The Light

Consistent denial of climate change in The Light
The Light

Climate change denial has featured in almost every single issue of The Light. Other than the pandemic, it is probably the most common theme.

The Light does not discuss the existing harms of extreme temperatures, droughts, floods, or sea-level rise. Instead, it repeatedly asserts that climate change is a “hoax”, a “con”, a “scam”. It argues that claims that there is a climate emergency are part of a conspiracy by a shadowy global elite to extend their control over society and individuals. There is a consistent trashing of climate and environmental activists, and of even the limited and inadequate efforts by governments to limit climate degradation. There is even more scorn for any attempts at international coordination of such efforts, which are fitted into the overall narrative of a secret plan to impose a “world government”.

This might come as a surprise to those who think that The Light is somehow on the side of the “natural world” and against technological civilization, or those in Stroud who remember that The Beacon, the now-closed shop that became the centre of anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown activity in our town, was once the meeting place for Extinction Rebellion activists. Some of the people handing out The Light have in the past campaigned in favour of climate action. It might even surprise some of the people who hand out The Light – quite a few of them don’t seem to know what’s in the paper. It’s notable that The Light’s opposition to “big corporations” doesn’t extend to the fossil fuel industry. And it doesn’t have a bad word to say about the Koch brothers, the billionaires who fund climate change denial and misinformation and who also fund misinformation about the pandemic.

We think this is important. The basic science around the “greenhouse effect” and the role of atmosphere Carbon Dioxide and fossil fuels began to be understood as early as Svante Arrhenius’ work in 1896. The “greenhouse effect” is the way in which heat and energy are trapped close to Earth’s surface by particular “greenhouse” gases. The presence of these gases can be thought of as a blanket wrapped around Earth, keeping some heat and energy in – which would otherwise be radiated out into space. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, and water vapour. Emissions and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane have both risen dramatically during the industrial/capitalist era – leading to heating of the planet. It has been over 30 years since physicist James Hansen told a U.S. Senate committee that “global warming is now large enough that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect.”

A 1988 Climate Warning Was Mostly Right
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- On a 98-degree June day in Washington in 1988, physicist James Hansen told a U.S. Senate committee that “global warming is now large enough that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect.” Hansen, at the time director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, elaborated that “with 99% confidence we can state that the warming during this time period is a real warming trend.”Those assertions made headlines around the world, and can be said to have started the public and political discussion over global warming (the scientific discussion was already well under way) that continues to this day. They also caught Hansen some flak from fellow climate scientists who thought he had expressed himself with more certainty than warranted. Indeed, the scientific paper on which Hansen based his testimony, which he wrote with seven co-authors and was published that August in the Journal of Geophysical Research, cautioned that it was not yet certain that the warm temperatures of the 1980s were the product of the greenhouse effect.Still, the paper did speculate that it might become clear soon, and provided detailed forecasts (which Hansen also discussed briefly in his Senate testimony) of how much global temperatures could be expected to rise under three emissions scenarios. The annual forecasts ran through 2019, meaning that we can now judge in full how on-target they were.As benchmarks I’ve used the global land-ocean temperature averages maintained by NASA’s Goddard Institute, where Hansen held the top job until 2013 — but also, because I know I will get emails from readers asserting that NASA can’t be trusted, those of Berkeley Earth. The latter organization was founded in 2010 by a University of California at Berkeley physicist who was somewhat dubious of the NASA data (and got a big chunk of its early funding from the Charles Koch Charitable Foundation, which has a history of backing climate-change skeptics). As you can see below, its temperature estimates, while lower than NASA’s, aren’t much lower.Scenario A, which assumed that the greenhouse-gas emissions-growth rates of the 1970s and 1980s would “continue indefinitely,” turns out to have been way off on the high side. Scenario C, which envisioned “draconian emission cuts,” is way off on the low side. But Scenario B, in which greenhouse-gas emissions-growth rates slowed “such that the annual increase of the greenhouse climate forcing remains approximately constant at the present level” is definitely in the ballpark.In 1988, Hansen and his co-authors termed Scenario B “perhaps the most plausible of the three cases,” so it does seem like the fairest one to judge them by. Scenario B turns out to have quite accurately predicted the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide through 2019. Its temperature forecast nonetheless came out a little high because it overestimated the atmospheric concentrations of methane — which have proved extremely hard to predict — and of chlorofluorocarbons, which began to level off and then decline more quickly than pretty much anyone expected after the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.Correct for that, as Zeke Hausfather of UC Berkeley, the Breakthrough Institute and Berkeley Earth and his three co-authors did in a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters last month,(2) and “the results are consistent with the observations.” That is, the model used by Hansen and his co-authors in 1988 did a good job of predicting how much warming would be caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases, it just failed to predict with perfect accuracy what those concentrations would be. Hausfather and his co-authors made similar corrections to 15 other detailed warming forecasts made from 1970 through 2007 and found that all but three had proved “skillful” in extrapolating temperature changes from greenhouse-gas concentrations. As Gavin Schmidt, Hansen’s successor at the Goddard Institute and one of Hausfather’s co-authors, put it in a blog post summarizing the results: “Gosh, maybe we know something about climate after all!”It should be noted that seven or eight years ago, after global average temperatures had barely risen for a decade, these warming forecasts weren’t looking quite so accurate. “People were thinking, ‘Something’s going on,’” Schmidt recalled when I paid him a visit this week, with climate scientists trotting out alternative explanations ranging from decadal ocean variability to tiny particles (aka aerosols) in the atmosphere to problems with the temperature record. “Then you have the three warmest years on record in a row, and everybody stops talking about it because it’s stupid.”I happen to really dislike it when people use the phrase “the science is settled” in reference to climate change. Science, if it’s actually science, should never be entirely settled. Researchers seem to be very much in the early stages of figuring out how to predict greenhouse-gas-induced changes in the climate beyond just increases in global average temperatures — and some of those changes may simply not be predictable. But it’s now been 124 years since Swedish physicist Svante Arrhenius hypothesized that higher atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations would bring higher global temperatures, and 50 years since scientists began building detailed climate models around that notion. When James Hansen said in 1988 that he was virtually certain that humans were warming the earth’s climate “he went out on a limb,” Schmidt says now. That limb, however, has yet to break.(1) You can read the full text from a desktop here.To contact the author of this story: Justin Fox at justinfox@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stacey Shick at sshick@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Justin Fox is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He was the editorial director of Harvard Business Review and wrote for Time, Fortune and American Banker. He is the author of “The Myth of the Rational Market.”For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

