Saturday 20 July 2013

Saturday Night...

Saturday night is always followed by Sunday morning, so here are this week's predictions for stories that will and won't appear on Radio 4's Sunday tomorrow. 

I'm still hoping for that chat with Melvyn Bragg, who spoke out last week, saying that Christianity should be respected for its history and its contribution to mankind.

The new Catholic Bishop of East Anglia, Alan Hopes, used his installation this Tuesday to say, "Our faith seems under attack; Christian morals and values which have been the bedrock of western society have been all but rejected and we are often portrayed at the best old fashioned and at the worst bigoted." An interview with Bishop Hopes, where he can expand on these points, might well be of interest. It's unlikely to happen though.

The Guardian this week ran a story under the headline Vatican offers 'time off purgatory' to followers of Pope Francis tweets. It became a massive worldwide story. Unfortunately, according to CNN, the Guardian largely got it wrong. Explaining why - plus the concept of purgatory - would make for a fascinating discussion on tomorrow's Sunday. As it was in the Guardian, this one might happen - though not in the way I'm suggesting. 

Tomorrow also offers another chance for Sunday to explore anti-Semitism in Britain and its links of anti-Israel activism in the wake of Lib Dem MP David Ward's expulsion from the party. They didn't do that last week, and my bet is that they won't do it this week either.

Plus a story which the Times, the Jewish Chronicle and many others across the world have been covering - "British government to investigate discrimination against Jews: The British government plans to investigate whether other Jews were denied employment benefits after an Orthodox Jew who refused to work on the Sabbath won a landmark appeal" - should surely be a must for Sunday. After all, it's about benefit cuts - and they aren't shy of reporting complaints about benefit cuts. Still, unless a Muslim angle to the story can be added, it's unlikely to feature. (Bonus prediction: If a Muslim angle to the story can be found, it will feature.)

Features about Buddhists (unless it's about what Burmese Buddhists are doing to the Royingya Muslims), Sikhs or Hindus are very unlikely to be included. They almost never are, even after one of Buddhism's holiest sites is bombed and Buddhists in many other countries are fearing for their security. - a story Sunday really should be reporting. On the other hand, I predict there will be at least one Muslim-based feature. There almost always is. 

What else will we get? Probably the usual diet of breaking news from the Arab world, Christian-related abuse stories, bad news about the Catholic Church, something about human rights, the usual airing of Muslim grievances, a call for something or other by a left-wing campaign group, an Anglican row over something, that sort of thing. They may also be something related to the Pope's visit to Brazil.

I hope to be proved wrong tomorrow morning. Come on Sunday, pleasantly surprise me!!

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