Media

British newspaper writing is famously more vigorous and readable than its American equivalent. But this comes at a price: there’s a good chance that anything you read in a British newspaper isn’t true.

Imagine you are a novelist. You want to create an instantly credible picture of middle-class life at some time in the past couple of decades — a suburb, a village, a pub. Easy: one chap passes another and asks, “Seen Matt today?”