A 2021 review of 88,125 studies published since 2012 "conclude[s] with high statistical confidence that the scientific consensus on human-caused contemporary climate change — expressed as a proportion of the total publications — exceeds 99% in the peer-reviewed scientific literature."

‘Case closed’: 99.9% of scientists agree climate emergency caused by humans
Trawl of 90,000 studies finds consensus, leading to call for Facebook and Twitter to curb disinformation

And we know that the impacts of climate breakdown, now and in the future, are uneven. While everyone, everywhere will be affected, the effects are most significant in particular geographic areas, and hit harder where people are less able to adapt. Recent examples include flooding in Bangladesh and Assam in India, severe flooding in Sudan, drought in Chile and in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, landslides in Brazil, wildfire in Argentine wetlands and flooding in the Amazon.

Climate change brings extreme, early impact to South America
Scientists have long been warning that extreme weather would cause calamity in the future. But in South America—which in just the last month has had deadly landslides in Brazil, wildfire in Argentine wetlands and flooding in the Amazon so severe it ruined harvests—that future is already here.

Action is urgently needed – causing delay by spreading misinformation or undermining interest in developing solutions is harmful, indeed – arguably – complicity in genocide. This is an issue of justice as well as an environmental issue. The communities on the frontline of fighting climate change are often the same who have resisted centuries of colonialism, chattel enslavement and white supremacy, and who continue to fight against the ecocide of fossil fuel companies.

This is by no means “just one article”. Below we’ve made a list of the climate change disinformation that has appeared in the paper. If you want further information, the issue numbers and page numbers will help you find it. Before the list, a brief comment on rebuttal. We have not included an attempt to rebut the following claims here – we believe the overwhelming majority of people accept that global heating is occurring, is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, other industrial processes, deforestation and other changes to land use; and that a response by human societies is both necessary and urgent. The purpose of our list is only to make clear the depth of The Light’s commitment to disinformation on climate change. For those who may have been swayed by arguments in The Light, or are curious, we recommend the website which debunks climate misinformation by presenting peer-reviewed science and explaining the techniques of science denial in accessible language.

Global Warming and Climate Change skepticism examined
Examines the science and arguments of global warming skepticism. Common objections like ‘global warming is caused by the sun’, ‘temperature has changed naturally in the past’ or ‘other planets are warming too’ are examined to see what the science really says.

