UKC

/ Bmc again, sorry

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Presley Whippet on 18 May 2018

Yet another thread but I didn't want to divert the others. 

I have had enough and will be abstaining. I get enough business bullshit and three letter acronyms at work to even contemplate the over complex documents and politicking that is going on. It is as though the B in Bmc is for Brazil, after the Steve Martin film. 

Any others feel the same? 

13
To be Frank - on 18 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Fortunately I'm not a BMC member so can't vote.
I voted in a referendum once ...

3
Paz - on 18 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I feel similarly, so I just decided based on whose personality I liked the best and went against the mealy mouthed proposal the point of which was hidden in the small print.

"The BMC should represent climbers..."  Well of course it should represent climbers.  Was this statement going to constructive suggest we start representing unicyclists too, or was it stating the obvious in a click baity attempt to sucker in people who didn't read the rest of it after the first sentence?

1
Offwidth - on 18 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I presume you mean Terry Gilliam? The irony is he is the king of movie delays and complications: his 'Who Killed Don Quixote?' movie gets a premier at Cannes 20 odd years after he started it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Gilliam

 

Post edited at 19:37
1
Kemics - on 18 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

honest to god I have no idea what is happening. So they've released a guide called the "plain english guide" which includes the phrase "intermediary conduit". I just spent an hour trying to decipher what's going on and i've never felt more alienated from an organisation i'm apparently a member of. 

1
Paz - on 18 May 2018
In reply to Kemics:

>  "intermediary conduit".

You just connect it to the Flux Capacitor, and accelerate the DeLorean to 88mph...

 

Hardonicus - on 18 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Yeah - just cancelled my direct debit a month ago.

3
Jen Mason on 19 May 2018
In reply to Kemics:

> I've never felt more alienated from an organisation I'm apparently a member of.

My sentiments exactly! It rather irks me that I'm a BMC member, just because I'm a member of a couple of climbing clubs. It's a bit like the Mormons, enrolling dead people in to their church. 

 

1
danm on 19 May 2018
In reply to Kemics:

For those of you with "governance fatigue" which I can sympathise with, here's the simpler version (unofficial of course):

Choose life. Choose topping out at sunset on Stanage. Choose climbing until your tips bleed. Choose fingerboarding in a dark cellar like a mutant mole*. Choose funding comps. Choose keeping our trad heritage. Choose encouraging diversity. Choose bolting up some shitty quarry. Choose talking about it in the pub afterwards. Choose option A.

*Choose scrambling up Tryfan instead if you are a hillwalker.

3
mike123 - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Kemics:

Likewise . I have largely ignored the various threads on this but on recieving  the email from the bmc I tried to read some of the documents linked to . I still have no idea what the difference between the two sides is . so, much like whippet boy , I won't be voting .

1
Offwidth - on 19 May 2018
In reply to danm

Cheers Dan. Climbing was once my complete escape from a job that sometimes includes trade union work ensuring complicated documentation wasn't allowing ordinary folk to be bamboozled into something they didn't want. It's a hard reality that no ordinary person with no previous contact with things like Articles of Association could expect clear undertsanding without at least days of hard effort, however plain the English.  That's why most people trust those they elected to do the work. The National Council and Excecutive team and the ORG supported the original option A and a group of people with honest concerns, like Crag and Jonathon, negotiated with them to improve it and that improved Option A is now supported by the NC, Exec and ORG.  A few other BMC members, including known dishonest trouble makers, support the remaining Tier 1 Option B.

Why governance causes so much existential angst when the organisation is still the same old BMC, mainly volunteer based, and predominantly focussed on access and conservation work, is beyond me.

14
MG - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

Patronising crap. If governance arrangements can't be explained in terms "ordinary" people understand , they either aren't appropriate or there is deliberate obfuscation.

The BMC has lost its way. 

6
MG - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Kemics:

The document is not even in English, let alone plain English. Whoever wrote it should have read this

http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/services/crystal-mark/7-the-crystal-mark-standard.html

yeti on 19 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I've almost joined and not got round to it, this stuff just puts it further away

whatever happened to the crap about changing the name anyway..?

1
Offwidth - on 19 May 2018
In reply to MG:

Its not patronising crap.  The documents are 50 odd pages long and require detailed knowledge of the organisation and the legal position of its peculiar structure to understand properly.  Martin Wragg has provided a laymans explanation seperately for the membership who don't wish to deal with such detail. It's included in Summit and on the website here:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm-alternative-constitutions-comparison

As for the Articles not being written in English: its a legal document and way better than the average legal document in my experience.

Post edited at 11:03
15
Kemics - on 19 May 2018
In reply to MG:

To me it feels like the BMC is deliberately trying to obfuscate the entire process. Basically I'm not a lawyer and I couldn't make any sense out of their documents. I found that really frustrating. I read my copy of summit, was told how important it was to vote, read all the voting material and was left more confused than ever. 

The "plain english guide" was 9 pages long(!?) and has loads of legal terms and a law firm's logo on the first page. At least option B managed to condense their proposal into 2 pages... but I genuinely couldn't work out the difference, both seem to mention the same Tiers (1) and sports england etc 

"1.3 At this stage, our brief was not to draft a set of Articles to incorporate all of the recommendations coming out of the ORG's reports. We understand that the Articles to be presented in June 2018, designed to meet the objectives set out above, will be regarded as "Phase 1" of the implementation plan, with a transitional period being put in place between the June 2018 AGM and the subsequent AGM to ensure that the BMC can take certain practical steps to incorporate further recommendations from the ORG's report during that time." 

Plain english?! Total waffle? Could be condensed into: The ORG reports recommended lots of changes. We are going to make some changes in June, but also gradually make further changes throughout the year. 

 

Post edited at 11:02
1
alx on 19 May 2018
In reply to Hardonicus:

> Yeah - just cancelled my direct debit a month ago

We decided not to reknew our annual membership when it comes up shortly. Will put our money directly into a different cause.

 

 

3
Offwidth - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Kemics:

Again, are we seriously going to disparage all the good work the organisation does over the fact the English (probably produced by volunteers, like Martin, with concerns to be careful, despite the massive rush given all the late changes), could be a good bit better.

7
Kemics - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

No, I'm saying I literally don't understand what is happening. I want to support the BMC but I don't understand which option will do that. 

 

Edit: So option 9a means Tier 3 compliant, we get funding from Sports England. The BMC with be a representative and governing body? Will be responsible for regulating climbing as a "sport" but also build footpaths and negotiate access.

and 9b means Tier 1 compliant. BMC wont regulate the sport of climbing. Will rebuild footpaths and negotiate access etc only. 

Is that a fair summary? 

Post edited at 11:30
Jen Mason on 19 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> Again, are we seriously going to disparage all the good work the organisation does...

Offwidth / Shortlength / Whatever moniker you choose to hide behind: isn't it funny how the apologists for the organisation always cite the 'motherhood and apple pie' stuff like Access & Conservation, or the Technical Committee? This is the stuff that everyone agrees with, is mostly done by dedicated volunteers, and costs but a fraction of the BMC's budget. (It's like lauding the Nazis for their transport infrastructure projects, or Hitler for being a dog-loving vegetarian.) It's not this stuff that people object to; it's almost everything else. 

11
Offwidth - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

Well done, Godwin's law is now met.

Frankly most members I meet seem happy with what the organisation does and especially the bit that suits them most. The apple pie bit is because that's what connects the members most and its the most important to protect.  Too many people here are arguing about the colour of the packaging and forgetting about the pie. It doesn't cost the BMC much as its mostly volunteer based. Ask the local access officers if governance arguments are helping them do their work and communicate their outcomes and needs; if they want it resolved or dragging on. 

Post edited at 11:42
11
Offwidth - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Kemics:

Tier 3 compliant means we retain the BMC position pretty much as it is, as the governance changes will effectively be invisible to most members.

Tier 1 means we cause major problems to our partners as the umbrella funding arrangements no longer work, we loose influence and lose SE money. A consequence is subs need to increase 10% this year just to do the remaining work at the same level and probably another big rise next year as well.

2
Kemics - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

So to clarify: Option A = Tier 3. Because in the plain english document it doesn't actually mention the Tiers. 

Post edited at 11:58
MG - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

We aren't talking about the articles themselves but the semi-literate "plain English" version attached the AGM papers, which is gobbledegook. The Summit article that has just arrived is better (showing it is possible to explain these things). 

flour - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Kemics:

Thats my understanding too.

Also Option A = a progressive organisation encompassing Mountaineering, Trad and Sport.

Option B = an organisation standing still.

Is that right?

1
Offwidth - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Kemics:

Yes

4
Alex Messenger, BMC - on 19 May 2018

In reply to... Yep, the info can get pretty confusing at times. Even working there, it's hard to keep up with the twists and turns and technical language.  The thing to bear in mind is that many of the chunkier documents have been written by volunteers heavily involved in the details of the process. When the BMC communications team can, we try to explain things a bit more.  If you're wondering just what it's all about, and what these options are, then this is the best place to start:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm-2018

Or check the article in the latest Summit. 

We have another straightforward guide, which explains all about what Tier 1 and Tier 3 mean. We hope to post this early next week (it needs a few tweaks following last Thursday's forum).

We know everyone is fed up with it. We are too. All we need is for there to be a 75% voting majority in favour of one option, then we can put it all behind us. 

So, please...do vote. And if anything's not making sense or getting in the way of making a decision, then do get in touch and we'll try and explain it. 

 

 

 

Post edited at 12:31
Dell on 19 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Booooring! Can't be arsed with it all.

 

 Do we still get the insurance? 

9
Monk - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I have to admit that I getting bored of all this. I know it's important, but I genuinely don't understand as all of this stuff (and I consider myself engaged with the BMC and am a professional writer). It's too difficult to get into and to know who to trust.  I think there is a real danger here as the membership are becoming disengaged and very sick of all this. I know I am. 

1
john arran - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Monk:

The way I see it is that one (a substantial majority, I hope) faction is intent on navigating the modern world, with all of its challenges, threats and funding opportunities, to best support the goals of a comprehensive cross-section of climbers new and old. The other faction seems to me to be somewhat backward-looking, not really bothered if different parts of climbing are represented by different organisations - particularly anything that has become popular in recent decades - and more intent on maintaining control of a small pond than on realising the advantages of swimming in the open sea.

Apologies for the simplistic characterisations, but anything else risks repeating the same technical arguments that don't appear to be sinking in with some readers (including me, sometimes!)

4
rj_townsend on 19 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Yet another thread but I didn't want to divert the others. 

> I have had enough and will be abstaining. I get enough business bullshit and three letter acronyms at work to even contemplate the over complex documents and politicking that is going on. It is as though the B in Bmc is for Brazil, after the Steve Martin film. 

> Any others feel the same? 

I have a first class degree and an MBA, and I still can’t get my head around the documents that have been distributed. Much as I support the BMC this process, especially the communication stemming from it, has been an utter shambles. At the Peak Area meeting the phrase “you need to get your shit together” was made loud and clear, yet the voting documents show only confusion.

4
UKB Shark - on 19 May 2018
In reply to rj_townsend:

> I have a first class degree and an MBA, and I still can’t get my head around the documents that have been distributed. Much as I support the BMC this process, especially the communication stemming from it, has been an utter shambles. At the Peak Area meeting the phrase “you need to get your shit together” was made loud and clear, yet the voting documents show only confusion.

I think the ORG processes and communications and reports were professional and comprehensive up to the point they handed over to National Council. I’m unclear why National Council then chose to take it upon themselves to set up an Implementation Team to follow through when they could have requested the ORG team to do it given the ORG done such a good job up to that point.

1
Dave Musgrove - on 20 May 2018
In reply to All:

> The way I see it is that one (a substantial majority, I hope) faction is intent on navigating the modern world, with all of its challenges, threats and funding opportunities, to best support the goals of a comprehensive cross-section of climbers new and old. The other faction seems to me to be somewhat backward-looking, not really bothered if different parts of climbing are represented by different organisations - particularly anything that has become popular in recent decades - and more intent on maintaining control of a small pond than on realising the advantages of swimming in the open sea.

> Apologies for the simplistic characterisations, but anything else risks repeating the same technical arguments that don't appear to be sinking in with some readers (including me, sometimes!)

I think John Arran's analysis above is one of the best and clearest interpretations of the current situation and choices we need to consider. The organisation needs to evolve to be relevant in the modern world. Without evolution we get stagnation therefore Option A is the only logical conclusion for me. 

3
UKB Shark - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Dave Musgrove:

By implication even most of the Option B proposers think that Option A is now the better choice given that they have withdrawn their original support for the counter proposal.

It would be constructive and helpful if they made a public announcement to that effect.

3
Trangia on 20 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I tried wading through the "plain English" and it's left me feeling utterly confused and angry. I've voted for Option B not because I understand what the hell it's all about, but because if this is the sort of garbage the authors of Option A are producing I think they have completely lost it so far as running the BMC is concerned and it's time they went.

So far as the individuals are concerned I've voted for those whose resumes give me the most confidence in a situation where I have very little confidence in any of them. I'm seriously considering not renewing my BMC membership in the future and it's only the Insurance that's kept me in lately, but the AAC seems to provide what I need.

8
Andy Say - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Kemics:

> To me it feels like the BMC is deliberately trying to obfuscate the entire process. Basically I'm not a lawyer and I couldn't make any sense out of their documents. I found that really frustrating. I read my copy of summit, was told how important it was to vote, read all the voting material and was left more confused than ever. 

OK.  I'll boil it down.  At the AGM, or before if you go for a proxy vote, you will have a choice presented to you.

The 'official proposal' which seeks to make the BMC become a Sport England recognised 'National Governing Body' and thus gets funding (8/10% of BMC income). To achieve that a 'Board of Directors' will be created who will have 'primacy' but should consult the members in order to work out what is in the members' best interests.  

The 'Tier 1' proposal is a compromise which will enable the BMC to continue to be a SE recognised NGB BUT will retain significant 'member-power' over the Board.  The trade-off is that the BMC will lose its SE funding and there will likely be a 10% subs hike.

If you don't like either of those options and actually quite like the way we are then it will be important that you vote against both! 

 

4
Andy Say - on 20 May 2018
In reply to MG:

> Patronising crap. If governance arrangements can't be explained in terms "ordinary" people understand , they either aren't appropriate or there is deliberate obfuscation.

> The BMC has lost its way. 


Agreed.  I was involved in the drafting of the proposed Articles and every time I said 'that doesn't make sense to me' I was told 'oh, its legal language...'

If the Articles cannot be understood by those who need to be governed by them then they are poorly drafted; 'legalese' is simply no excuse.

1
Andy Say - on 20 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> By implication even most of the Option B proposers think that Option A is now the better choice given that they have withdrawn their original support for the counter proposal.

> It would be constructive and helpful if they made a public announcement to that effect.


I think you are dead wrong with that 'most' Simon.  There are still some of us out here......

5
UKB Shark - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Can you confirm who has maintained their support in that case please?

My understanding is that most of the signatories have withdrawn taking it below the 25 threshold that was originally required for the motion.

 

3
Andy Say - on 20 May 2018
In reply to john arran:

> The way I see it is that one (a substantial majority, I hope) faction is intent on navigating the modern world, with all of its challenges, threats and funding opportunities, to best support the goals of a comprehensive cross-section of climbers new and old. The other faction seems to me to be somewhat backward-looking, not really bothered if different parts of climbing are represented by different organisations - particularly anything that has become popular in recent decades - and more intent on maintaining control of a small pond than on realising the advantages of swimming in the open sea.

John: you are wrong.  Just dead wrong

I am probably one of the most passionate supporters of the 'option B'.  I clip bolts, I go to walls, I go to competitions blah blah....  I have absolutely no interest in creating some sort of 'exclusive' BMC.  The BMC will only flourish if it becomes more inclusive and relevant to 'the broad church'.  But quite how you do that by castrating 'member power' evades me  If 'navigating the modern world' involves the BMC taking on a corporate structure with an all-powerful Board in order to be a 'proper' National Governing Body' then, OK, I will admit my compass is faulty.

I'll be honest, the more I read your second sentence the more insulted I feel.

Andy 

 

8
Andy Say - on 20 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

And can you confirm exactly how many signatories have signed up to support proposal A?  There HAS been a process of formal support hasn't there?

7
UKB Shark - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

You know I can’t so your reply is avoiding my question which you can answer.

After the Open Forum Jonathon White recommended that the opposing motion was withdrawn and as I understand it most of the signatories agreed but as Rodney Gallagher indicated at the Open Forum the motion couldn’t be withdrawn even if support fell below the required 25 signatories. The Womble Dickinson lawyer also was unsure and said to be sure all 41 signatories would have to withdraw. 

As one of the 41 signatories in on the communications you can confirm who has withdrawn and who hasn’t and who hasn’t indicated either way. This is a public document with publicised signatories. I think BMC members deserve to know.

I’ll not be surprised if full disclosure isn’t forthcoming as that would be rather typical of your group not to be transparent.

8
Andy Say - on 20 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> I’ll not be surprised if full disclosure isn’t forthcoming as that would be rather typical of your group not to be transparent.

Sod off, Simon.  I've only just got back from Kalymnos and am only half awake.  On behalf of 'my group' I am really quite keen that things are kept simple and understandable.  It's a shame 'your group' needs to bombard folks with barely understandable legalese

And to suggest that not being able, right this minute, to enumerate the supporters of Proposal B (whilst you are incapable of doing the same for proposal A) is somehow 'not transparent' is really a bit 'pot/kettle interface'?

13
Andy Say - on 20 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> As one of the 41 signatories in on the communications you can confirm who has withdrawn and who hasn’t and who hasn’t indicated either way. This is a public document with publicised signatories. I think BMC members deserve to know.

How did you get so pompous?  Evening classes?  'This is a public document with publicised signatories. I think BMC members deserve to know.'  I'm happy to talk to BMC members.  When I know exactly how many, and whom, are still supporters of the Proposal B I'll let you know.

So come on - reciprocate!  Proposal A is a 'public document'.  Who exactly are the 'publicised signatories'?  Or are 'your group' incapable of being transparent

 

15
slab_happy on 20 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> If you don't like either of those options and actually quite like the way we are then it will be important that you vote against both! 

What happens if people vote against both?

Based on the write-up in Summit by Martin Wragg, Sport England has stated that it requires bodies receiving grant assistance to comply with Tier 3. And the current articles are considered to be contrary to company law as well as Sport England Code of Governance.

So as far as I can see, there *is* no option where the BMC stays "the way we are", i.e. with the same articles as at present but also receiving nice grants from Sport England so our subs don't have to increase significantly.

 

2
Ian W - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Andy, it would be lovely if the BMC could be like a representative club, but with 85k + members, and the "modern" world, "corporate" is probably the way to go. It needs to be able to react and pro-act (?) much more swiftly with the challenges upcoming.

We're all still just climbers, whatever happens, which is why I support board primacy. I've seen what happens with member (NC) primacy, and its slow and not pretty. And I reckon it will be easier for the members to keep a check on the bad ideas of the board, than it was for exec to keep a check on the bad ideas of NC.

Polarity check available at the compass shop of your choice......BMC discount available..... 

 

Post edited at 18:55
3
UKB Shark - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I'm happy to talk to BMC members.  When I know exactly how many, and whom, are still supporters of the Proposal B I'll let you know.

Thank you

> So come on - reciprocate!  Proposal A is a 'public document'.  Who exactly are the 'publicised signatories'?  Or are 'your group' incapable of being transparent

I have no idea what point you are making here as Proposal A was created and put forward by National Council following a vote. Presumably the NC minutes will reflect how that vote went.  

 

2
OwenM - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I'm sorry but the only reason there can possible be for wrapping things up in such gobbledygook is that someone is trying to pull a con on us. I suggest no one votes for anything until the BMC come forward with an explanation for what ever it is their playing at, in English!

The BMC has gone very far down in my estimation, what's all this got to do with going climbing?   

7
Monk - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

The problem is we don't have member power at the moment. The power lies in the hands of people who live close to area meetings or who are retired/have lots of spare time to go to these. Then there's the mysterious national council. Who the #@ck' are they and how are they representing me? At least I understand the proposed structure and it should be less open to interference by self-important busy bodies. 

Post edited at 19:34
Offwidth - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

I'm honestly surprised you are still supporting Tier 1, especially as Crag did much of the work in the compromise.

