THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: No News of the World...good news?

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SOME of us will have a problem this coming Sunday morning: now that there’s no News of the World which paper do we go for?

And that set me wondering why people kept buying it. Perhaps it was sheer habit, brand loyalty.

Fair enough, but that does not get us very far. Perhaps it was its serious news, but other papers have more news in greater depth.

Perhaps it was the pin-ups: OK I suppose if that is what appeals and you are not bothered by questions of modesty and respect.

But perhaps it was the paper’s almost proud tradition of probing well known people’s weaknesses and secrets and exposing them, cutting them down to size, appealing to an appetite for gossip which leaves you feeling reassured: “Behind their front this celebrity, politician, bishop, royal, etc is nothing special. See how they behave when they think no-one’s looking.”

Acting better than you actually are is bad; it’s called hypocrisy. And certainly hypocrisy in high places is wrong.

But beware! As soon as you point the finger at someone else you run the risk of having it pointed at you.

Jesus said: “Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.” Sadly, reading all about other people’s failings is rather like living on junk food: it doesn’t leave the heart and mind in a healthy state. And it can stop me taking stock of my own life: forget what other people have done; what about me, honestly? Perhaps no news, perhaps no News of the World, is good news.

ROGER SEAL

Spalding Quaker Meeting