Examples include responses to common arguments that the "Climate's changed before", "There is no consensus" (both argument that distributors of The Light locally have made when we have raised this issue with them), "It's not bad", or that "Models are unreliable."

Also worth reading for context is a recent article by Italian climate journalist Stella Levantesi for the webiste, which discusses the propaganda strategies of the fossil fuel industry, its allies and their efforts to delay and obstruct climate action. That theme is explored at greater length, with reference to previous examples such as the efforts of tobacco companies to deny well-established scientific knowledge, in the book and film Merchants of Doubt.

Merchants of Doubt
How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

32 examples of disinformation on climate change / climate denial in The Light from their 23 issues to date (July 2022):

  • Issue 3, page 10: Chart showing “fake” climate change as part of a web of deception
  • Issue 4, page 8: Interview with anti-vaxxer “doctor” Vernon Coleman refers to “the climate change scam”. 
  • Issue 5, page 4: Far right former academic Niall McCrae writes in defence of “climate sceptic” Piers Corbyn
  • Issue 7, page 7: Points out that critic of anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists Dr Emily Grossman is a climate activist
  • Issue 8, page 6: Full page article headed “Climate Change Fraud” by long-time climate change denier Tom Tamarkin. 
  • Issue 9, page 4: Article by far right former academic Niall McCrae  and leader of far right political party Robin Tilbrook suggesting police favour climate change protesters compared to the way they treat “patriots and freedom marchers”
  • Issue 10, page 16: Anti-vaxxer “doctor” Vernon Coleman writes of “the global warming pseudoscience –the hoax behind the covid hoax”
  • Issue 11, page 3: Full page article headed “‘Climate Emergency’ driven by faulty models and fake news ” says “the idea of a ‘Climate Emergency’ is a deception”
  • Issue 12, page 14: Attack on renewable energy by “Tyler Durden”, the fictional-character pseudonym of a climate change denial blogger
  • Issue 13, page 16: Article claiming that US wildfires are not driven by climate change, by H Sterling Burnett, a staffer at the right-wing climate change denial promoting think-tank The Heartland Institute…known for its persistent questioning of climate science, for its promotion of ‘experts’ who have done little, if any, peer-reviewed climate research
  • Issue 13, page 18: Anti-vaxxer “doctor” Vernon Coleman writes of “the non-existent problem of climate change”
  • Issue 13, page 24: Ad for Vernon Coleman’s book about “the covid and climate change frauds”
  • Issue 14, pages 6-7: Double page spread questioning the science of climate change by Ian Phillips (Chief Executive, Oil & Gas Innovation Centre)
  • Issue 15, page 15: Article by fundamentalist Christian “Heart Publications” references discredited 2007 Channel Four documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle; Heart Publications promotes climate change denial on its website.
  • Issue 15, page 18: Full page article by “doctor” Vernon Coleman headed “Global warming lies, deceit and hypocrisy”, says “The covid-19 fraud was bad but it is nothing compared to the global warming fraud which is now well underway”
  • Issue 16, page 2: Fascist leader Anne-Marie Waters writes “this time the fear will be created by the ‘climate change crisis’. It is yet another lie.”
  • Issue 16, page 10: Connects Bill Gates conspiracy theory with climate change.
  • Issue 16, page 15: Link promoting the website of antisemite Sandi Adams and her writing on “”The Green New Deal”, “Sustainable Development”, the “climate change” racket”.
  • Issue 17, page 12: “Both covid and the climate change rhetoric use pseudo-scientific claims to appear scientific because it actually does not matter what is real or fake to all those on board.”
  • Issue 18, page 1: Editor Darren Nesbit writes: “You could, for example, create a whole ‘climate crisis’ scenario in which the Earth is dying due to certain types of behaviour, and through your world organisations, multinational corporations, owned and operated national governments and media,badger people into believing living an advanced, industrialised life is a terrible thing and we should all go back to poverty.”
  • Issue 18, page 3: Article by “Mark Moneycircus” locates concern about climate change in the context of The Great Reset, part of The Light’s uber-conspiracy
  • Issue 18, page 13: Article criticising the Archbishop of Canterbury for supporting vaccination refers to his calls for action on climate change as “bizarre”
  • Issue 18, page 20: “Doctor” Vernon Coleman says that the covid hoax was invented because the “climate change…myth” wasn’t working fast enough
  • Issue 19, page 22: Vernon Coleman says “The climate change hoax that was planned back in the 1960s is the really big threat we are facing. Covid-19 was the warm up act for the big one – the global warming fraud.”
  • Issue 20, page 22: Vernon Coleman says “Why does the BBC now ban any honest, open discussion about vaccines or climate change, when the science proves beyond doubt that the covid jabs are unsafe and ineffective and that climate change doesn’t exist?”
  • Issue 21, page 4: Article by crank scientist J Marvin Hendon saying that IPCC’s failure to investigate “chemtrails” calls into question its findings and in its moral authority. 
  • Issue 21, page 7: Article in support of climate change denier Piers Corbyn, which refers to XR and Just Stop Oil as “controlled opposition groups” that are part of a strategy by the government to “sour public opinion and ripen them up to support more draconian laws”. 
  • Issue 21, page 12: Article about the covid and climate deceptions which says “covid-19 and man=made climate change are psy-ops”
  • Issue 21, page 18: Niall McCrae says “Climate crisis actors will stop at nothing to make life hard and disorderly.”
  • Issue 21, page 19: Editor Darren Smith refers to climate change as “a vague and unproven ideology”
  • Issue 22, frontpage: Editor Darren smith says “a fake climate crisis means we have to source the most expensive ways of generating power” under the headline “Are we all being brainwashed?”
  • Issue 23, page 6: In an article advertised in a banner on the front page as “exposing the man-made climate change fraud”, Daniel Thompson-Mills describes climate change as a “massive fraud” and “diversion” – claims “the notion of man-made climate change… is not actually supported by the data and evidence”. The article presents no evidence, instead referring only to the long-discredited “climategate” email controversy – into which eight committees have investigated and found no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.

