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Paper Monitor

12:27 UK time, Monday, 16 June 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily news.

A vegetarian, surely, would struggle on the world stage. In fact, are there any world leaders who chew the fat - but not the flesh - while on the diplomatic merry-go-round of international politics? (Apart from the Dalai Lama. And maybe Sting.)

Paper Monitor imagines that the endless banquets, tete a tetes over tea and Sunday roasts such as that enjoyed by President and Mrs Bush at Downing St must be almost exclusively meaty affairs, it being the quintessential feasting food.

So much effort and planning goes into each and every menu, to impress the diner and to showcase the nation. And can a nut roast do that? No, it cannot.

(Veggie readers are welcome to rebut such flagrant disrespect of their cuisine by using the comments button below or send us a letter using the form on the right.)

The Times says that Sarah and Gordon served George and Laura Scottish salmon, pea soup and roast beef; and a writer billed as "Times Cook" - why is there no "Monitor Cook" on the team - says that while this might seem a "boring menu", these are clever and classic British dishes.

The Independent adds that between tea with the Queen and beef with Brown, the First Couple joined the American ambassador in London for yet more tea, sandwiches and cakes.

And the Daily Mail notes that the President's entourage includes five cooks. Five! Quite what they are expected to whip up to augment all those roasties and scones is anybody's guess. No wonder the man jogs.

The Guardian's G2, meanwhile, is rather aerated about food of an altogether more humble calibre, the fare of the world's poor and vegetarians alike - corn, rice, soya, oil and sugar.

But hold up - en route to page four to read all about it, Paper Monitor's gaze is arrested by a quite unexpected sight.

The paper's music writer - it is always a music writer - uses Gordon Ramsay's favourite sweary word 30 times in the course of a 400-word article. Titled "It's not big, it's not clever and it's no longer original", Alex Petridis runs through an extensive list of all the bands that wear their "fearless individuality" on their record sleeves by using the four-letter f-word in their name.

This puts Paper Monitor in mind of that school exercise in which teacher invited you to make a sentence using "and" as often as possible... and an informal game of one-upmanship among Monitor letter writers two year ago, topped by Clair of London with 21 ands.

Which doesn't give you carte blanche to try again, mind...

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