This is a scandal that Waterstones gives in to a religious bully and fanatic. I won’t be shopping in Waterstones from now, that’s for sure.
They’re still stocking the book though, to their credit. I suppose they didn’t want their customers being harrassed by a bunch of ludicrous zealots “witnessing”! Don’t take this buffoon too seriously, it gives him and his Mickey-Mouse organisation publicity that he doesn’t deserve.
It should by now be very obvious to all that the number one threat to gay rights and freedom of expression is coming yet again from the religiously inclined.
I’ve always used Waterstones on a regular basis but will no longer be doing so and will be sending an email to this effect.
Until we make our voices heard and the gay community begins to defend its rights this will continue to happen as unfortunately it doesnt look like religion is gong anywhere soon
I’m writing to the person Green recommends (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell him that not only do I deplore his actions but that I’ve just ordered the book from amazon.
Hope it’s a good rad :-)
Good on you Jim, I will follow your example. i wish organisations like Waterstones had the courage to stand up to Bigots like Stephen Green. He can’t actually cause that much trouble, otherwise he would be arrested. Waterstones stores have security guards so if this idiot had caused any real trouble he could have been detained/ejected. Complete cowardice on their part!
Patrick Jones should also be congratulated because regardless of Waterstones pulling the plug he still attended and signed copies of his book in the street for those that had turned up…
I’d urge anyone thinking of buying a book this Christmas for themselves or as a gift to shop anywhere apart from Waterstones – or for that matter antything from HMV, their parent company. perhaps that will send a message to them that we as a community will not tolerate their pandering to bigots like Green. I’m going to email them now, like Jim and Andy, and suggest we all do the same.
I have always said religon causes war and not people I think this man is nuts he is calling on christian people to go to war againts gay people Bring it on I would love to see all the vicors and there drag queen lovers take on the congrgation.. what a laugh it would be.
they say homaphobia is mainly cause because men can not cope with there own gay thoughts, Its about time he gave into the fact hes gay and let go of all his sexual frustration.
he spends his life fighting gay people for the simple reason he can not find a man himself and to be honest who would have him. apart from the rent boys he sees on a regular basis.
he wants a war give him one I would pay to see him egged and flowered at the next pride event maybe its time we bully him the way he verbally bullies us.
It won’t surprise your readers to know that bloggers, including me, have been having a go at this outrageous cowardice on the part of Waterstone’s (see http://ptt-blog.blogspot.com/2008/11/poetic-injustice.html; http://ptt-blog.blogspot.com/2008/11/poetic-injustice-part-ii.html and http://ptt-blog.blogspot.com/2008/11/poetic-injustice-part-iii.html). Two of these posts carry the email address of the MD of Waterstone’s, and I actually got a reply out of him. It may be worthwhile standing up for freedom of expression and emailing him. His phone number and that of his boss are on the later two of those three posts, too. Let’s see if we can turn this into a campaign. Christian Voice do just that.
Gerry Johnson (Waterstone’s MD) can be phoned on 020 8742 3800 or emailed at email@example.com. His boss is Simon Fox of HMV. Get him on 020 7432 2000.
I’ve just created a facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34893103546
Let’s join together to send Waterstone’s and HMV an extra pre-Christmas present!
It is a sad state of affairs when adverse commnent on this is left to a heterosexual organisation – the National Secular Society – of which, by the way, I am a staunch supporter.
Why aren’t OutRage!, Stonewall or the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) making their voices heard?
Agree with you George that Outrage and Stonewall should take a stand but the National Secular society isn’t straight or gay, I’m a supporter too…but i know what you mean. They are very good at standing up to all religious intolerence aimed at gays or others
Isn’t it about time someone put Stephen Green’s address on the internet? If he wants to fight dirty, I say if it’s sauce for the goose, it’s sauce for the gander.
Can’t say how up to date it is
01994 484 544 / 07931 490050
Its been freely available for a long time…
I am requesting my local Waterstone complain to their HW about this. Have also requested that local store host Mr Jones as part of a UK tour once HQ apologises and re-instates the cardiff event. Local police should be on hand if Green tries anything.
Also have written to my MP asking him to take this up with Culture Minister urgently.
Waterstones cannot be allowed to get away with this or who’s next ???