Below is an image showing the headline from one example of the content listed above.

Article by “Dr” Vernon Coleman entitled “Global warming lies, deceit and hypocrisy” from Issue 15, in which he bizarrely claims “There is not one jot of real scientific evidence for the myth of man-made climate change” and concludes by writing “Global warming enthusiasts are a danger to you and your family’s health and future and a danger to mankind as a whole. Some are moronic, some mentally ill and some are evil”. As we discuss in a previous piece, Coleman has repeatedly downplayed HIV / AIDS and even suggests AIDS doesn’t exist, despite the disease having killed an estimated 37 million people.

Why are people in Stroud handing out a paper that defends Holocaust denial and antisemitism?

This is the first in a series of articles on why many local people do not want to see The Light being distributed in Stroud town centre. We have our own criticisms of the government’s approach to the pandemic. However, we are alarmed by the Light’s use of the pandemic to push support for racist hate speech – as well as for denial of climate change, NHS-bashing, and other reactionary views, which we will address later in the series.

This first article is about a piece in The Light’s November 2021 issue regarding an online radio host, Graham Hart (69), who has been jailed for 32 months after pleading guilty to eight counts of making a “programme in service with intent or likely to stir up racial hatred” (an image of the article is included at the end of this piece).

Before our article, a content warning. In order to make our case we have had to provide quotations regarding violent antisemitic language. This piece also discusses Holocaust denial, and some aspects of the Nazi genocide, in some detail.

The article in The Light, headlined “‘Hate speech’ pensioner jailed for 32 months” presents Graham Hart as a sympathetic character, “entitled to” his opinions. He is described as “question[ing] significant events throughout history”, and sharing “research findings”. The article uncritically reports his view that “his passion for the truth got the better of him and nobody was hurt or harmed by his sharing his opinion”. It does not question his claim that his efforts were motivated by an interest in “the truth”, nor tell you the truth of what the case was actually about.

The article suggests “his sentence poses serious questions about censorship and freedom of speech”. Given that the Light’s other articles generally focus on the idea that readers’ ‘free speech’ is also threatened, the overall impression given by this article is to invite readers to empathise with Hart. 

In asking “How does it harm anybody else for him to have a different view of history?”, The Light misleads readers about the nature of Hart’s actions and the case against him. Hart did not only praise Adolf Hitler as “the greatest man of the twentieth century”. He broadcast that Jews were “like rats”, “filth” and needed to be “wiped out”. He made explicit threats of violence, saying, “If you’re listening Mr Jew we’re coming to get you. Let’s get rid of the Jews, it’s time for them to go. After Christmas I’m going to work, going on the attack because I’ve had enough. I don’t want bloodshed but if that’s what it takes to get it done.” He asked listeners to send him a gun. He said “that although baby rats look cute, they grow to be adult rats and that in a similar way, young Jews should also be killed.”

