Monday, 8 December 2008

Poetry book launch with added security

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Remember the Stephen Green-generated fuss over the launch of Welsh poet Patrick Jones' new book Darkness Is Where The Stars Are? Well you may also remember we reported on how Borders have stepped in to host the launch in place of Waterstones, who cancelled it following implied threats from Green.

As well as being a very clever way to seem braver than your high street rivals, Borders' move is of course good news for free speech and we're pleased to be able to confirm that the launch is indeed going ahead at their Cardiff branch on Thursday evening. It is, however, a book launch with an added twist because, seemingly due to a fear of disturbances by Stephen Green and his army of Christian evangelists consisting of, well, pretty much just him, the invitations read as follows:

"Please note that in order to make sure that security for this event is not compromised and to ensure that the launch is a celebratory party, guests will only be admitted with a valid invitation and proof of ID – one invitation per guest. Please print the attached invitation and bring it with you. Borders retains the right to refuse or remove permission to attend this event."
Green must be very proud of himself. And he's planning on causing some trouble at both this event and the readings at the Welsh Assembly, having sent this email, which I found on MediaWatchWatch, to his "supporters", which presumably means he emailed himself:

We are holding a Christian witness outside Ty Hywel from 11.30am and we shall hold another outside Borders (The David Morgan Building, 14 The Hayes, Cardiff, CF10 1AH) at 7.30pm. Both events are ticket only, but there is scope to apply for tickets by email. I am known, but you are probably not!

For the Assembly event, email: Helen**** Say how much you would like an invitaton to the event, but don’t say you wish to protest! For the Borders event, email Patrick Jones on janey****

Say whatever is needed to get alongside and get a ticket without bearing false witness. You cannot give a false name for either event as ID will be required.

So Onward, Christian soldiers, Stand up, stand up for Jesus! If you are successful in getting a ticket, let me know urgently, as this is a spiritual battle and tactics among those with tickets will need to be co-ordinated.

Hmm. All very underhand in a not-very-scary way. However, as usual with Green it's more laughable than anything else. My favourite bit? He doesn't want anyone to "bear false witness", but only because you need ID to get in.


Sean Ellis said...

There may be a simple solution.

If the disruptive types are not allowed to give false witness, simply ask everyone whether they are going to make trouble, as they come in.

Anyone from the protesting side is presumably compelled by their faith to tell the truth, at which point you can refuse admission on the grounds that they have said they are going to make trouble.

Or am I being too logical?

Paul Sims said...

No Sean, I think your idea's spot on. Such logic usually works wonders with Christian fundamentalists, especially Stephen Green!

Wasp_Box said...

Ha, excellent idea Sean.

Alternatively, for that extra jolt of tension, have a bible on a table and ask everyone coming in to press their hand onto the bible and promise that they are not there to protest.