To pick up a few points on the archived thead.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/crag_access/resolution_to_be_put_to_bmc_agm_2018-683962

On both sides throwing beer at each other. Bob got some dregs of a shandy as he was sexist and insulting to the position and questions of an area volunteer. The questions were only tangental to the MoNC being about why he ignored invitations to the Peak Area and as a result Mark Vallance, a friend, and supporter of the MoNC, was left struggling to speak. The person who threw the shandy has never been a leading proponent against the MoNC, having kept careful neutrality in the area role.  They later apologised for what they had done in the heat of the moment (unlike Bob). They also got a faceful of red wine in return (not beer).

In reply to 1Poundsocks... sorry I didn't reply as I've been off to THE wedding of the weekend... a fine event it was too full of trad climbers and boulderers and I sat on the Curbar table and later danced the ceilidh. Today I was climbing. My response would have been pretty close to what Ian W said. 

I haven't read the 9 page plain english guide MG and others referred to but am pretty annoyed I'm being misrepresented as It's pretty clear I was talking about the full 50 page document as being a difficult read for all but experts on such things. If the document is gobbledegook I will say so and will ask the BMC to improve it (rather than moaning on here on something produced in great haste by volunteers and threatening to leave an organisation that does fantasitc work in a fit of pique over such)

 

Post edited at 19:55
6
spenser - on 20 May 2018
In reply to OwenM:

I don't think they're trying to hide anything, however all of the documentation has been written by people who know in depth a huge amount of detail about what's been going on and there's a huge amount of assumed knowledge in the documents. The BMC seems to be pretty poor about getting out the message of what it's trying to do to its members, I'm producing a short article for my local club which I'll run past a couple of other people who have kept up with everything such that the members may cast their votes with full knowledge of the facts.

Offwidth - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Monk:

I am concerned that the only NC reps elected from a competitive position were the 2 from the Peak (where 4 people stood for election, none of whom were Chair or Area Sec). I don't think any NC area reps are as you describe them. I think they all extensive volunteers with good intentions, but they are clearly out of touch at times (Climb Britain) and a bit slow at times (the reason we are up against the wire on SE governance requirements).

I really welcome the planned improved access to BMC processes from ordinary members who can't attend Area meets or the expensive weekend of the AGM. I do think the views of the retired climber have rather dominated the AGM. These new arrangements of video links and electronic voting are a threat to the influence of the regular AGM attenders and those in areas with lower attendance (like Andy Say's NW area) . It's also great that there will be non area linked national elections for places on the NC, and elected Independant Directors (providing more than one meets the skills required). I don't think Climb Britain could have happened under the new arrangements as the viewing and voting arrangements are more open and the broad member protections are pretty clear (that Crag and Jonathon negotiated with the IG and SE are much better under a black and white Memorandum of Association).

1
Rob Parsons on 20 May 2018
In reply to spenser:

> ... I'm producing a short article for my local club ...

When complete, please also post it here for full disclosure/information. Thanks.

 

Offwidth - on 20 May 2018
In reply to OwenM:

The decisions were made on the 16th of May and the documents prepared with deadline of a couple of days if not less. The most logical reason for any faults in the 9 page document is because it was rushed. However, voting doesn't end until June 14th so there is plenty of time to improve this particular document. There are also lots of other documents that are OK, including the most important one in Summit and all the debate here and elsewhere.

Post edited at 20:03
spenser - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I'm perfectly happy to, the newsletters go on the website when sent out to members anyway so it's not like I could hide it. I'm trying rather hard to keep it balanced as I have always felt that the correct result will come from a large and well informed electorate. Unfortunately the only member of the committee who came down in support of the tier 1 articles at the meeting seems firmly set in his views on the matter and didn't seem to show any enthusiasm to look at any of the documentation/ attend the area meeting so I'm somewhat short of a Tier 1 supporter to knowledgeably check the article.

UKB Shark - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

>   I'm happy to talk to BMC members.  When I know exactly how many, and whom, are still supporters of the Proposal B I'll let you know.

To save you the trouble Offwidth has confirmed on the other thread that at least 28 of the original 41 signatories have withdrawn their support.

With only 13 signatories left supporting a motion that originally required a paltry 25 signatories the opposing motion has lost any moral claim to legitimacy when most of its supporters have abandoned it. It only remains as a votable option due to a legal technicality.

 

 

2
Jen Mason on 20 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> With only 13 signatories left supporting a motion that originally required a paltry 25 signatories the opposing motion has lost any moral claim to legitimacy when most of its supporters have abandoned it. It only remains as a votable option due to a legal technicality.

Nothing to worry about then; Option B is patently so unpopular it'll only get 13 votes, or thereabouts.

 

UKB Shark - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

> Nothing to worry about then; Option B is patently so unpopular it'll only get 13 votes, or thereabouts.

If only.

Many will use it as a protest vote. Others as indicated on this thread will vote against it because they took exception to the (supposedly) plain english guide or other reason.

With a 75% majority required the opposing motion remains a tactical weapon to reduce the odds. This sort of thing is often referred to as a poison pill.

Without the opposing constitution a vote would be a yes or no to an NC proposed constitution. If the members didnt vote by over 75% in favour then NC would have to democratically redraft and re-present   

eroica64 - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

Alex,

Sorry but I simply can't be arsed to bother. I'm tired of the whole farrago and no longer care. The Bureaucratic Minutia Complex has gone too far.

 

3
Jen Mason on 20 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> If the members didnt vote by over 75% in favour then NC would have to democratically redraft and re-present   

In the very unlikely event of Option A not receiving 75% of the votes cast, surely this will be the result anyway; there is zero chance of Option B receiving 75% of the votes cast, protest votes or no protest votes. 

Monk - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

For the record, the self-important busybodies I mentioned weren't necessarily the NC but the various folk causing trouble with  various proposals and motions. 

UKB Shark - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

> In the very unlikely event of Option A not receiving 75% of the votes cast, surely this will be the result anyway; there is zero chance of Option B receiving 75% of the votes cast, protest votes or no protest votes. 

You have prompted me to go to the voting form and I was surprised to see how it was presented. It is essentially an either/or vote for Options A or B and no option for neither though there is an option for abstention (how would that be treated - a no vote? I doubt it) and a discretionary option for a proxy to vote on your behalf at the AGM itself. 

So having looked at it I agree with you that it is structured favourably for Option A having a greater chance of getting the requisite 75%.

Whilst I am as keen as most to see an end to this I am also a bit uneasy as to whether this represents a fair setup of how the vote is presented and would like an explanation justifying why it is acceptable that a third 'neither' option doesn't (appear to) exist which I wrongly assumed would be an option. Maybe I have got the wrong end of the stick

Andy Say - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Monk:

> The problem is we don't have member power at the moment. The power lies in the hands of people who live close to area meetings or who are retired/have lots of spare time to go to these. 

Sadly you are correct.  Although when you consider how far people are willing to drive to get on the rock to go 40 or so miles on 5 evenings a year isn't really too onerous (And for those in the SW my apologies - I know you have a longer drive!)

So Area meetings need to be rejuvenated AND there needs to be better engagement directly with the members digitally; the BMC has signally failed here over the years.

I am one of those mysterious #@ckin' National Councillors.  I try to make sure that attendees at NW Area meetings have clear information about the issues and have the opportunity to vote on the way they want me to go.  I am also able to raise specific concerns at National Council meetings (recently about the development Squad and Area Youth Co-ordinators) on behalf of individual members.  I've put together a mailing list of nearly all of the people who have attended the last three Area meetings and also flag up issues that way - if people can't attend they can always contact me directly.

I have to hold my hands up to being retired though...... 

 

Andy Say - on 21 May 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> So as far as I can see, there *is* no option where the BMC stays "the way we are", i.e. with the same articles as at present but also receiving nice grants from Sport England so our subs don't have to increase significantly.

Apologies.  You are correct.  I meant the governance 'way we are' and was ignoring the SE funding.  That would be lost.

And you are also correct in that the only choice you are presented with is between A and B.  The only way you can express a desire for 'no change' is to vote against both of them; which is a pretty negative way of expressing a preference

UKB Shark - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> The only way you can express a desire for 'no change' is to vote against both of them; which is a pretty negative way of expressing a preference 

As far as I can see you can’t even do that

Rob Parsons on 21 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> You have prompted me to go to the voting form and I was surprised to see how it was presented. It is essentially an either/or vote for Options A or B and no option for neither though there is an option for abstention (how would that be treated - a no vote? I doubt it) and a discretionary option for a proxy to vote on your behalf at the AGM itself. 

The fact that you can't vote against either or both proposals was mentioned by another poster in one of these threads. It seems like a rather North Korean way to present a ballot paper.

Obviously, an abstention will not count as a 'no.'

 

UKB Shark - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Looks that way but I’ll wait for an explanation on why it was done that way or ask at the Peak area meeting on Wednesday  before rushing to judgement

 

Peter Burnside - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Hello all. 

We've just published an article about the relationship between Sport England Tier 3 and Tier 1. You can read it here: http://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm-sport-england-tier-1-3-relationship/ 

Cheers!

Monk - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Thanks for the reply, but the glaringly obvious is that a tiny proportion of members can or do attend area meetings, so you are representing the views of maybe 100 out of 85000 members, which makes it very easy for a few voices to have an unduly large influence. That is not a functional democracy. To be honest, this had never unduly troubled me until recently. But the issue is that for the vast majority or members they're will be no tangible difference between the current situation (where a few people have large influence) to the tier 3 option, so why should we oppose it? 

Until climb Britain, I didn't even know the NC really existed. The fact is that as long as we are represented in access problems, get advice, insurance, qualifications, comps etc, most of us will be happy and  a clearer corporate style structure seems to be easier to understand than the current structure. The more this rumbles on, the more the antipathy will grow. 

 

I have no problem with NC or any of its members, by the way. I just think it's an archaic structure that most members don't even know exists let alone how it works. 

Post edited at 18:59
Andy Cairns on 21 May 2018
In reply to Monk:

> Thanks for the reply, but the glaringly obvious is that a tiny proportion of members can or do attend area meetings, so you are representing the views of maybe 100 out of 85000 members, which makes it very easy for a few voices to have an unduly large influence.

Actually, at the last North West Area meeting, where Andy is the Secretary, there were 20 voting members there, so you're overestimating by a factor of 5.  And after abstentions, the members from the floor of the meeting were split 8 to 7 in favour of the Implementation Group proposals which became the recommended Tier 3 motion on the AGM agenda.  I think 5 of the 7 against were signatories of the Tier 1 proposal, so they were having a fairly major influence in the meeting.  The meeting only recorded a 9 to 8 vote AGAINST the IG proposals when the Secretary and Chair also voted against!

 

Cheers, Andy

1
Andy Say - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Cairns:

> Actually, at the last North West Area meeting, where Andy is the Secretary, there were 20 voting members there, so you're overestimating by a factor of 5. 

Andy, there are 10 Areas.  Some had smaller attendances than the NW  - both of the other Areas I visited were smaller! -  some had larger.  I would guess ('cos I can't be bothered to go through all of the Area reports to the last NC meeting to tot them up) that approximately 350-400 members attended that round of area meetings.  Still not major but getting on for 5% of the membership.

>And after abstentions, the members from the floor of the meeting were split 8 to 7 in favour of the Implementation Group proposals which became the recommended Tier 3 motion on the AGM agenda.  I think 5 of the 7 against were signatories of the Tier 1 proposal, so they were having a fairly major influence in the meeting.  The meeting only recorded a 9 to 8 vote AGAINST the IG proposals when the Secretary and Chair also voted against!

Will have to check the minutes, Andy.  But there were TWO votes re the Articles on the Agenda.  The first asked for an acknowledgement of the need to change the Articles for a variety of reasons and that was the pretty 'split' vote.  And I did agonise a bit about how Carl and I should represent that at National Council.  In the end it was OK as NC were never actually asked that question.

The second 'agenda item' (number 3 on the agenda I think) was about making the Articles Sport England 'compliant' and the meeting decided not to vote as they did not feel that those requirements had been adequately explained or the implications communicated.  As it turned out nearly every Area meeting discussed a slightly different set of Articles as they were being amended right through the process.

I've never been aware that the Area Secretary, as an individual BMC member, was not allowed to vote.  If that is the case then I'll step down right now.  I'm assuming that all Area post holders and NC reps will be similarly banned from voting at the AGM?

I tried hard to present the issues to the meeting in a fair way and also tried hard to answer questions similarly.  If you feel that the meeting was 'led' in any way and if your recollection of the meeting varies wildly from mine and the report I submitted to NC then you will undoubtedly be a better Area Secretary than me and I look forward to handing over to you.  

 

 

2
Andy Say - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Monk:

See my reply to Andy Cairns.

The actual attendance at the Area meetings probably comes to around 4/5% of the membership.

You are completely right that that does not represent a functional democracy.  I'd be really keen to try to change that.  The BMC has been woeful at 'digital engagement' (as opposed to simply 'telling members things') and there has to be a push towards trying to involve more people.  It was interesting to see the almost universal acceptance of on-line voting at future AGM's as an example.

The current system works in two ways I would suggest.  We had an instance of an Area Youth Co-ordinator raising a concern at an Area meeting and I was able to raise that concern at the next NC meeting, get an answer straight away from the Chair of Competitions, and get the concern recorded for future action.  The second way is that at the last NC meeting a report was presented to NC regarding the possible purchase of a major Welsh crag with severe access problems.  I was able to propose acceptance of the plan and we had a unanimous vote.  Issue dealt with in ten minutes of NC time by Reps able to exercise their own discretion on a major issue.

Why am I making this point?  Because I don't personally think that those abilities will survive in the new world order.   I really do think that there are severe elements of doublespeak in suggesting that they will make the BMC 'more democratic' by shifting all power to a Board of Directors who will mainly be insulated from the members and away from a National Council who should be taking direction from the Areas members at least five times a year.  I'm saddened that that crag purchase may be the last decisive action taken by member representatives of the BMC.

Post edited at 09:52
2
slab_happy on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I really do think that there are severe elements of doublespeak in suggesting that they will make the BMC 'more democratic' by shifting all power to a Board of Directors who will mainly be insulated from the members and away from a National Council who should be taking direction from the Areas members at least five times a year.

But -- as is being discussed in the other thread -- Proposal B also shifts power away from the NC to the Board, *without* having any of the additional protections for member representation that Proposal A does:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rocktalk/the_tier_one_proposal_for_the_bmc-685300

 

JR - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

>  that approximately 350-400 members attended that round of area meetings.  Still not major but getting on for 5% of the membership.

You're out by a factor of 10.

400 of 85,000 = 0.47%

Andy Say - on 22 May 2018
In reply to JR:

  Whoops!  And here's me thinking that I could do sums...

JR - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

It doesn't half dilute your mandate!  It tenths!

Post edited at 10:40
Dave Turnbull, BMC - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

 

BMC AGM / Voting / Constitution – in a nutshell

1. Firstly just to say this is a very complex and technical subject so it’s not surprising people are struggling, but I’ll try to explain things as clearly as I can.

2. The BMC has had a turbulent 2 years. The Climb Britain rebrand.  The reversion back to ‘the BMC’. The MONC. The Organisational Review. The AGM recommendation for constitutional change. And alongside all this we’ve had Brexit, Donald Trump and climbing getting into the 2020 Olympics.

3. It’s time we got back on track. Much of the BMC’s core / priority work (access & conservation, safety, clubs, competitions, guidebooks, membership, insurance, political lobbying etc.) has carried on as usual but at management / strategic level the organisation has been in state of limbo / ongoing crisis over this period and this is taking its toll on volunteers and staff - it really is time to get our act together and move on.

4. Talk of constitutional governance, Companies Act compliance, the BMC’s Memorandum & Articles of Association, the Sports Council Code of Governance, Tier 1 & 3 funding, the Sport + Recreation Governance Code etc. is a massive turn-off to most people who just want to get out climbing and walking, and want the BMC to get on with its work for members. But this is crucial stuff to the future of the organisation, someone’s got to deal with it, and this job falls on the shoulders of the elected volunteers and the staff who happen to be involved at this time.

5. It is this combination of Area based volunteers (who make up the ‘National Council’), the board of directors (again all volunteers except for the CEO) and the 32 staff (together with 10-12 technical committees covering access, BMC owned crags, hill walking, training & youth etc.) who run the BMC as best they can for the good of the membership.

6. Over the last 12 months a wide ranging review of the BMC’s governance, structure and strategy was carried out by a group of volunteers (the Organisational Review Group) chaired by Ray Wigglesworth QC. It is this review, and the follow-up work undertaken by National Council (Andy Syme and crew) since February that has culminated in the recommendation being put to the 16 June AGM.

7. The BMC’s strong recommendation is for members to vote for ‘Option A’ on the AGM voting form. Option A is supported by the BMC National Council, the Board of Directors, the Organisational Review Group, the BMC staff, Mountain Training England, Mountain Training UK, the Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC) and the ABC Training Trust. In other words – the whole of the BMC’s internal management structure and all of our closest partners.

8. ‘Option A’ sets out a modern new constitution and operational framework which will place the BMC in a strong and influential position for the next 20-30 years, amongst other things the Option A package will:

a. Remove the anomalies and ambiguities in the old (current) constitution and ensure the BMC complies with Company Law and the highest standards of governance for sporting organisations.

b. Clarify roles, responsibilities and the decision making structures in the organisation (e.g. we have c.26 Committees in total and this has always been a great source of confusion).

c. Bring us fully into the digital age e.g. the current constitution was written in 1993 (before the internet was invented) and still doesn’t allow full online voting by members.

d. Ensure the BMC continues to be acknowledged by government as the lead body for climbing and mountaineering; this is important as it gives us more clout when dealing with other government organisations, conversation and land management bodies etc.

e. Enable the BMC and our partners in Mountain Training and the climbing wall sector to continue to apply for the highest available levels of Sports Council grants available for climbing and hill walking (roughly £1m in total for the next 3 years).

9. For anyone who wants more detail it’s there in the supporting papers but for most people it'll feel pretty hard going and ultimately will come down to who you trust. Option A is the collective recommendation of the volunteers and staff entrusted with running the BMC at this point in time, but the final choice is yours.

If anyone wants to speak to me about any of the above - feel free to call me via the BMC switchboard - I'll do my best to be available.

Cheers
Dave

 

5
Andy Say - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Dave Turnbull, BMC:

Oh, Dave!  I know it is getting to squeaky bum time as we approach the AGM but did you not consider that for the CEO of the BMC to be telling members which way to vote might be counter-productive?  Especially as the basis of the issue we are voting on is how much power should be invested in a 'Board' that is relatively divorced from the members? 

I'd agree with your 1,2,3,4.  It's boring as hell. 

'5' is what 'you' are now trying to change.

And as for '7'!  Just who do you think 'the BMC' is?  The staff and CEO?  The Executive Committee?  Or could it just be the members.....?

OK you have enumerated the benefits of 'Option A' (n.b. why is it 'A' when it was submitted last?) and then avoided the issue that many of those things are also included in 'Option B'.  I am disappointed.  Though I do agree that Donald Trump has been a major disruptive force for the BMC staff.

And finally: I was disturbed to find yesterday that you had absolutely no idea that members were not being allowed to vote AGAINST either proposal on the proxy form.  And that no-one seems to have had oversight of that process.  How the hell can this be a democratic process when members are not allowed to say 'stuff both your camps, I don't want either!'  Or is this a desperate attempt to prevent a 'NO' vote and thus try to ensure 75%?

By the way, Dave, I agree about Donald Trump 

15
Offwidth - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

I'd be much more concerned if Dave sat on the fence. Option A is the democratic formulated BMC position umtil the AGM vote, and a CEO should support such.  As far as the latest evidence goes, your  Option B, like any acceptable Tier of Sport England governance also invests power in the Board, but without the checks and balances of Option A.

1
Andy Say - on 22 May 2018
In reply to JR:

> It doesn't half dilute your mandate!  It tenths!


Its not my mandate - its the mandate of National Council!

4
Andy Say - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> I'd be much more concerned if Dave sat on the fence. Option A is the democratic formulated BMC position umtil the AGM vote, and a CEO should support such.  

Believe it or not I disagree.  The CEO is the hewer of wood and the carrier of water.  We employ him to do our bidding.  Once the AGM vote is concluded then he swings into action.  Telling BMC members how he wants them to vote on a public forum is worrying. 

7
Offwidth - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

ORG was mandated, full member and stakeholder consultations occurred, IG suggested a way forward and NC have spoken, so he is 'carrying' the NC democratic determined 'water'. Option B is a protest vote from the ordinary membership and has no quantifiable democratic support  until the AGM votes  (with no evidence of still having the support of 25 members, nor confirmation of Tier 1 acceptance by Sport England, nor any clear benefit to members as Sport England Tier 1 has to still give the Board primacy).