This list of disgusting racism is long enough, but it is incomplete – you can read further examples at the links. None of this information is in The Light’s article, however. Nor are any opinions from people who might find these things harmful, including Jewish people.

The article in The Light can only bring itself to say that “inciting people to violence in the name of anything is rarely a good idea”. It does not mention the word antisemitism, nor the comments of the Judge that Hart had “entrenched antisemitic feelings”. The article attempts to downplay the impact by misrepresenting the size of his audience, as “very niche”  despite the fact his ‘Hoax train’ Holocaust denial song was viewed over 7,000 times on YouTube, for example. It says he “maintains he was just ‘mouthing off’”, but fails to mention that his own barrister said “He accepts racial hatred was likely to be stirred up”. For an organisation that describes itself as a ‘truthpaper’, these seem important truths that readers would want to be aware of. What purpose is served by leaving them out?

From Holocaust as metaphor to outright Holocaust Denial

It might seem particularly strange that the Light would seek to defend someone who’d enthusiastically praised Hitler, given that in previous issues The Light regularly suggests that our current political situation is comparable to the Nazi period – with headlines such as the “Nazification of the NHS”. Why would a paper that sees the Nazi period as their main metaphor for negative developments in society take such a sympathetic approach to someone that denies the reality and horror of the period and who, they note, urged people to “question the official account of the Holocaust”?

There is a link: antisemitism. The Light barely conceives of the Shoah (the Hebrew term for the Holocaust) as a real event. It is an event with an “official account”, rather than a genocide. The Light’s references to the Nazi period are not an effort to educate about oppression or genocide, but to harness an emotional response through a symbol of pure evil. They do not engage with it as a historical event that slaughtered millions, one that was situated in a context of a long history of antisemitism, racism, imperialism, oppression and genocide across the world. There’s more to say about how the Nazi period is often invoked in Britain in ways that avoid our state’s own role in this wider history, but writing antisemitism and the racism of the project of Aryan supremacy out of the history in the way The Light does is a particularly blatant attempt to manipulate people.

There are many criticisms that can be made of immunity/vaccine passports, but they are not the same as the yellow stars Jewish people were forced to wear in Nazi Germany. The yellow star was connected to centuries of European antisemitism, which had involved compulsion to wear distinguishing garments, mass deportations, and violent pogroms since the 13th Century (including in Britain). Immunity passports have been introduced during a pandemic, rather than following such a pogrom (Kristallnacht in November 1938). Death by shooting is not a punishment for not holding an immunity passport, as it was for Jews who did not wear a yellow star. There is societal debate about the effectiveness and ethical implications of immunity passports, and we can hope or expect them to be temporary measures. None of this was true of yellow stars.

Comparing NHS staff administering vaccines to the doctors who stood trial at Nuremberg for the experiments they conducted on concentration camp prisoners – as the Light and its supporters do repeatedly – is shamefully inaccurate and offensive.

Why is the Nuremberg Code being used to oppose Covid-19 vaccines? - Full Fact
Social media users are incorrectly citing the medical ethics code to argue against Covid-19 vaccination.

The horrors Nazi doctors performed were brutal. The experiments involved investigating the limits of human endurance and existence, forcing people to stay outdoors at temperatures below freezing for hours while naked, for example. People were involuntarily infected with viruses including smallpox, or had bacterial infections, together with wood shavings and ground glass, inserted into wounds. There were grotesque transplantation experiments. People were burned with phosphorus, fed poison, or shot with poison-coated bullets. There was no regard for whether the people subject to these experiments lived or died, ‘experiments’ akin to torture were conducted without anaesthetic. The war crimes identified in the Nuremberg Indictments include the “systematic and secret execution of the aged, insane, incurably ill, of deformed children, and other persons, by gas, lethal injections, and diverse other means in nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums” [and] “the mass extermination of Jews.” Those who did not die were often disabled for life. Extreme pain and suffering was routine. None of this is comparable to the UK process for development or rollout of vaccinations against COVID-19.

As Hila Shachar has written: “the victims of the Holocaust continue to be “appropriated as political metaphors and dehumanised in the process”. As Jewish people and as their friends we have on multiple occasions pointed out that such analogies are inappropriate and offensive (whether in response to window displays, or a speaker at a local protest wearing a yellow star). Our complaints are always dismissed. We hope that this piece helps explain why we feel so strongly.

