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Paper Monitor

13:21 UK time, Wednesday, 8 April 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

What do hard working families everywhere (© Messrs Brown, Cameron etc) need to take their minds off the threat of redundancy and debt in these troubled economic times?

Butterfiles, at least that's if you're an Independent reader.

Launching its Great British Butterfly Hunt, in which the Indy-taking populace is encouraged to log sightings of the insects, the paper tells us "With millions of people worried about their jobs, we offer some relief from the gloom by helping readers to find, watch and delight in some of the countryside's loveliest creatures..."

Downing Street policy advisors will surely be wringing their hands, wishing they'd been first to land on this palliative for the masses.

Too late guys. The Indy has truly stamped its mark on this one, even reviving a time-honoured Paper Monitor favourite - the wall-chart (to be given away in tomorrow's paper).

Over at the Daily Mail, the story of a mid-air fling on a flight from Bangalore to London (first noted by Monday's Paper Monitor for its quality passer-by quote) continues to pay dividends. The paper has identified those involved in the alleged "romp" and is clearly excited by the fact that one of the women is of some status.

In the traditional English parlance - to which the Mail remains wedded - she is a "society beauty" although this is somewhat undermined a few paragraphs further on when we learn that said romper was also a "former stockbroker" who had worked as a "teacher".

There's more evidence - this time overt - of the erosion of Britain's historic class strata a few pages further on, in AN Wilson's "excoriating and provocative essay"* on Jade Goody. While Wilson lays responsibility for Goody's fame mostly at the door of reality TV, he draws an interesting parallel in the music hall star Marie Lloyd - "a dissolute drunk whose My Old Man Said Follow the Van became a theme song for the London poor".

* The Mail's own description.

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