Yesterday I reported on Mark Brewer’s demand that I take down my Save the SPCK Booksellers page. Here’s a further extract from his C&D email detailing the other pages he wanted taking down:
I hereby demand that you cease and desist from doing any of these things any more [Editor’s Note: “these things” will be revealed later]. I specifically demand that you deactivate your webpages, websites and/or blogsites devoted to me, my brother, my family, SSG and/or SSGCT IMMEDIATELY. These include:
- http://www.christianbookshops.org.uk/news.htm#ssg060208 (Betrayed by the Brewers: Lies, Damned Lies and St Stephen the Great)
- http://www.christianbookshops.org.uk/spckdonate.htm (Support SPCK’s Booksellers, and the Phil Groom administered “fund”)
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.
I’ll look at these one at a time below, but first, for the record, I specifically deny running any websites or blogs devoted to Mark Brewer, his brother, his family, SSG and/or SSGCT. This blog in particular is not devoted to them: it is devoted to those whose livelihoods have been wrecked by this fiasco, as explained yesterday.
Now for a look at the pages he wants taking down:
This is not a page that I maintain. It is a section that is auto-generated by WordPress via their page tagging technology: tags are simply key words or phrases specified by a blog author, making it easier to group related pages together. Reviewing the pages that I have tagged ‘Mark Brewer’ (which now include this page) I have found nothing that is inappropriate or defamatory on them: it all falls within the range of legitimate reporting and fair comment.
But hey — I’m a reasonable guy: as MadPriest always says, “I could be wrong”. So another invitation for you, Mark: please identify the exact phrases and sentences you object to on those pages and explain why you find them offensive. Please post your comments either on this page or on the pages concerned. I will then review them and either clarify my position or, if I agree with your assessment, I will remove or rewrite those phrases and sentences as appropriate.
Absolutely nothing to do with me, Mark. But I understand from the owner that you haven’t even copied her in on this C&D notice. I think that’s outrageous: on what basis do your presume to instruct me to take down someone else’s blog? On what basis do you presume to do that without even communicating your intent to her?
As soon as I discovered this omission I forwarded your entire message to her. She’s not impressed, Mark. Perhaps you’d like to contact her with an apology and explanation?
Again, absolutely nothing to do with me, Mark. But I note that you did address this C&D to both myself and Clem Jackson at Christian Marketplace magazine. I was on holiday at the time, but Clem kindly phoned and told me that he’d taken care of it: thanks Clem 🙂
4. http://www.christianbookshops.org.uk/news.htm#ssg060208 (Betrayed by the Brewers: Lies, Damned Lies and St Stephen the Great)
Hmmm. I think I can see why you might get a tad upset about that, but you’ve missed out a critical bit of punctuation there, Mark: the question mark on the end. The article title is Betrayed by the Brewers: Lies, Damned Lies and St Stephen the Great? and it’s quite deliberately presented as a question, not a statement. I think it’s a perfectly legitimate question as well as a neat word play on the well known phrase, “Lies, damned lies and statistics”: we Brits love wordplay, Mark. Try saying “St Stephen the Great” and “statistics” six times quickly with a British accent and you’ll get it, I think.
Again, I’ve reviewed the page and can’t find anything in it that goes beyond legitimate reporting and fair comment. It also needs to be read in its historical context with reference to your earlier correspondence in which you assured me that trade was thriving and that all shops were open as normal. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and changed my notices against your entries as requested… then you started closing shops and firing people… In short, you betrayed my trust, Mark, or at least that’s how it felt and I think a lot of other people felt and still feel the same.
Unfortunately it was published before this blog was launched so I can’t invite you to comment directly on the article itself, but you’re more than welcome to comment on it here. Again, please identify the exact phrases and sentences you object to and explain why you find them offensive. I will then review them and either clarify my position or, if I agree with your assessment, I will remove or rewrite those phrases and sentences as appropriate.
5. http://www.christianbookshops.org.uk/spckdonate.htm (Support SPCK’s Booksellers, and the Phil Groom administered “fund”)
I think I’ve made my opinion and feelings clear about that one, Mark: your demand that I remove that page only reinforces my sense of betrayal outlined above and I remain “incandescent with rage” (a splendid way of saying it: thank you). My invitation to you to make a substantial donation to the fund by way of apology is still open.