IN THE PAPERS by David Crawford
EVER anxious not to appear to be more without it than the other papers, the Daily Herald was particularly lucky this week. On Mond a y appeared its feature article "Adults on Trial", in which young people criticised their elders in their own "strident, raw, authentic" language, as the Herald puts it. This followed immediately upon the week-end's revelations about young wild life in the quiet little town of Boston, Lincolnshire, where a number of schoolgirls so far forgot the standards of industry set them by Sir Edward Boyle that they founded a junior Peyton Place of their own.
Suitably passionate defences of Boston's integrity have, of course, been made by local councillors.
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The reason, apparently, why they let it be known among the youth of Boston's coffee-bar society that they were "available" was boredom. I would not wish for a moment to deny that boredom is rampant among young people today. But I can't help feeling that some, at least, of their boredom stems from the remorseless determination of papers like the Herald to speak for them in their own "strident, raw, authentic language". Since most of the young people in question read the Daily Mirror anyway—if, that is, they get round to reading a daily al all, it seems all the more pointless.
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What the Herald did reveal, however, is that the age of superstition is anything but dead. One of the little conversation pieces in "Adults on Trial" was tastefully headed "About Babies". The young people talking, Bill, Sally, Ricky, Kay and Ozzie, all seemed to think that babies as such are the very last consideration, all else having failed, so that it wasn't really about babies at ail.
That it was about superstition.
Bill and his coevals are full of medical profundities. including two recommended abortion techniques, and the interesting assertion that "if a girl's got VD and goes with fellers it's only every third man who gets it". (This is Ozzie talking, by the way). Concluding, not unreasonably, that sonic of its readers are liable to believe what they see in the Herald, the paper prints a warning clause, in small italic type, at the foot of "About Babies-. "None of the statements in this section", it says, "is medically accurate". The same paper, the Daily Herald, recently had a magic wartcure in its Barley Bottom comic strip. Very amusiag, because harmless. But I cannot help think that the medical ignorance, which is as **magical" in essence as the wartcure, printed in "About Babies" is going to influence more young people than the little italicized cautionary clause. (Italics are so square). Then, perhaps, in its next feature. the Daily Herald will be tointerial include itself among the able to on
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The Daily Express was able to smirk when it pointed out that public opinion polls produced before the Australian General Election, which gave Labour a 5 per cent. lead, were utterly confounded by the Australian Conservative Party's dramatic gains. The Express's real reason for pleasure. of course, apart from the fact that it always boasts that its own sample poll is not meant to be accurate. is that if its rival polls, in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. are wrong, the Conservatives will probably win the next election after all.
The Daily Express can claim, truthfully that it is not a Conservative newspaper. But it would much rather. attack the Conservatives as a Government than as an Opposition,
Have the Tdries a chance? Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps it will be easier by the time you read this column, since three byelections results. Openshaw, Sodbury and Woodbridge, and St. MarvIchone, will have ' been declared..