We all rather dreaded the potential traducing of Grimsby by Channel 4’s Skint – and we still await Sacha Baron Cohen’s film Grimsby next year for similar reasons – but the consensus after the first episode seems to be that the town itself wasn’t set up for disparagement in quite the way we feared, indeed the opening sentences did say that areas like the one on which it focussed could be found in most apparently pleasant large towns.
But the programme wasn’t about those who try to live on the minimum levels of income. It was simply about three individuals – it is difficult to tell, but at least one had a significant alcohol problem, at least one a drug problem and at least one a mental health problem – which made it seem more akin to the outing to see those imprisoned in Bedlam rather than a genuine attempt to understand areas of particular deprivation.
Best of all, of course, was that the positive work of the Shalom Youth Prohect was highlighted several times. It wasn’t clear that it was the work of one of the two local Parish Churches which was being praised – although those alert might have guessed from the name and from the way that the non-clerical collar wearing spokesman (who was in fact the long-term Vicar) was introduced as ‘Canon John Ellis’.
John got his sound bite: he spoke about the need to model mature adulthood in a community in which many male role models were often immature. For those with ears to hear, he was heard to be spot on: one of the things which both the men focussed upon had in common was the moments when they exhibited a childish wish for praise for minor acts of consideration.
We’ll have to see what next week brings. Meanwhile, a new wood is being planted across the road from St Michael’s today.