Hi everyone, I’m back to quickly address some of the crazy stuff that’s been going on over the last few days. I don’t want this blog to get bogged down on a single issue, but wanted to have a quick word about this.
So there’s a movement afoot, started by some readers here, to try to get the former Gala bingo hall / Odeon cinema given to us Camberwellians as a community/cultural centre; the new owners are an evangelical Christian organisation, and some people who I assume are members of their congregation have made some decidedly un‐Christian threats and hinted at racism from those opposed to them taking over; to which some people have decided to respond, not always fairly.
First of all I want to make clear that opinions on this blog should always be considered to be opinions of individuals and not representative of any group or organisation, unless explicitly stated.
And while I don’t censor comments, I would advise people simply to not get sucked into un‐winnable arguments because they have a nasty habit of escalating; just say your piece, perhaps give a response to clarify that piece, and step back. Let people who make snide or unfair comments hang themselves with their own words.
As for the campaign — which I broadly support — I would like to state that, despite my general antipathy to organised religion, I’ve never interfered in their business before, and probably never will after. To me this is not a campaign to stop a church, this is a campaign to gain something for everyone in Camberwell, not just those of a certain denomination.
There is a dearth of good public space in the area, less still spaces to host art or events. The Gala building is a fantastic opportunity that only comes up once in a lifetime, and we need to do our best to seize it. There just aren’t any comparable spaces around; I mean, there are the former Council buildings on Peckham Rd, but Southwark are busy flogging those off to property developers.
So in my view this is not a negative campaign, it’s a positive one, and that’s what I wanted to make clear.
For those who aren’t interested in this at all, I hope we’ll be back to the usual topics soon; The Tiger officially opens on Wednesday, if anyone wants to volunteer to review it.
And for those who are tempted to get involved in debating with the trolls, just remember this: