I should go away more often. It's great that my first post back from holiday should be about a significant step forward in the grim soap opera that has been the moral and financial decimation of the former SPCK bookshops by their new Texan owners. Since the Charity Commissioners stepped in and took over the Society of St. Stephen the Great affairs, there at last appears to be progress.
The full USDAW statement, issued on Wednesday, is here, with a timeline of events since the Brewers took over. It makes it clear that the Brewers broke the law here in the UK. That makes 2 countries where 'lawyer' Mark Brewer has fallen foul of the legal system. These A level qualifications ain't what they used to be.
It's worth noting that the full settlement will come through depending on 'sale of assets' belonging to the charity. If you happen to be near Chichester or Durham bookshop and have a decent camera, kindly pop in and take a photo of each of the bookshelf units, so that we can be clear what stock is currently there.
The story is picked up by the Employment Intelligence blog, Matt Wardman has a detailed piece, and Lanky Anglican and Clayboy also take note of yesterdays BBC coverage. It's also in the Lincolnshire Echo.
Via the many comments at Phil Grooms blog, long-time campaigner and former SPCK employee Phelim Macintyre notes the Church Times report, complete with amusing photo/caption. 'It is unclear who is responsible' - I can think of several dozen people with a motive..... Don't know if it's just me, or is the CT report a bit bolder in its highlighting of Brewer misdemeanours than a few months ago?
Asingleblog and SPCKwatch also continue to focus on this story. There's still plenty to do, including recovering those assets, finding lost pension payments, sorting out unpaid creditors, and making sure that Phil Brewers personal filing for bankruptcy (if that's what it is) doesn't enable him to evade his obligations. We're not there yet, but hopefully the Charity Commissioners now have the bit between their teeth, and can get to grips with the rest of this mess.