a background.

Their seven rows spells out... well, nothing comprehensible, as the artist readily admits to the paper.

I wouldn't say there's anything I'm trying to convey. For me it's just a powerful phrase.

In these straitened times, Paper Monitor applauds No 10's decision to ask Flynn - known in the art world as Eine - to donate the work, which he gladly did on account of Mr Obama seeming "a pretty cool dude".

However, Macer Hall in the Daily Express finds cause for concern:

David Cameron yesterday risked controversy by presenting President Obama with a picture by a former hoodie lawbreaker turned "street artist".

Flynn, it transpires, has been arrested "up to 20 times" for criminal damage.

For the Guardian's Patrick Wintour, it sums up the "tonal shift" in Britain. Gone, he says, is "earnest Gordon Brown", who presented a "politically-correct ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slavery ship HMS Gannet". In his place is "breezy David Cameron".

Breezy the new prime minister may be, but back home Paper Monitor has an eye on an altogether more ill-wind.

"Hosepipe ban and flood warnings for the SAME region as heatwave and storms combine," reports the Daily Mail, with extra capital letters for effect.

Now, where did Paper Monitor leave those Wellingtons...

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