Below is a letter I just wrote to Stephen Green:
I am a gay Christian. I have read about your Pharisaical crusade against innocent people. Being gay, I first thought I was this terrible sinner condemned to hell because of lies people like you tell in God’s name. I was forced to wrestle with the living God, and after many years I saw how much He loves me and that He blesses same-sex marriage.
You refuse to enter the Kingdom of God and you shut the door to millions of others. Jesus Christ will hold you accountable just as He held the Pharisees accountable. You can continue to choose ignorance and to read God’s word superficially instead of studying it. That is your choice and it is a choice for which you will answer to God at the Great White Throne Judgement. However, it never was and never will be your right to deny me the freedom to practise my faith in my God, Lord and Saviour and what I have come to learn from Him and of Him, both from His word and through personal encounters. I would never deny you your right to believe any rubbish you choose to believe but I will resist you in prayer and by other means the moment you try to take away from any of God’s children any rights He has given to them.”
To those GLBT people who believe religion is evil: you are right. Christians oppose religion but I doubt some of you would have heard that before or understand how deeply we truly hate religion and how badly we want it destroyed. I become angry with Christians, real and fake, who persecute others in God’s name (GLBT people are not their only victims) but I become equally angry with those GLBT people who choose ignorance as well over reason and then decide to hate every person who calls themselves Christian, even those who have offered their lives that others might live. (Just my rant about prejudice and wilful ignorance on both sides)
I am totally disgusted at Waterstones caving in to this fascist Christian. If anyone heard the radio interview with Green and Jones it showed Green up as the bully and bigot he is. I too will be boycotting Waterstones.
Neither Waterstones, nor Green can be allowed to get away with bans or threats.
I’ve written already to the firm’s HQ demanding an apology and re-instatement of the event.. and more.
Written to my MP requesting he take the matter up urgently with the Culture Minister. Michael Howard -old clammy hands -though, but he’s mellowed a bit last couple of years)
Emailled round to local lgbt community asking they act on this, also local Green/Lib Dem Party’s etc. (Local Labour is a load of neo-con twats round here)
Written to my local store requesting they coplian themselves to their HQ AND asking them to host Mr Jones, when matter resolved as a one- off, or part of a tour, if he’s avaialble, during LGBT History Month.
The more complaints and pressure we, and our friends, can mount the better.
I do not really blame Waterstones, they are trying to protect their customers and staff from this malicious threat. Perhaps they may have request Police protection and it may have been denied, we do not really know what happened behind the scenes.
One thing I am sure, this man carries some kind of insanity, since he cannot keep his religious beliefs for himself. I would suggest, either to place him in psychiatric care, jail him or in last resort send him to one of the remote British Realms, either St Helena or the Pitcairn Islands, they are places difficult to get out of.
An organization who gives into a bigot, is only asking for more of the same, whenever this idiot doesn’t like something.
If he is to be an example of modern christianity- its time for the christian church to be laid to rest permanently, as not a religion, but a hate group, who uses fear as a mean to get what they want.
The bookstore isn’t without fault; you can’t give into idiots, or they never go away.
“The Lord had not even showed me what we should do at Waterstone’s, only that it should be Christlike,” he told the BBC.
Maybe nailing him to a wooden cross would fit the bill? Seems to fit with his Jesus complex anyhow…
This religious lunatic and others like him are attacking the most basic principles of the Enlightenment that are the foundations of a free society.
As books are the first things to be burned when free thinking comes under attack, Waterstone’s ought to know better.
Stephen Green has the Christian voice but not citizen voice !!!!
I doubt if a boycott will have any effect. Look at the Heinz advertisement debacle several weeks ago, didn’t hurt them one iota and still it didn’t restore the advertisement. The right wing religious nutters in the U.S. tried a boycott of Disneyworld because of its pro-gay stand to no avail. It didn’t work and I doubt if this will either, unfortunately.
Waterstones must stand up to bullying. I shall not be using them now as a booksupplier.
We’re boycotting the wrong people… if you want to tackle this one, look to the source of the problem. Boycott Stephen Green everywhere he goes and make him eat his own pamphlets.
