Official protests from Christian Assembly Members have failed to stop the proposed Dec 11 poetry reading by Patrick Jones at the Senedd. AMs Trish Law and Johnathan Morgan had written to the Presiding Officer to beg him to ban the reading
in the name of decency and humanity.
Assembly Commission chief executive Claire Clancy responded with admirable clarity:
Neither officials nor the Assembly Commission make judgments on the nature or purpose of these events, except to ensure they would not give rise to any legal problems.
Assembly buildings are public buildings, and secular in character. It is our responsibility to ensure that events sponsored by any Assembly Members are always allowed to take place without fear of disruption or intimidation, while respecting the right to peaceful protest.
Trish is reported to be “bitterly disappointed”.
UPDATE: (Nov 26) Stephen Green has started a petition to try to stop the reading. I seem to remember the last one (for the BBC to waive its legal costs) became a bit of a farce, with lots of amusing comments from ill-wishers.
In the recent email circular, Green reveals that he did a deal with the BBC, settling half their costs. You’ll never guess who provided the money… God! The Lord has not yet seen fit to slip him the necessary readies to pay off Jonathan Thoday. He’s probably waiting for payday.
The Liberal Democrat culture spokesman in Wales, Peter Black AM, has invited the poet Patrick Jones to read his poems in Welsh National Assembly. Religious zealot Stephen Green, of Christian Voice, has launched a petition calling for the event – to be held in Committee Room 24 of the Assembly at 12 noon on Thursday, December 11 – to be cancelled on the grounds that such a reading would be “blasphemous”.
We find Green’s continuous attacks on free speech reprehensible, and call on the Assembly to allow this reading to go ahead as planned without hindrance.