By EVE MCADAM
-FF the young people seen in -11ATV's "Right-Wrong" pro gramme ("About Religion," Sunday) are at all representative of their generation. then there is hope for us all. The programme consisted of conundrums involving right and wrong decisions. and was a " live " one. Thus the team of three boys versus three girls were unrehearsed and their answers were impromptu. Their performance was first rate with comments that demonstrated clear minds. an ability to express themselves with precision and, surprisingly, points of view steeped in moral and social responsibility. Indeed their answers were so well reasoned that they divided the adjudicators. These " adjudicators " turned out to be old friends, the three religious advisers to ATV who have often appeared together and who always provide lively viewing: the Rev. Stephan Hopkinson, the Rev. Caryl Micklem. and Fr. John Bebb,
THE value of this kind of programme relies on. the questions: dull questions and nothing can save the programme. But these ones were sharp with a hint of laughter behind them (here I suspected the hand of Fr. Bebb). Although there was grip and humour there was also underlying seriousness and observable in each poser was the attempt to discover on what side, social or moral, these young people would come down. One question went like this: if only one person could be saved on a raft which one should it be, and in what order should the others he pushed overboard: yourself. a
three-year-old girl. a famous surgeon, bishop'? No N one suggested doing away with the bishop. It was only when the irrepresible Fr. Bebb decided to throw him overboard that everyone let up and laughed. " Besides." said Fr. Bebb, " what a wonderful picture it would make !" This prompted the Rev. Stephan Hopkinson to add that " bishops are totally expendable and a good bishop Would jump off himself without waiting to be pushed."
THE rival teams were asked to name among these crimes the one each considered the most reprehensible. travelling without a railway ticket, stealing from a church Poor Box. stealing from your ratites pocket. I wo of the clergymen came down on the side of social justice and condemned as worst thefts against the State. The Rev. Stephan Hopkinson said " would prefer money taken from the Poor Box. from the Church, which exists to serve ''. All these young people. however, considered it terrible to rob a father. and even worse to rob a church. Fr Bebb agreed with them. To find ATV's religious advisers in such a gay mood makes for stimulating and entertaining television—just what viewers want, if not every Sunday. at least once a month.
INCIDENTALLY. the proA gramme served to dispel an unfortunate impression of Britain's youth left in the preceding one, " Sunday Break ", This was Neville Barker's introduction of a Smethwick Youth Club in which the young people had imposed their own colour bar.
his club, "for whites only".re which Barker described as "cating its own ' Little Rock ' in the Birmingham area " sent several of its members to justify its attitude and " Sunday Break " had also managed to discover two people from British Guiana who had been refused membership. Amost enterprising programme. and " Sunday Break ", which has had some hard things said about it recently tty several critics, must he now congratulated on lively Lite-journalism. Twice club members started by saying. "1 realise that in a Christian country this isn't right. but But, according to them, the reasons for discrimination were not, strictly. their responsibility but their parents' or the committee's. " We'd lose the cream of the club if they got in. Parents won't let their daughters come if they join." In turn each insisted that he or she personally had nothing against a dark skin. Neville Barker did not let them get away with that. " You can't have a double standard. Aren't you ashamed of yourselves for doing this? Isn't it sheer emotional prejudice ?" The Smethwick segregationalists looked sheepish, pretended they meant every word they said, but the magnifying eye of television exposed their shame and uncertainty.