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Paper Monitor

10:15 UK time, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

I'm Dreaming of a While Christmas... when the snow lay round about deep and crisp and even... a beautiful sight, we're happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland.

Snow. Isn't it just beautiful? As Christmas approaches, a fluffy 18-tog duvet has been laid across much of the country.

Let's turn to the newspapers to enjoy some of this seasonal cheer.

"Road, rail and air chaos as UK grinds to a halt" - the Guardian

"Bleak mid-winter travel chaos" - the Daily Telegraph

"Big freeze blights Christmas getaway" - the Times

"Britain hit by gritting chaos" - Daily Express (it almost sounds like the present continuous verb is being used here as a euphemism for a more hearty word)

Hmmm. Precious little Christmas spirit in evidence here.

While snow at Christmas - a highly unusual occurrence in some parts of the country - would fulfil the wishes of the child in us all, the truth is that snow and modern life - in much of Britain at least - just don't sit happily together.

It's a curious paradox indeed. Paper Monitor feels compelled to invoke the questioning instinct of pop supremo Prince by asking: what's this strange relationship all about?

Of course, the answer is simple - and the Daily Mail nails it on its front page? "WHY CAN'T WE COPE IN SNOW?" it wonders. Allow Paper Monitor to rephrase the question in even starker terms - why can't we have our cake and eat it?

Why indeed? The question is rhetorical - so don't turn to the Mail for an answer. All you will get instead is pictures of harassed looking commuters and travellers.

It's an all too familiar picture - a fact which Metro, to give it its due, is well aware of, preferring to give its front page picture slot over to a baby penguin yesterday at Edinburgh Zoo.

"We were going to stick a photo of winter travel chaos on the front page but we figure our readers in commuter-land are pretty familiar with that already."

Now that really is the Christmas spirit.

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