Daily Archives: November 14, 2008

Lone Star Bar-B-Cued Goose: Christmas Recipe

Matt Wardman writes:

I’ve had a bit of a break from writing on SPCK so I thought I’d pop up again to report that Mr Mark Brewer is back from his trip hunting Feral Geese in the Texas Bankruptcy Court.


Rather than persuading the rest of us to chase a Wild Goose , he has ended up cooking his own Goose instead, because he has now accepted censure (transcript) from the Bankruptcy Court for his attempt – which he has accepted was incompetent – to take a UK Charity into Bankruptcy in the USA. Even though this whole thing feels like the Myth of Sisyphus , I still like this bit:

ORDERED that J. Mark Brewer shall complete a minimum of ten (10) hours of Continuing Legal Education (‘CLE’) in a course on bankruptcy law approved by the State Bar of Texas on or before six (6) months from entry of an order approving the compromise and file a sworn notice of completion in this case within ten (10) days from completion; on or before the expiration of ten (10) days of the date of this order; it is further,

ORDERED that any such CLE shall contain a minimum of two (2) hours of CLE approved for ethics.

Personally, I’d also suggest a course in 1st Grade Geography. Let me help:


The North Atlantic Ocean in the middle is surprisingly large and hard to miss.

A New Issue for the Charity Commission

That censure by the Bankruptcy Court puts a brand new issue into play in the UK:

Can somebody who is clearly so incompetent in his own specialism as to apply for Bankruptcy in the wrong country be considered a fit and proper person to be a running a UK Charity?

We’ll return to this in more detail later, but we can also report that the UK Charity Commission started a “formal inquiry under section 8 of the Charities Act 1993” into the Society of Saint Stephen the Great during September after receiving a number of “expressions of concern” into the management of the charity over a period of time.

Remembering Our Aims

I’ve been following the saga of the SPCK rundown for nearly a year now, and it still hurts to watch. None of us are doing this for kicks, so I thought it would be useful to reprise the aims I set out when I became involved in July:

1 – We wish to make it very clear to Mark Brewer and everybody else that trying to shut down comment, critique and reporting in the way he has is not acceptable, and just will not work. We aim to ensure he gets more publicity than he ever had before this point.

2 – We want to make sure that the material Dave Walker published remains in the public domain, to help address the SPCK case.

3 – We want to try and make sure that the SPCK case is properly documented and investigated.

4 – We wish to strengthen the movement to reform the UK Libel Laws.

Of these aims, 1 continues to happen, 2 is achieved, 4 is being addressed by more people than before and the SPCK SSG Newsblog is the main support to number 3: to ensure that the SPCK case is properly and thoroughly scrutinised and documented.

Involving Regulators and Parliament

The Texas bankruptcy attempt is now out of the way, and the SPCK/SSG case can now be dealt with where it belongs: in the UK Courts, under various UK regulators and law enforcement agencies for the various different corporate entities that have been created in this process.

There is now a need for us (and you, dear reader) to begin requesting our MPs, representatives and rgulatory bodies to make sure that proper scrutiny is applied. There were 23 bookshops in the chain, and just for a start that is 23 MPs who should be interested.

We are now working to collate the evidence we have for submission to whomsoever needs it for their investigations.

Watch this space for further developments, but I’d encourage you to start pushing your own representatives around your local issues as and when you have the opportunity.