The daily catch-up: Neigh-Drama Obama, changing welfare and how to tell if you are a journalist

A round-up of interesting things spotted on what Lord Justice Leveson called the "ethical vacuum" of the internet in the past 24 hours

Click to follow
The Independent Online

1. "Why the long face, son?" "You'll have to excuse me, Mr President, I'm a little horse today." Thanks to David Wyllie.


2. Chart of the Day: numbers of working-age people on different state benefits, via Declan Gaffney's article pointing to the rise of housing benefit claims under the coalition. Click through for the full-size version, which shows how each government in the past 40 years has been associated with different patterns of benefits: unemployment benefit under Thatcher; sickness benefit under Major; glacial reductions under Blair; housing and unemployment benefits up under Brown, with housing benefit continuing up under the coalition as unemployment benefits fall.

3. "You know you're a journalist when... " A listicle in French, for your education. Thanks to Clive Davis.

One item missed from the list is: "You know you're a journalist when you ask Questions To Which The Answer Is No." There was a fine QTWTAIN on Mail Online yesterday: "Will we soon learn languages by taking a PILL?" (Spotted by Nick Morris.) And the front page of the Mail today asks:  "Did the curse of rubber lips sink Brazil?" (Something about Mick Jagger watching the match.)

4. "Affordable", "progressive", "integrated"; and "ticket tout": This is a good post on the misuse of value-laden language by Ryan Bourne, but I disagree with his implication that it is only the left that uses language politically.

5. "I can’t say I’m impressed by God’s positional sense, either. He’s literally all over the place." This is outstanding by Michael Deacon. I have no idea who Lawro is, but Deaco is one of the best writers around at the moment. His moon landing:

"'One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind'? What’s that supposed to mean when it’s at home? It’s nonsense, Jonathan. Pure and simple. Armstrong’s had all the time in the world to come up with a memorable catchphrase, and he’s blown it. He’s frozen on the big occasion."

6. Finally, thanks to Dan Saffer for this suggested book title:

"Seven Traits of Passive-Aggressive People We’re Not Going to Tell You."