Foisting newspapers

I was confronted with a most bizarre site at 1730 today outside Embankment tube station: at least a dozen people trying (very forcibly) to foist free newspapers on commuters. Half of this mad crowd were pushing London Lite (in yellow in the photo) and the other half The London Paper (in purple). At times 2 or 3 of each clan would run up to a pedestrian and try to force him or her to take a free newspaper. It was not a pleasant sight, and one gentleman I saw was very flustered by the whole experience. I just ran for the tube and took the grainy image above with my camera phone.

I hate these papers anyway – they clutter up the tube, and London Lite is made by the Daily Mail group, and The London Paper is a product of News International (aka Rupert Murdoch) and even more than their pay-to-purchase morning equivalents, the 2 freebies are filled with scandalous sleaze about washed up celebrities. It’s my choice to not read them, but it’s everyone’s problem if those giving out these papers get so forceful and almost fight with each other. Ken: we need a solution!

2 Comments

  1. I don’t know the details but I believe there have been some attempts to get the distributing companies to pay something for their collection afterwards – in addition to these two, there is the very similar morning Metro too. I believe some boroughs have tried to do something about the papers left in their streets (not underground).

    I think no-one expected the war between these 2 companies to go on as long as it has – many people assumed (or maybe it was just me!) that one would lose the battle and disappear, quite quickly. This doesn’t appear to be happening…

    It’s difficult to know quite what a Mayor can do. The morning Metro is distributed from stacks inside the station, which the Mayor (via TfL) has obviously allowed. The reason there are so many distributors of the evening ones on the streets is that they aren’t allowed to be inside the stations.

    The people behind these papers are obviously quite politically powerful. I guess this means it’s not impossible that (whoever wins) there may be some changes after May 1st.

  2. Not to mention the fact that Londoners apparently discard 9.5 tonnes of the things on the tube every day: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/dec/10/pressandpublishing.transportintheuk If we must have them (and I wish we didn’t) then at least the distributors should be forced to deal with disposing of them responsibly.

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