Post edited at 18:15
5
Andy Say - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

So Steve, a direct question.  Are you happy that the CEO of the BMC has just told you how to vote?

I don't know what 'carrying their democratic determined water' means - you weren't involved in the 'Plain English Guide' were you

And you keep suggesting that 'the ordinary membership' has no right to dissent! There is no crime in dissent; the crime is in supressing dissent. (Can you tell I was reading the speeches of Tony Benn whilst I was away....)

8
Anonymous on 22 May 2018 - 81.92.203.58 whois?
In reply to Andy Say:

>  Telling BMC members how he wants them to vote on a public forum is worrying. 

To be fair on Dave, he didn't do that at all. He simply listed those in favour of it. He didn't mention his personal opinion at all.

1
MG - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> Option B is a protest vote from the ordinary membership

Shocking. Ordinary members expressing an opinion.  Whatever next!

> and has no quantifiable democratic support 

Neither does the other proposal.  That's why this vote thingy is taking place.

 

Offwidth - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Yes I'm happy he has backed the NC position but he makes it perfectly clear the choice is with the members.  I have nothing at all against dissent and have publicly been there myself, on the internet and  in area meetings, on several occasions with the BMC (albeit always on the winning side..... from opposing AGM block votes to supporting inclusion of FA information in Limestone South ). What I object to is the repeated misinformation and secrecy your side have been involved with since the MoNC and am saddened to see things going the same way with Option B. Including Bob's new letters with slurs, insults, sexism and misinformation.

Option A is what it says on the tin and agreed with Sport England and democraticly supported by our member's representaives in NC: orrdinary members can have an informed opinion on it, for or against . I've still no idea what Option B means as: you claim NC primacy against the clear contrary Sport England Tier 1 definitions; its not even clear if Sport England accept it; its not clear which of the proposers is still supporting it (after Jonathon White said on the recent BMC forum (available on BMC TV) he would now be seeking the proposers to stand down, after the agreed compromises with the IG). You are the only proposer so far who is publicly speaking for the option but seem to be avoiding answering any of these key questions.

Last year we had an accepted MoNC backed by secret distribution of letters containing misinformation that were used to raise several hundred proxy votes. A highly serious motion who's concerns were barely understandable from the actual words and a presentation to the AGM that was mostly tangental. I saw this as a bending of rules and an abuse of democracy. I'd hoped we would never have to face such bad behavior again.

Post edited at 18:52
6
slab_happy on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Especially as the basis of the issue we are voting on is how much power should be invested in a 'Board' that is relatively divorced from the members?

So why does Proposal B consistently transfer power away from the National Council to the Board, without adding the alternate protections for member representation that Proposal A does?

You've been directly asked about this, more than once. Why are you avoiding it?

Andy Say - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> What I object to is the repeated misinformation and secrecy your side have been involved with since the MoNC and am saddened to see things going the same way with Option B. Including Bob's new letters with slurs, insults, sexism and misinformation.

You know what, Steve?  I am getting really, really pissed off with your constant reference to 'my side' and trying to link me to the MoNC.  I was there: I voted against.  I haven't got a bloody clue what the hell you are talking about with your references to 'Bob's new letters'.  You are simply trying to blacken people by association and it is despicable.  You really are doing 'your side' no favours by your approach  

> I saw this as a bending of rules and an abuse of democracy.

Actually it wasn't.  It followed the rules exactly unlike some of what is going on now.  And it was a 'use of democracy'.  And it was defeated.  You are constantly suggesting that you would go the same route if the 'new world order' dissatisfies you!

 

9
spenser - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Hi Andy,

Drop me a message through here and I can pass you the emails which Steve is referring to (unless there are others I am not aware of).

Andy Say - on 22 May 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> So why does Proposal B consistently transfer power away from the National Council to the Board, without adding the alternate protections for member representation that Proposal A does?

> You've been directly asked about this, more than once. Why are you avoiding it?


Why?  There are only so many hours in the day!

There are no valid protections for member representation in the Tier 3 proposal.  You might get consulted; if you're lucky

11
Offwidth - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Democracy can't exist unless debates are open and honest. The results of Brexit, Trump's election and numerous European elections all look tainted with more recent exposes of the influence of fake news and Russian interferance, irrespective of the large numbers of voters who were not influenced by such on the winning side.  Seeing similar but even more blatant actions in the BMC disgusts me. We have a democratic right to speak up against such dishonest processes alongside the democratic right to vote. Your passions don't have a greater right to be presented here than mine. You've explained your voting intent often enough.. you were not on Bob's side then (nor obfuscating then) now you are on his side of the debate  (and not answering straight questions like the Tier 3 side are).

Post edited at 19:35
4
slab_happy on 22 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Why?  There are only so many hours in the day!

Because you're going round proclaiming Proposal B as some sort of triumph for protecting member representation.

So the fact that it appears to be *worse* than Proposal A on that front seems, oh, I don't know, kind of important? Maybe?

Minor detail, of course. I realize we live in a post-truth era and all.

> There are no valid protections for member representation in the Tier 3 proposal.  You might get consulted; if you're lucky

What "valid protections" are there in the Tier 1 proposal/Proposal B?

You might not think that the Tier 3/Proposal A protections are sufficient, but at least they're *there*; Proposal B transfers power away from the National Council to the Board without *any* attempt to provide alternative protection for member representation.

Is Martin Wragg's comparison of the alternative constitutions correct, or isn't it?

1
Will Hunt - on 22 May 2018
In reply to MG:

> Patronising crap. If governance arrangements can't be explained in terms "ordinary" people understand , they either aren't appropriate or there is deliberate obfuscation.

> The BMC has lost its way. 

This is simply not true. For one thing, the governance proposals have been explained in an easy to understand manner by way of a summary - but it is just that, a summary. You can't expect to read a precis and understand all of the detail, and therein the devil lies. The BMC is a legal entity which manages all sorts of things which make it important to be able to identify, in court if necessary, who the buck stops with when it comes to calling the shots. Structuring this, while retaining grass roots influencing, is going to be a complex business. To say that it needn't be complex is equivalent to suggesting that Brexit will be legally simple - anyone who actually understands the issues even slightly will know it not to be true.

Climbing has changed and so has the BMC. If it was as simple as perhaps you think it ought to be, the organisation would be nothing more than a group of mates who let the tyres down on anyone who denies access to a crag. Useless.

4
MG - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Will Hunt:

> This is simply not true. For one thing, the governance proposals have been explained in an easy to understand manner by way of a summary - but it is just that, a summary. You can't expect to read a precis and understand all of the detail, and therein the devil lies. 

The summary, while reasonable clearly written, says so little it isn't informative.

> The BMC is a legal entity which manages all sorts of things which make it important to be able to identify, in court if necessary, who the buck stops with when it comes to calling the shots. Structuring this, while retaining grass roots influencing, is going to be a complex business. To say that it needn't be complex is equivalent to suggesting that Brexit will be legally simple - anyone who actually understands the issues even slightly will know it not to be true.

I didn't suggest the details would be simple.  Rather that explaining the proposed setup should be possible in way that is clear and succinct and highlights the key aspects.  This simply hasn't been done. It's a good rule of thumb that if you can't outline something clearly to a lay person you probably don't understand it.  The "Plain English Guide" suggests to me they those making these proposal don't actually understand them. (Incidentally if my solicitors sent me such a document, they would cease to be my solicitors).

> Climbing has changed and so has the BMC. If it was as simple as perhaps you think it ought to be, the organisation would be nothing more than a group of mates who let the tyres down on anyone who denies access to a crag. Useless.

Why so childish?  What makes you think I want nothing to change? Honestly comments like this and repeated personal attacks from others on Andy Say (whose proposal by the way I also don't support), just reinforce my opinions this is at best a rushed mistake.

 

1
kamala - on 23 May 2018
In reply to MG:

> > Option B is a protest vote from the ordinary membership

> Shocking. Ordinary members expressing an opinion.  Whatever next!

Funnily enough, it's the people being accused of not caring about "ordinary members" who have three times asked my opinion as an ordinary member - twice at area meetings (could have been more but I missed at least one) and once online. 

In addition they've asked the specialist committees (declaration: I did get an extra voice here, but only on matters relating to the specialism of the committee)  and just about any other group with an interest in the success of the BMC that I can think of. The BMC is indeed its members, but it is also the people who volunteer for it and who work for it, whether "ordinary" members or not. Why would any of these people wish to see it fail?

The guardians of the ordinary member, the authors of proposal B, haven't asked my opinion as an ordinary member at all. I think Offwidth is wrong on this, it's a protest not "from the ordinary membership" but from a subset thereof. How representative a subset it is, I for one do not know. Have they taken your opinions into account? Who else's?

(Comments on personalities are generally unhelpful but I can understand the frustration of some with the constant repetition of misleading statements by others - note that I'm not naming names to at least try to avoid being personal!)

Anonymous on 23 May 2018 - 89.238.138.92 whois?
In reply to MG:

> Patronising crap. If governance arrangements can't be explained in terms "ordinary" people understand , they either aren't appropriate or there is deliberate obfuscation.

> The BMC has lost its way. 

Oh dear, are the volunteers that are working for free for you not doing it well enough again? If you moan more they might work even harder.

I note that you haven't offered to take the time to understand everything and re-draft them.

 

1
MG - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Anonymous:

> Oh dear, are the volunteers that are working for free for you not doing it well enough again? If you moan more they might work even harder.

The document has a law firm's logo as it's header.  These aren't volunteers. Regardless, even if it were a voluntary effort, that isn't a reason to accept something that is unsatisfactory.  It's great that people volunteer for the BMC but that doesn't give them special status, or justify the patrician, we-know-best attitude that is coming through.

 

mrchewy - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Anonymous:

You may or may not be a troll, attached to the BMC or even a lawyer but this pointing at the volunteers, as if this makes bad management acceptable, has been the cause of me cancelling my own membership in the past year.

The BMC has presented itself recently as nothing less than shambolic, which is sad because it completely overshadows all the great work it does despite this.

3
Offwidth - on 23 May 2018
In reply to MG:

There is indeed a paid lawyer but the vast majority of the work was still done by volunteers. They don't ask for special status but are due some leeway in my view when dealing with such complex negotiations and producing explanatory material in such a short time span. The language in that particluar report could have been better but it is nothing like as opaque as you claim it is. It is also supplemented by clearer material online and in Summit. I think that particular paper should be revised or supplemented further but I think any lack of clarity will in reality be damaging the Option A case, not option B as you seem to imply. This is because I don't think members are as easily influenced as you make them out to be and any lack of clarity will prevent Option A votes, not encourage more. Its fair to be angry about the lack of clarity but not to imply malicious BMC intent in this.

In contrast you seem to forgive the Option B proposers everything. We don't know who they even are anymore. We dont know if there is any member primacy possible that they claim in their version of the articles. We don't know if Sport England accept it complies with Tier 1.  You also seem to ignore all the nasty letters written out of the public view, continuing on from the bad behavior around the MoNC.

All the worst patrician 'we know best' stuff in public view so far  has come from Bob and his chums, albeit  much of the worst recent matrial has only had a small private circulation so far.

On Kamala's points I agree Tier 1 support is a small minority of the membership but with enough fake news it might just be enough to deny the 75% from the small minority of the membership who will vote. This is why the fake news is currently more important than the debate to me and why the people responsible for such bad behaviour matter. I have nothing against Option B opinions,  thats a democratic right. I object to the methods of some of the Options B supporters and what they say.  I only used the term ordinary membership as their motions to the AGM have different rules compared to NC/Exec motions. I am also part of that ordinary membership, I have no official BMC volunteer position in the democratic structures (but do have very good links to those on the NC and exec), have attended more meetings than probably anyone else in my lowly position and am an open option A supporter... even more so after the concillatory efforts of Crag and Jonathon). I support full and fair equal views from that ordinary membership in AGM votes and won't insult people by labelling them as Insurance or National Trust members (synonyms for plebs)  as some Option B supporters do. I also am very pleased people have the option to watch and vote electronically this year, one of several extra protections for the ordinary membership missing from Option B.

 

Post edited at 11:03
3
Offwidth - on 23 May 2018
In reply to mrchewy:

Its much easier to look shambolic when facing what is effectively in my view 'guerrilla tactics' from a section of the membership who could have stood for election or written motions that most members would supoort and vote for, but they chose not to. I really do understand why people like you feel the way you do but would hope at some point you would reconsider.

The good work hasn't stopped. Most of the work is access and conservation related and run by volunteers where membership subscription provides imprtant financial support,  and numerical representative clout. The BMC are in the process of buying yet another nationally important crag where access has been dreadful. Most BMC paid staff are blameless under any circumstances and have been under the cosh for two years and subs pay a more significant part of their salary since Sport England funding was withheld. The hill walking volunteers, Mend our Mountains input, crag festival volunteers,  competion volunteers, technical volunteers,  training body input all the 'what did the Romans ever do for us' stuff is all still there. 

Post edited at 11:15
5
MG - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> . Its fair to be angry about the lack of clarity but not to imply malicious BMC intent in this.

I can only speculate based on the information available but I think it's a combination of a rush job (undesirable) and an assumption by those proposing it that they know best and therefore it must be rail-roaded through.  I suspect this has led for example to there being no option to oppose the motion (highly undesirable).

> In contrast you seem to forgive the Option B proposers everything. 

I  don't forgive them anything. I've said I have not supported their motion. However, I do support their right to submit a motion and have it fairly considered. Your repeated hints about emails and so on seem to me exactly what you criticised about the MONC- underhand, well-poisoning.  If, as you claim, you have evidence of malicious behaviour, show it publicly.  Otherwise stop trying to  blacken the names of those supporting the motion with innuendo.

> . I also am very pleased people have the option to watch and vote electronically this year, one of several extra protections for the ordinary membership missing from Option B.

I agree with you here.

 

1
Offwidth - on 23 May 2018
In reply to MG:

I repeat, I'm only accusing a small minority of the Option B supporters based on real information many others have seen... this is not an attack on democratic views, its an attack on dirty tricks. I and others have the evidence to back my public statements if that ever becomes necessary.  I'm aware how this plays but some letters contain potential libel that others involved don't want publishing and some letters contain information where some Option B supporters or sympathisers might be damaged who have probably just been foolish in their associations. I can show copies of some of the less problematic letters that are in wider private circulation at the Peak Area meeting tonight. Those leading on Option B had a choice not to involve the likes of Bob as a proposer, ie who are those who were known to be behaving badly and unlikely to stop. Instead some who should know better, encourage the portrayal of Bob as a frail old man suffering planned revenge assault from the BMC exec, when in fact a foolish volunteer made a bad decision after being personally attacked by Bob in a patronising and sexist manner. Bob descibes me as "a compulsive and abusive 24 hour troller who recently joined **** to defame me". All of my comments here are based on things he wrote and circulated to others, or his behaviour at the AGM and other BMC meetings.

Post edited at 11:43
5
Andy Say - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

>  I also am very pleased people have the option to watch and vote electronically this year, one of several extra protections for the ordinary membership missing from Option B.

They don't.  They are able to register a proxy vote on-line (or on paper) pretty much as they always have.  The AGM will be streamed live.  But people will NOT be able to watch and vote electronically.  That is possibly for the future.

 

2
Andy Say - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

>I'm aware how this plays but some letters contain potential libel that others involved don't want publishing and some letters contain information where some Option B supporters or sympathisers might be damaged who have probably just been foolish in their associations.

No, Steve I don't think you do realise how this 'plays'.  Its like Groundhog Day.  You really are coming across as a monomaniac obsessed with one person and one event.  This is of little relevance to the current debate apart from you trying to force it on to the agenda again and again.

> I can show copies of some of the less problematic letters that are in wider private circulation at the Peak Area meeting tonight.

If you can prove he was a signatory to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion then you've got it made

>Instead some who should know better, encourage the portrayal of Bob as a frail old man suffering planned revenge assault from the BMC exec, when in fact a foolish volunteer made a bad decision.

Its those old guilt feelings coming out again.....it WAS you that supplied the thrown drink wasn't it?

 

9
spenser - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

If it'll help you to stop going on about that drink I'm happy to buy yourself and Bob a pint of cider or a large glass of wine each at the AGM to throw over me.

As I mentioned above I am more than happy to forward you some of the abusive emails which I have been passed, however on looking over them again it does appear that you are included in the circulation of some of them. 

Offwidth being referred to as Husband Robinson was however rather funny...

gallam1 - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Is anyone able to tell me the names of the people who have proposed Option A?

From what I understand it is a rather nebulous group.  Do the Articles of Association of the BMC and the Companies Act require the individuals in question to be named, or is it sufficient for them to hide behind some sort of collective noun?

2
Rob Parsons on 23 May 2018
In reply to spenser:

> If it'll help you to stop going on about that drink ...

He's not the one going on about all that stuff.

 

Andy Say - on 23 May 2018
In reply to spenser:

> If it'll help you to stop going on about that drink I'm happy to buy yourself and Bob a pint of cider or a large glass of wine each at the AGM to throw over me.

Personally I'm more than happy to never mention it again!

> Offwidth being referred to as Husband Robinson was however rather funny...

Bugger.  I never saw that

 

Becky E - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> OK.  I'll boil it down.  At the AGM, or before if you go for a proxy vote, you will have a choice presented to you.

> The 'official proposal' which seeks to make the BMC become a Sport England recognised 'National Governing Body' and thus gets funding (8/10% of BMC income). To achieve that a 'Board of Directors' will be created who will have 'primacy' but should consult the members in order to work out what is in the members' best interests.  

> The 'Tier 1' proposal is a compromise which will enable the BMC to continue to be a SE recognised NGB BUT will retain significant 'member-power' over the Board.  The trade-off is that the BMC will lose its SE funding and there will likely be a 10% subs hike.

> If you don't like either of those options and actually quite like the way we are then it will be important that you vote against both! 


Except that continuing the existing fudge is simply not an acceptable option.

1
Ian W - on 23 May 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> Is anyone able to tell me the names of the people who have proposed Option A?

> From what I understand it is a rather nebulous group.  Do the Articles of Association of the BMC and the Companies Act require the individuals in question to be named, or is it sufficient for them to hide behind some sort of collective noun?

You could even look it up yourself. Its the ORG and NC basically. Names all freely available. Or the 800+ signatories to that petition. Names all freely available.

1
Andy Say - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Becky E:

> Except that continuing the existing fudge is simply not an acceptable option.


Why is that?

1
Andy Say - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Ian W:

> Its the ORG and NC basically. 

You know, Ian, that does bother me.  The Organisational Review Group were touted as independent, no axe to grind, impartial etc.  And their work was completed some months ago.  But now they appear to be signatories to a proposal to the AGM?  Just how impartial is that in your opinion?

Oh and its not all of the NC

 

4
gallam1 - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Ian W:

If the names of the proposers are freely available would you be kind enough to list them here so I can see them.  I cannot seem to find any record on the BMC website.  The "ORG and the NC basically" is exactly the sort of obscure collective that I was referring to earlier.

Is this acceptable with the current Articles? Is it legal under the Companies Act?

Post edited at 17:05
1
Becky E - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

The legal risks to National Council members, for starters.  Once you know about a problem it is not acceptable to ignore it.

Becky E - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> >Instead some who should know better, encourage the portrayal of Bob as a frail old man suffering planned revenge assault from the BMC exec, when in fact a foolish volunteer made a bad decision.

> Its those old guilt feelings coming out again.....it WAS you that supplied the thrown drink wasn't it?

Why does it matter who purchased the drink?  Offwidth played no part in the spontaneous tipping of the dregs of it.  You seem to be suggesting some responsibility which he does not bear.

 

UKB Shark - on 23 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> Looks that way but I’ll wait for an explanation on why it was done that way or ask at the Peak area meeting on Wednesday  before rushing to judgement

So I’ve had it confirmed that an abstain vote is the equivalent of a ‘no’ vote as by voting to abstain you become part of the voting population for that motion. Hope that makes sense.

1
Ian W - on 23 May 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> If the names of the proposers are freely available would you be kind enough to list them here so I can see them.  I cannot seem to find any record on the BMC website.  The "ORG and the NC basically" is exactly the sort of obscure collective that I was referring to earlier.

> Is this acceptable with the current Articles? Is it legal under the Companies Act?


