FAR MORE WORRYING than the teenage excesses of last weekend are the interest and sympathy they arouse. One newspaper even ran a quiz which started on the assumption that every reader was either a "Mod" or a "Rocker" and revealed to which category of hooligan they belonged.
No doubt it is all a product of too much affluence and security. But neither of these can he removed until we have a Labour Government, and the indications are dangerously in the other direction. So WC are left with the usual platitudes about the need for more playing fields and Adventure Schemes for the Young.
No doubt playing field and Adventure Schemes could do some good if they were made compulsory. But the essence of this sort of delinquency is an unwillingness to accept voluntary discipline, and it is absurd to suppose that anything is going to alter that.
If the 127 teenagers arrested at Margate and Brighton were deposited on playing fields and made to play rugger for a week, it would be a far more efficient deterrent than any fine. Similarly, if they were all landed without food on a deserted island in the outer Hebrides and told to have an Adventure, they would be much more respectful of other peoples deck chairs next time they went to Margate.
But by far the best solution would be to re-impose National Service. There has seldom been such a need for soldiers in peace time and even if there was none the social advantages would be paramount.
WHITSUNDAY, when we celebrate the consecration of the Catholic Church, was not only an opportunity for motorists to kill each other and for teenagers in Margate to destroy some deck chairs. It was the day chosen by Canon Pearce-Higgins, of Southwark Cathedral. to plead for a more "liberal" approach to divorce and remarriage in the Church of England.
Those who feel well disposed towards this particular sect are often appalled by its South Bank theologians. But the sad truth is that they are only using their brainpower to rationalise an irrational situation. Any intellectualising on the Church of England's present position can only serve to underline its inconsistencies, and in this respect the South Bank is a reductio ad absurdum.
The contradiction inherent in the idea of a non-authoritarian, non-dogmatic Christian Church which accepts the responsibility to teach all nations without the certainty of what to teach can only be accepted if people do not think about it.
As soon as they start thinking. they must either be driven back to the main body of the Church or into some secular, humanistic organisation which is so far unrecognisably Christian as not to be acceptable to the middle-of-the-roaders, or non-thinkers.
STATISTICIANS must have had great fun deciding on the figure of six million people who want Radio Caroline. Nobody has ever asked me whether I want it. and it seems most impertinent of anyone to suppose either that I do or that I don't.
But it is hard to know what need it will satisfy. If popular music is required. a wireless set can produce it at any time of the day or night. Clearly. these six million people must crave the advertisements. The only other way this craving could be met would be for some enterprising record company to produce long-playing records of advertisements, but I doubt whether even this would satisfy the critics.
For it is clear that objections to commercial radio are not based on the mediocrity of the material broadcast, nor its deleterious effect on the working classes—the BBC Light programme is no better—but on the idea that someone has found a new way to make money.
So long as there are vulgar appetites to be satisfied there is nothing to be gained by denying their existence. No doubt the time will come when our workers want nothing more than a Janacek quartet with commentary in Czechoslovak. I hope there will be someone at hand to make money from satisfying this strange taste.