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Paper Monitor

12:53 UK time, Thursday, 11 October 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

After many years of searching, the Daily Telegraph has finally figured out why Britain is going to hell in a handcart.

The culprit? Look no further than the growing unpopularity of after-dinner mints.

Sales figures suggest that purchases of After Eights have fallen by 11% in the past year while those of Bendicks have declined 14%.

"Apparently, we are too busy dipping Doritos into jars of radioactive salsa while watching the X Factor pantomime to indulge in such refinements as sipping coffee from a demitasse, nibbling on a mint and discussing the Midlothian question with the guest on our left," shudders Harry Wallop, formerly the paper's consumer affairs editor.

"And we wonder why Britain is in such a mess."

The fading allure of post-prandial confectionary, Wallop suggests, is reflective of the slow demise of the dinner party.

After Eights were launched in 1962, he says, in an effort to meet the aspirations of the expanding middle class.

If they don't quite hold the same glamour in the 21st Century, nostalgics can be assured that - according to the Daily Mirror at least - another institution that had its heyday in the post-war era is staging a comeback.

The paper notes a surge in the numbers of package holidays - once considered an anachronism in the internet era - as tourists look to cut costs.

"There's no substitute for expert advice with the personal touch," says the Mirror's travel editor.

Perhaps with a wafer-thin mint thrown in for good measure.

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