Dont be pathetic. NC members names are clearly available. It wont take long to find the names on the petition, and will take you considerably less time to find and read than me to type!!

1
gallam1 - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Ian W:

Further to my last comment I found the following after a considerable amount of digging on the BMC website:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/media/files/AGM/2018/Option%20A_BMC_full.pdf

This PDF contains the resolution that is to be voted on at the AGM described as Option A.  The difficulties involved in finding this file were substantial and call into serious question the transparency of the process.

The current Articles of the BMC state:

"51.2. All resolutions to be submitted to a General Meeting of the BMC shall be delivered to the CEO in writing not less than forty five clear days before the date of the meeting and shall be SIGNED by not less than twenty five Voting Members as proposers of the Resolution and failure to comply with these requirements shall render the resolution invalid."

Option A clearly fails to meet the procedure specified in the current Articles of Association because it is not signed by 25 Voting Members.  Consequently it should not have been accepted by the CEO to be voted on at the next AGM, and should be withdrawn immediately because it would not withstand legal challenge even if it were to attract more than 75% of the votes at the AGM. 

IanW I appreciate you taking the time to respond to the simple points that I am making.  The fact that NC members names are clearly available is completely irrelevant, as you will see from Section 51.2 of the BMC's Articles of Association above, not least because it has become apparent that not all NC members support the motion.  If apathy has led you to not having read the Articles of Association, I suggest that you get hold of a copy as soon as possible.

Post edited at 21:43
2
Ian W - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> You know, Ian, that does bother me.  The Organisational Review Group were touted as independent, no axe to grind, impartial etc.  And their work was completed some months ago.  But now they appear to be signatories to a proposal to the AGM?  Just how impartial is that in your opinion?

> Oh and its not all of the NC


And NC voted to accept and recommend the Tier 3 option. Including you amongst others. Its called collective responsibility, and democracy in action. If you and others, Carl, Lyndon etc feel so strongly that they cant accept a collective decision so strongly that they have to propose an alternative, then I cant really see how you can remain as NC reps. Its fine having different opinions, and pushing different policies, but backing an alternative to the official line of the body you are a member of is very much like emptying your pram of all available soft toys. And if members of the ORG, which has now been disbanded (?) want to propose something as members, then why not?

And while we're at it; my major disappointment is that there is even the opportunity for a Tier 1 / Tier 3 debate. If the ORG came up with an organisational / governance structure fit for purpose for the next 10/15 years, this debate wouldn't be taking place at all; SE governance requirements would not be even close to a challenge. But that has been a long time criticism of mine of the BMC; too slow to develop and not forward enough looking. I can understand the reasons why, but when chair of comps , the frustration of the limitations imposed by internal machinations was immense.

But easy to criticise; a lot of effort was put in by the ORG; they should be supported. Even by those of us who would propose differing solutions.

 

2
Ian W - on 23 May 2018
In reply to gallam1:

 

> IanW I appreciate you taking the time to respond to the simple points that I am making.  The fact that NC members names are clearly available is completely irrelevant, as you will see from the Articles of Association above.  If apathy has led you to not having read the Articles of Association, I suggest that you get hold of a copy as soon as possible.

They'll be changing soon enough anyway........    ;) the articles, that is...

did you find them on the website? If so, I applaud you; it really is difficult to find anything on there.......

 

 

Post edited at 21:41
Rob Parsons on 23 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> So I’ve had it confirmed that an abstain vote is the equivalent of a ‘no’ vote as by voting to abstain you become part of the voting population for that motion. Hope that makes sense.

Thanks. There was never any doubt that an abstention would be *functionally* equivalent to a 'no', purely because both are not 'yes' - and the objective of the 'yes' campaign is to achieve more than 75% of the votes. (Question: is that 75% of the electorate? Or 75% of the votes cast? That's not clear to me.)

However an 'absention' is not a 'no'. In a vote like this one, which is to do with proposed constitutional changes, an explicit 'no' option should have been provided.

Did you happen to find out who constructed the ballot? We've had mentioned here that Dave Turnbull disclaims responsibility.

Post edited at 22:10
Say_Much_More on 23 May 2018
In reply to gallam1:

Rodney

You are misreading the legal obligations in Article 

- Companies Act 2006 (s302) gives directors a power to call General Meetings and to make proposals to their members at a General Meeting in order to effectively conduct the business of Company. Is subject to due notice of the meeting having been given.  The due notice in 64.1 is 28 days (the Companies act default is 14 days)

- Legal advice, agreed by Martin Wragg is “that the 51.2 provision in your Articles relates to the powers you have afforded to your Voting Members to propose a resolution at a General Meeting (over and above what is afforded to your Voting Members under Companies Act 2006)”

Search BMC website for Memorandum and it's the first link BTW (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Handlers/DownloadHandler.ashx?id=1196)

Post edited at 22:28
Rob Parsons on 23 May 2018

In reply to Say_Much_More:

> It's 75% of the votes counted which is from Companies Act (can't quote reference I'm afraid)

Ok, thanks.

Andy Syme - on 23 May 2018
In reply to gallam1:

The NC list is here https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-national-council?s=5.  The minutes not yet published but from memory it was 16 for 5 abstain (which included me as I was presenting the new articles)

The exec list is here https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-executive-committee?s=5

The ORG are listed on page 68 of the ORG report https://www.thebmc.co.uk/media/files/BMC%20ORG%20Review%20Full%20Report.pdf

 

Post edited at 23:04
gallam1 - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Say_Much_More:

For the record, could you point to the minutes and the date of the meeting at which the directors (which from the perspective of the Companies Act I am assuming is the Executive Committee) agreed to propose Option A. 

For the purposes of transparency could you also report who voted for and against the motion.

Post edited at 23:20
1
Martin Hore - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I am a just an ordinary BMC member through my club. I've read through this thread and I'm distressed that once again there is so much acrimony between people who I presume share my passion for mountaineering.

I'm minded to vote for Option A because it seems to me that it's the result of a lot of careful thought by people with no axe to grind, just the best interests of members. Also I'm worried at any association of option B with those responsible for last year's MONC. Can anyone enlighten me how many, if any, of the still-standing Option B signatories were also signatories of the MONC. If it's more than one or two then that I think will confirm my intention to vote for Option A.

Martin

2
galpinos on 23 May 2018
In reply to gallam1:

i thought the current set up was that the NC make the decision and the exec act on that decision, hence the whole “primacy” debate. In this case, the NC voted in favour of Option A so the exec put it forward.

 

Andy Syme - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Martin Hore:

 

> I'm minded to vote for Option A because it seems to me that it's the result of a lot of careful thought by people with no axe to grind, just the best interests of members. Also I'm worried at any association of option B with those responsible for last year's MONC. Can anyone enlighten me how many, if any, of the still-standing Option B signatories were also signatories of the MONC. If it's more than one or two then that I think will confirm my intention to vote for Option A.

If the post on the other thread (21:51 on Wed 23rd) is to be believed I count about 7, certainly more than 2 

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/crag_access/important_questions_for_the_proposers_of_tier_1-685495

 

Jen Mason on 24 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> The good work hasn't stopped... ...Mend our Mountains input... .

Don't even get me started on F*ck our Footpaths!

;-D

Post edited at 01:41
2
Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> So I’ve had it confirmed that an abstain vote is the equivalent of a ‘no’ vote as by voting to abstain you become part of the voting population for that motion. Hope that makes sense.

No.  You know that doesn't make sense.  'Against' and 'Abstain' are two completely different expressions of opinion.  Where on the proxy form does it tell you that that 'abstain' means 'against'.

You might almost think that someone was trying desperately to make the outcome of the AGM open to legal challenge!  Not allowing a 'No' vote on the major issue: not sending out papers to members on the basis that 'they're on the web-site and if you don't get them that's your fault': accepting proposals after the constitutional deadlines:  a default of proxies being lodged with the Chair.

Its not good is it Simon? 

7
Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Ian W:

> And NC voted to accept and recommend the Tier 3 option. Including you amongst others. Its called collective responsibility, and democracy in action. If you and others, Carl, Lyndon etc feel so strongly that they cant accept a collective decision so strongly that they have to propose an alternative, then I cant really see how you can remain as NC reps. Its fine having different opinions, and pushing different policies, but backing an alternative to the official line of the body you are a member of is very much like emptying your pram of all available soft toys. 

As I said elsewhere, Ian, dissent is not a crime: stifling dissent is the crime

Don't know why you bring Lyndon Gill into it; he's not on NC.  It is something I've grappled with though - this collective responsibility thingy.  (I think its responsible to say, 'no, I don't agree' rather than saying 'I don't agree but I'll agree'.)  I'll be offering to stand down from NC at the next NW Area meeting because of those very concerns.  But I'm on NC because I have been voted in as an area Rep not because NC have kindly invited me on Board If I decide to stand down I will be offering my resignation to the Area rather than NC.

 

Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Becky E:

> The legal risks to National Council members, for starters.  Once you know about a problem it is not acceptable to ignore it.

Oh come on!  That was scare story two; after the 'Oh my god we're in breach of the Companies Act' one got debunked.  So yesterday....

 

3
UKB Shark - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

I said it’s not good as it wasn’t clear how it worked - to me at least. However, given that an abstention will count in the totting up of the votes on whether 75% is achieved or not then from a practical point of view a dissenting member can make their vote count by voting to abstain. That satisfied me that those voters who felt that way could make a meaningful vote which was my main concern.

I wouldn’t like to speculate why it was done that way and there was nobody present in the room that would have been able to give a definitive answer to that. It might have just been a genuine oversight (ie cock up) rather than a plot you know.

Post edited at 08:36
spenser - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

The default of the proxies being lodged with the chair seems to be normal with the ERS and was used in the recent IMechE Motion of No Confidence which was dealt with on Monday.

Given that the voting is structured as Option A or Option B or Abstain or Discretionary and that for either Option A or Option B to be accepted requires 75% of the voting membership (including abstentions) to approve it (in other words 25% voting for either Option B or Abstaining would make Option A fail). Currently Option B lowers the bar for success if a wrecker of some sort were to wish to give the BMC a kicking, all it does is split the vote when there is a high margin for success. Neither of the Presidential candidates want Option B to be implemented and I doubt John Roberts particularly wants to go down that road either. 

Ian W - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Thought LG was .....my mistake. He certainly attended the NC meeting where the ORG recommendations etc were presented to NC, and was "very vocal" at that meeting. My take on the collective resp. thing is not to say "I dont agree but I'll agree", rather I dont agree, but will accept the majority decision". 

I agree with you regarding the voting stuff. To me, if i vote abstain, it means i dont care one way or the other, rather than being positively against something. The voting sheet did seem odd.

Anyhoo, work beckons!

 

 

 

Post edited at 09:01
Martin Hore - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> If the post on the other thread (21:51 on Wed 23rd) is to be believed I count about 7, certainly more than 2 

Thank you Andy

Yes, it does seem that major MONC proposers are also behind Option B. Andy Say, who is, apart from Bob Pettigrew, the only person involved who I know personally rather than by reputation, seems to be an exception. He is also (I think) the only signatory to have openly (ie not behind a pseudonym) defended Option B on here. I respect Andy, but having read Ed Douglas's article, and the articles in Summit, I'll be voting for Option A.

If I have time to read all the detail of both proposals before the voting deadline I might change my view, but like many members I suspect, I'm unlikely to be able to do that.

Martin

 

Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Martin Hore:

Hi Martin,

There's not so many on here not hiding behind a pseudonym

I think Ed's article is good and gives a far more impartial view than you are likely to find elsewhere.  Just vote how you feel is best for the BMC.  I will.....

Becky E - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Oh come on!  That was scare story two; after the 'Oh my god we're in breach of the Companies Act' one got debunked.  So yesterday....

The legal advice from Womble Bond Dickinson is very clear regarding the risks to National Councillors under the current arrangements.  I don't think it's acceptable to ask them to continue to bear those risks, now that we know about them.

The risk for Councillors

3.13 In our view, under the current arrangements there is an argument that the National Council and Councillors could be regarded as de facto or shadow directors. In other words, the Councillors are the persons who direct/instruct the affairs of the organisation. While certain provisions of the Articles do reserve powers to the Executive Committee for some matters, in fact, the powers available to the National Council in our view appear superior in many respects to those of the Executive Committee. This indicates that it could be regarded as the body with ultimate (or at least joint)decision making authority in relation to the BMC.

 

3.14 The law would regard shadow directors as owing the same legal duties to the company

 

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/media/files/BMC%20ORG%20Review%20Full%20Report.pdf page 74

Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Becky E:

I'll bear - it considering that the BMC has indemnity insurance.  And if its a risk -mitigate it!

4
JR - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> And if its a risk - mitigate it! 

By updating the articles properly to do that, like option A?

 

Post edited at 16:22
caver - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I'll bear - it considering that the BMC has indemnity insurance.  And if its a risk -mitigate it!

I assume the Insurers have been informed of this position. Cover is based in information received; and if you fail to inform them when a new risk come to light, then you may not be covered.

Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to caver:

I believe they are aware   And have made assurances that NC members were already covered.

Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to JR:

> By updating the articles properly to do that, like option A?

Well you could remove all power and responsibility from National Council like Option A. To simply remove liability of course

Or you could  ensure that ALL volunteers are properly indemnified and allow National Council to continue to be decision makers in BMC policy.  

10
Becky E - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I'll bear - it considering that the BMC has indemnity insurance.  And if its a risk -mitigate it!

The risk is introduced by the unclear structures laid out in the Articles of Association.  The way to mitigate that risk is to update the A of A.

I don't think it's acceptable to ask our NC reps to take on a risk that could, and should, be mitigated.  Yes, that risk has been there for a long time.  But the point is that we now know about that risk and therefore we (all of us members of the BMC) are under a moral obligation to do something about it.  Added to which (as someone else has pointed out), the insurers may not be too happy about insuring an unnecessary risk.

1
slab_happy on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Well you could remove all power and responsibility from National Council like Option A.

Also like Option B. Except Option B doesn't introduce any alternate measures for member representation, or any restricted matters that the Board can't decide on its own. It systematically removes every point where the NC has power over the Board.

In fact, while it says the National Council will get to set "broad strategies", Option B explicitly defines the National Council as a "consultative body."

> and allow National Council to continue to be decision makers in BMC policy.

Which Option B doesn't do. So why are you pushing it? And why are you continuing to misrepresent what's in it?

3
Paul Evans - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say: Oddly enough Andy, as per my post some days back, Option B which you are supporting removes almost all powers of decision making from National Council. And I don't believe (apologies if I missed it) that we've been told whether there is any formal confirmation from SE that they accept the Option B proposal is in fact Tier 1 compliant. 

Members who may be considering voting for it need to be aware of Option B's status. Any clarification you can provide would be welcome. 

Cheers

Paul

1
slab_happy on 25 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Seriously, I've been waiting since Monday for someone to say "oh no, you and Paul Evans and Martin Wragg et. al. have misinterpreted the documents, here, look at clauses such-and-such in Proposal B which you overlooked and which give the National Council decision-making power over the Board, and thus member power is preserved like we've been claiming."

Instead, you've opted for pretending that anyone who mentions this awkward little issue doesn't exist.

john arran - on 25 May 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

The popular press approach, when faced with inconvenient truths, is to try to bend them into pretending they show something they don't. If that isn't possible, they ignore them completely and mislead their readers by omission.

It's the same with politicians, especially now that they so rarely ever give genuine interviews with critical interviewers (almost every political interview nowadays is by 'friendly' interviewers and has questions vetted in advance.) They create a platform for representing the world their way, and simply ignore any requests that are likely to hinder their misrepresentation

1
Andy Say - on 27 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

 

I think everyone realises that there will be NO winners here due to the shambolic way we have approached a major decision point for the BMC. 

 

I was really tempted to just walk away from the pack-mentality evinced recently on this forum.  I have decided that I WILL still engage with ‘discussion’ on UKC in the run-up to the BMC AGM but have laid down a few ground rules for myself.

 

  1. I will only respond to those who I have a reasonable chance of identifying as a real, identifiable  person.
  2. I will only respond to those who are able to discuss issues without resorting to personal abuse and pettiness.
  3. I will only respond to those who do seem to actually have at least a cursory grasp of the detail of the issues being discussed
  4. And, perhaps most importantly – I will only respond to those for whom I have retained some respect. 

 

I DO hope no offence will be caused if I stop responding to some posters.

 

4
Andy Say - on 27 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Looks to me like 'abstaining' is the way to go

4
slab_happy on 27 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

As I said:

> Instead, you've opted for pretending that anyone who mentions this awkward little issue doesn't exist.

1
john arran - on 29 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I think everyone realises that there will be NO winners here due to the shambolic way we have approached a major decision point for the BMC. 

Just re-read this and realised how you appeared to be speaking bollox on behalf of "everyone". Well maybe that's true for everyone except me. But more likely many thousands of others too.

As far as I'm concerned, if Option A passes with 75% of votes then we're all winners. The BMC can get on with its work, it will be free to apply for SE funding for important work as and when it feels it may be appropriate to do so, and members will still have a vital and effective role in determining the way the BMC is run.

What's not to like?

4
Wiley Coyote2 - on 29 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Can anyone tell me, is there an option on the voting form for 'I am so fed up of this crap that I just wish everyone involved would all just f**k off and die'. If so, where do I sign please?

9
ali_colquhoun - on 29 May 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Surely I can't be the only one who thinks: how on earth will this, or almost anything the BMC does affect my independent enjoyment of the hills? 

Many of us climb, or walk for that matter, for the simple reason that it is an independent activity free from the rules of organised sport. 

I think many within and without the BMC overrate their influence on the vast majority of us getting on with it out there. All of this politicking seems bizarre to me, and to many others I am sure. For the first time in my 20 years of climbing I am wondering what the point of the BMC is. Climbing is a lonely activity, you take responsibility for your own safety and actions. Wrangling over the ins and outs of an obscure constitution means nothing to me. 

You have your vote, you get your result, it doesn't matter to me. I'm going to go out there and get on with it. 

Ali 

4
Andy Syme - on 30 May 2018
In reply to ali_colquhoun:

In many ways it doesn't affect any of us getting onto the hills, but having an effective BMC is important if you want them to be able to do what they have been doing quietly and effectively in the background:

- Working with suppliers to make kit safer.

- Working with landowners, government bodies and parliament to ensure you have access rights to the large swathes of private land where many crags and hills are.

- Producing guidebooks.

- Helping clubs, introducing young people safely to the outdoors, setting up training standards, etc etc

Yes governance is boring, and the standard of debate has been at times deplorable, BUT after significant review and member involvement the NC, Exec and ORG are asking you to support them in voting for the changes they believe will allow them to do their job better and provide more support to you, quietly and mostly in the background, so you can go out and enjoy your climbing.  Is it too much to ask for you to spend 5 mins to do that?

 

1
Wiley Coyote2 - on 30 May 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

  Is it too much to ask for you to spend 5 mins to do that?

That is always the  bleat of the volunteer, isn't it? 'Look at all we have done for you. You must be grateful to us'. But if some people either disapprove of or don't want what has been done    they are not going to be grateful, are they? Nor will they think supporting such unwanted work worth five seconds, never mind five minutes of their time. As was said much higher up the thread, many people are  'accidental' (I would have added possibly  reluctant/resentful)  members of the BMC as an irritating but unavoidable  condition of joining a local club.

The blinkered response to that is often  that if people are unhappy with the BMC they should go along to meetings, become reps and change things which rather misses the point. They don't want it at all so why are they going to give up their time to tinker with it? By way of comparison, Mrs C thinks football is boring but I don't tell her that if she thinks it could be better she should join her local FA then get elected to regional bodies, then the national FA and become a FIFA rep so she can change the rules. Instead she just doesn't watch it and doesn't care in Chelsea City are playing Manchester Albion and does something more important to her instead.

Talking of which, I'm off climbing

 

 

Post edited at 09:05
15
spenser - on 30 May 2018
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

If they don't want to be a member of the BMC they could always choose not to join the club, or raise the issue at a General Meeting of the club. As an elected officer of a club I would explain the protections which the BMC affords club officers/ volunteers/ mentors, the support which the club receives from the BMC and emphasise the good work which the BMC does on access and guidebooks.

If they still wanted the club to withdraw from the BMC I would invite them to take on my role and do my job better than I currently do without drawing on any BMC support. If they wouldn't agree to this then I would point out that they are quite welcome to leave the club, discuss it with other elected officers or to drop it, pushing the issue further is clearly seeking to make the lives of elected officers more difficult and I do not see this as being compatible with club membership.