The Holocaust is not your metaphor to use in modern political debates | Hila Shachar
Hila Shachar: Using images of those killed by the Nazis to make a point about our own government’s refugee policies is demeaning to victims. They should be remembered for their individual humanity

When The Light denies that blatant antisemitism of the kind expressed by Hart is harmful, it denies the humanity of Jewish people – it denies that they can be harmed. When it presents Holocaust denial as a “different view of history”, it denies the genocidal intent of the Nazis. It denies not only the murder of six million Jews, but the murder of millions of members of other groups persecuted by the Nazis – Roma and Sinti people (sometimes referred to as ‘Gypsies’), Black people, Slavic people (such as those from Poland and Russia), disabled people, gay people, and those with other political or religious beliefs – communists, trade unionists and social democrats, Jehovah’s Witnesses. When it claims that Holocaust denial is an “opinion” to which someone is “entitled”, it denies that it is antisemitic and morally repugnant.

Refusing reality, refusing to listen

These forms of denial are not the only ways in which The Light engages in denial of truth, rather than the pursuit of it. Nor is the article about Hart the only example of The Light platforming or defending people with racist and/or antisemitic views. It seems clear that freedom of speech is only of interest to The Light when it is the freedom to peddle hatred, misinformation, or falsehoods. When criticisms of this behaviour are made, the freedom of speech of those making criticisms isn’t welcomed. When local residents wrote and signed an open letter calling on organisers of an anti-lockdown rally to withdraw their invitation to another person who has published antisemitic content – Sandi Adams – was our use of freedom of speech welcomed and defended? The opposite. Despite acknowledging the difficulties caused by, and necessary debates about restrictions associated with, the pandemic, we were baselessly accused of being ‘government agents’, and told our piece was ‘libellous’ and should be taken down.

Britain First leaders jailed for anti-Muslim hate crime
Prosecutors say harassment could have let rapists walk free by endangering ongoing trial

More recently, a number of people were arrested, and so far one jailed, for posting racist messages on social media in the aftermath of the Euro 2020 men’s football final. Politicians and the media certainly often perpetuate Islamophobia and anti-refugee sentiment (as well as other racism including anti-Blackness) in ways that are insufficiently challenged, even rewarded. But it’s not consistent to raise these issues only to excuse antisemitism. A consistent anti-racism condemns both Hart’s broadcasts and Boris Johnson’s history of racist remarks, for example. Being consistent as an anti-racist means opposing the racism of the attacks on Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill and the Holocaust denial that harms people in these groups as it harms Jewish people.

The UK is heading towards authoritarianism: just look at this attack on a minority | George Monbiot
The policing bill deliberately targets Roma, Gypsy and Traveller people, criminalising them if they move – and if they stop, says Guardian columnist George Monbiot

The article tries to imply that Jewish people are uniquely and specially protected against incitement to racial hatred – a common theme for antisemites. Why do this? How does it serve anti-racism, truth, or free-speech to mislead readers about antisemitic speech and threats of violence?

The article in The Light asks “What would George Orwell make of it?” In 1945 Orwell wrote  that many people “will admit that they are frightened of probing too deeply into the subject… of discovering not only that antisemitism is spreading, but that they themselves are infected by it”.

Antisemitism in Britain | The Orwell Foundation
“It will be seen, therefore that the starting point for any investigation of antisemitism should not be ‘Why does this obviously irrational belief appeal to other people?’ but ‘Why does antisemitism appeal to me? What is there about it that I feel to be true?’”

We ask that readers of this piece confront this fear. We ask that you take the time to listen, to research the subject. We ask that you think very carefully about whether you want to continue reading, sharing – even writing for – The Light.

Whatever we think of how to best deal with Covid, none of us should have anything to do with a paper that defends spreading racist hate, and we don’t want to see it on our streets.

