Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gutless Google and the case of the missing questions

It seems Dave Walker isn't the only one to have been spooked by J Mark Brewers desperate attempts to silence anyone investigating his, um, 'interesting' business practices.

It looks like Brewer has also sent a Cease and Desist (or something very like it) to Google, resulting in Google removing a detailed Ministry of Truth post about the former SPCK bookshops from its listings. Full details here. The delisted post has some penetrating questions about transfers of money between Brewer-owned charities. It's interesting that Brewer hasn't gone after the blog in question, even though Ministry of Truth also sent his questions direct to Brewer, and (true to form) recieved no answer. We really must find Mark Brewer's postman to find out what's happened to all those letters, as MB is very poor at replying.

Word to Google: a cease and desist from J Mark Brewer is a badge of honour. Wear it with pride, like Sam Norton and Phil Groom did. I know you caved in to the Chinese dictatorship in a craven and shameful display of self-censorship, but for goodness sake this is just one lawyer/businessman, and not a very good one at that.

Word to J Mark Brewer: just think what this behaviour says about you. Someone asks some tricky questions, which you could have tried to answer. Instead you try to cover your tracks, and take the questions out of the public domain. Cover-up. It's usually an indicator of guilt.

Summaries also at Phil Groom, Matt Wardman


  1. Thanks, Dave, for keeping faith over this one. The whole Brewer thing has been a learning experience for us all about the dangers in selling off bits of the family silver without checking that the people to whom it goes have the character or competence to handle it. These things call for light, not a conspiracy of darkness and silence...

  2. It's probably worth making the point that Google have only removed the Ministry of Truth post from their UK listings (and say quite clearly in the search results that they have done so). So if you use any other Google domain (most pertinently you will still see it. As will a certain pair of Texan brothers out there in Houston :)

    Google should in due course be posting up details of their 'cease and desist' notice here:
    it will make interesting reading. Their hand in such matters should have been considerably improved by the recent court judgement which provides them with a considerable degree of protection against the UK's draconian libel laws.