1
Andy Syme - on 30 May 2018
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

No bleating.  I volunteer because I think the BMC does good work which couldn't happen if people didn't volunteer.  I didn't expect thanks or gratitude, I just think it was right for me to do.

As to if it's unwanted work, well maybe so but it is necessary.  I'm guessing you accept that given the BMC exists and you have to join it you would prefer it was run as well as it could be.   that's why we need to change.

I would still argue that the BMC provides alot for the price you pay and without the volunteers and the BMC we wouldn't have access to Almscliff, Kilnsey, Brimham and other sites in God's Own Country or across the rest of the UK. 

If you don't want to vote that's your choice, but I would suggest that without all those people you want to "f**k off and die" the climbing in Yorkshire (my area) would be the worse for it.

Wiley Coyote2 - on 30 May 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

Two things have got conflated here, Andy. To take the easy one first - f**k off and die'. If you give the full quote ("Is there an option on the voting form for 'I am so fed up of this crap that I just wish everyone involved would all just f**k off and die'. If so, where do I sign please?") I think it is clear that this is my reaction to the debate, if that's not too polite a word for what's been going on, which I, like many others have found a complete turn-off.

My reference to 'bleating' was in direct reply to your list of all the work BMC volunteers do which ended with the words 'Is it too much to ask for you to spend 5 mins to do that?'

I'm afraid my reaction to that is Yes it is. I am not suggesting for one moment that the BMC is the empire of evil, nor that some of it's work is not important and useful. However, I do think it has become bloated, stuck its fingers into too many pies and does a lot of things I am either bewildered by or sometimes  actively disapprove of.

As must already be clear, I have no wish to be a member of the BMC but I have no choice but to do so if I want to belong to my club.  I view my membership as a kind of 'climbing tax', extorted as the price of belonging to another organisation. The fact that is not a large sum is neither here nor there. As Spenser says higher up the thread, I could start campaigning  for my own club to disaffiliate but I really can't be arsed to put in that much effort, or energy so I pay my climbing tax just like I pay other taxes because life's too short and I've better things to do with my time than go to the barricades over it.

So I accept the BMC will continue to pick my pocket every year and put up with it as the price of belonging to my club but please don't expect me to spend five minutes  on the BMC oir even to care about it because it is not worth even five secs of my time.

In fact I've already wasted too much time on it now so I'll bow out. I think my position is clear enough

 

12
1poundSOCKS - on 30 May 2018
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

> I view my membership as a kind of 'climbing tax'

It is a tax, and tax is a good thing. Just like society benefits from general taxation, climbers benefit massively from a small annual contribution.

3
Wiley Coyote2 - on 30 May 2018
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> >

> It is a tax, and tax is a good thing. 

 

Does that include the bit that pays for, say,  Trident? Wars in Iraq? MPs subsidised bars?  David Davis' salary? Deporting  the Windrush generation? Or just for the good stuff like schools, the NHS etc?

 

1
1poundSOCKS - on 30 May 2018
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

Cheer up fella, you get a lot for your money. The BMC isn't buying WMD.

1
danm on 30 May 2018
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> The BMC isn't buying WMD.

No, but we've got a Grimer, which is pretty much the same thing?

Andy Syme - on 30 May 2018
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

Everytime I go to NC or Area I will think of how to spend your taxes wisely

 

john arran - on 30 May 2018
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

Thank you for the real insight into the 'me generation' mindset, even though it is deeply depressing to hear.

3
Wiley Coyote2 - on 30 May 2018
In reply to john arran:

You're welcome

Kipper - on 31 May 2018
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

>... The BMC isn't buying WMD.

Not yet, but I was at a BMC meeting where a very prominent climber suggested that all the money was cashed in to buy arms for an assault on parliament

 

 

slab_happy on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to Kipper:

.... just for reference, what would we be *doing* after taking over parliament? I mean, was there an agenda for running the country after the climber coup d'etat, or had planning not got that far yet?

john arran - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> .... just for reference, what would we be *doing* after taking over parliament? I mean, was there an agenda for running the country after the climber coup d'etat, or had planning not got that far yet?

Why, taking back control, of course. You don't need a plan!

Rob Parsons on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> So I’ve had it confirmed that an abstain vote is the equivalent of a ‘no’ vote as by voting to abstain you become part of the voting population for that motion. Hope that makes sense.


Turns out that that is officially wrong.

What a f*cking shambles.

Offwidth - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Alternately its probably a sensible legal response after complants were made (and probably threats to legally challenge the vote if it continued as it stood). 

3
Kipper - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> .... or had planning not got that far yet?

Nowhere near... And it didn't make the minutes

 

Rob Parsons on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

It's a f*cking shambles: mid-vote, they change the rules.

If you think all this is reasonable then I suspect you are far too close to the action to be able to formulate an objective view. I have never before witnessed a process like it.

 

MG - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I'm wondering if the MONC went the wrong way... 

1
spenser - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Hi Rob,

Can I just check where this change has come from?

Given that the IMechE is having to rerun 5 of the 6 motions which were voted on at their recent Special General Meeting via a Postal Ballot due to various legal challenges I am quite concerned that the same will happen here.

Cheers

Spenser

Rob Parsons on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to spenser:

I was directly emailed about it from Electoral Reform Services.

The joke is that the notification states that the changes have been made owing to "an administrative oversight." Clearly, nonsense.

Some official comment here from the BMC would be welcome. There has been more-or-less official silence about related matters up until now.

Post edited at 20:25
spenser - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Odd, I'm assuming that is because I haven't submitted a proxy vote yet (I'm attending the AGM in person and will be carrying proxies for my local club probably).

Rob Parsons on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to spenser:

> Odd, I'm assuming that is because I haven't submitted a proxy vote yet ...

Yes, quite possibly. By the time you vote,  the ballot paper will take a different form than it would have taken had you already cast your votes.

spenser - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Thanks for explaining, if anyone wants to see what the difference is it is visible on the proxy voting form now.

Onto Version 6 of the article for the club newsletter, this is harder to nail down than a greased ferret!

Offwidth - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I think its far from ideal but having contested elections and votes at the same time as all these new data regulations was bound to come up with some process cobwebs and given the scrutiny, it simply has to be done as correctly as possible.

Rumours are the complaint came from the Proposal B side (and gallam and Andy both raised the lack of a no vote issue on UKC). As I've said all along, this constant stream of private complaints to try and force BMC changes is in my view part of dirty tactics to discourage BMC supporters from voting, by making them feel fed up, alongside distribution of private letters unfairly attacking individuals in the BMC and encouraging their own supporters to vote. Such dirty tricks worked a treat when they elected Trump...work the rust belt to dispirit the solid democrats and encourage the blue collar support. It's hardly fair for Proposal B supporters to moan about this change if they caused it, by complaining, forcing legal advice and response.

I've said all along I'm very close to the exec and NC  but I think I still possess my own brain. Evil monsters that they are I guess they might have changed it while I wasnt looking. Independance? I was part of the fairly recent Peak area 'rebellion' that forced FA information back into the BMC Peak Limestone guides after the BMC commitee told us it was to be left out.

Post edited at 22:07
11
MG - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> Rumours are the complaint came from the Proposal B side (and gallam and Andy both raised the lack of a no vote issue on UKC). As I've said all along, this constant stream of private complaints to try and force BMC changes is in my view part of dirty tactics to discourage

What *are* you on about!  The first ballot was not appropriate.  Several people commented on this here and they got clearly post hoc statements  BMC employees/officer claiming it was all planned . There is now a mealy-mouthed message claiming it was an admin error. If someone has complained that's entirely reasonable.  There's nothing dirty about that  If the BMC hadn't done this in such a mad rush there wouldn't be a problem.

 

Andy Syme - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> I was directly emailed about it from Electoral Reform Services.

> The joke is that the notification states that the changes have been made owing to "an administrative oversight." Clearly, nonsense.

> Some official comment here from the BMC would be welcome. There has been more-or-less official silence about related matters up until now.

Rob

Not sure this is an official comment but I've been involved in a number of these discussions so here is my take on the reasons etc. 

As you know, the gist of the letter basically acknowledges an error and gives you the option to change your vote, or not, as you wish.

Normally you get a yes or no on special resolutions, but in this case we had the 2 sets of articles which was new territory.  Clearly they couldn't be separate proposals as that (theoretically) could lead to a 75% in favour vote for both; that way madness lies!!  So the original thinking was that people would vote for one or the other article and that no one would want no change at all.  (the reason behind this was if you think back to last years VP election at the AGM the votes were 2 options Fiona or Lynn, or you could abstain, no 'neither' vote was taken).   With hindsight .... 

The lack of a 'Neither' option was challenged by email so the BMC needed to clarify.  Though the original proposal had been agreed, having received a challenge the clarification (legal and from ERS) was that we should include a 'neither articles' option to mitigate the risk of a formal challenge. 

It is not a shambles because we are not thinking things through, but because of the current toxic climate, and the lack of definitive statements on these 'edge cases' in the articles.  Unfortunately, currently we are being subjected to multiple challenges against things that were previously accepted as sensible solutions, or normal practice.  Actions are being taken and decisions made that seem totally sensible, but then someone comes up with a new reason to challenge the decisions made and the BMC need to change things to avoid the AGM being invalidated on a technicality.  The last thing anyone wants is that we have to rerun the AGM; it would be unnecessary cost, time, & sheer bl**dy article fatigue if we did; because someone challenges on a technicality. 

I totally agree it doesn't look good;  I guess we need to add some more clarity to the articles  and or supporting documents next year just to ensure we can't be challenged again; but I will stress that this, IMHO, is more due to a small number of people looking for anyway to invalidate the AGM, in order to prevent any chance of the Option A articles being passed, rather than the BMC doing things differently from what was done in the last 25 odd years.

2
Andy Syme - on 01 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

> What *are* you on about!  The first ballot was not appropriate.  Several people commented on this here and they got clearly post hoc statements  BMC employees/officer claiming it was all planned . There is now a mealy-mouthed message claiming it was an admin error. If someone has complained that's entirely reasonable.  There's nothing dirty about that  If the BMC hadn't done this in such a mad rush there wouldn't be a problem.

I agree there is nothing 'dirty' in challenging, but it is a bit of a coincidence that accepted practices, that technically maybe weren't clearly stated in the articles, are being challenged this year, but never were before.

2
Andy Say - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> I totally agree it doesn't look good

Another area of agreement, Andy 

T'other Andy

 

 

6
Neil Foster - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> ........I totally agree it doesn't look good;

What – that a group of desperate hasbeens will stop at nothing in their attempts to subvert the democratic process, this time by threatening legal action should they lose the upcoming vote – which they surely will – thereby subjecting the BMC to a further prolonged period of stasis with all the damage that would cause….

I totally agree.  It doesn’t look good at all.

Neil

 

 

Post edited at 09:51
2
UKB Shark - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Criticism on the way the vote was presented has been accepted as a mistake and furthermore been acted on in the only way possible at this stage without cancelling the vote and re-arranging the AGM - yet again. 

It shouldn’t have happened this way round but mistakes happen and how you respond to mistakes is more important sometimes than the mistake itself. I think the BMC has responded in the right way with integrity in the circumstances even though it doesn’t look good and the opportunity it provides to dish out further blame.

We are we are - so please let’s move forward now.

(all my views - I’m not a spokesperson)

1poundSOCKS - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Neil Foster:

> hasbeens 

Nice. Would it make you happier if they were younger?

2
Andy Say - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

I didn't take it personally.  I know I'm still as isam

Offwidth - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

This is just the latest challenges and its pretty serious and needed action. Another recent one on the pathetic side was a GDPR question on how an individual got a club email address that's available in numerous public settings. It would be ludicrous to claim a single fair challenge made a dirty tricks campaign, but challenge after challenge after challenge, from the same people and sometimes for really stupid reasons and alongside all these dirty dishonest letters most certainly does.

6
1poundSOCKS - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I didn't take it personally.

Perhaps I'm being oversensitive, having being ridiculed on another thread as a hemp rope climber.

Andy Say - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

You KNOW that will have had nothing to do with Agenda item 9.  It is about campaigning to become President.

And if,  as you suggest, a current member of the Exec. had access to a mailing list that other candidates didn't then I'd have said its absolutely right that questions get asked.  Wouldn't you?

Post edited at 13:55
1
Andy Say - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

And you are how old!  Bet you've never tied into a piece of hemp in your life..... 

 

(To be honest I don't think I have either - but I did have a hemp waist line)

JR - on 02 Jun 2018
Offwidth - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

What possible unfair access to what mailing lists? Club contact emails are pretty much always on the front page of club websites and published elsewhere together in public, including on UKC for clubs, and the BMC site for affiliated clubs. How on earth can using public information be an unfair advantage in anything?

Same people complaining, same problem and sadly more unfairly implied dishonest behaviour of your opponents from you. I'll say one thing for you, at least you are doing it in public, unlike your fellow proposers.

7
Andy Say - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> What possible unfair access to what mailing lists? 

Did I say that?  Where?

> Same people complaining, same problem and sadly more unfairly implied dishonest behaviour of your opponents from you.

YOU bloody raised it, not me!  I said  'And if,  as you suggest, a current member of the Exec. had access to a mailing list that other candidates didn't then I'd have said its absolutely right that questions get asked.  Wouldn't you?'  Wouldn't you?

And just why is Lynn my opponent?  

 

2
Graeme Alderson on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Andy, so are you saying that Lynn was given access to an email list that did not have exisiyng email list? A simple yes or no is all that is required.

toad - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I’m struggling to think of a similar NGO (in terms of size, turnover or standing) where officers, long standing volunteers etc would ( or would be allowed) be slagging each other off in such an unprofessional, destructive and PUBLIC fashion. The sooner the BMC is able to get on with its core activities without the grandstanding and pettiness, the better

1
paul__in_sheffield - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> > hasbeens 

> Nice. Would it make you happier if they were younger?

The age of these Gentlemen Adventurers is pretty well irrelevant, it’s the harking back to a Golden Age, and fright about the ‘death of mountaineering’ which makes them tangibly out of touch unfortunately. 

7
1poundSOCKS - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> The age of these Gentlemen Adventurers is pretty well irrelevant, it’s the harking back to a Golden Age, and fright about the ‘death of mountaineering’ which makes them tangibly out of touch unfortunately. 

Not really sure what you're on about really. If you disagree with someone, and have something to add, bring some facts to the table. Insulting people based on age, or anything really, shouldn't be part of this debate. Sometimes people just have a different perspective, and throwing insults doesn't create an environment where people will always feel confident to share them.

Jen Mason on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> In many ways it doesn't affect any of us getting onto the hills, but having an effective BMC is important if you want them to be able to do what they have been doing quietly and effectively in the background:

> - Working with suppliers to make kit safer.

Equipment manufacturers would just be churning out unsafe kit if it weren't for the BMC, wouldn't they? DMM, Petzl, Black Diamond - what would they know? It's got nothing to do with the UIAA, or CE standards, either has it? No, it's all thanks to the BMC that I can trust my equipment. Risible! 

> - Working with landowners, government bodies and parliament to ensure you have access rights to the large swathes of private land where many crags and hills are.

If the BMC had worked to present a united front with The Ramblers, British Canoeing and other stakeholders, instead of colluding with the CLA, we might currently enjoy similar access arrangements to those in Scotland. 

> - Producing guidebooks.

Where would we be without them? Oh, yes, Rockfax, other independent guides, etc.

> - Helping clubs, introducing young people safely to the outdoors, setting up training standards, etc etc

> Yes governance is boring, and the standard of debate has been at times deplorable, BUT after significant review and member involvement the NC, Exec and ORG are asking you to support them in voting for the changes they believe will allow them to do their job better and provide more support to you, quietly and mostly in the background, so you can go out and enjoy your climbing.  Is it too much to ask for you to spend 5 mins to do that?

You're really clutching at straws. The post you replied to questioned the relevance of the BMC to climbers and walkers. Analysing your response gives the answer, "Very little!"

 

9
Offwidth - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Lynn publicly and firmly supports Proposal A you publicly and firmly support Proposal B. If this doesn't make you political opponents on the issue I'm not sure what does.

From your upset on the other issue I can only think you misread my post above  "a GDPR question on how an individual got a club email address that's available in numerous public settings" the club contact email that the club makes public in several places cannot possibly be restricted under GDPR or be unfairly accessed by anyone.

4
Andy Syme - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

You're entitled to your opinion, but:

- The technical committee do lots of work with the manufacturers etc to improve safety.

- The access arrangements in Scotland are historical from the ancient tradition of the right to universal access to the land in Scotland, but the BMC was at the forefront of campaigning on CROW in England & Wales.

- Yes others might produce guides, fair enough, but still something BMC do, and do well.

You have already stated you dislike the BMC and "would leave if you could" so it's unlikely you'll change your mind but IMHO the BMC does plenty of good work to justify the tax/fees people pay.

2
Kipper - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Andy, so are you saying that Lynn was given access to an email list ....

Are we going to see a Yes or No from Mr Say?

 

 

 

2
MG - on 02 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> - The access arrangements in Scotland are historical from the ancient tradition of the right to universal access to the land in Scotland,

That's not correct. They are quite recent (2005)

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/Countryside/16328/Accessrights

 

Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Andy, so are you saying that Lynn was given access to an email list that did not have exisiyng email list? A simple yes or no is all that is required.

NO.  All I know is what her husband has posted saying that 'a query was raised about GDPR and access to mailing lists'.  I didn't know any such query had been made.  I  don't know who made that query.  But I have heard enough background to know what it was about.  

Forgive me Graeme but it really wasn't me who started bleating about this 'non'-issue

 

Edited to say : re 'an email list that did not have exisiying email list?'  I'll have a glass of what Graeme's drinking, barman!

Post edited at 07:37
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Kipper:

Happy now

spenser - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

Sorry to says but there is no such thing as a CE standard, it is a mark applied by the manufacturer claiming compliance with relevant Euro Norm standards and legislation, given that these are done as part of a self declaration it is entirely based on trust and the only guarantor of safety related to a CE mark is the manufacturer's desire for a good reputation. Even then compliance with a standard is only intended to deal with standard designs, any weird and wonderful failure modes must be dealt with by other means. The technical committee collects data on failures of equipment which supports this process, they have also identified cases of fake crampons being sold into the UK market and reported it to the trading standards agency. I can't think of any other visible interventions over the last few years but am not a member of the committee (I am however a standards compliance engineer in my day job).

Oh and I would imagine a BMC representative would usually sit on the drafting group for me ENs related to mountaineering and climbing.

1
Offwidth - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

What background have you heard about? Lynn emailed clubs using their publicly avaliable email addresses. Why do you insist on dropping hints that there is something murky about that.

As a note to clubs, at least a quarter of email addresses she tried are non functioning, so might be losing out on potential member interest (which would be a shame).

4
Jen Mason on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to spenser:

Thank you for the reminder about the nature of CE marks. All standards and norms (CEN, BS, DIN, UIAA) will involve manufacturer self-certification, once initial accreditation has been given. As you say though, a manufacturer's desire for a good reputation is what guarantees that their products will be safe for their intended use.

The comment I was replying to implied that we'd all be climbing with untrustworthy equipment, were it not for the BMC; an assertion that doesn't stand up to scrutiny. With just one UK company (DMM) the BMC's scope for influencing equipment manufacturers is extremely limited. The UIAA Safety Commission is the body that works with manufacturers around the world to develop standards, improve product safety, etc.

https://www.theuiaa.org/safety-standards/

The BMC Technical Committee may feed into this process, but if the BMC suddenly ceased to exist, this work would still happen. You'll note that there is only one British representative in the Commission.

The UIAA work with those drafting CE Norms (UIAA standards tend to be more stringent) but I'm afraid it may be a flight of fancy to imagine the BMC being consulted.

But this is a point, isn't it? Those most involved with the BMC grossly overestimate the importance and relevance of the organisation. The rest of us prefer climbing to politicking. Despite what some persistently try to suggest, our climbing is largely unaffected by the existence or otherwise of the BMC. 

5
joe s - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I don't have any strong opinions (I have read the summit article but haven't read the whole of this thread!) but is there not an argument for totally separating the two sides to the BMCs work similar to cycling:

 

"Sustrans /CTC" for: access / footpath maintenance/ guidebooks /clubs / (insurance) etc.

"British Cycling" for more corporate activities: (insurance) /guiding/ competition climbing/ climbing walls etc.

