‘The sun rose, having no alternative, on the nothing new.’
Thus begins Samuel Beckett’s early novel Murphy, and thus begun this morning.
Although, to be fair, Surf Europe was now in the headlines of the Sun, one of Britain’s biggest national newspapers, and that was sort of new — even if it wasn’t really news.
For the benefit of non-British readers, The Sun is a Murdoch-owned rag famous for its sensitive, nuanced front-page headlines (‘Gotcha’, following the sinking of the General Belgrano, which led to the deaths of over 300 ‘Argies’) and its rigorous approach to factual accuracy (the paper once falsely claimed, this time under the headline ‘The Truth’, that Liverpool fans picked pockets of the victims and urinated on policemen in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster).
Not only did the story appear in the The Sun, even fierce rival The Mirror picked up on the moral outrage.
Truly we are honoured to appear in such a distinguished publication as The Sun! Honoured to join the ranks of Hollie from Manchester, Hattie from Camberwell, Becky (“concerned by the prospect of electoral reform in a hung parliament”) from High Wycombe, Keelie (“shocked to learn so many immigrants have come to the UK”) from Newcastle, etc. Alas, we did not make it onto Page 3 — that venerable institution, recently discontinued, on which a bare-breasted young lady would hold forth on the big issues of the day — but still.