The Blogger’s been receiving various communications, on a fairly regular basis now, about some environmental/global warming event called ‘Choose Day’ launching on the Centre this coming Tuesday.
Full details about the event, if not the organisation behind it, are available on an impressive-looking ‘Choose Day’ website. In fact so impressive is this site, the branded goods for sale on there and the accompanying marketing and publicity materials from what purports to be a grassroots organisation, it got The Blogger wondering who the hell is behind it all?
It doesn’t take a lot of research to find out that this apparently robustly secular ‘Choose Day’ environmental event and website are in fact a marketing front for a charity called Agora and the main player behind Agora is the Reverend Dr Chris Sunderland of Emersons Green.
And Sunderland’s charity only has, at best, a tangenital relationship to environmental causes. It’s actual objects being “The promotion of civic responsibility and good citizenship” and – wait for it – “The advancement of religion”.
Despite the deranged medievalist superstitions that lie at the heart of Sunderland’s project that he’s deliberately disguising behind secular-style ‘Choose Day’ branding, the good reverend on a section of his Agora website entitled ‘Beliefs, values and commitments’ has plenty to say on the issue of trust:
Also as all our politicians are now falling over themselves to use the language of trust, we offer a summary of how recent thinking about trust relates to the ancient wisdom of the scriptures. This resource ‘Bringing the Bible to bear on issues of trust in society’ plots modern understandings against biblical examples in order to demonstrate the difference that faith can make in this area.
Indeed. Here at The Blogger we’d like to know exactly how this ‘Choose Day’ scam of Sunderland’s relates to the ancient wisdom of the scriptures? Just what is his game here?
A lucrative one for starters. Funding for Agora/Choose Day seems to be rolling in from Bristol Archdeaconry Charities based at Edward Colston’s burial ground in All Saints and the shadowy Temple Trust as well as the St Thomas Ecclesiastical Charity.
Hence an initiative, that’s not even six months old, not only can afford trendy web designers to help pull in the gullible youngsters but staff too. Choose Day already has a PR and recently employed Josh Hart, a UWE student from the US who runs the On the Level car free blog.
However, Agora/Choose Day’s most intriguing staffer is consummate Bristol insider Penny Gane. Originally a community development wonk with Bristol City Council, Penny left the local authority to set up Gem Consulting – specialising in equalities advice to the public sector – with former Labour council leader Diane Bunyan no less. More recently Gane has surfaced trying to get her snout in to the Connecting Bristol trough until it failed to land any cash.
And finally, to finish off the whole Christian/establishment/insider feel of the Agora/Choose Day scam, it’s worth noting some of its supporters. Top of the list supporting this alleged environmental initative we find Business West boss, SWRDA board member and Merchant Venturer John Savage.
Yes. The man who in his other roles supports such environmentally-friendly initiatives as Bristol Airport expansion and the south Bristol ring road and who certainly will not be choosing workplace parking charges by all accounts!
Also on board, predictably enough, are multi-millionaire green posturers John Pontin and Alastair Sawday, the Long Ashton based businessman with the busy car park producing er . . . Foreign travel guides!
Choose Day? Fuck off.