 

Might negate the appearance of competing/conflicting issues. Just a thought.

2
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> Lynn publicly and firmly supports Proposal A you publicly and firmly support Proposal B. If this doesn't make you political opponents on the issue I'm not sure what does.

I prefer to think of Lynn as 'my colleague on the benches opposite'.   It's not a trial by combat!  

This constant whipping up of adversarial crap does you, personally, no favours at all and certainly does no service to any sort of rational debate about the issues.  I'm saddened at the comments coming out from people that I might have thought were above personal mud-throwing.

It really does worry me that the democratic future of the BMC may be determined by people who try to shout down and insult anyone with the temerity to express an oppositional view. 

 

5
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to joe s:

Joe,

Its on the table!  One of the suggestions made by the ORG, and endorsed by at least one of the Presidential candidates, is that a subsidiary, 'arms-length' body be set up for the 'Governing' of Competition Climbing to act as an 'NGB'.  Meanwhile the rest of the BMC could focus on 'normal' issues. 

It might relieve some financial strain (I note from the BMC AGM papers that the second highest expenditure last year, after Access was Competitions) and allow for more specialisation of staff.

The problem with the CTC / British Cycling model, of course, is that they were originally competing, and separate, bodies!, 

Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> The age of these Gentlemen Adventurers is pretty well irrelevant, it’s the harking back to a Golden Age, and fright about the ‘death of mountaineering’ which makes them tangibly out of touch unfortunately. 

You talkin' about me, pal?  Frikkin' gentleman?  Out of touch?  You lookin' for trouble?

 

Mind you I do recall when dawns were more vivid, the dew on the grass much brighter, the call of the lark more melodious, the rough rocks unpolished and the feel of a hemp rope so tactile...…..

Joy it was to be young in that Elysium, that Golden Age, when men were men.  And women. 

4
Offwidth - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

You have a very odd view of the word opposition, maybe you need to read the dictionary to see what it normally means in modern politics.

Everything I say is backed up by evidence and my main complaint has always been the secret dirty tricks and fake news around the MoNC and now the same biggest trouble makers in that group spreading fake news in private on Proposal A (and now on Lynn as she supports it). It's your Proposal B chums writing nonsense in these letters, some of which, that you tried to defend. I've made the point repeatedly that dealing with fake news is even more important to me than democratic debate, as fair debate can't exist in such circumstances. Those who really didn't wish to raise 'adversarial crap' could always have compromised, as most of the original Proposal B folk really admirably did (especially given the heated circumstances), to produce the better option A, now presented at the AGM, for the sake of the BMC. They could also have posted their views here (or elsewhere in public) for scrutiny.

So it seems to me that you are the one doing the constant whipping and insulting on UKC, and I see no shouting down here (you hardly seem cowered, nor anyone else who has critised the BMC here),  most on my side have just carefully questioned statements (like yours here) based on facts and evidence. So I say 'pot kettle black' on your latest ad hominen accusations. I'm happy that people can judge for themselves who is being unreasonably adversarial or personal  in the face of all these threads and the nasty letters and complaints. It's not possible to post the letters I have, for the reasons I've already given, but I carry copies of the ones that are less libelous to the BMC meetings (not that I think that anyone sensible needs to read such nasty nonsense.. Bob in particular made it very clear around the MoNC that he was fully able to deal dishonestly and secretly with such fake news on that, and sadly he never stopped).

Post edited at 15:17
11
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> Everything I say is backed up by evidence and my main complaint has always been the secret dirty tricks and fake news around the MoNC

History.  Produce the evidence or shut up about it.

> 'fake news in private' 

You are risible.  Fake news 'in private'?  

> It's your Proposal B chums writing nonsense in these letters, some of which, that you tried to defend.

You'd better be able to prove that I've defended 'nonsensical letters' sonny Jim.

> I've made the point repeatedly that dealing with fake news is even more importamt to me than democratic debate,

That is pretty shameful.  Especially as you seem unuable to come up with a single instance of 'fake news'

>Those who really didn't wish to raise 'adversarial crap' could always have compromised,

Yep.  Right.  Got the message.  'If you don't accept what you are given you will receive 'crap'

> So it seems to me that you are the one doing the constant whipping and insulting on UKC,

You'd better be able to cite instances of me insulting people on UKC, sonny Jim.

>and I see no shouting down here (you hardly seem cowered,

Really?  Really?  (and the word is 'cowed')

>my side just has careful questioning of statements based on facts and real evidence. 

OK. So I am a geriatric hasbeen, a Gentleman Adventurer, a 'wrecker'?  Your evidence?

>in the face of all these threads and the nasty letters and complaints. 

What nasty threads. letters and complaints?  Give us an insight!

>It's not possible to post the letters I have, for the reasons I've already given  but I carry copies of the ones that are less libelous to the BMC meetings (not that I think that anyone sensible needs to read such nasty nonsense.

Bless the boy.  Produce them at the NW Area meeting on Monday

>. Bob in particular made it very clear around the MoNC that he was fully able to deal dishonestly and secretly with such fake news, and he never stopped).

You are a total obsessive, aren't you?

 

Post edited at 15:21
7
slab_happy on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say

> It really does worry me that the democratic future of the BMC may be determined by people who try to shout down and insult anyone with the temerity to express an oppositional view. 

As opposed to people who refuse to acknowledge the existence of un-persons who've had the temerity to ask them awkward questions ...

Mind you, you've also referred to people as "attack dogs" and "a group of craven cowards", accused people of "bollox" and also "bollocks", told them "Stop gobbing off!" and asked "How did you get so pompous?  Evening classes?"

For example.

 

1
Offwidth - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

More childish threats. The fake news around Proposal A has been discussed at length: the public more polite bits on UKC are mainly idiocy about the end of the BMC under a corporatist structure beholdent to government, something the membership would never tolerate and have clear power to deal with under the new articles . The nasty personal bits are in the letters, which others are welcome to view if they ask me.

When Bob writes and widely distributes dishonest letters about people one cares about  (most recently in April) it tends to raise reasonable concerns. 

Post edited at 15:52
3
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

I've never had a stalker before! Hi.

Do you not think that my descriptions of some of the posters on here are accurate?

And at least I call out what I see as false when it is posted rather than referring to a secret dossier

Re the last comment I posted I don't think (hope) Simon took great offence.  I like his stance of openness.

By the way.  Who are you?

1
john arran - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> You are a total obsessive, aren't you?

That water-heating receptacle appears rather short of reflected light, don't you think, Pot?

6
Jen Mason on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> It might relieve some financial strain (I note from the BMC AGM papers that the second highest expenditure last year, after Access was Competitions) and allow for more specialisation of staff.

I'm truly appalled! Thank you for bringing this to wider attention.

If the second highest expenditure last year was competitions, approximately how many of the BMC's 85 000 members participated in those competitions? 2%? Maybe that is an over-estimation, but it clearly shows that the priorities are wrong somewhere! Most BMC members are being conned into supporting something that has nothing to do with them, or their chosen activities.

The difference, the enormous difference, between the BMC and British Canoeing, British Cycling et al is that the latter were established as governing bodies of their sports, and later developed their recreational activities. The BMC was established as a representative body for recreational climbing.

5
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> More childish threats.

Point me to a threat in my post.  NOW!

>The fake news around Proposal A has been discussed at length: the public more polite bits on UKC are mainly idiocy about the end of the BMC under a corporatist structure beholdent to government,

That is opinion not 'fake news'.  And the word is 'beholden'.

>The nasty personal bits are in the letters, which others are welcome to view if they ask me.

I have asked the Chair of the NW Area if we can clear space for an agenda item dedicated to that.  Please bring them along.

> When Bob writes and widely distributes dishonest letters about people one cares about  (most recently in April) it tends to raise reasonable concerns.

I repeat.  You are a total obsessive, aren't you? 

 

3
Offwidth - on 03 Jun 2018
MG - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> When Bob writes and widely distributes dishonest letters about people one cares about  (most recently in April) it tends to raise reasonable concerns. 

As a suggestion, keep whatever exchanges you have had with Bob to yourself. I, and I expect 99% of BMC members know nothing of these letters and they have not affected how we vote.  You are sounding increasingly unhinged.

2
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

Hi Jen,

The figures for share of programme expenditure for 2017 circulated with Summit indicate:

Access - 25%  :  Competitions 14%  :  Youth and Equity 13%  :  Guidebooks 9%  :  Volunteer support and Communications 7%

The funding bid currently being considered by Sport England (if we accede to their governance model ) dedicates over a third of the total funding to the 42 strong 'Development Squad'.

3
Graeme Alderson on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Sorry Andy but stop presenting bullshit. 100% of the Sport England grant to the Development Squad will go to the Development Squad. If no application is made for then the no money will be forthcoming and it will not divert money from elsewhere within the BMC.

 

2
Graeme Alderson on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

And also Andy please try and remember that expenditure does not = equal cost.

You obviously know this so you have your own agenda. So please don't (deliberately?) confuse expenditure with cost.

 

3
MG - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

I've argued for a split here before.  It's pretty clear its needed.

Offwidth - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Some people have an opinion that the world is flat.

I'm happy for Carl to contact me and discuss the issues. I doubt he will think it is a good idea to formally publicise the letters for the same reasons no-one else has (especially the likely effect on the reputations of 3rd parties involved in Bob's idiocy).

1
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

> As a suggestion, keep whatever exchanges you have had with Bob to yourself. I, and I expect 99% of BMC members know nothing of these letters and they have not affected how we vote.  You are sounding increasingly unhinged.

I don't care if you vote 'A' or 'B', you get a like for that

3
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Sorry Andy but stop presenting bullshit. 100% of the Sport England grant to the Development Squad will go to the Development Squad. 

Graeme.  That is not bullshit.  Of the total funds applied for by the BMC to Sport England over 1/3 will go to the Development Squad.  Fact?

I didn't say there would be any diversion of funds!  I simply outlined where the funds are designed to go.

You going to call me out and prove I'm wrong?

Post edited at 17:18
6
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> And also Andy please try and remember that expenditure does not = equal cost.

> You obviously know this so you have your own agenda. So please don't (deliberately?) confuse expenditure with cost.

I quoted the figures circulated with Summit.  Your problem with those figures sent out to all BMC members is what exactly?

2
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

Len McClusky?  Len MCCLUSKY??

 

You are on a different planet to me, I fear.

By the way -  'Point me to a threat in my post.  NOW!'

6
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> I'm happy for Carl to contact me and discuss the issues. 

Actually, 'no'.  You've got evidence?  Then you present it to the Area meeting.  And the members there will be able to judge whether you are dealing with the current issues or simply re-running past events.  

 

By the way - 'Point me to a threat in my post.  NOW!'

 

Post edited at 17:28
2
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> As opposed to people who refuse to acknowledge the existence of un-persons who've had the temerity to ask them awkward questions …

What is an 'un-person'?  Could you try to express yourself a bit more clearly?

You know what: I'm feeling feisty! 

 

By the way - who are you?  I do so hate these anonymous snipers....

Post edited at 17:33
1
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

I'm waiting, Graeme...….

1
slab_happy on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I've never had a stalker before! Hi.

Ah yes. I've kept asking you, as someone advocating Proposal B in a public internet forum, to reply to some questions about Proposal B that you'd rather not answer, and I have noted that you keep not replying to them.

Also I looked up some things you'd said recently which had stuck in my memory because I was startled by how rude and aggressive you were being.

That equates to stalking, does it?

For the record, I *have* had a real-life stalker, albeit of a minor kind, and I don't really find it so hilarious.

But since you've decided you're going to respond to me after all: who *are* the Proposal B proposers who are still supporting it? And has Sport England confirmed that it's Tier 1 compliant?

> By the way.  Who are you?

Why, are you planning to challenge me to a duel?

As I've said, I prefer to have a bit of online privacy, but there are assorted other people here who've met me and climbed with me and who can vouch that I'm a real person.

You don't actually need to know my surname or the street I grew up in or the last three digits on the back of my credit card before you answer the above questions. I'm not even the person who first asked them!

4
slab_happy on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> You'd better be able to cite instances of me insulting people on UKC, sonny Jim.

He doesn't have to. I did. Then you called me a "stalker".

2
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to everyone:

Can you tell I'm pretty pissed at the abuse and name calling?  The inability to deal with issues rather than personalities?  Hit the person not the ball......

Can you tell I'm aggravated by the bleats of 'fake news' and 'dirty tricks' when no-one can actually come up with an example of them even when asked to do so?  Gimme proof.....

Can you see why I feel that the level of democratic debate within the BMC currently is hitting an all time low when anyone who dares to dissent gets hit by vitriol?  That's not democracy FFS!  Roll on totalitarianism....

Can you tell that I'm upset by the 'politicisation' of the staff who have to declare their allegiance to one side or the other?  They deserve better.  

I've had a few days 'off' UKC whilst I ramped up my anti-depressants.  Because, you know what, this whole saga IS depressing, and wearing on a personal level and could have been so easily avoided if only the BMC had taken more time to come up with a proper consensus solution.  But we couldn't.  Sport England won't let us.

 

That's me.  I'm out for the night.

 

 

4
Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> As I've said, I prefer to have a bit of online privacy, but there are assorted other people here who've met me and climbed with me and who can vouch that I'm a real person.

Yep.  The normal reply.  'Everyone knows me'....

Might carry more conviction if you actually posted under your real name.  'Why, are you planning to challenge me to a duel?'  Don't be soppy.  It's just nice to know who you are talking to!

 

Post edited at 18:17
2
AJM - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say and Offwidth:

Is the sensible solution to this for you two to head outside next time you meet and douse each other in dregs of beer/glasses of wine until a Victor becomes clear?

Monk - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

This is all getting rather nasty. I would strongly suggest that offwidth and Andy Say should step away from their keyboards for a while. This is helping no-one and reflects very badly on the BMC volunteers. 

AJM - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

I am curious, incidentally, about the question of whether Sport England has seen the B proposals and given an opinion on how they sit re the minimum standards or not? 

 

Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to AJM:

Cool.

Andy Say - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Monk:

> This is all getting rather nasty. I would strongly suggest that offwidth and Andy Say should step away from their keyboards for a while. 

I would agree.  But I reserve the right to self defence when people assail me on this forum.

And I'm waiting for Offwidth to refer me to a 'threat' I've made and, perhaps more pertinently I'm waiting for Graeme Alderson to point out my factual inaccuracies.  

I'm tired of taking crap here simply because I'm not toeing the BMC party line. 

 

OK.  Beer calls.....  

Post edited at 18:42
3
ali_colquhoun - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Jen Mason is talking some truth here. The BMC is making a job for itself that, in many cases, is already being done or doesn't need doing.

Expenditure and emphasis on competitions to draw in more investment from sports bodies... It's not relevant to the majority. 

Seriously if you have the energy to get involved with politics why not get involved in proper politics? 

2
slab_happy on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Okay, I was typing up another angry and upset reply, and then I read this bit:

> I've had a few days 'off' UKC whilst I ramped up my anti-depressants.  Because, you know what, this whole saga IS depressing, and wearing on a personal level

Waving a temporary flag of truce, speaking as a fellow anti-depressant user --

Yes, internet arguments can f*ck with your head massively, yes, I agree this whole thing is depressing and wearing (even if we probably feel that way for different reasons), and Monk's right, stepping back from keyboards this evening seems like a good idea.

Also, ramping up meds can suck as a process. Been there, done that, and have sympathy for anyone going through it. I hope you can find a decent balance.

Right. Hostilities can resume whenever.

 

 

spenser - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

It was a Special General Meeting called by former presidents, this website is the best source of info:

www.mechengmatters.com

As an aside THAT is how to conduct a Motion of No Confidence or an anti-establishment motion in a professional manner, not by ambushing club members and lecturing them about your CV or by abusing club newsletter editors at AGMs. 

Andy Syme - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

> That's not correct. They are quite recent (2005)

The 2003 act, which came into force in 2005 enshrined a historic right.  For centuries, the public have had the right to roam the landscape in Scotland - a tradition linked to the freedom to wander at will known as 'stravaiging'. 

CROW gave people a new right, the public (on foot) have free access only to 'open country' (not woodland); though not as extensive as in Scotland where the public are free to wander anywhere, except in places where they are specifically excluded.

3
MG - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

I agree it was always freer in Scotland but there were many restrictions. The new act was a significant change. 

Andy Syme - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Because, you know what, this whole saga IS depressing, and wearing on a personal level and could have been so easily avoided if only the BMC had taken more time to come up with a proper consensus solution.  But we couldn't.  Sport England won't let us.

Andy to be fair:

1.  Sport England will let us, IF we don't want public funding.

2.  We could have taken more time, and you could argue that the ORG was exactly that opportunity where a hugh number of members were consulted, and everyone, including the original Option B proposers said they agreed with the ORG; and all the ORG members have stated that they support Option A as the best interpretation of and starting point for further implementation of their recommendations.  The only rush is because some 2 years after they told us what the code was and when we had to comply we still haven't.

3.  There is now an awful lot of consensus, which is why Crag, Jonathan, John Booth, Chris Bonnington and many others withdrew from the Option B.

I agree that the debate is not always very healthy or constructive, but it doesn't help when you are 'loose' with your words and say things that appear to be distortions of reality.  I'm hopeful it's not deliberate, but it doesn't help the debate when it looks like you are dressing up opinions or misrepresentations as facts.

I'm sure you are now going to point out something I've said, and if so I apologise in advance but I do try very hard to keep to facts and, when stating opinions try to clearly flag them as such.

 

1
UKB Shark - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Re the last comment I posted I don't think (hope) Simon took great offence.  

Being called pompous was a first. Can’t say I was delighted that you told me “sod off” but no I didn’t take great offence but scrolling back up the thread reminds me that you said:

> I'm happy to talk to BMC members.  When I know exactly how many, and whom, are still supporters of the Proposal B I'll let you know.

You still haven’t provided an answer.

I’m sure many want to know who those are remaining in support and whether it is still above the original requirement of 25 signatories 

 

danm on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

I think you're unfairly understating the work and influence of the BMC wrt the work of  UIAA SafeCom and CEN WG5. Of course there is only 1 BMC rep at SafeCom, each nation only has one national delegate. Ours does a superb job, all voluntary I may add (waddage work Rob!), leading on many work areas such as the revised via ferrata equipment standards and so forth. He is very much a valued and integral part of that commission.

As for CEN TC136 WG5 which deals with mountaineering equipment, of the 4 regular members attending from the UK, two are part of the BMC Technical Committee and we work closely with the others. You missed out the other UK based manufacturer btw, Lyon Equipment.

For the historical record, when the PPE directive came in, it was members of the BMC technical committee who did the legwork in converting the existing UIAA standards into the euro norms we take for granted today.

The BMC is far from perfect, and there are many ways we can improve, for sure. No doubt we also appear overly defensive at times (over a year of constant attack and criticism can do that to you). Despite this, I can't really overstate the huge amounts of work done on the communities behalf by our volunteers. When we're at our best, we are after all merely a conduit to facilitate and support volunteers working for the good of participants. I believe the new constitution, if adopted, will make us more representative and accountable,  and leaner and more flexible as an organisation. I get it that we're not everyone's cup of tea - I dislike meetings, rules and pompous windbags as much as the average dirtbag climber, but we do do some worthwhile stuff, honest!

Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

Hi Simon,

Apologies.  I DO value your ability to see both sides and acknowledge disquiet when appropriate.

With regards to your question I do not know exactly:  I believe that of the original 44 signatories there certainly are more than 25 still in support.  But it is a loose affiliation; unfortunately we don't share an office where we can discuss how the campaign is going over a latte and quinoa bagel

10
Rob Parsons on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> I’m sure many want to know who those are remaining in support and whether it is still above the original requirement of 25 signatories

That's a procedural matter isn't it? What do the rules say about the progress of a motion once it's been accepted in accordance with the rules? You could ask exactly the same question about any validly-accepted motion/proposal.

UKB Shark - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

That contradicts earlier feedback from Andy Symes so presumably some must have rejoined.

I don’t think it unreasonable that we know who and how many remain supportive prior to the AGM.

A block email to establish what support remains is all that is required.

 

1
UKB Shark - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

It’s highly unusual for people to withdraw signatures as initially seemed to be the case. If most of the original proposers are no longer prepared to back their motion it reflects that the case for it has largely crumbled.

Rob Parsons on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

'highly unusual', 'seemed', 'if most.'

The best way to proceed here is simply to follow the rules. If you start investigating support for any one motion (assuming that such an investigation is allowable under the rules) then logically you should do it for all other motions.

Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> A block email to establish what support remains is all that is required.

 

Feel free

 

3
Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

>  If most of the original proposers are no longer prepared to back their motion it reflects that the case for it has largely crumbled.

A bit of a non sequitur there I think?  

And if I assure you that most of the original proposers are still prepared to support the proposal?  Including some who thought they might be willing to try to accept some perceived compromise and then thought better of it?  

Hey: we'll see at the AGM won't we

 

2
UKB Shark - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

The rules were unclear whether the motion was still valid if support dropped below 25 but the BMC decided not to pursue this avenue.

My enquiry is not to do with getting the motion withdrawn but finding out how much or little support it has with the original proposers of Option B.

If most have withdrawn their support then that is a fact members might choose to take into consideration when deciding how to vote. 

UKB Shark - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Hey: we'll see at the AGM won't we

We won’t see. There is no process to verify whether the signatories are still behind the motion.

Not saying it is but it is coming across that you are deliberately dragging your feet on this despite saying you would report back on the numbers.

Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to danm:

> The BMC is far from perfect, and there are many ways we can improve, for sure. No doubt we also appear overly defensive at times (over a year of constant attack and criticism can do that to you). 

Hey, Dan.  I really hope that the BMC staff do not feel that they are under attack and being criticised.  No-one should be doing that.   And I know it is really easy to self-identify as 'the BMC' when the real object of scrutiny is a 'different BMC' altogether: the way that the governance of the organisation as a whole is structured.

Andy

 

2
Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> The rules were unclear whether the motion was still valid if support dropped below 25 but the BMC decided not to pursue this avenue.

> My enquiry is not to do with getting the motion withdrawn but finding out how much or little support it has with the original proposers of Option B.

Actually, Simon, the 'rules' are clear.  And 'the BMC' were informed of them and both Martin Wragg and Womble Bond Dickinson acknowledged their pertinence.

The proposal was accepted with the 44 signatories as supporters and there is actually no mechanism for a proposal to be withdrawn unless all signatories withdraw their support.

P.S.  What I meant by 'we'll see at the AGM' was that the members will be allowed to vote on the proposals and indicate their feelings on the matter.  Que sera, sera.

Post edited at 11:06
8
UKB Shark - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Actually, Simon, the 'rules' are clear.  And 'the BMC' were informed of them and both Martin Wragg and Womble Bond Dickinson acknowledged their pertinence.

> The proposal was accepted with the 44 signatories as supporters and there is actually no mechanism for a proposal to be withdrawn unless all signatories withdraw their support.

Of those that spoke in the room at the Open Forum it wasn't clear what the rules were and that including Jonathon, the  Womble's solicitor and Martin Wragg. It sounds like the BMC were "informed" after the Open Forum event as that wasnt the conversation that was had. Also "acknowledging pertinence" falls a long way short of accepting the view. However, the BMC evidently decided not to legally challenge the motion on lack of signatory support and the voting forms went out.  

 

1
MG - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

Honestly you going on and on about these signatures makes me more suspicious of the motives here, particularly after the ballot fiasco and "plain language" obfuscation.   The way to determine support is to see who votes for the proposal. Whether signatories have changed their minds is neither here nor there, nor something anyone can actually know since they aren't obliged to tell anyone.

1
danm on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

This is less about the staff such as myself, and more about our volunteers. There has to be a balance struck. On the one hand, we are spending what is in the main the members money on our various projects. It is vitally important that they are able to question where and what we spend it on, and to decide whether our aims align sufficiently for them to continue their support. On the other hand, too much criticism can be a massive disincentive to those who step forward to serve voluntarily. If people consider the BMC staff levels to be bloated now, believe you me if we did everything without volunteers.....

UKB Shark - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

My motive is to highlight just how flaky the support for the Option B proposal as it is one more item on the charge sheet against it as far as I am concerned. I've already said before that it was a tactical poison pill to arithmetically divide the vote to reduce the chance of getting the 75% for the National Council recommended constitution. It is also ironic that the option B motion is based around retaining powers for National Council when National Council has voted for ceding those powers to the Board. I am also aggrieved that concessions were made to the signatories by the National Council Implementation Group and in return the Group went ahead and put the motion forward anyway. It was also made clear at the end of the Open Forum that Jonathon who represented the Group was recommending to the rest of the signatories that the motion be withdrawn based on more recent concessions. I've no idea what then happened next as it was not in the public domain but I sure would like to know 

 

1
Rob Parsons on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> ... I've already said before that it was a tactical poison pill to arithmetically divide the vote to reduce the chance of getting the 75% for the National Council recommended constitution.

That's your *claim*. Fine. Whether it has anything to do with the truth is a separate question.

The more reasonable interpretation is that is an alternative motion from people who have a separate point of view - which is how the system is supposed to work.

The bickering going on here, and the anti-democratic suggestion of a North Korean style vote in which I can vote 'yes' or 'yes' to a single proposal only, is all pretty depressing ...

I won't comment further.

 

2
MG - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

>  I've already said before that it was a tactical poison pill to arithmetically divide the vote to reduce the chance of getting the 75% for the National Council recommended constitution.

Or perhaps some people think it is a better option?  Personally I don't like either but you are making a big assumption there.  

> It is also ironic that the option B motion is based around retaining powers for National Council when National Council has voted for ceding those powers to the Board.

I agree this hasn't been explained and should be, if possible.

> I am also aggrieved that concessions were made to the signatories by the National Council Implementation Group and in return the Group went ahead and put the motion forward anyway.

Presumably because they didn't agree with the arrangements.  The tone of those supporting option A is really off-putting "We know best and don't dare disagree".

 

2
Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to danm:

Never thought of you as 'bloated' Dan

3
Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

>  I am also aggrieved that concessions were made to the signatories by the National Council Implementation Group and in return the Group went ahead and put the motion forward anyway. 

Simon.  You do know that the Special Resolution now known for some reason as Option B was formally lodged, as it needed to be under the Articles, about two weeks before the Open Forum, don't you?  And there is no mechanism for withdrawal or alteration once that has happened?  

It was the 'official' Resolution that was being altered right up to the day of the Forum and was then proposed subsequently.

Post edited at 13:38
Andy Syme - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

At the Open Meeting it was thought that if the signatories dropped below 25 the proposal would be automatically withdrawn.  Jonathan White, Crag, John Booth and John Porter contacted most of the Tier 1 proposers the following day and what they told me was that there were 13 people left who either still actively supported the proposal OR were not contacted.  Some of the signatories have publicly stated their withdrawal (Crag, Jonathan, Chris Bonington) I only know of Andy Say as having publicly stated his continuing support; though I'm aware of some others posting here under psudonyms/UserNames and some in individual correspondences, but not sure if that's public.  Some may have withdrawn then changed their mind.

At this point it became apparent that the rules were not definitive on withdrawal so a decision was taken that it could not be withdrawn, unless all withdrew.  It was also decided that the NC would still accept the compromises agreed as Jonathan et al had acted in good faith, and the changes were not undermining the intent of the Articles the NC approved on 28 Apr.

As an aside, under the Companies Act there is no requirement for 'minimum signatories' for something proposed by the 'company'; also the companies act requires 5% of members to raise a resolution, it's only because we lowered that limit in our articles that the BMC require 25 people. Though if you counted up the NC members (who voted in favour), the Exec who did and the others who are in favour (ORG ex-members, most of NC observers etc etc) you would easily have passed the 25.

The actual T1 proposers names are irrelevant now as the motion is proceeding however many signatories it has.  

I think it is interesting that there are multiple process challenges this year which are trying to invalidate the AGM using technical issues on things that have been accepted and done for years.  Maybe it's a deliberate attempt to stop Option A at any cost, but it could just be people are suddenly passionate about this stuff and realising all the holes in the current articles (which were written based on assumptions of all parties acting in good faith so didn't cover all the possibilities).

People will just have to vote and if no option gets 75% then this debate will be continuing into 2019    

UKB Shark - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

Thank you for explaining what went on after the Open Forum.

From what you say it sounds like even if the 75% is achieved for Option A that might not be the end of it if there are other ongoing legal challenges to invalidate the AGM - is that right?

Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

Andy,

I don't believe Sir Chris was actually a signatory of the original Special Resolution; I could be wrong.  But this could explain some 'number confusion'.  If people who subsequently came on Board the Option B train dropped off that wouldn't actually reduce the number of original signatories still in support.

'technical issues on things that have been accepted and done for years.'   Oooh.  That is a bit of a stretch, Andy.     The introduction and outsourcing of online proxy voting.  The decision to not send people papers relating to the AGM ('they're on the web - you get them').  The unwillingness to accept proxies by post.  The apparent dependence on the BMC database having 85,000 accurate emails for members to allow those members to have a vote.   That is all new.  

3
Andy Syme - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

The BMC are doing all they can to ensure that the AGM is not subject to challenge. 

To be clear there's nothing 'illegal' in whats happening but there are a number of areas where there is no specific statement in the Articles and that is where the majority of challenges are.  Also it's worth noting that the lack of a statement does not make it not permissible but if there is a definitive statement then it is less open to challenge; unless they interpret you as not following the statement of course.

Even if the BMC believe they are right and have legal advice to support it, that of course won't stop someone challenging if they want and can find a lawyer willing to take their money.  What a weird litigious world we live in.

 

Andy Syme - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Andy

1.  Chris was on your list (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Download.aspx?id=1605)

link off (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-constitution-the-way-ahead)

but has now clearly withdrawn (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/six-bmc-expresidents-two-patrons-and-one-9b-climber-collectively-champion-option-a)

2.  You say you don't know who is still in or not (or won't declare it), but I would be surprised if it was still 25 given the communications had around the time of the Open Meeting.  As I said Jonathan was very clear it was 13 left on 16th.  Anyway the number is largely irrelevant now.

>The introduction and outsourcing of online proxy voting. 

Perfectly acceptable under our articles and companies act.  But yes I believe that's one challenge.

>The decision to not send people papers relating to the AGM.  ...  The apparent dependence on the BMC database having 85,000 accurate emails for members to allow those members to have a vote.   

Where there weren't emails letters were sent, there is a process for people who have changed emails.  Again this is all perfectly acceptable under the articles and companies act.  See below for the reasoning.

>The unwillingness to accept proxies by post.

We want to use an independent counting service, we wouldn't want someone to challenge that the office counted them up in some biased way would we!!  They could not do postal voting by the legal deadline and allow for the open meeting on 16th to be able to make changes (which you were a strong advocate of if I remember correctly and certainly others in T1 including Rodney, Jonathan, Crag etc were).  The choice was drop postal or drop the open meeting's ability to agree compromises .  We opted to try and get the compromises.

The 'technical issues on things that have been accepted and done for years.' comment was:

a.  the challenge on there not being a "neither" option (exactly as there was no 'no one' option at the VP election at the last AGM which wasn't challenged and I believe no 'no one' option when Doug & Rab went for President)

b.  the challenge on needing named signatories for the Option A NC and Exec recommended Proposal (never done in past and incidentally not a requirement of company act)

Or the challenge to keep all the names on the Option B proposal despite the fact that many of them had definitely withdrawn their names.  Names are not a legal requirement for proposals and processing (which includes publishing) personal data without consent breeches GDPR!

There are more and Dave (T) is spending way too much time addressing them.

I'm not saying they are, technically or morally, right or wrong, but it is interesting that this year has seen so many challenges compared to the past.   "it could just be people are suddenly passionate about this stuff" in which case I hope they will be involved in the next round of IG work and can apply their considerable energy to working with the BMC staff to improve things and implement the ORG changes which both sides agree need doing; even if Option B don't like the 10 Governance changes ORG recommended. 

 

UKB Shark - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

With respect to the ‘reject’ option I think the difference between two people standing to replace someone in a role that’s come to the end of its term and voting for two new constitutions to replace an existing constitution are very different at least insofar as the incumbent can’t continue in their role but the current constitution can continue however flawed it might be.

 

Andy Syme - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

But we now have a neither option for the 2 president candidates so maybe not

Post edited at 16:58
Presley Whippet on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Well, after all that I am certainly abstaining. 

UKB Shark - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> But we now have a neither option for the 2 president candidates so maybe not

Do we?! Again I didnt realise that was the case. Was that necessary? You don’t get that when choosing your MP.

Reminds me - I should probably vote..

paul__in_sheffield - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> Andy

> 1.  Chris was on your list (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Download.aspx?id=1605)

I'm taking the option A champions against all comers in a game of BMC Top Trumps!

 

Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

Hi Simon.

Was it you who posted here that 'abstain' votes would be counted into the voting population when it came to determining the percentages on Agenda Item 9.

Now I would like to think of you as an innocent dupe here as I have just been informed by a Vice President and a member of National Council that that is most certainly not true.  Which is only going to feed those who felt that the omission of an 'against' option, only allowing 'for' or 'abstain', was a pretty sketchy way of massaging the figures.  

Or has that suddenly been changed at the same time that the 'neither one nor t'other' choice was given: but without deigning to explain anything about it to the punters..... sorry 'members',  who are supposed to be voting?

 

5
Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Please don't.

 

Vote.  If you abstain you are just throwing your vote away.

2
Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> To be clear there's nothing 'illegal' in whats happening but there are a number of areas where there is no specific statement in the Articles and that is where the majority of challenges are.  

Presumably that doesn't relate to Agenda Items 2 and 3 on the AGM Agenda where the members are being asked to vote to accept things that are in breach of our Articles - specifically failure to comply with notice periods.

I have some sympathy for those putting forward for election as it was the BMC that screwed up the calculation of when the deadline was.

The deadline for Resolutions however, is different.  I was fully, vocally supportive of allowing the Open Forum to come up with Amendments or further Resolutions.  I hadn't realised (silly boy) that it meant that the 'Option A' proposal wasn't going to be lodged on time. 

 

1
Andy Say - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> So I’ve had it confirmed that an abstain vote is the equivalent of a ‘no’ vote as by voting to abstain you become part of the voting population for that motion. Hope that makes sense.

Found it!  It was you and my aged hasbeen dementia has not yet clouded my faculties completely

Not sure who 'confirmed' that for you, Simon, but it is not true.  Unless of course they've changed it without telling anyone...….

2
UKB Shark - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Hi Simon.

> Was it you who posted here that 'abstain' votes would be counted into the voting population when it came to determining the percentages on Agenda Item 9.

> Now I would like to think of you as an innocent dupe here as I have just been informed by a Vice President and a member of National Council that that is most certainly not true.  Which is only going to feed those who felt that the omission of an 'against' option, only allowing 'for' or 'abstain', was a pretty sketchy way of massaging the figures.  

> Or has that suddenly been changed at the same time that the 'neither one nor t'other' choice was given: but without deigning to explain anything about it to the punters..... sorry 'members',  who are supposed to be voting?

 

I was told this at the Peak Area by the NC reps and others there. I was surprised and taken aback when they said it. I don't know how they got that view but they were adamant at the time and subsequently one has apologised for misinforming me. In any case I still wasn't entirely convinced that abstentions would count in the totaling up and so also escalated it at the Office afterwards and was told it was already being looked into by Wombles and Martin Wragg. I am pleased that the outcome of that was that a no vote was implemented and the opportunity for those that already voted to re-vote was given as that seemed the fairest of the available options. I don't know whether that makes me an innocent dupe or not but I certainly progressed the matter as far as I could and I think the outcome was the best one in the circumstances as the voting options are now clear and allow for objections.   

Post edited at 00:18
1
paul__in_sheffield - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

The whole option A/B thing has even made Twitter......

https://twitter.com/punterwatchuk/status/1003748765122138113?s=21

 

MG - on 05 Jun 2018

Thread:

Has the BMC really employed solicitors called "Wombles"?

 

Andy Say - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

So the 'status' of abstentions was changed without telling anyone. Presumably when the 'legal team' realised they'd messed up?  Meaning that anyone who has lodged an abstain vote in error has thrown it away.  They have been 'given the chance' to change their vote with no explanation as to the changing status of an 'abstain'.  And unless they are following this thread assiduously they simply would not know. Presumably the whole Peak Area meeting was similarly misled?  Have they been informed?  Could you not have corrected the misinformation you posted on this thread?

That is woeful, Simon, and you know it.

Post edited at 08:55
9
spenser - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

The BMC employed Bond Dickinson, who were then bought by an American firm called Womble. As Brits none of us can resist taking the mick out of a legal company brave enough to have Womble in the name....

I think that roughly sums it up.

Andy Syme - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I have some sympathy for those putting forward for election as it was the BMC that screwed up the calculation of when the deadline was.

Yes I agree we have for years miscalculated the 45 clear days so we can't penalise people for submitting on the published deadline if 'we' got it wrong.

>The deadline for Resolutions however, is different.  I was fully, vocally supportive of allowing the Open Forum to come up with Amendments or further Resolutions.  I hadn't realised (silly boy) that it meant that the 'Option A' proposal wasn't going to be lodged on time. 

It was lodged on time. 

The legal requirement on any company is to provide the resolutions in the notice period (14 days by law unless the articles say differently, which in our case they do as 28 days).  This was done.

The 45 day rule is to allow the BMC time to validate resolutions from 'others', again totally in line with the law.  It gives the BMC  time to check a resolution is 'correct' and produce agendas etc in time for complying with the legal requirement of 28 days notice of the AGM.  It does not mean that the BMC as an organisation must lodge 45 days in advance OR have 25 validated signatures to submit accounts, annual reports, resolutions or anything else to the AGM.

Andy Syme - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> So the 'status' of abstentions was changed without telling anyone. Presumably when the 'legal team' realised they'd messed up?  Meaning that anyone who has lodged an abstain vote in error has thrown it away.  They have been 'given the chance' to change their vote with no explanation as to the changing status of an 'abstain'.  And unless they are following this thread assiduously they simply would not know. Presumably the whole Peak Area meeting was similarly misled?  Have they been informed?  Could you not have corrected the misinformation you posted on this thread?

Everyone who voted before the clarification has received an email (if the followed the original email link) or a letter (if they voted using the login details from an original letter) telling them what was missed

"the options available to members in respect of Items 9 & 10.a.I (the adoption of new Articles of Association for the BMC, and the election of a new president) did not include a provision to vote against in both cases."

Giving them an option to change their vote

"if you wish to change your vote in respect of Item 9 and/or 10.a.I you now have an option to recast your vote by following the instructions below; in doing so you will be deemed to have revoked all of your previous proxy votes so will have to recast your votes on all of the other agenda items as well.

Please note that if you do not wish to recast your vote you do not need to take any action in response to this email."

and explaining the difference between abstaining and voting against

"By way of clarification any abstentions will be disregarded in determining the outcome of the vote and, for the avoidance of doubt, abstentions will NOT be counted as votes against. In the case of Item 9 only votes explicitly cast in favour of either Option A or Option B and votes cast against Option A and Option B will be included in the count; the same principle applies to Item 10.a.I."

Anyone voting now obviously gets the option to vote against.

Post edited at 09:11
UKB Shark - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

In haste - I didn’t know and still don’t know what the official prevailing view was on abstentions at the time so couldn’t update and the issue was superceded by the voting changes. Best contact Martin Wragg if you want to do a post-mortem. Can’t post till later this afternoon now

1
johncook - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

As a supporter of the BMC and avid follower of the problems, debates, sites, threads, information, misinformation, implied or otherwise secret spreading of dubious facts, personal insults, infighting, etc etc ad nauseum, I feel that there will be a lot of people who were BMC supporters who will have been disappointed and put off by the petty and personal attacks which have been forthcoming. There will be ;less people voting as a result. 

If people could have stuck to facts and reasoned opinions, from either side, the BMC would have been in a better position now. There seem to be some people who hate any change, others who want change for the sake of change, yet others who switch and change opinions with the wind, others who take every comment personally. It has gone beyond a sensible and reasoned reaction to a problem and is now a battle with no clear objectives other than 'doing down the opposition!'

Perhaps if all those, of whom questioned were asked, had replied accurately and concisely, produced evidence/links etc and those that disagreed had done the same, then this thread and the whole sorry situation could have been sorted quickly and satisfactorily.

Communication has been a problem of the BMC in the past, as has being slow to react to change. Hopefully we can get this vote sorted satisfactorily and quickly and get past all the nastiness and infighting and personality clashes and let the BMC it's staff, volunteers and members ,get on with doing what they do best!

Here's hoping that the AGM goes off quietly, with the minimum of fuss! Maybe the extreme factions should stay at home and let the silent majority sort this out! It couldn't make things any worse. If anyone wants to know if they come across as an extreme faction in this farce, so they can stay away, please message me and I will demonstrate how un-subtle I can be, and how unbiased, as there are extremists on both sides. 

