It seems almost wrong to mock the Express for the pisspoorness of its front pages. There's a poignancy to watching the death of this once-ordinary newspaper, standing on helplessly as it declines into oblivion. But no-one will mourn it.
Robert Fisk recalled a while ago the time when tne Express began the decline, back in the 1960s, when the readership was 'still in the unimaginable millions':
...our readers' insatiable demands for an idealised, long-mythologised Britain were met with a diet of Second World War memoirs, dolly birds, English villagers "up in arms" over new motorways at Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh, and [John} Junor of Auchtermuchtie roaring on about the evils of socialism and the tiresomeness of film stars.
Sound familiar? The Express hasn't really moved on from there, no matter who's owned it and who's been the editor. Think of everything else that's changed since the 1960s; yet the Express still plods along like a tortoise in the midday sun with the same old recycled bollocks, the same old nonsense, the same old pandering to a Britain that has long since changed, died off and disappeared.
No wonder it targets Gordon Brown so much - the jowly premier is perhaps the only figure in Britain more ridiculous, more hated, more laughed at than the Express. It's a toss-up to see which one of them will fade into history first - the pathetic prime minister or the pathetic newspaper that takes potshots at him from its quagmire of ever-decreasing sales.
Anyway, here's today's front page. I feel kind of bad putting it up here because it shows the sad decline. A bit of red ink to try and entice old ladies away from other papers on the news-stands. Oh, give up. Just give up. It's over... but still, the Express clings on to the attacks on Jock McBottler, as if that's going to make any difference, as if their false outrage at New Labour will make anyone think twice about buying the worst newspaper in the world. It's rather tragic of me to try to mock the Express, I suppose; it's like the Express trying to mock Gordon Brown. What's the point? They'll both be out of here soon enough.
What a joke. Deep down there, I think it's a cry for help from whichever poor scrapheap-bound subeditor helped put together that bollocks front page. What a joke. What a joke that I'm being asked to do pages like this. Once I had dreams, I had ambitions, I wanted to be a real journalist... and now I'm doing this, at the Express.
It's rather a sad picture really. Brown and the Express - both doomed, both pretending they're not. Which one will go under first? Place your bets...
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