I used to be a bookseller – it’s a put-upon, poorly paid job. I had enough to do without being forced into the front line of a battle for free speech. If I worked in Cardiff Waterstone’s, I’d be very thankful to my manager for not putting me in the middle of this ridiculous charade. Can we get a grip please? Waterstone’s is absolutely packed with people like us, take it from me. And guys – Amazon are the company that are killing the book industry, so less of the knee-jerk.
It matters not how much you are paid or how put upon you are. It is the explicit individual responsibility of each and every one of us to stand up and defend the principles of a free society. Otherwise, with surprising speed and almost before we know it, we end up with the dictatorship or facist theocracy we deserve for being so lazy and cowardly.
Freedoms are not given. They are hard fought for. When won, they need eternal vigilance lest they are taken away. Nothing comes for free. There is always a price to pay. The trick is to act soon when the cost is the mere inconvenience of an e-mail or an unpleasant confrontation. Otherwise, the price goes up and can eventually require your life.
Of course you can always keep you head down and let others do the fighting. But the book burners will get around to you eventually and when there is nobody left to help you.
And there ends my (non-religious) sermon for the day…….
I think Ivan’s post hits the nail on the head. Rather than wading in with my own opinions & especially as this controversy stems from poetry; here’s a poem for the day
“They came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”
Martin Niemoller (1892 – 1984)
Survivor, Dachau concentration camp
I should congratulate Mr Green for bringing this book of poetry to my attention by his actions…..now I, like I hope many others, will go and seek it out to buy and read it, wherever it is for sale. Publicity moves in mysterious ways!
Perfect poem, evancosmo. Waterstones shouldn’t have given in to this man because it’ll only cause them trouble in future. What did they think Green would do? Why didn’t they have security outside to ban him from the shop or harrassing customers? I can’t believe Waterstones has never dealt with protesters before, particularly in big cities like London and Birmingham. They should have let his protest go ahead then he’d have seen that most people think he’s a lunatic, and he would hopefully have got arrested for breach of the peace. Vile bigot.
The action by Waterstones is really stupid and bad publicity for them – Does this not remind everyone of the same homophobic acts that Heinz bows down to with the Deli Mayo Advert … take my lead and simply don’t eat Heinz products, encourage gay and all outlets not to serve or offer either, and also use other bookstores instead of Waterstones – I just chopped up my Waterstones loyalty card – bonfire anyone else?
And Stephen Green? Hehehe – he’s more gay the the rest of us – going to all those prides ;-) , critizing art – this queen’s got a big lip :-P xx
I don’t blame Waterstone’s at all and think everyone is exagerating their part in this. Do not forget that they are stocking the book and were about to hold the event. We don’t know the full store here, but by pulling out at the last minute they at least stopped Stephen Green a soap box opportunity while they continue to stock Patrick Jones’ book.
It’s maybe a shame that the event didn’t take place, but at least Jones and his work were protected from another publicity hikack by Christian Voice. In the circumstances, I think the bookshop made the right move. The book is still on sale, they support Gay and Lesbian writing and their actions stopped someone from having a direct negative impact on anothers publicity. I think Mr Johnson faced a difficult situation and has made the best of a situation that none of us would want to face.
I still say take this fight directly to Stephen Green and see how he likes a taste of his own medicine. This vile bigot appears to be made of teflon, barring that one well guided birddropping, which he misconstrued as a message from god not to give interviews (strange how he forgot said lesson). It’s time we all upped the ante.
Actually, having checked the message board on Richard Dawkins’ website, my position on this has shifted slightly.
It appears that prior to the publication and book reading, the author directly contacted Stephen Green with a letter including provocative ‘edited highlights’ of his book combined with a thinly veiled jibe at Green’s intelligence and notification of the forthcoming launch, which given Green’s track record could only have been intended to provoke a deliberate shitstorm.
While I still have no respect for Stephen Green whatsoever, on this occasion Patrick Jones appears to be engaged in a cynical attempt to raise the profile of his book by stirring up needless controversy and giving Stephen Green another excuse to shoot his mouth off in public, which frankly doesn’t benefit anyone. Under the circumstances, I think Waterstones were within their rights to cancel the reading, as the protest was knowingly engineered by the author as a cynical publicity stunt.
Hate to say it, but Jones provoked Green on this occasion and lost the moral highground because of that.
