Monday is always a good day for media types to buy the Guardian, on account of its weekly supplement, published today, dedicated to the industry. But any day with this newspaper carries a fair chance of being greeted with the results of yet another fearless investigation. And so, this morning's edition reveals that the personal details of thousands of so-called 'domestic extremists' are being kept on police files.
It's an investigation that the paper not only splashes on its front page, but continues across pages six and seven. There will be more of the same tomorrow and Wednesday. If you are a regular attendee at demonstrations or political meetings, you could be in the database. The comedian, Mark Thomas, is, and, like so many others, he doesn't have a criminal record. In a column on page 32, he makes a gag out of it: his agent is going to try to make him 'Suspect A' by next year, from his current 'H' categorisation on a card to help police spot who is who.
The paper itself, in its leaderl, begins: “From Stalin….” It points to powers “slipped through parliament with barely a squeak in 2006″ that allow the police to ban people from attending a demonstration on the grounds they might do something unlawful. The paper doesn't clarify whether this 'bail condition' operates UK-wide or not.
A substantial international section reports the Turkish Prime Minister declaring that the Iran president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a friend. Half a dozen or so pages in, a journalist writes about being hold up with the ousted president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya – in the Brazilian embassy.
Elsewhere, in the G2 supplement – complete with a picture gallery of overcoats to help us stay fashionable as well as warm – the author, Malcolm Gladwell, reveals why he tends to do most of his writing in a cafe. The author of international bestsellers, The Tipping Point and Blink, says: “It's not because I'm engaged in conversation with people. It's because I spent 10 years in a newsroom and I can no longer write when it's quiet. I like people around me; but I don't want to talk to them.”
In the paper's 16-page sport section, the best part of three pages are devoted to Liverpool's 1-0 tense win over rivals, Manchester United, yesterday – prompting the latter's Scottish manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, to berate the referee over some controversial decisions. Not for the first time these last couple of weeks.
And finally, Australian readers in particular should check out the picture that graces the whole of pages 20 and 21: The Sydney Harbour bridge, presumably bedecked in astroturf, is completely taken over by picnickers.