Christian threats halt Cardiff book signing

<b>The book in question</b>: Click on the image to buy it from Amazon

The book in question: Click on the image to buy it directly from Cinnamon Press

Oh dear. More lily-livered capitulation in Cardiff, where a phone call from Stephen “Bird Shit” Green caused the local Waterstone’s book shop to cancel a book launch by Welsh poet Patrick Jones.

“Darkness is Where the Stars Are”, the poet’s 9th published work, was deemed “obscene and blasphemous” by Stephen Green, therefore the Cardiff Hayes branch of Waterstone’s decided that it was best to “avoid potential disruption to our store”. Jones went along and signed books outside the shop anyway.

Green says:

This is a triumph for the Lord, not for us.

The Lord had not even showed me what we should do at Waterstones, only that it should be Christlike

“Christlike”? It is a sure indicator of Green’s mental state when he believes that Jesus Christ would make intimidatory phonecalls to bookshops.

Nor was I even praying for the event be cancelled. But I now know many were, and their prayers have been answered, by a mighty God. We have not even had to go down to the battleground, let alone fight (2Chr 20:17). Just the knowledge that we were on our way has put the fear of God into the opposition

No, not the fear of God. The fear of violence.

But the fact is, we were prepared to go and do something, and it is that which I believe caused Almighty God to take our prayers seriously and perform a miracle.

Sweet fucking Jesus. He makes a threatening phone call and calls the resulting panic a miracle.

Perhaps surprisingly, Waterstones have not yet caved in to his demands to stop selling the book. But Green is working on it.

Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society thinks the time has come for the police to get involved.

Stephen Green is becoming a real threat to artistic freedom. It seems a mere phone call from him threatening some kind of demonstration can cause a bookshop to capitulate to his demands and cancel an artistic event. His increasingly bullying behaviour needs to be challenged by the police. We simply cannot allow this man to dictate what can and cannot be said by artists. It is really up to the authorities to protect artists and their promoters from such intimidation.

Not sure whether it is up to the police, or the men in white coats.

If you want to let Waterstone’s know what you think, these contact details are kindly provided on the CV website:
Waterstones Managing Director, Gerry Johnson, on 020 8742 3800 or email:
[email protected]
Mr Johnson’s boss, Simon Fox of HMV, is on 020 7432 2000
Another email address to try:
[email protected]

UPDATE: (14 Nov) The NSS Newsline reports that a member two members of the Welsh assembly, Lorraine Barret and Peter Black, have invited Patrick Jones to read his poetry at the Senedd. From a signing in a city bookshop to a reading in the seat of the national government of Wales, all in the space of a couple of days. Doesn’t Stephen Green/God work in mysterious ways?

UPDATE: (16 Nov) The Western Mail carries a nice anti-Green editorial.

14 Responses to “Christian threats halt Cardiff book signing”

  1. No, I’m not sue it’s up to the police, either, except to prevent public disorder. It’s not up to them to silence Green, since he should be allowed to say what he wants. But it is up to them to respond to any call to a place whee disorder might be caused because one group disagrees with the freedom of speech of another group. Then we’re into criminal territory, and the police should have been called by the Waterstone’s Cardiff staff as soon as they got a whiff of trouble. If Green and his insane cronies wished to picket and hold up placards, well, that’s up to them. If they threaten public peace, then it’s up to the cops to step in and ensure that peaceful readings, signings or any other artistic, cultural, sporting, religious or sporting events can take place unhindered.

    A few years ago, this suitable case for treatment threatened Maggie’s Centires (have I got that name right?) a cancer charity in Scotland, saying that, if they took money from a performance of the show that helped to trigger this blog off, Gerry Springer: The Opera, they might just lose out on donations from Christian organisations. Maggie’s Centres capitulated and refused the money. Quite how you stop that sort of behaviour on Green’s part in law, I don’t know, but preventing him from being able to say stuff is not the answer, unless we want that sort of censorship visited on us.