Has anyone heard of the Angels from America, as we should do the same with Stephen Green and stop him from speaking, he seems not to like freedome of speach then lets play his angels against him, any one know how to make Angel outfits so that we can seround him and stop him from speaking, It worked for the Matthew Sheppard case come on UK lets get working against this threat to freedom of speach lets stop him.
We should be taking the fight to Stephen Green and protesting his work place and home. Green feels these are legitimate targets for attacks on others. So why not use his own tactics on him.
Maybe we should be also protesting the sale of the object of oppression sold in all Waterstones stores mainly the Bible.
I agree with Abi that Stephen Green is worth boycotting, but given the background to Patrick Jones’s case, I wouldn’t attempt to make political mileage out of this as it’s likely to undermine our credibility and backfire badly. Wait until Green finds another homophobic cause, it’s only a matter of time.
That’s what annoys me about Patrick Jones, there’s so much about Stephen Green you could legitimately complain about, why orchestrate a boycott under false pretenses that you’re the victim? The only possible reason is publicity for a book no-one would have noticed otherwise…
As for boycotting the Bible, though I’m an atheist, pragmatically that would only help Stephen Green’s attempts to label us all as loony militants. I prefer to simply point out how patchy and inconsistant it is, and take a highlighter pen to the book of Leviticus. Some things don’t need to be mocked, merely repeated.
i just feel i need to clarify my position here asi feel the real issue is being lost- waterstones sent a press release blaming myself- i sent an email to cv and muslim parliament, the army, on 2nd nov three poems and short note – it is something i do- no big agenda and i certainyl did not think cv would threaten waterstones ( they were the only group that did) and then waterstones submit- never- it is jsut the way i work- i once sent a poem to combat 18′s forum that challenged their view of asylum seekers- i do a lot of writing projects with various communitites and individuals and certain poems grow out of that work– bit naive maybe- i know- anyway then it al lwent out of control- i do not feel my emails caused the reaction- i get emails al lthe time jehovah’s call on my door fuck you only have to be gay or piss the wrong way and green is provoked- the book contains poems about my struggle to leave a violent female partner it challenges the uk’s war on terror it attacks militant muslim organisations, a poem about israeli actions against qana- another- mankind that tlaks of how we should deal with the cultural and islamic practice of female genital mutilation- i hav put so much effort into the book- ok maybe it wasnt the best way forward – i m sorry but please do not green walk away from this the injured party- i did nto expect this i want the book reading to go ahead- green and cv have threatened al lthe places i have read and will read my poems at but they will not submit- does anyone want to know about that- is there a press release detailing that- i started this in defence of homosexuality and green’s attitude angered me so please show some support as i want to debate with green show him up for what he is-
thank you for listening- be safe
i didn’t orchestrate a boycott- is letting him know about a reading now deemed provocation? i feel the real issue is being forgotten- i didn’t claim to be a victim just that green made waterstones cancel my reading- 5 hours before it was due to host it?- how can you orchestrate something with an email- that was sent to other places on the 2nd nov– i am a writer i aim to challenge- the poems are what provoked him as is being gay as is inviting an atheist poet to read his poems- we need to show him up for what he is- who is doing it? -
again, keep up the debate- maybe read the poems then decide- my soul is in that book!!
(for waris dirie)
drenched in righteuousness
spitting venom upon innocent skin
steeped in indignity
an egotist’s litany
with rusted knives
with thorns of masculinity
the mouth clings to memory
as blood in dirt
an indelible history
drowned in theocracy
even diamonds slip to insignificance
as the price of purity
rises as does
the perpetual misery
be it religion or cultural
that shape the fear of the clitoral
all are evil and genocidal
drenched in morality
upon decrepid ritual
Patrick – good to get your perspective on events. However, RichardDawkins.net is not known for being sympathetic to the fundamentalist cause, in fact quite the reverse. Normally they like to check the reports from as many sources as possible before jumping to conclusions and after a sometimes heated debate, the concensus on the 5th page of the debate was that you’d deliberately rattled Green’s cage with a thinly veiled insult to his intelligence in full expectation of a boycott.