We invite people to join us in making our opposition to The Light being handed out locally clear by signing their statement at

Stop sharing The Light in Stroud
We the undersigned are residents of Stroud, Dursley, and other parts of Stroud District, and do not want to see The Light paper being distributed where we live. We have our own criticisms of the government’s approach to the pandemic. However, we are alarmed by The Light’s use of the pandemic to push support for antisemitism, Holocaust denial and racist hate speech - as well as for denial of climate change, NHS-bashing, and other reactionary views. You can read more about why at: We are collecting names and email addresses with this form. The data you provide will be used to a) add your name to the public list of signatories and b) update you on our ongoing work to challenge the distribution of The Light locally. We will delete the records of email addresses as soon as it makes sense to do so. To sign, please scroll past the list of names, enter your first name and surname, and email address, in the boxes provided, and press the button to submit. The list of signatories below will be regularly updated, but your name will not appear immediately - please don’t worry, it should appear within a day. Signed by 382 people as of 18th August 2023. In alphabetical order by first name: Adam Biscoe, Adam Horovitz, Ade Blair, Adrian Oldman, Aidan Lee, Aiden Collins, Alan Bently, Alan Mossman, Alan Sage, Alex Long, Alex Raeburn, Alice Faith Murray, Alice Lewis-Butcher, Alison Cockcroft, Allison Cumberbirch, Amanda Sultan-Black, Amy Trustram Eve, Andrew Cox, Andy Christie, Andy Freedman, Andy Stayte, Andy Treacher, Anette Holtmeyer-Cole, Angie Hill, Angie Spencer, Anita Brayford, Anita Van rossum, Anja Rowston, Ann Fallows, Anna Bonallack, Anna Ryan, Anne Wood, Annie Franklin, Annie Johnson, Annie McKean, Aurelia St Clair Barb Shep, Beki Aldam, Ben Jones, Ben Stewart, Bernard Wakefield-Heath, Bill Roberts, Bonnie Cicuttin, Brian Oosthuysen Carina Cooper, Carl Harrison, Carola Béhard, Caro Denny, Carole Oosthuysen, Caroline Beatty, Caroline Harmer, Caroline Molloy, Caroline Motzfeldt, Caroline Richards, Catherine Jones, Cerian Smith, Charles Brimacombe, Charlie Lewis, Charlotte Keen, Charmain Wilkinson, Chas Townley, Chris Fry, Chris Hey, Chris Moos, Chris Pickard, Christina Snell, Christine Lee, Christopher Whittaker, Claire Penketh, Clare Griffiths, Clare Honeyfield, Clare Hudman, Cllr Chloe Turner, Cllr Christopher Jockel, Cllr Robin Layfield, Cllr Steve Hynd, Cllr Tricia Watson, Corinna Chartier Dan Green, Dave Beaumont, Davey MacGregor, David Alcock, David Bullock, David Drew, David Haydock, David Howells, David Hudson, David Inglis, David Kaspar, David Lodwig, David Michael, David Webb, David Whitfield, Dawn Hebron, Den Donnelly, Denise Needleman, Denise Nolson, Derek Ryden, Diana Basterfield, Doina Cornell, Dominic Thomas, Dominique Alterskye, Dominique Lee, Dr Natasha Wilson, Dr Richard W. Erskine, Drew Manley Elaine Sharp, Elaine Weaving, Elizabeth Bavister, Elizabeth Lee, Elizabeth Nokes, Ella Hoskin, Elle Page, Emily Finch, Emily Hall, Emily McNair, Emma Calcutt, Emma Crofts, Emma Dunn, Erik Wilkinson, Esme Watts, Esther Carter, Eva Goddard, Eva Ward Felicity Warden, Finn Willmott, Fiona Ellis, Fran Barton, Fran Jackson, Francis Gobey, Frank Milum-Palmer, Fraser Dahdouh Gail Bradbrook, Gareth Kitchen, Gareth Thackeray, Garry Strudwick, Gavin Lindsay, Gemma Sangwine, Gemma Thomas, George Thomas, Georgia Owen, Gill Tavner, Greg Pilley Hannah Boss, Hebba Zedan, Helen Bell, Helen