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Paper Monitor

09:33 UK time, Tuesday, 1 May 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

indieblairaq.gifCue slapping of forehead in a "D'oh" stylee at the Independent's corporate bedsit this morning. A bright punmeister has come up with a crafty headline which, to an Independent mindset, is the perfect amalgam of style and substance, a powerful statement of political accountability, a slogan round which an entire generation can rally... BLAIRAQ.

So why the forehead slapping? Well, it's simple. Why wait until the eve of his retirement to unveil your lexical barb? If only the Indie had been four years quicker to the joke, just think how history might have been different. (That's something more Indie readers can beat themselves up over.)

Regular readers of this item will realise that the reason the joke might have been so long coming is that it only works if you spell Blair in the appointed manner. Spelling it BLIAR is going to make it tricky to tack Iraq on the end.

Still, at least the paper marks the occasion of the 10th anniversary since the 1997 election. Not many others do. Perhaps this is because they have stockpiled all their Blair enthusiasm for his soon-to-be announced departure. Perhaps they realise that the tarnish of years has made him not quite the sales driver he once was (and certainly nothing to match the Daily Express's "CANCER THREAT FROM 2 DRINKS A DAY").

Or perhaps they realised that yesterday saw one of the most significant and dramatic criminal trials for many years which offers newspapers the chance to showcase the wealth of fascinating background material their expert reporters have been amassing for many months.

Ahem, yes, that must be it. Note to Indie: Blair probably not the story today.

PS. Paper Monitor has been reading the Daily Mail too much recently. Today it offers "BBC puts its TV shows on the Net (Which is all very well, but is there really anything worth watching?)"

One word: miaow!

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