The relevant web address is:
I draw your attention to this post, maintaining that you posted this on MySpace:
hi- i am waging a word war with an evil organsiation called- christian voice led by the ever so saintly and ever so bigotted stephen green
they truly are a frightening group of people- hating all who do not share their belief in the invisible man in the sky-
anyway in my new book i have quite a few anti religious works that aim to cause dialogi=ue and debate from certain religious quarters andi want to flush these christian voice people out of their pews- so have a read of the article below and check out their site
www. christianvoice. org. uk
and i was wodnering if we coudl play a little trick- would anyone be willing to email them warning of my impending book and poetry reading in cardiff and how it contains anti religious poems and i criticise stephen green and that they shoudl do soemthing about it-
if we al lwrite and attack them theyll close down and hide but if we are a little subtle we can get them out and expose them for what they are-
thanks fellow free thinkers
Now if that was the case, it’s a tad disingenuous to maintain your status as an innocent bystander caught up in another Stephen Green hate campaign. For sure the guy’s a jerk and no-one here has anything good to say about him, but as I said before assuming these reports weren’t made up, you can’t provoke him to come to your booklaunch with deliberate intent and then play the victim card when he does his inevitable boycott.
Hate to say it mate, but if you were behind this you just gave Stephen Green a whole bunch of new ammunition (he’ll tell everyone that you orchestrated this, and you won’t have a leg to stand on)plus the moral highground (and we all know how much he likes that).
It would have been far better just to wait for him to boycott your work of his own accord without a ‘red rag to a bull’-ish letter or e-mail and then if he decided to do so you’d have a legitimate free speech issue. Bigots like Green don’t need prompting to look like bigoted assholes, they can do that all by themselves and when they do you can picket them AND maintain the moral highground.
I wish you well with your poems, but try to be a bit more careful what you do about the press release, as it harms our credibility too.
so does that mean from now on anyone can claim provocation from any medium and then go about doing whatever they wish- surely that is abhorrent to most of us- i did not claim to be a victim i said – this is wrong and can happen to anyone no matter how one party hears of the art in question- if the piss christ artist invites stephen green along to an exhibition then is he culpable for provocation? unless we stand up to these bigots and bullies then they will continue- and words are my weapon and i choose to do whatever i want with them as you can but no matter how he heard about it- it was his actions his bullying and threatening tactics led to the launch- no other group complained- he is till doing it to al lthe venues i am reading at- i have had emails from people saying i am anti christian- no i am anti religion and there are many poems that reflect this and take on islam, the jewish religion and others- why not have a debate? where is the role of the agent provocateur in today;s society- i am surprised so many so called radicals are missing the point- the book is out, the launch never happened Cv still attack close down readings- who is next- and again i am not a gay man but stand up for anyone who is threatened by such a bigoted bully-i was bullied for 10 years in school and will not tolerate such acts and am doing my own little bit to speak that is all in my own tongue poetry and however that is heard my choice and so why not do that yourself- why not let people know about an event? surely they have the right to know- but surely they should not have the power to do what they did- stephen green is beign exposed for what he is why not join that debate- it is a book of poems that covers many different issues and my own struggle- again i emailed many different organisation unsympathetic to my work- havent you ever heard of the surrealists dada ginsberg punk’s ethos and spirit- spread the word of joy love freedom soul questions peace- why not – if other people choose to destroy then we should be asking THEM why not the author-
i welcome this debate
twist your face
until it offends you
a disfigured appraisal
that fills their holes
the thoughts of suicide
that keep you alive
a much mauled mirror maze
of insecured paths
that lead nowhere
under the gawp gaze of cloned masculinity
stay stay stay
fight the thin air
Patrick – Thanks for the swift reply. I too welcome this debate. OK perhaps you weren’t playing the victim card and you see yourself as “Agent Provocateur”. That’s fine. I don’t mind you rattling Stephen Green’s cage in principle, it’s a cage that deserves a good rattle.
The credibility gap comes when you go on Welsh TV claiming that he’s infringing your freedom of speech when you must have expected him to do just that when you sent him the letter (or was it an e-mail) in conjunction with a book launch. You can see how I wouldn’t need to be the most cynical person in the world to link ‘Booklaunch’ and ‘giant calculated publicity stunt’ together in my head, and regretably I’m not the only one that made the connection. If you’d attacked Green in any other context, it would stand by itself as an attack on a vile fundamentalist bigot. But to try to make bigger claims about free speech in the full knowledge that you must’ve known what he’d do when you posted the letter, just by the most cursory glance at his CV, well it just doesn’t sit well. If you’re trying to make a valid point about someone elses questionable morals it doesn’t help if you’re secretly provoking them on the side, not unless you make it clear that’s what you’re attempting to all concerned from the outset (including Waterstones, the BBC, Green himself).
