UK’s Knighted Creationist Used Car Dealer

This blog post is retracted.
See: Sir Peter Vardy Is Not a Creationist

THIS is an unusual item from the United Kingdom. One of our news scans found it at the website of the National Secular Society, which Wikipedia says is a British organization “that promotes secularism, the separation of church and state. It holds that no-one should gain advantage or disadvantage because of their religion or lack of religion.”

But their program is a bit more extensive than that. Wikipedia also says:

Under the banner “Challenging Religious Privilege”, the Society campaigns for: the disestablishment of the Church of England; the withdrawal of state subsidies to religious schools; the end of tax exemption for churches and an end to the public funding of chaplains in prisons, hospitals and the armed services …

Interesting outfit. Richard Dawkins is listed as an “Honorary Associate,” whatever label that means. So is Christopher Hitchens.

Anyway, we present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from Creationist car dealer closes showrooms on Sunday, which appears at the National Secular Society‘s website. The bold font was added by us:

Christian used car salesman Sir Peter Vardy, whose state-funded academies teach creationism, is now carrying his religious zeal into his own business. He says that he will shut his showrooms on Sundays so his staff can spend time with their families. This is quite a risk, as Sunday is usually the biggest day of the week for motor dealers.

There are certain incongruities here. One rarely sees “Christian” as an adjective attached to the occupation of used car salesmen, although upon reflection, such a description isn’t 100% impossible. And then there’s the fact of a knighthood for a used car salesman. There is much here to ponder

Ah, we found him in Wikipedia: Peter Vardy, which informs us:

Sir Peter Vardy (born 4 March 1947) is a British businessman and philanthropist from Houghton-le-Spring in Durham. His business interests have been mainly in the automotive retail business. In the Sunday Times Rich List 2009 ranking of the wealthiest people in the UK he was placed 388th with an estimated fortune of £140million.

That’s almost US$225 million. Okay, good for him. The National Secular Society‘s article has only one more paragraph:

Vardy says “The UK is one of the few countries in Europe where Sunday openings have become the norm.” His six showrooms — in Edinburgh, Perth, Motherwell and Kirkcaldy — have traditionally opened from 11am to 5pm on Sundays. Local churches applauded the move saying that “He is putting a value on Sunday that is above money.” Sir Peter, in the meantime, insisted the Sunday closure has nothing to do with the recession.

Can you figure out what’s going on here? From the tone of the article, it seems to us that someone in the National Secular Society may not like Sir Peter. So we went looking for another account of this situation.

In the Scottish Daily Record we read Christian car dealer Peter Vardy to shut showrooms on Sundays. They say pretty much the same thing, but they add:

The Vardy business was founded by Reg Vardy in 1923 and developed by Peter’s dad, Peter snr. Peter jnr became boss in 2006 of new company Peter Vardy Ltd.

It appears that the National Secular Society isn’t being flippant after all.
Our only conclusion is this — if you’re in the UK and you have a hankering to buy a used car from a creationist dealer, Sunday is probably not the best day to go shopping.

Well, there’s one more point to be made, but the National Secular Society seems to have missed it. Sir Peter didn’t use his wealth and influence to campaign for compulsory sabbath closings. He decided to shut down on Sunday voluntarily. That’s how such things ought to be done.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

14 responses to “UK’s Knighted Creationist Used Car Dealer

  1. On the other hand, this X-ian website says it’s Peter Vardy Jnr who’s mandated Sunday closures:
    http://www.ccfon.org/view.php?id=942

    Whatever. Does he give members of other faiths other days off?

  2. Grumpy Bob asks: “Does he give members of other faiths other days off?”

    Who knows? It’s his business, so he should be able to run it his way.

  3. Vardy has a long and chilling track record over here. See Guardian article of 9 March 2002: Top school’s creationists preach value of biblical story over evolution

    Vardy schmoozed Tony Blair a lot, but unfortunately the Tories gave him an even bigger boost in this hideous endeavour of ‘City Academies.’

  4. –>Local churches applauded the move saying that “He is putting a value on Sunday that is above money.”

    LOL! Yeah, right. This has nothing to do with a recession and poor car sales and, it only took him 30+ years as a car dealer to get around to doing this. I would be more convinced about his piety in making this move if he wasn’t already one of the richest men in the U.K. This move really doesn’t affect him at all.

    “…devout Christian Peter Vardy reckons he can give his workers a day of rest each week and still turn a tidy profit.

    Peter said: “I believe this can work without impacting on our business.”

    BTW, I also note that Wikipedia also says, “Vardy has stated that widespread reports that he is a creationist are incorrect, and that he has a very traditional view about how science should be taught.”

    What’s traditional?

  5. Great Claw says: “Vardy has a long and chilling track record over here.”

    The question is — Would you buy a used car from a creationist?

  6. The Curmudgeon, “Would you buy a used car from a creationist?”

    Sure, if the car was in good shape and the price was right. I don’t remember ever having religion come up in a conversation with a car salesperson.

  7. The question is — Would you buy a used car from a creationist?

    The even more ominous question is would you want to buy a car from a Scotsman?

    🙂

  8. Not that creationists are ever consistent, but shouldn’t he close his showrooms on Thursdays?

    For those of you scratching your head, creationists, including YECs, and IDers who think “when” questions are unimportant, but not “progressive” OECs, think it’s OK to question the age of the universe, earth, life, etc. And by “question” I don’t mean in the way that real scientists do, but to encourage doubt and promote misunderstanding. To them “Last Thursdayism” is just as valid as any other explanation.

  9. Curmudgeon: “The question is — Would you buy a used car from a creationist?”

    If they’re representative of the general public, 4 of the 9 that sold me cars over the years were creationists (rank and file evolution-deniers, as opposed to activists). Possibly more, since I expect salesman to be friendlier to pseudoscience than the general public.

  10. Frank J says: “If they’re representative of the general public …”

    I donno. If someone tells you: “The earth is only 6,000 years old, and this car has only 6,000 miles on it,” what would you think?

  11. The Curmudgeon, “If someone tells you…this car has only 6,000 miles on it,” what would you think?”

    I’d think it was a used car salesperson. Then I’d have them produce the proof of mileage statement from the previous owner and have an independent mechanic check it over.

  12. Scotland-dweller here. The NSS is a fairly big organisation over here, that and the British Humanist Association are the big atheist organisations. That story went out in their weekly Newsline mailshot, and the tone isn’t saying he shouldn’t be allowed to close on Sundays, they just posted it as a story of interest.

  13. grammarking says: “… the tone isn’t saying he shouldn’t be allowed to close on Sundays …”

    I didn’t think so. The only impression I got was that they didn’t like him.

  14. Curmudgeon: “I donno. If someone tells you: “The earth is only 6,000 years old, and this car has only 6,000 miles on it,” what would you think?”

    I think that, like the Earth, a car with 4.6 billion miles on it would show it’s age. But as the inimitable Michael Egnor (surgeon and Discoveroid) shows, evolution-deniers are good at being selective in their denial. In my experience, so are salesmen in general.