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Paper Monitor

10:19 UK time, Tuesday, 10 July 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's one of those days when there's almost too much news to cram into the papers. For one, the conviction of the four 21/7 bombers gives a free hit to the papers - massive amounts of detail having come out in court which can now be reported in all its gory detail. But there's also a rare opportunity to poke fun at people who wanted to kill you but who are now safely in custody.

So the Sun has "MORON TERROR - Bomb blitz failed thanks to buffoon", and "THE ERRORISTS - Buck-toothed imbecile bungled rucksack bombs". The Mirror has: "CHEMICAL WALLY".

The Daily Mail ploughs its own furrow: "TO THINK WE GAVE THEM SANCTUARY - 21/7 bombers were all refugees on benefits."

And the Daily Express? "DIANA'S FEAR OF MURDER." (No joke.)

Despite the strength of the 21/7 story, you can tell that it's the Alastair Campbell diaries that Fleet Street really wants to get its teeth into.

It's obvious that many of us in the world of work actually spend our time checking out the latest joiners of our favourite Facebook groups, but Paper Monitor would like to take this opportunity to point out the levels of industry in Her Majesty's Press - each paper has full and considered coverage of the 800-page book for which no preview copies were available. Has someone in each newspaper been given the job of sitting down and speed-reading the massive (and from what one can tell, largely indigestible) tome? Or, more likely, has someone in each newspaper simply been making liberal use of the index to see who is named and on what page?

For the rest of us, the issue is more likely how to find time to read the coverage, let alone the book itself. So, ever the public servant, Paper Monitor proudly offers the filleted fillet.

1. Clare Short makes Campbell feel ill. "God she does turn my stomach," he writes.

2. Blair's position during one media flurry: "Nil panicandum."

3. Blair worried about losing his hair, and told Campbell that "he wasn't sure the public would want a bald leader".

4. Gordon Brown locked himself in a toilet during a key meeting with Blair and had to phone for help. Blair thought he'd done a bunk.

5. Peter Mandelson "threw a punch" at Campbell.

6. Noel Gallagher, when visiting Number 10 for the infamous Cool Britannia party, said he was amazed to see an ironing board there.

7. An African leader
pinched Cherie's bottom, not knowing who she was.

8. Campbell once cleaned his teeth while Mo Mowlam had a bath behind him.

9. While peeing with
Clinton, Helmet Kohl and others, Blair made a joke involving Churchill, penises and nationalisation.

10. And finally, Blair sometimes worked in the nude or just wearing underpants. "I went into see TB who was standing stark naked reading The Mail."

That really is all you need to know. But behind the whole thing, Paper Monitor cannot help but see Malcolm Tucker, the the innovatively-sweary spinner from BBC Four's The Thick of It. (If you didn't see the new episode last week, then a) you really need to examine your priorities in life and b) you can see a repeat on BBC Two this coming Saturday at 10pm.)

Note to Armando Iannucci: If you're not already planning a volume of Malcolm Tucker's diaries, then please start now and have them available for reading this Christmas. Churchill/penis/nationalisation jokes optional.

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