It’s like watching Steve Irwin sit on a crocodile and then stand back in false alarm when it lunges for him.
Rather more elegant is the Louis Theroux approach of simply acting as a dispassionate observer and giving the subject enough rope to hang themselves with. Louis Theroux is never caught making rude remarks about Westborough Baptist Church, his well reasoned points were put across quite diplomatically, but he had a far better strike rate in shining the spotlight on their bigotry, because he didn’t resort to overt manipulation of the subject.
He didn’t put the placards in their hands and say “By the way, did you know there’s a funeral happening over there today, stupid?”, he merely highlighted that’s what they do, and showed the funeral they had attempted to picket. While you didn’t precisely tell Green to do what he did, there was an element of manipulation there with which Green was only too happy to oblige.
Patrick, you seem to be intentionally missing Flapjack’s point. The point is that Waterstone’s has done nothing wrong. They continue to stock your book and have been most civilised by not publicly discussing your actions — you taunted Stephen Green (a rightwing, homophobe by all accounts) and provoked him into a fight, then wanted Waterstone’s to host the tournament. Mate, that’s like the matador wanting to use a chinashop as a bullring.
no i did not know what cv would do and was shocked and dismayed when i heard that they had forced waterstones to cancel- so now they are threatening venues regardless of an email- do you not think this is a rather insidious campaign to wage and doesn’t it just show them up for what they are- the provocation has been removed yet they still rage on threatening freedom of speech so i do not miss the point and i did not provoke into a fight just merely made his group as well as other religious organisations aware of a few poems- so if you are prepared to stand by and let this happen well that is your choice- i am not victim and i stil lfeel waterstones should have gone ahead- then all this is superfluous and an un needed issue-and yes my freedom of speech was halted no matter how they heard about the event- if this had been a bnp protest then the police would have been called- but no it proves my point how we tip around religions- can’t you see that- they wil ldo this again and elegant or not the debate needs to be heard- from artists poets bands thinkers-
but hey if you are more concerned with poor old stephen green that is up to you- how much provocation do cv need- being gay, being an A.M who invites a reading, educating young people about sex, being foreign, being muslim(check his site)- fucking hell come on- what are you scared of- he said of the cancellation of cardiff’s gay pride festival this year it was “god’s work”- that offends me- he insulted ian h watkins on tv- that offended me- i spoke up -he became aware of my book- then acted- fucking deal with it
an email sent by a cv member from a venue i am reading at- they are upset by all this- a workingmen’s stute built by the miners of this area in 1904 – knowledge is power once their motto-
“The so called ‘poetry’ this man spews out breaks the law. It is incitement to hate and violence; it discriminates against Christians, it is very offensive and insulting not just to Christians but also to many non-Christians who feel their British Culture in this (majority) Christian Country is being further mocked and eroded.
How can you call yourself a Christian. You cannot possibly be a Christian if you even allow this man over the doorstep let alone encourage what he does. I cannot believe Wales has sunk so low in the Gutter and will encourage all my friends to boycott your ‘drama’ centre in future. You appear to have no idea how truely, deeply offensive this mans filth is to Christians. Time we got the national British press to print our feelings.How can you allow gays to think they are right. Would you allow me to read a poem entitled ‘did allah shag camels?’ – that answer says it all really.”
so provoked or not should we tolerate this- they wont give in-
it is about time we stood together on this -
Patrick – with respect, you still appear to miss the point. The point is your protest BACKFIRED on you and us. The reason it backfired is you can’t be so naive as to think Stephen Green would pass up a provocative letter, less still when you maintain it was a simple neutral press release against all available evidence.
For all I care Stephen Green can take a running jump, if he took a long walk off a short pier no-one would be happier than myself. All the points you raise about his character are valid ones, but the problem as I see it is the headline in the next day’s paper isn’t “Bigot disrupts poetry event” it’s “Poet orchestrates his own boycott and then blames Waterstones for the resulting shitstorm”.
In the battle for hearts and minds you are in danger of scoring an own goal.
