BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor
« Previous | Main | Next »

Paper Monitor

10:57 UK time, Friday, 23 November 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor does not often cover matters sporting, but it has been suggested that we might have made more of England's embarrassment at the hands of a nation with a population of 4.7m.

The humiliating demise of a manager of England's football team is possibly the finest moment in the career of any tabloid sports sub.

Who can forget "SWEDES 2, TURNIPS 1" or "NORSE MANURE"?

This time subs can only hope that the likes of the Mirror's "I'll get me Croat" and the Mail's "A wally with a brolly" can enjoy the same sort of immortality. The Mail is so happy it follows up with "WALLY WITH THE LOLLY".

Other efforts like the Sun's "McCLAREND" and the Express's "End of an error" are barely worth a geddit.

And the departure is time for a little bit of columnist amnesia.

The Mail's esteemed columnist Jeff Powell says: "I am now past caring whether the new manager comes from England or Mars."

So who can it have been in the summer of 2006 who said of the possibility of another foreigner managing the England team: "It is heresy to suggest no Englishman is capable of running the national team." Well, his surname began with a "p" and it rhymes with "owl".

Steven Howard in the Sun seems to have forgotten the age discrimination laws that came into force in October last year. The headline "Who are these old f**ts, why are they picking our next boss?" is followed by a list of the ages of the FA Board [oldest Lord Mawhinney at 67 and Sir Dave Richards at 64]. Then there are references to bath chairs, walking sticks and Saga holidays.

But Howard of all people must know that older gentlemen can be responsible leaders of big organisations. For there is a company called News International, and it owns the Sun newspaper, and its leader is a man named Rupert Murdoch, and he is 76. He pays Howard's wages. For now.

Away from the field where men urge with speed the leathern sphere, there's a somewhat gruesome article in the Economist describing just how sausages are made. Odd, too, since the article is about Gordon Brown.

But even odder is this paragraph: "Probably [Brown] will fail to solve [the problems]. But at least he is trying. He truly wants to spread opportunity more fairly (all those mute inglorious Himmelfarbs...)"

Paper Monitor makes a point of being well-read. But what on earth does that last phrase mean? Any clues, please do use the comments form below to elucidate your fellows.


  1. At 02:15 PM on 23 Nov 2007, Candace wrote:

    Perhaps he is saying it is a bit like making sausages. Use every part of the electorate and expect the squeal.

  2. At 02:51 PM on 23 Nov 2007, Mat wrote:

    Gertrude Himmelfarb is the fierce advocate of social justice and old-fashioned morality who Gordon Brown admires (enough to have written the preface to her new book, according to the Indy).

    Therefore I reckon the reference to Gray's Elegy is Bagehot saying that Gordon Brown may actually do something to improve social policy and "spread opportunity fairly", in contrast to all those who have had the potential to be as Himmelfarb is, but remained "mute [and] inglorious" and never actually did it.

This post is closed to new comments.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.