I’ve just come back from the newsagent’s with a copy of the Daily Telegraph, a publication so expensive and impossible to read that it’s rapidly become the most popular newspaper. It’s a triumph of marketing over functionality. And it’s so ubiquitous that writing anything about it – even hopelessly inaccurate nonsense that I invented – is guaranteed to drive massive traffic to any blog post.
When Colonel B Limp launched the Telegraph in 1855, it was leaps and bounds ahead of its nearest rivals. Now – as other newspapers announce websites, apps and virtual HML cascades – it remains available only as a single papyrus 18 feet long, printed in cuneiform and encased in a jewelled tabernacle weighing 150lb. How utterly ridiculous.
Here are 14 reasons why, even if the Telegraph continues to print at least one random photograph of a blonde posh girl every day with the calculated regularity of the Sun’s Page 3 and no more connection with an actual news story, I will not be buying it any more, except if I do.
- It’s expensive: Buy the Guardian, Independent or Catford and Lewisham News Shopper and you will pay a lot less than the extortionate prices the Telegraph charges. At £12.50, the Telegraph is by far the most expensive daily in Britain. Even when I told Mr Singh that I was a professional journalist with a career in journalism he refused to charge me less than everybody else and this was said with a tone that I do not expect from a man of the cloth. He also told me it did not cost £12.50 but as a professional journalist I chose to ignore this.
At least this is cheaper than the £729.5 million that the Telegraph cost in 2004, so prices have come down but not enough.
25 year contract: The Telegraph in the UK can only be bought by signing over your entire property and dependents to the Barclay Brothers for 33 years or until death, whichever is the later. I was initially surprised by this because previously I bought the Daily Star and they only required a lien on the first-born and a tithe in kind on all things nourished by the ground. But it seems other providers have now also changed their terms to 48 years.
Then it dawned on me: it was all the Telegraph’s fault. Not only had they caused the hole in the ozone layer and started the Iraq war, they had also fucked up my day. I told you they were bastards.
You can also buy the Telegraph without a contract, but only for money.
No Flash: The Telegraph does not have Flash. In fact it has no form of lighting at all. This makes it almost impossible to read in a completely dark place, such as the airing cupboard in my room where I live in my mum and dad’s house although they are not my real mum and dad because my real mum and dad are the King and Queen of a very rich country and one day they will find me. Ironically if you strike a match the contrast ratio can be substantially improved but when I did this the product overheated to the point that it actually caught fire and I got into trouble because of the towels. And it’s not the first Telegraph product to do so.
Printing it is reducing the value of your house: I asked Mr Singh how the Telegraph was made. He said they had like a factory where a lot of people worked operating machines that made the words onto the pages with some ink. Naturally, I was apoplectic. If these people weren’t employed by the Telegraph for the benefit of a self-important minority, they could be in my house mending my computers and washing machine and other things that don’t work properly even when I tell them I’m a professional journalist with a career in journalism. Mr Singh said something about a self-important minority but I was busy telling him about my experiences in India, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Ethiopia and even Somaliland.
It charges for satnav: In an age when everything is supposed to be completely free, especially to professional journalists with a career in journalism, the Telegraph does not come with a satnav – or a bowl of fruit, torque wrench, kangaroo, Oyster card or signed photo of Miley Cyrus. The cheapest way you can turn your Telegraph into an overpriced satnav is to buy an overpriced satnav. Fact.
It causes cancer.