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Paper Monitor

12:09 UK time, Tuesday, 8 May 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It may not have been the official start of May, but many of traditional celebrations associated with it were held over to the Bank Holiday weekend.

In towns and villages across the nation Morris dancers and Jack in the Greens evoked centuries-old rites with their folksy capers. The Guardian's excellent picture gallery of the annual Rochester chimney sweeps festival portrays the town's residents having the time of their lives. There are children dancing, and a Tribal Banchees dance troupe. But Plug from the Wolf's Head and Vixen Morris dance team deserves a special mention. Ancient meets modern as the traditional "tatter jacket", and blackened face is brought up to date with mirror sunglasses and nose chain.

In Colchester, however, the Morris Men had been banned from their usual venue of the town's shopping centre.

Last December, the company that manages the centre imposed a rule limiting charitable collections on weekends.

The Daily Telegraph was dismayed to learn that the Morris Men had been lumped together with the "'chuggers' who plague passers-by".

This is an insult to a fine and ancient pursuit. If it is the morris itself that the bureaucrats dislike, rather than the passing round of a collecting tin, there are more creative objections they could raise. Is that Fool insured against any injuries he may cause when hitting people with a bladder? Has the fertility cake been cooked in properly hygienic conditions? And, if it works as advertised, will it be the morris men or their hosts who are liable for the ensuing costs in food, clothing and education? As for the swords that some sides use, best not to dwell...

A number of the newspapers focus on another type of "fool" - a drunk one. The Daily Mail begins:

A scholar once wrote that Cambridge was 'an asylum, in every sense of the word'. But even he would have been shocked at the behaviour on display in the historic university city over the weekend.

Apparently 2,000 Cambridge students held a "riotous party" in a public park, where some stripped, vomitted and drank themselves silly. Police and paramedics had to intervene.

According to the paper, girls drank port from condoms and "acted out sexual positions with male students." And all this while mums and dads looked on "appalled".

These were, the paper says, "some of Britain's brightest minds" gathering for the annual Caesarian Sunday, which apparently marks the start of the summer term. The term ends with post-exam shin-dig at the end of June, known as Suicide Sunday.

Watch this space.

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