Cancel Culture, hate-mongering and divisiveness do not belong in our great town – in defence of The Light newspaper

Some balance is sorely needed in the local debate about the free, narrative-challenging newspaper The Light.

You have to date (as I write) published one report (with no response sought either from our group or from the newspaper itself), and a number of letters criticising the paper.

It is only fair and a common courtesy that a considered response be published on your letters page.

The widely distributed Amplify Stroud leaflet about the newspaper claims that either The Light or our group is “spreading antisemitism”.

This is an absurd and scurrilous accusation.

We all have Jewish friends, many of whom are great supporters of this newspaper and its courage in interrogating mainstream narratives in a way that the controlled mainstream media has abjectly failed to do.

Amplify Stroud’s wholly disproportionate attack is based on just one article out of perhaps 300-400 since the paper was founded.

The short article in question was making the point – albeit with an arguably insensitively chosen example – that convicted paedophiles can receive shorter prison sentences than someone convicted for what they have said.

The article contains no antisemitic content, contrary perhaps to the impression given in Anthony Hentschel’s letter of March 9. Yet it’s on the basis of this one article that Amplify Stroud has based its divisive campaign – the result being a steady stream of hateful comments and confrontations aimed at us on Stroud High Street, often from people who’ve never even read the paper.

Cancel Culture, anyone?

Unlike Amplify Stroud, The Light does not peddle a discordant, “anti …” ethos. Rather, it is “pro” free, open debate (not monocultural censorship); “pro” personal body autonomy (not “mandates”); “pro” fully informed choice and consent (not obfuscation and coercion-by-stealth); “pro” uniting humanity (not divisiveness); “pro” human-centred technology and well-being (not Technocracy and industrial bio-pharmaceutical medicine) – I could go on.

Cancel Culture, hate-mongering and divisiveness do not belong in our great town.

Three weeks ago, we wrote a detailed, conciliatory letter to the organiser of the Amplify Stroud campaign, offering a meeting and a conversation to seek healing and reconciliation. Your readers will reach their own view about the fact that three weeks on, we’ve received no reply to this peace-making offer.

We urgently need open-minded conversations and respect for difference in these challenging times – not the fuelling of division, othering and demonisation that merely feed and encourage the most base human instincts and behaviours.

Richard House (personal capacity)

Stroud Info Hug

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