It's designed, I guess, to be a local paper, and local papers are usually piss-poor; my own, the Bromley News Shopper, isn't going to be winning any prizes for cutting-edge journalism. But then why has it gone in for a trendy all lower case, run-together masthead? Why, because Londoners are young and cool. For the same reason, there has to be a story about sex on every single bloody page. Personally I would rather know when bin day is and where the car boot sales are than what percentage of Londoners have shagged their boss, so the News Shopper wins that round.
Then there's 'Man About Town' on why the man should always pay for the meal when dining with a lady: 'it is something that the vote, the Pill, the Female Eunuch, the Spice Girls, Sex and the City and every other advance in a century of female emancipation have had absolutely no effect on whatsoever'.
(Is it any wonder this person goes on enough first dates to qualify for writing a column about them?)
In the Culture section, a reviewer of Second Life concludes 'This is strictly for people who know a lot about computers and like spending time on them', which is rather like ending a book review 'One for people who like reading and probably have bookshelves at home'.
Ooh, there's a comic strip, Reliable Sources. Sample dialogue:
GIRL 1: My boyfriend is so unromantic. He never buys me chocolates.I'd rather read the two-year-old syndicated Garfields you get in other local rags.
GIRL 2: He's just protecting his assets.
GIRL 1: What assets?
GIRL 2: Your waist, hips and thighs.
And they misspell 'pomegranate' in the drinks column.
Still, the recipe for sweet potato and chilli soup looks quite good. Maybe I'm a hip Londoner after all.