Rolling Stone Cover is Spot-On

letter to the Indeoendent about the cover of Rolling Stone featuring the Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a pop-star celebrity pose


I think the Rolling Stone cover is a spot-on piece of cultural analysis.

Freedom of speech issues notwithstanding, those calling for a boycott of the magazine are *exactly* those who have been treating people like the Boston bomber as celebrities for years – drooling over the blow-by-bow coverage of their trials on television and the breathless analysis of every minute facet of their lives.

If they don’t like criminals being treated as celebrities then they should start treating them as criminals instead. Simple.

Kudos to Rolling Stone.

Paul Harper


The Independent published it:


Sexism in Sporting Honours

Email sent to the Evening Standard, copied to Number 10 Downing Street concerning the quite unseemly rush to get Andy Murray knighted just seconds after his Wimbledon win. Anyone would think there might be a political motive behind the move…


The tradition of honouring successful British sporting achievement is long, but very unbalanced.

If Andy Murray is to be knighted for his splendid Wimbledon championship win, then surely the last British Wimbledon champion should be similarly honoured?

For those with very short memories, that was Virginia Wade in 1977.

If not, why not?

Paul Harper

Shopper’s bad manners

Missive to the Independent, copied to Sainsbury’s customer service, in support of a Sainsbury’s shop assistant:


Regarding the shop assistant who told a rude shopper to stop talking on her phone and deal with her shopping, I am totally on the shop assistant’s side here.

Quite apart from Ms Clarke’s delusion that she’s so important that she needs a constant communications capability (something she shares with trivial people everywhere), the treatment of service staff as easily ignored fodder is reprehensible.

Sainsbury’s, its staff and customers will be immeasurably enriched by Clarke’s decision to go elsewhere.

Paul Harper