The Times is aimed at the rich, powerful and snooty. Typically, the readers will wear Victorian clothing, petticoats, cravats, monocles, top hats and winkle-pickers. The readers and writers of The Times consist, for a large part, of people who own or run various parts of the world. It is considered the epitome of up-market journalism (with the possible exception of the Financial Times, but only economists read that), and is therefore read by better, smarter and more well-bred hounds than readers of The Sun or The Guardian.
The reason that The Times sells more papers than others is because it is the pinnacle of human literary achievement. Nothing beats The Times, so there. Unlike tabloids, which change viewpoints with the wind, and The Grauniad, which supports the human rights of any and all anti-capitalist terrorist groups, The Times been extremely consistent over many millennia. As a result, the editorial section repeats reworded versions of the same articles every few months. The Times deludes itself into thinking it is impartial by only printing letters to the editor on matters of spelling whilst it becomes ever more Murdochian.
Naturally, chaos followed. Several deaths were reported, but were soon covered up. Readers flocked to The Torygraph where they felt safe with its broadsheet credentials. The Guardian claimed victory, before becoming overrun by evil nasty conservatives.
The Times vs The Lords
The debate still rages over who has the most failed politicians: The Times or the House of Lords. With has-beens like Portillo and never-wases like Minette Marrin, there exists a very strong case to support the view that The Times is the true retirement home of failures. Conversely, with a recent induction of big-L losers such as Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock, the majority is rapidly supporting the opinions of John Major about the House of Lords descending into the country's premier doss-house.
There is an increasingly popular opinion that with the masses of David Blunketts, Paul Boatengs and Beverly Hughes on the Labour front benches, the government is being considered an even worse place for unwanted retirees.
As well as being just a generally crap paper...
Influence on English
When The Times began publication Englishmen and Englishwomen even of the better kind grunted in raucous regional accents, threw orange peel at players in playhouses, and scrawled crude notes in oghams, runes, and hieroglyphics on smoothed-out bark, then posted them by throwing them into rivers. The Times was not the first newspaper in England but was the first to regularly use printing, the Linotype press, punctuation, the subordinate clause, the demonstrative pronoun, the use of the term 'Prime Minister' instead of 'Yon Prick-faced Badger-yodeller', and paper instead of unwanted slices of cheese. Almost all of these innovations were quickly taken up by rival publications, except for how other papers refer to the Prime Minister.
The Times style guide is highly influential. It recommends the use of ablative adverbial clauses headed by a causative preposition whenever a definite description intercepts a nucleic interrogative synecdoche, and not calling the PM 'yon swivel-eyed mole-guzzler' unless quoting Opposition speakers or the general public. Or something