Londoners have reacted with concern today to the news that the Evening Standard will become a free newspaper from 12 October. Experts warn that this previously controlled substance could now end up in the hands of thousands of naive, suggestible commuters unprepared for its brand of middle-class opinion and suburban banality.
‘We’ve contained the problem until now,’ said a Metropolitan Police spokesman today. ‘Sure, a handful of clowns have been stupid enough to approach vendors and part with 50 pence, but most recognised the sense of our ‘Just say no’ campaign.’
The Evening Standard has traditionally been seen by clinicians as a gateway newspaper, and there are now fears that many first-time readers could be tempted to experiment with the more potent parochialism of the Daily Mail and the Express.