Bojaniwska, Helen Brent-Smith, Helen Elliott-Boult, Helen Hart, Helen Pearce, Helen Weston, Hilary Burgess, HL Butler Ian Shaw, Ianto Doyle, Imogen Shaw, Ione Mako, Iraina Clarke, Issy McDizzy Jackie Finlay, Jacky Martel, Jacqueline Stearn, Jade Bashford, Jagdish Patel, Jai Med, James Beecher, James Gumbrell, James Milroy, James Tucker, Jamie Baldwin, Jamie O’Dell, Jamila Gavin, Jane Augsburger, Jane Thomas, Jane Vernon, Jasmine Ghandour, Jason Conway, Jason Page, Jen Hoskins, Jennifer Horsfall, Jenny Kempson, Jenny Rose, Jeremy Green, Jess Lawson, Jess Lever, Jessie Hoskin, Jill Cooper, Jo Bousfield, Jo Johnson, Jodie Calcutt, Joel Levy, John Coutts, John Councer, John Wimperis, Jolyon Buckle, Josie Cowgill, Joy Jackson, Jude Smith, Jude Stockwell, Judith Large, Julia Berg, Jyoti Felce Karen Doe, Kate Buckingham, Kate Crews, Kate Harrison, Kate O’Grady, Katherine Gobey, Kathy Trevelyan, Katie Williams-Brown, Katrina Douglas, Kelly Bryant, Kerry Longia, Kevin Cranston, Kiera Jones, Kirsty Hartsiotis Lara Pohl-Martell, Laura Hazelchild, Laura Jerram, Laura Rowan, Laurence Cox, Linda Matthews, Lisa Jones, Lisa Taylor, Liz Hope, Liz Terry, Lorraine Robbins, Lucy Felce, Lucy Savvidou, Luisa Senft, Luke Coleman, Luke Inder, Lynn Haanen, Lynne Cain M A Marvan, Maaike Elliott, Malcolm Eva, Malcolm Parker, Mandy Bell, Margaret Jane Hobdell, Marina Marvan, Mark Coldrick, Mark Hewlett, Mark Rogers, Mark Stevens, Martha Sheppard, Martin Phillips, Mary Brown, Mary Holmden, Mary Omnes, Mat Stanford, Matthew Archibald, Megan Sheer, Michael A Gordon, Michelle Chatham, Michelle Petty, Mike Exley, Mike Lelliott, Mike Murray, Miranda Bursey, Miranda Pole, Miriam Yagud, Myfanwy Millward Nadia Novali, Nadine Smykatz-Kloss, Natalie Bennett, Natalie Davis, Natalie Lee, Natalie Whalley, Natasha Josette, Natasha Wilson, Neil Buick, Neil Murfitt, Nic Hill, Nick Mills, Nicky Ferguson, Niel Anderson, Nikhil Zedan, Nikki Simpson, Nils Agger, Nimue Brown, Norah Kennedy, Norman Kay Oisin Hayden Burrell, Olivia Raeburn, Owen Adams Paddy Beames, Pammy Michell, Paul Flinn, Paul Gibson, Paul May, Paul Roberts, Paul Shevlin, Paul Southcott, Paula Baker, Penny Scott, Pete Harwood, Peter Nightingale, Peter Seccombe, Phil Coysh, Polly Stratton R Pratt, Rachel Marlow, Rachel Postlethwaite, Raje Airey, Ralph Gale, Ray Holman, Rebekah Allan, Richard Austin, Richard Page, Rob Green, Robert George Kettlety, Robin Collins, Rodda G Thomas, Roger Plenty, Romneya Robertson, Rosalinde Scott-Hodgetts, Rose Harwood, Rose Wordsworth, Rosie Eva, Rosie Wingate, Rowan Schofield, Ruth Schamroth Sally Brooks, Sally Pickering, Sally-Anne Wherry, Sam Morris, Samuel Jackman, Sandi Beecher, Sarah C Jones, Sarah Dixon, Sarah Kidson, Sarah Milkar, Sarah Steele, Seb Bacon, Shani Wills, Sharon Gimpel, Sheila Orson, Shelley Rider, Shona Ward, Simon Jacobson, Simon Pickering, Stephen Baines, Stephen Podolski, Stephen Saville, Steve Harwood, Steve Hunter, Steve Jones, Steve Robinson, Steve Wilson-Copp, Steven Naumann, Sue Howell, Sue Oppenheimer, Sue Winward, Susie Long Tamsin Morris, Tanya De Leersnyder, Tara Zeal, Tarra Gilder-Rai, Terry Germaine, Terry White, Theresa Kinnison, Therese Benotmane, Thomas Brown, Timothy Kendall, Tina Cowan, Tom Berry, Tom Cleaver, Tom Medcalf, Tom MT, Tony Mason, Tosca Cabello - Watson, Trevor Hall, Tyrone Keene Uta Baldauf Vicky Boroughs, Vicky Redding Will Parker

Written by:

James Beecher
Caroline Molloy
Jeremy Green
Hannah Boss
Denise Needleman
Simon Jacobson
Pammy Michell
Paul Shevlin
Megan Sheer
Polly Stratton
Adam Horovitz

A single article in The Light with annotations