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Paper Monitor

12:25 UK time, Monday, 14 September 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Here's a conundrum that taxed Paper Monitor's brain on the train into work today.

Picture this: your job involves biscuits. Biscuits, and deciding if peat or iodine should come first on the tasting notes for a single-malt whisky.

And then one day, a customer demands an explanation of the thinking behind a complex decision made in a government building many hundreds - nay, thousands - of miles from the shop in which you work and the city in which you live.

How do you answer - not just for you, but for a whole country? (This conundrum may be familiar to Americans abroad during the invasion of Iraq.)

What brought this thought about was the Times' report on Harris Tweed makers soft-pedalling the whole Scottish connection vis-à-vis any backlash over the Lockerbie bomber. For it included this line:

"William Glen & Son, which sells whisky, kilts and shortbread, said that Americans had visited its store in San Francisco to ask for an explanation of the al-Megrahi decision."

Paper Monitor is none too sure how it would respond. And this is partly because one is a little distracted by the idea of working so closely with biscuits.

Meanwhile, Big Suze off Peep Show has tied the knot, after lavish pre-wedding coverage from the Dailies Mail and Express, much of it because of her new in-laws.

To wit, the Mail's headline:

"Pushy steals the show - Royal bride in discount dress is outshone by her mother-in-law"

To the uninitiated, Pushy is tabloid shorthand for Princess Michael of Kent, a woman the Mail in particular loves to hate.

Note the use of the word "discount", to denote not a Primark number, but a mate's deal on a £5,000 dress "made from more than 80ft of silk duchesse satin and 36ft of silk taffeta".

Those who partook of the Magazine's baby names quiz last week may be interested to note the names of her six bridesmaids, all the daughters of friends: two Matildas, an Eloise, an Iris, one Tatiana, and an India.

Matilda, by the way, is the 48th most popular name for baby girls. While Iris, India et al didn't make the top 100, Paper Monitor is willing to bet two shortbread biscuits that there are neighbourhoods in which one cannot throw a pony crop for fear of hitting a Tatiana or an Eloise.

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