    Perhaps we need a network of bloggers, avid emailers, activists, people who have the time to make telephone calls at short notice – all kinds of support like that – to be (a) known to everyone and (b) ready to respond whenever an organisation is threatened by Green and alerts this network of the fact. The word would get round; anyone threatened with what Maggie’s Centres was threatened with might get donations from other quarters, as well as much publicity to show Green up for the tosser that he is; victims of Green would feel supported; people on the ground here in Blighty could disrupt Green’s own demos (peacefully and without violence). Just an embryonic thought at the moment.

  2. jr says:

    Waterstones missed a trick here. A demonstration by this mental case and his deranged friends (if any) would have meant publicity and increased sales. Green needs to understand that every time he opens his yapper, more people will know about the thing he is so desperate to silence. You can get the book here on

  3. Jim Darby says:

    I’m writing to Waterstones to complain about their action and to let them know I’ve just bought the book from amazon. It really is a total disgrace.

  4. I emailed a complaint to Gerry Johnson at W’s. Got this:

    Waterstone’s does not act as a censor and will not, and should not, dictate what customers may read. We will only remove a title from sale on the advice of the publisher. This is the case for Patrick Jones’ book, and it remains available from Waterstone’s. Any comments or complaints regarding the content of the book should be directed to the author or the distributor of the book, the Welsh Books Council.

    Regarding the cancellation of the event arranged for this book, Waterstone’s simply took steps to prevent a disorderly event in the interests of our customers and staff.

  5. Monitor says:

    I got exactly the same one, Andy.

  6. Anna says:

    They haven’t read any of the points in emails, I got exactly the same automated reply.

    I too have bought the book from Amazon and will not be purchasing from Waterstones in the future

  7. marc says:

    I got a reply from the BBC when I complained (about Bird Shit) on a different matter – and got a semi-automated response. About Russell fucking Brand!

    People need to OWN problems, not hand out a pre-formatted reply.

  8. BSE says:

    I got a slightly different response, the first paragraph was the same as posted by Andy. The second one reads:

    “The poetry reading was organised and planned in good faith between our store and the publisher. However, it would appear that shortly before the event took place, the author deliberately took provocative action to create a furore around the publication of his book. These actions were taken without prior discussion with the store or their consent and altered the nature of the pre-agreed event. For this reason and because of the risk of disruption to the store, our staff and customers we felt it appropriate to cancel the event.

    Best wishes,
    Gerry Johnson”

  9. Tony says:

    I ordered the ‘jewel of medina’ a couple of months ago and three times the release date has changed.

    I do not believe in coincidences…………

  10. TigerDunc says:

    The thing to do with Green is just to ignore him. I think he’s just a very lonely man with nothing better to do than hassle people. Failing that, the most effective thing to do would be to club together and buy him a good hooker for the evening, I don’t think there has ever been a man who needed to get laid as badly as Stephen Green.

    More seriously though, the people who actually listen to him are at fault. If everyone just ignored him and the fucking newspapers stopped phoning him for a rentaquote every five minutes he’d vanish up his own fundament in five seconds flat.

  11. marc says:

    Dunc: I am posting a similar letter to the BBC trust today – demanding to know why the fuck the BBC relies on loonies like Green for quotes. Surely there must be a better Christian organisation to quote from – the Roman Catholic church for instance.

  12. TigerDunc says:

    Marc – Good idea – He’s a fundamentalist, a bigot, a homophobe and a hate filled little bag of puss. Every time that I see him quoted by the media, I’m going to ring up and complain. Maybe if they did some research and realised what an unpleasant character he is, they would think twice about quoting him.

    PS – Anyone any idea as to why my photo appears on postings? I didn’t do it deliberately, it just appeared and I don’t want to go scaring people away.

  13. thesophie says:

    You can see an email from Patrick Jones about the matter on the new humanist blog.

    I sent my email today. Looking forward to my automated reply.

  14. Monitor says:

    TigerDunc, you must have set yourself up with a gravatar: