Mark Brewer says, “Remove this page. Immediately.”

Which page, you ask? Well five pages, actually, specified in an email he sent on July 21st whilst I was on holiday. I’ll probably tell you about the others later, if somebody else doesn’t beat me to it. But it’s his demand that I remove the fifth one on his list of supposedly offensive pages that really has me riled:

5. http://www.christianbookshops.org.uk/spckdonate.htm (Support SPCK’s Booksellers, and the Phil Groom administered “fund”)

And if I don’t remove it?

If you do not do so; i.e., remove your websites by noon GMT July 22, 2008, I will seek an injunction against you, your colleagues, associates and companies.  I also will take legal action against each of you for damages for libel.  In that event, I will also subpoena all records relating to the persons whom you have allowed to post defamatory material on your website in order to add them as defendants.

Mark Brewer

So it’s not just me he’s gonna get, dear people: it’s you, if you’ve posted “defamatory material” on my website. As well as my “colleagues, associates and companies”. That’s a lot of people he’s threatening. But since, to the best of my knowledge, no one has posted any “defamatory material” on my website — on any of my websites, for that matter — I wouldn’t get too stressed if I were you. And the deadline’s been and gone, of course…

A friend commented on a remarkable coincidence: the date of that deadline is the same day that Randy W Williams issued his motion to dismiss SSG’S file for liquidation. 

But I am now so very, very angry. How dare Mr Brewer target the very page that I set up to raise funds to support the people whose livelihoods have been destroyed by this fiasco??

It's fun to shop...

My only interest in this situation throughout has been to support these people, and (although hopes for this faded some time ago) to try and salvage something from the ruin that SSG has made of the former SPCK bookshops. Why? Because as Dave Walker kept reminding us, “It’s fun to shop at the SPCK”.

As you’ll see from my earlier correspondence with Mr Brewer — you’ll find it here — I’ve invited Mr Brewer to send me up to date details about the shops several times so that I can help to promote them and help people to find them.

And this outrageous demand to remove my Save the SPCK Booksellers page is his response!

Mr J Mark Brewer: I put it to you that this demand is malicious. I put it to you that the accusations you have made against me in your emails are libellous and defamatory and have no basis in fact.

I invite you, publicly, to retract this demand, to apologise and, as a gesture of good will, to make an immediate donation of £100,000 to the  Save the SPCK Booksellers fund, for redistribution to the booksellers whose livelihoods have been wrecked.

Only then will I be convinced that you have not deliberately set out to undermine these good people.

Thank you.

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31 responses to “Mark Brewer says, “Remove this page. Immediately.”

  1. Pingback: Ministry of Truth » Blog Archive » J Mark Brewer revisited (updated)

  2. Pauline Edwards

    Well Mr Brewer, seems to have a lot to say for himself now he’s on the receiving end, but when he’s workers were on the receiving end of he’s actions, sacked by email, with no wages, he still remains silent. Mr Brewer to gain respect, you have to give respect, treat people the way you want to be treated.

  3. Don’t be intimidated. Your posts are clearly “fair use” and he will be laughed out of court.

  4. Phil,
    Would you be good enough to contact me at the email address above regarding a comment I posted yesterday? Thanks!

  5. As for his attempt to subpoena the addresses of those who have posted he will have to get around our Information Commissioner who is increasingly vocal and powerful about the transfer of data to third parties, especially those outside the European Economic Area where “adequate protection” is not in place. This includes the US.

    The Data Protection Act 1998 is absolutely clear that data which includes people’s religious persuasion, which could reasonably be implied by their caring about the fate of SSG / SPCK, ( at least until very recent developments which have got those are bothered simply from a freedom of speech point of view involved) can only be processed with their explicit permission. It is worth remembering that this definition of “sensitive data” includes also trades union affiliation, political views, sexual orientation etc. The Directive behind the Act was written by Europeans people who had personal memories of people being persecuted simply because they had expressed an opinion, or adopted a particular set of beliefs or lifestyles.

    So if you were to be required to provide this information by a US court this would be in direct conflict with UK legislation on data protection, since you could not assume that their disclosure to you of their email addresses constituted permission to give that data to anyone else. So you would have to ask all the posters if they minded you giving their information to Mr Brewer. And I imagine that at least some would withhold that permission (nor could you assume their tacit approval if they did not reply.)

    If you refused to divulge this data on grounds of compliance with the data protection act then he would then have to seek a ruling from the Information Tribunal as to whether you could be forced to divulge this information. That might take some time…. and would, I am sure, be strongly opposed by the Information Commissioner.

    In the meantime Mr Private Citizen Brewer should get to grips with our privacy laws.

    And, for avoidance of doubt, I do not on any condition give you permission to divulge my email address to Mr Brewer or anyone associated with him ;)

  6. Cheers, Furious: for the record, I do not regard the USA courts as having jurisdiction over me here in the UK. Whilst I reserve the right to remove, republish or reuse comments as I see fit, I absolutely do not regard myself as having any right to divulge anyone’s personal details unless so required under UK law. And even then it wouldn’t be without a fight.

    All I ask is that people heed the guidelines in the Important: Please Read page.

    Thank you, one and all :)

  7. Phil, I thought you might appreciate this link – http://web.archive.org/web/20040509154520/www.ststephenfoundation.org/html/why_orthodoxy.html

    Which is the foundation which the Brewers set up before getting involved in the SPCK. According to this, they believe the rest of us are destined for the pit.

    OK, we’ve all probably said some stupid things online in the past, but it would be interesting to note whether their opinions have changed.

  8. ‘defamatory material’

  9. justflyingkites

    I do not wish to minimise any threat J. Mark Brewer might pose. I just want to point out that anybody who has worked for him or supplied his shops will be used to his rants. A ranting e-mail to a supplier had me in stitches. Glad to see Pauline Edwards back. Those Birmingham workers have done a lot in seeking redress through Acas. The anonymous letter to the US court came from Birmingham. I’m not suggesting that it came from the workers. It just proves that the Brummies have spirit.

  10. Pauline Edwards

    Thanks justflyingkites, yes it was me that sent the letter to US courts, there you go Mr Brewer it was me, and if I hear anything else they need to know, I will let them know. Looking forward to meeting you in court Mr Brewer, you are no longer by boss, your just a bloke who’s got my wages, and i want them back!!!

  11. ezlxq: you have posted ‘defamatory material’ on my website. This is extremely mischievous behaviour. Naughty naughty: SLAPPed wrist!

  12. justflyingkites

    I’ve always felt the Brummies had spirit. All my friends have said, “it must have been Pauline”.

  13. I took this from the ststephenfoundation link that joe posted…

    “What was wrong and sinful two thousand years ago is still wrong and sinful no matter what we may like to believe or others may say. ”

    You would hope that people understand what they write….

    Maybe “Old Man Tex” will send himself a Cease Demand based on this…?

  14. Is it defamatory to call this American jerk “a fat tub of lard”? I hope so, then he can sue me.

  15. I can’t believe the balls on this guy – what a power mongering jack ass. Just plug your ears and humm – nothing but smoke there.

  16. Pingback: Other pages Mark Brewer says I must take down « SPCK/SSG: News, Notes & Info

  17. Fr David and Tom: welcome. For the official record, however, I am obliged to respond as I did to ezlxq: this is extremely mischievous behaviour. Naughty naughty: SLAPPed wrists!

    You’ll find why I am obliged to so respond later…

  18. Pauline Edwards

    David, you gave me a good laugh this morning, I had tears rolling down my face. I watched Charles Dickens, ‘A Christmas Carol’ yesterday, for anyone who don’t know the story its about Ebenezer Scrooge and his partner Jacob Marley who ran a company together. Bob Cratchit, who worked for them, he was down trodden by them, its about chains and money boxes, vistors at christmas etc, a very good film, you need to watch it.

  19. I hope Pauline is reading this because I would like to know how much stock was left in the Birmingham shop. I’ve heard that an incredible amount of stock is ready to be moved from Birmingham. If anyone else knows of a shop that has closed recently could you let us know. Also is the “Worchester” shop still open?

  20. Is the “Worchester” shop still open? See here.

  21. I know I’ve asked this a few times now……but Mr Brewer, can you give an example of ANYTHING that has been said about your business activities regarding the Bookshops that isn’t TRUE? Go on,just give us one….? (even a little one will do…)

  22. Pauline Edwards

    Hi Asingleblog, Birmingham had got lots of stock in the shop when they closed it, there are books, cards, posters, roseries,candles,icons, everything, we just had a delivery of stock 2 days before we got the email to close the shop.

  23. Thanks Pauline, it was important to know that stock was not being moved from Worcester.

  24. Stand up to this bully . . .

  25. Pingback: The Dave Walker Reposts « UKCBD: The Christian Bookshops Blog

  26. Pingback: Exigency In Specie / Learning the Lessons

  27. Pingback: Cease and Desist: 6 Months On « SPCK/SSG: News, Notes & Info

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