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It’s time for a ban

John Rentoul

mirror Its time for a banThe writ of the Banned List inquisitors runs far, wherever the English language is spoken and especially wherever it is written down. But there is a specialist squad that devotes itself purely to the banning of undesirable headlines on comment articles.

After a conversation last weekend with my good colleague Amol Rajan, editor of The Independent’s online comment pages, Independent Voices, I can report that the following three kinds of headlines are now banned:

X must do Y“;

It’s time for“;

Let’s…“.

Let’s cease and desist.

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  • Adam Hewitt

    Sure…but why? Is it enough to call them ‘undesirable’ and leave it at that? Give us more, John!

  • TheOtherTurnipTaliban

    The trouble with phrases like

    “X must do Y“;

    “It’s time for“;

    “Let’s…“.

    Is that they are all synonyms for “The State Must do X on Our Behalf”

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions..

  • Toocleverbyhalf

    Of course you could just ban comment pieces (of which there are nowadays far too many padding out newspapers which can no longer afford to employ real journalists).

    But it’s not only newspapers, lots of what passes for “news” on the telly and wireless is really opinion.

    Oh dear.

  • Pacificweather

    It is not always the state, sometimes it’s the Archbishop of Canterbury. “Let’s stone Rupert Murdoch” seems and excellent headline or “It’s time for JR to write more tha two paragraphs for his money” is not bad either.


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