'Cancel culture' could see Harry Potter books whipped off library shelves if one person dares to complain / Dave Thomas column

Let me say straightway that Chubby Brown ain’t my cuppa tea. But I do laugh out loud at Mrs Brown.
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I enjoy Frasier, Cheers, Rising Damp, Dad’s Army, MASH, Upstart Crow and Yes Prime Minister. I’ve heard Chubby Brown and laughed at some of his stuff but wouldn’t pay to go and see him. That doesn’t mean I look down my nose in disgust at him, far from it, but he just isn’t my kind of stand-up.

I’m a Ken Dodd man. Chubby Brown is risqué, can be very offensive (to some), and certainly has no time for political correctness.

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But if he’s in Colne at the Muni in November, then good luck to him. Ah but hang on, he isn’t, the show has been cancelled even though tickets have already been sold.

Dave Thomas rails this week against the censorship of literature and comedyDave Thomas rails this week against the censorship of literature and comedy
Dave Thomas rails this week against the censorship of literature and comedy

Apparently one person complained, just ONE. And that was enough for Rose Rouse, chief executive at Pendle Council, to make the decision to cancel the show.

“We felt strongly that we should request that the Roy Chubby Brown show be cancelled in the best interests of our community.” I notice that she writes ‘we.’

So, I’m wondering just who the ‘we’ are. Or was it her sole decision?

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Whatever, be it she or they, this is a decision that is in its own way offensive. Who is ‘she’ or ‘they’ to decide what and what is not, in the best interests of the community?

‘We’ understand that the decision will disappoint some people, she said. So possibly a couple of hundred people will be disappointed because just ONE person complained.

Just what is it with some people? If you don’t like it, then don’t go. That’s how simple it is. But some woke person decides to complain and the thing is cancelled. This is one person dictating what we cannot or can see. Well two I suppose, the person that complained, and the one council person that

decided that it should be cancelled.

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The lame excuse was that this was because the venue is publicly funded. Who then to point the finger at for this crass decision? The council leader, or Rose Rouse, or the ONE complainant.

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Let’s just suppose I’m booked to do a question-and-answer evening on the 25 Burnley books I have written. Unlikely I know. But ONE person has found something offensive in one or two of them (yep, the F word), will Pendle Council, will Rose Rouse cancel me ‘in the best interests of our community?’

No one person has the right to decide what is good and bad taste. No one person has the right or role to decide what is in the best interests of the community. This is censorship. The complainant is not named but I believe they should be.

We live in an age now where comedy is censored, and literature is censored. Individuals are cancelled. What happens if just ONE person complains about J K Rowling? Will her books be removed from the local library shelves and films taken off our screens?