Daily Archives: August 11, 2008

I am not Dave Walker

At the end of last week the number of members in the We Support Dave Walker facebook group went over the 400 mark: as I write the membership is at 433 and climbing, higher than the original SPCK facebook group. I, Phil Groom, was added to the group’s admin team last week and I sent the message below to all group members on Friday afternoon, 08/08/2008, simply to introduce myself and outline what I see as the critical issues.

If you’re a facebook member and have not yet joined the group, please do show your solidarity with Dave and the rest of us by signing up, preferably to both groups!

The invitation to contact me, either via facebook or via the Contact Phil page on this blog remains open to all visitors. If you have information about any of the current shops, about workers or suppliers who the St Stephen the Great Trust or Messrs Phil and J Mark Brewer have not yet paid, or would like to take the opportunity this blog provides to tell your own story, please do get in touch or, of course, leave your comments on any page as and where appropriate.

To: All members of the We Support Dave Walker facebook group
Hi. I figured since David has kindly made me a group admin I ought to introduce myself and outline what I see as the important issues. If you haven’t read ‘My Story’ yet you might like to start there to find out how I became embroiled in this fiasco: 

So who am I? 
I’m a bookseller, currently employed by London School of Theology. I’m also a member of the Executive Committee of the Booksellers Association’s Christian Booksellers Group (BACBG), which happens to be the BA’s biggest specialist booksellers group. 

I also run the UK Christian Bookshops Directory, UKCBD, for which I am blogger, reviews editor and webmaster:

And I’m  a regular columnist for Christian Marketplace magazine, for which I write website reviews and other ad-hoc articles.

Finally, I’m the guy who set up the SPCK/SSG blog, https://spckssg.wordpress.com

What’s this all about?
To me, the key things are:
• Justice for the (ex-)SPCK/SSG booksellers and unpaid suppliers
• The right to free speech
• Keeping information available

What do I hope to achieve?
• Payment of unpaid wages and invoices
• Honest reporting and open discussion
• Full reinstatement of Dave’s missing posts and comments

There’s much more I could say. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a ‘C&D’ notice, especially from someone like J Mark Brewer with all the resources of his own law firm available, you’ll appreciate the impact that can have: stomach clenching anxiety as you think about the possible implications… loss of sleep… not eating properly. Believe me, it’s not a good place to be,

But then the adrenalin kicks in: it’s fight or flight. My gut instinct was to flee, but I’ve chosen to fight. Maybe that’s foolish: time will tell. However this pans out, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has stood beside me so far: thank you. Special thanks in particular to Matt Wardman and David Keen.

I know that there are some high-profile people in this group: top-notch journalists, high-flyers in the church, people with legal expertise, high-profile bloggers. I’d like to urge you, please, to do whatever you can to give this ongoing coverage via your media contacts. Remember, it could have been you on the receiving end of these threats. It could have been you that had your article pulled from your paper. If anyone wants to contact me privately, you can do so here within facebook or via the blog.

Finally: for some light relief —

check out the Cartoon Competition that I launched on Wednesday this week:

There’s been one hilarious entry already:

Competition closes when we get an entry from Dave Walker.

Thanks for reading,