In the world of photography, if you want to start an argument, just mention the 55-year-old English photo-documentarist Martin Parr. Parr’s passion for recording everyday frailties and humdrum tawdriness – a larkily colourful social panorama, taking in the unappealing scrum of mass consumerism, the curious rituals of the middle class and the messy indulgences of the super-rich – elicits a very traditional English reaction: it is not everybody’s cup of tea. Parr is a tremendous polariser. He’s either a pin-sharp satirical genius who tells uncomfortable truths with comedic flair – a view enthusiastically endorsed by subscribers to the trendy online photography site Flickr, which carries a message board dedicated to him entitled Martin Parr We Love You. Or he’s that heartlessly cynical smartarse whose pictures were once condemned by the late great Henri Cartier-Bresson, the father of modern photojournalism, as coming “from another planet”.