You can say everything you said about Green quite legitimately if you remove the issue of the book signing, but with every denial of culpability for the boycott the credibility gap widens.
Why not picket Green’s other protests? It wouldn’t take much research. I hate who Green is and what he stands for as much as yourself, but if we use underhanded tactics our own credibility disappears down the toilet.
no- you are missing the point and please answer the question about the continued threats- peter black’s office has received 100 abusive emails- do they cave in? do the institutes cave in? shit storm – what a useless phrase of expression- you can think what you like but to orchestrate a boycott-no thanks, invite debate, i want cv to be there i want atheists to be there i want muslims to be there- so what? one of my heroes, peter tatchell send emails every day asking for support for various issues and against certain organisations- brilliant – good luck to him and he is a huge supporter of free speech- more of that we want and fucking need in this mediocracy- book launch should have gone ahead do you not agree? and the sole reason was cv’s abuse- and continued threats what are you going to do about that sit on a forum or actually get out there??i am and i am going to stand for what i believe- what is so fucking wrong with that?
again provoked or not- what is provocation? what would make you close down a reading? or would you? or protest- fuck me three years ago i had to attend a council meeting where they agreed to destroy 3000 trees for the sake of a three mile road- we protested we set out our stall- i send poems al lthe time- that is what i do – sorry if you do not agree- book signing should have gone ahead- if it was rowan williams’ latest book and atheists had complained do you really think waterstones would have given in even if naughty rowan had emailed a few before hand-
sorry you miss the point- time to stand up be counted- do whatever it fucking takes-
Fair enough Patrick – I’m fine with the reading I’m fine with your poems, I support the idea of free speech (though the hate speech element of that is still something of a philosophical sticky wicket.)
It’s also fair to say I haven’t protested anything in person for a good long while, so I take that criticism on board. I only question the tactics. Christian voice do not have a track record as an organisation that sits down calmly with their legs crossed while you read them passages from your book in a bookshop and invite questions at the end. Wherever Stephen Green goes, there’s placards, a rally and a pamplet at the very least.
Waterstones never signed up for that, or the threats, and you can’t say you didn’t invite CV to the party. Perhaps your protest against Christian Voice should be taken to Stephen Green’s doorstep, so as not to rope in innocent third parties?
When was the last time Rowan Williams invited you to his book launch, implied that you personally were an idiot in a personally addressed letter sent to your door and selected a bunch of passages from the bible to the effect of “atheists are stupid” to include with it? If that happened, and you still had a civilised discussion about it with him afterwards you’d have a stronger case.
yes i would debate with rowan williams-i woudl read him poems jsut as i would listen to cv hymns adn their protests-i do not want this to get personal i think we are on the same side??? i am not out for publicity- i do not sell many books- i care passionately about what i write as i am sure you do what you believe and feel- waterstones are no innocent party- they could have gone ahead i went down to the store on the night- not a single cv protestor- i do not want your agreement i jsut wanted ot put my side- but the facts remain- cv forced a bookshop to cancel ancevent- now they could have doen this via a corporate press release or by seeing my website or been alerted by someone-i emailed them three poems a while back i had also sent s green an eamil and poems in defence of ian h watkins in march 08- no reply – now they are out and ranting hate let us meet them- now is the issue not then- i could not what would happen- i actually forgot i had emailed cv the poems- honest-!! but they are out there because of me and not because of me-it is jsut a few poems not law not a memo- the debate may rumble on- i thank you for your questions and debate- peace, questions and poetry-
Thanks Patrick – I believe you are a passionate person with a lot to say and athough our approaches are different I think our intentions are the same. I simply urge you to reign in some of that passion when the occasion demands it as it seems to occasionally cloud your better judgement. The facts should speak for themselves.
As to whether Waterstones were right or wrong, that debate will run and run as you say. I suspect we’ll have to agree to differ on that, but I say take your battle for equality to source and deal directly with Stephen Green. That’s one thing I think we both agree needs to happen. Good luck with the book x
thank you for yr dialogue flapjack- i think it is good to get these discussions in the open- interestingly three welsh a.m.s have now asked for the reading to be cancelled due to”blasphemy and profanity” in the poems that they probably haven’t read- and i can assure you i have not sent them an email or provoked them in any way!!!! be safe, create dangerously