P.s. I have seen some of the 'secret' e-mails and correspondence. None of it puts the originators in a good light and it has affected the way I voted. I personally think all the correspondence should have been open and public, from both sides.  Maybe it is not too late to bring it out in the open! We do have a few days left!

 

1
Andy Say - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> It was lodged on time. 

> The legal requirement on any company is to provide the resolutions in the notice period (14 days by law unless the articles say differently, which in our case they do as 28 days).  This was done.

> The 45 day rule is to allow the BMC time to validate resolutions from 'others', again totally in line with the law.  It gives the BMC  time to check a resolution is 'correct' and produce agendas etc in time for complying with the legal requirement of 28 days notice of the AGM.  It does not mean that the BMC as an organisation must lodge 45 days in advance OR have 25 validated signatures to submit accounts, annual reports, resolutions or anything else to the AGM.

Andy, I am informed that you may be in error.

(1) The Companies Act applies unless amended by the Articles;

(2) Article 51.2 relates to “All resolutions” (see the wording of the provision); and

(3) perhaps you are thinking of the Option A proposed articles where only Members’ resolutions will require 45 days notice and 25 signatures (see proposed Article 11.7). Note also the reference to invalidity is missing from the end of Article 11.7, but such reference remains in 12.3 (as in current Article 51.3).

You might want to check?

 

3
Paul Evans - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Hi Andy. 

Surely article 68 of the current articles (confusingly entitled "alterations of articles") applies in the case of Option A. 51.2 covers articles submitted by the membership, and therefore covers Option B. 68 says articles "should be amended in accordance with provisions of the (Companies) Act". 

Cheers

Paul 

Andy Syme - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Don't worry Andy, this position has been comprehensively reviewed by WBD.   As I said earlier though even with clear legal advice I'm sure some people will still be looking to challenge as it seems to be the game of the month! 

1
Andy Say - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Paul Evans:

“The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated, only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third and I have forgotten all about it.”

Oh the resonance...…

3
john arran - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Have you gone mad?

Andy Say - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to john arran:

No John,

That was the German professor; I'm the one who has forgotten about it.  Do keep up!

Andy

 

 

1
Alex Messenger, BMC - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to everyone

The second voting email with your personal links went out yesterday. So if you haven't voted yet then check your email and spam for an email from Online Voting (not the BMC).

If you haven't got it, then fill in this form here to let us know:

https://intouch.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm/

If you've got any questions, then check out our live forum chat with AGM expert Andy Syme, right here on UKC at 12-2 on Wednesday.

Cheers

 

 

JHiley on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> “The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated, only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third and I have forgotten all about it.”

> Oh the resonance...…

Hi Andy. I agree that some of the announcements and posts etc from BMC option A folk have been confusing and have tended to come across as: **This is a very complicated thing to do with modernisation and good governance (yay buzzwords...) so trust that we're right** Or even: **Pettigrew n Voldmort bad n nasty people n dey like option B so option B bad n nasty** However the actual proposed option A articles are in plain English and do make sense. They are just long. It is clear from reading them who has responsibility for what at any given time. I'm sorry to say that I can't say the same for option B.

E.g.

"The business of the BMC shall be managed by the Board in accordance with the policies adopted by National Council the members of which may collectively as the Board exercise all such powers of the BMC as may be prescribed by the BMC in General Meeting and as are not by the Act or by these Articles required to be exercised by the BMC in General Meeting subject nevertheless to the provisions of the Act and these Articles not being inconsistent with the aforesaid provisions."

...doesn't make any sense at all. I don't think it's that it's "lawyer speak" either, it's just unclear.

Lawyers don't exist on some separate plane of intellectual existence. They sometimes use esoteric language but they make logical interpretations based on hopefully unambiguous rules. They would have a field day arguing about the paragraph above (just one sentence actually!!!). I'm not blaming the proposers of option B for this because I understand that you had to meet a time limit and that the option A proposers had greater resources. 

I also think that option B's "broad strategy" determining powers for the NC are too vague and so therefore might as well not exist. Unless it is possible to definitively say whether a specific decision by the board is compatible with the NC's "broad strategy" the NC would have no power at all. The "reserved matters"of option A seem more likely to be effective in reality because while they are limited they are at least specific.

I can see that the original draft tier 3 proposal was so blatantly regressive that proposing some alternative was definitely justified. However the final Tier 3 Option A has been renegotiated and improved. It seems to me that option B is no longer relevant since it was conceived hastily (understandably) in opposition to a proposal which no-longer exists.

Regards,

A. Member

Post edited at 16:23
Andy Say - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to JHiley:

Thanks for your thoughts.  And I'm glad someone got the relevance of the quote

In defence of the Option B proposal; yes it was put together hastily so that it could meet the legal deadline for Special Resolutions.  And to that extent Option A did have an advantage in that they could subsequently re-draft and consult and submit later.

I think that what does need to be recognised however is that this is 'Phase 1'.  There is a commitment to reviewing and revising any Articles agreed at this AGM in the short term.  But in the mean time we will see the development of a Phase 2 proposal which, inevitably, will have impact on those agreed Articles.  They are going to have to be tweaked in the light of experience.  I would guess as early as 2019.  So I think it would be wrong to regard either option as fixed in stone; the cynic in me suggests that once you hand all definitive power to a Board, however, they might not easily hand it back .  One only has to consider the 'Memorandum of Understanding' between the NC and the Board which, it is proposed, will enshrine some powers 'to the members'.  That has not been written yet and will probably not be presented until the end of Phase 2 (2019?).  And even then I'm unsure if it is just a compact between two parts of the organisation which the members won't get to approve. 

But, hey - you make your own mind up and vote as you wish (I wish the BMC would do the same).  Anyone who got the Palmerstone quote obviously has a brain

1
Andy Say - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to johncook:

> Communication has been a problem of the BMC in the past, as has being slow to react to change. Hopefully we can get this vote sorted satisfactorily and quickly and get past all the nastiness and infighting and personality clashes and let the BMC it's staff, volunteers and members ,get on with doing what they do best!

> Here's hoping that the AGM goes off quietly, with the minimum of fuss! Maybe the extreme factions should stay at home and let the silent majority sort this out! It couldn't make things any worse. If anyone wants to know if they come across as an extreme faction in this farce, so they can stay away, please message me and I will demonstrate how un-subtle I can be, and how unbiased, as there are extremists on both sides. 

John,

I have emailed you. 

Unfortunately I feel we are at the stage now where there is no way that there will be a 'minimum of fuss'.  Largely due to haste in trying to rush this through! 

I am heartened that you regard the BMC as 'staff, volunteers and members'.  It does pay, sometimes, to step back and ask 'what/who is the BMC'.  It isn't just the staff, it shouldn't be the Board - it should be the people who pay their subs and bother to be involved

But, with regard to your concern about communications, issues were raised last night at the NW Area meeting that are echoed by an email I've received from a BMC member I've climbed with for years but sort of lost touch with.  'I've just been on the BMC website and it stinks, loaded with Option A support, will you be a proxy for me'.  I've also had four emails from people who are appalled by the arm-twisting and are probably going to leave the BMC.   It would be nice if both 'extremes' would step away.  But one of them is in my face every time I look at an email from the BMC

 

9
JHiley on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Thanks for the comprehensive response.

> Option A did have an advantage in that they could subsequently re-draft and consult and submit later.

I realise that too. Although it does seem unfair, I’m glad that they were able to re-draft.

> Anyone who got the Palmerstone quote obviously has a brain

I didn’t know it but I think I got what you meant. Strangely, I imagined it being spoken in the voice of General Melchett.

Andy Syme - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> But, with regard to your concern about communications, issues were raised last night at the NW Area meeting that are echoed by an email I've received from a BMC member I've climbed with for years but sort of lost touch with.  'I've just been on the BMC website and it stinks, loaded with Option A support, will you be a proxy for me'.  I've also had four emails from people who are appalled by the arm-twisting and are probably going to leave the BMC.   It would be nice if both 'extremes' would step away.  But one of them is in my face every time I look at an email from the BMC

Let's be clear here.  The central team did start off producing joint comms, but Option B were unhappy it was 'biased'; as were many Option A so maybe it was not so bad.  There has therefore been a decision made that the Option A comms will not comment on Option B and allow Option B to produce their own comms which the BMC will publish (subject to same rules on factual accuracy etc).   

The Option A proposers have got a number of people to support their proposal and agree to publicly say this, this isn't unfair or biased, People are free to chose to ignore Callum, John etc etc if they want, but there is no reason Option A should not publicise the views of their supporters. 

Equally if Option B supporters want to provide  articles I am certain the central team will publicise articles produced.

john arran - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

You mean you aren't going to insist on giving equal weight to climate change and climate sceptics? How very un-BBC of you ;-)

2
Andy Syme - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to JHiley:

> I realise that too. Although it does seem unfair, I’m glad that they were able to re-draft.

Of course the deadline extension applied to Tier 1 as well so they could have amended their article too before the 16 May Deadline.   

Also while the BMC may look bloated and overstaffed to some, the work on the articles was 90% me and WBD.  I'm not saying this as boasting, but merely to point out that it wasn't the BMCs excessive resources that allowed them to produce articles that were agreed by most parties.  It was me putting in 40+ hour weeks for the BMC (in evenings and weekends) whilst still working the day job. 

That possibility was equally available to Option B.  

BTW I'm glad we took the time and effort to redraft too, we now have some articles with broarder consensus which can't be bad. 

 

Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> Of course the deadline extension applied to Tier 1 as well so they could have amended their article too before the 16 May Deadline.   

Since the Tier 1 proposal was lodged with the BMC as a Special Resolution over two weeks earlier I'd be interested in the mechanism you might suggest for tinkering with it, Andy   

 

4
gallam1 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Given the recent history of disagreements at the BMC, I find it inexplicable that the BMC's directors have chosen to not do absolutely everything in relation to this matter entirely by the book. 

It is not particularly difficult to precisely follow the rules laid down in the BMC's articles of association.

 

5
Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Since the Tier 1 proposal was lodged with the BMC as a Special Resolution over two weeks earlier I'd be interested in the mechanism you might suggest for tinkering with it, Andy   

Off the top of my head.  Amend them and then provide them back before the new deadline saying "as you changed the delivery deadline to allow for a compromise as we asked we' ve also updated our articles.  Please see attached"

Assuming you had more than 25 it wouldn't have been any issue.  

Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> Off the top of my head.  Amend them and then provide them back before the new deadline saying "as you changed the delivery deadline to allow for a compromise as we asked we' ve also updated our articles.  Please see attached"

Sorry Andy.  That is absolute bull.  Once a Special Resolution has been lodged it cannot be amended.  Surely you know that?  

 

6
Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to JHiley:

> I didn’t know it but I think I got what you meant. Strangely, I imagined it being spoken in the voice of General Melchett.

Palmerston and Melchett probably went to the same school

 

1
Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Sorry Andy.  That is absolute bull.  Once a Special Resolution has been lodged it cannot be amended.  Surely you know that?  

Without wishing to bore everyone else.

Once Notices have been served to members resolutions can't be changed; legal companies act issue.  That was on 16 May.

You were at the NC on 28 April when it was agreed to waive the 45 day deadline in our articles (For 15; Against 4; Abstentions 2; if I remember you voted for) so that proposals could be changed. 

Option B chose not to change their submission.

 

1
Neil Foster - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> Given the recent history of disagreements at the BMC, I find it inexplicable that the BMC's directors have chosen to not do absolutely everything in relation to this matter entirely by the book. 

> It is not particularly difficult to precisely follow the rules laid down in the BMC's articles of association.

Rodney (Gallagher)

Why do you persist in agitating from behind a cloak of anonymity?

It is not particularly difficult to create a Rodney Gallagher user account on UKC, then everyone will understand the originator of your comments.

Heck, I'm sure your son could even help you, if you get stuck...

Neil

3
Cary Grant on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Reading this thread reminds me why I dislike clubs of any form so much. I've been a member of the BMC for many years and had no idea it was quite so much like an all-boys grammar school. This 'discussion' has not put anyone in a good light and leaves me with a very unpleasant taste in my mouth. 

Don't know whether I will vote or renew my membership at this point, which is a bit sad. However, personal spats played out in public aside, things change and I think the BMC has changed, or perhaps it hasn't but other things have. Something else will likely emerge to provide a voice for those who do not feel represented by the BMC, but are nonetheless part of the climbing community. 

It could be a good thing. Shame it had to be played out in such a manner.

gallam1 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Neil Foster:

As usual with you Neil, try playing the ball and not the man.

Kind of you to repeat the message though.  Perhaps you could spread the message a bit wider and encourage someone to actually respond.  The fact that you describe a request for everything to be done in accordance with the BMC's articles as "agitating" speaks volumes about you and your motives.

Post edited at 21:45
11
Neil Foster - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

Rodney

What I object to is people hiding behind nom de plumes whilst seeking to undermine an organisation.

Your latest post, above, may not do that but I would challenge anyone to read through the weeks of posts you made under the gallam1 pseudonym (and it would be a challenge, as there were so many) and not consider the general tone as agitating – particularly some of the ridiculous conspiracy theories you expounded before you were unmasked.

I am perfectly willing to embrace robust debate, and I certainly don’t believe that the BMC wouldn’t benefit from radical change, but when people persist in posting extreme viewpoints and conspiracy theories, I think the members – or at least those who can be bothered to wade through pages and pages of online wrangling – deserve to know who is behind such a campaign.

Towards the end of your most prolific posting period, a number of people – myself included – politely asked who you were, but you refused to answer.  When the account you posted under was unmasked as that belonging to your son – who is not even a member of the BMC - you even left him to take the rap!

Of course you weren’t the first to be engaged in such a surreptitious campaign. Another well known member of the NW area, and prominent member of your campaign, did exactly the same a couple of years ago.  Month after month of agitating, but again all protected by a cloak of anonymity.

If you think my desire for you to be more open as you try to influence the debate is actually about me criticising you for requesting the BMC follows its own articles, then I’m afraid you are not only wholly wrong, but you have conveniently completely missed the point.

Neil

2
gallam1 - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to Neil Foster:

You seem to be very upset about the fact that I have been writing posts under my username, gallam1, which I have been using on UKC pretty much since it started (10+ years?).  If the availablity of anonymous usernames for posting on UKC really bothers you that much you would be best off complaining to the owners of UKC, or perhaps your local MP. If you are struggling to understand the value of anonymity, I would suggest that you spend a couple of hours watching V for Vendetta.  You simply have no idea if I am one person, or one hundred, so it would be better if you stopped addressing me as "Rodney".  Likewise, I have no idea if the person posting under the nom de plume "Neil Foster" is really Neil Foster, or perhaps Neil Foster's climbing partner of 30+ years Dave Turnbull, or someone else entirely.  More to the point, I don't really care.

Speaking personally, I feel that anonymity in these  forums is valuable precisely because it short circuits the relentless ad hominem attacks that you and the person posting as "John Arran" seem to specialise in.  You say "I am perfectly willing to embrace robust debate" and you point out that I have written numerous posts addressing the substance of the issues at the BMC.  You have not once actually responded to any of the issues raised.  Not once.

So let's try a final time. Given the recent history of disagreements at the BMC, I find it inexplicable that the BMC's directors have chosen to not do absolutely everything in relation to this matter entirely by the book.  There are numerous failures in process, and the question is why?  It is not exactly difficult for the Directors to do things according to the rule book (the BMC's Memorandum and Articles of Association).

 

Post edited at 12:08
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john arran - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> the relentless ad hominem attacks that you and the person posting as "John Arran" seem to specialise in.

The irony is deafening!

3
IainWhitehouse - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> So let's try a final time. Given the recent history of disagreements at the BMC, I find it inexplicable that the BMC's directors have chosen to not do absolutely everything in relation to this matter entirely by the book.  There are numerous failures in process, and the question is why? 

This is playing the ball, not the man. (On UKC at least) the alternative motion is largely discredited as ill-conceived and divisive, so you elect to combat the original motion on a technicality.

Does anyone in their right mind really care if it somehow falls short of some interpretation of some finer point in the mems and arts? I don't care a jot as long as it seems to have been done in good faith and that is the impression I have here. The spirit of the rules is important, not the tiny letter of it, unless you have an ulterior motive beyond upholding that spirit...

 

4
gallam1 - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to IainWhitehouse:

Thank-you for responding.

I care a great deal about the Directors of any institution acting according to the rules governing their behaviour, for the simple reason that I have witnessed close up the appalling consequences of Directors feeling like they can act with impunity.  I agree that the spirit of the rules is important, but it is vital in times of stress that the Directors act exactly according to the letter of the rules governing their behaviour, or they give the appearance of not caring about the people that they are accountable to.  In this case, those people are the members of the BMC.

You are mistaken in stating that I am electing to combat the original motion on a technicality.  I simply asked the question why the Directors were not acting in accordance with the rules that govern their behaviour.  From a corporate governance point of view, Directors acting with impunity is a massive red flag.

My opinion on the substance of the two options put before the members is that Option A seeks to treat BMC members in an essentially paternalistic fashion, and views the membership as being passive customers of the services to be provided by the BMC.  These customers are assumed to be content to have a Board of Directors made up almost entirely of technocrats, serving on a Board where the members' sole representative is their elected president.  A BMC constituted in this fashion has essentially shed all pretence of democratic accountablilty.

On the other hand there are those who recognise that the members of the BMC, as its owners, have both the absolute right and the responsibility to choose and elect the majority of the directors whom they wish to run the BMC, albeit with a minority of independent directors providing specialist inputs. These members will expect their directors to represent their views in the conduct of the affairs of the BMC. Should the directors not do so then members will expect to replace them and to elect different ones who will represent their views.

Under Option B the membership is engaged and pro-active. Under Option A the members are largely passive with nearly all of their actions guided by the directors, only one of whom, the President, has been directly elected by the members as a whole, voting at the AGM.

Democracy demands member engagement. The member retains the right to demand change. The customer enjoys only the power to take their business elsewhere.

Post edited at 13:30
10
Will Hunt - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> it would be better if you stopped addressing me as "Rodney".

 

Alright, Dave?

https://metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/vgbhvbh.jpg

1
Rob Parsons on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> ... I have no idea if the person posting under the nom de plume "Neil Foster" is really Neil Foster, or perhaps Neil Foster's climbing partner of 30+ years Dave Turnbull ...

Is it the case that the person posting as 'Neil Foster' here is a close acquaintance of Dave Turnbull? If it is, then perhaps he should have declared that.

 

 

Post edited at 14:19
9
Andy Syme - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> These customers are assumed to be content to have a Board of Directors made up almost entirely of technocrats, serving on a Board where the members' sole representative is their elected president. 

Not sure how 3 x National Council Members and 3 x Nominated Directors (elected from the members or nominated by stakeholders within the membership) could be seen as technocrats?  Or not representing members.

Dave T as CEO a technocrat?? Really!?! 

The Chair and 3 x Independent Directors as technocrats?  Well I suppose you could form a scenario where that would happen, something like:

  1. The current Independent Directors (both of who are long standing BMC members) and other NomCom members select all non-BMC members (i.e. technocrats with no interest in climbing) but wanting to work as volunteers for BMC in their spare time as the new Independent Directors,
  2. these technocrats are then approved by the members at the AGM as being the right people to be on the Board (the same members who would under Option B would make good choices for the Board but have somehow changed because Option A was successful at the AGM in Jun 18)

Possible I suppose but not realistic IMHO

> Under Option B the membership is engaged and pro-active.

Under Option B the membership are as engaged and proactive as they are now.  But the NC have lost primacy to the Board and have non of the checks and balances that Option A provides (like ability to call a General Meeting or rights on reserved matters).

>Under Option A the members are largely passive with nearly all of their actions guided by the directors, only one of whom, the President, has been directly elected by the members as a whole, voting at the AGM.

Under Option A the members will be as engaged and proactive as they are now; why would they suddenly become passive??  The NC have powers and mechanisms to hold the board to account and the members retain the absolute power not approve the appointments by the Board; No approval = No place on the Board.

> Democracy demands member engagement. The member retains the right to demand change.

Totally correct and this will not change under Option A and the members powers will be enhanced as the rest of the ORG changes are implemented over the next year.

 

Post edited at 14:59
andyr - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> These customers are assumed to be content to have a Board of Directors made up almost entirely of technocrats, serving on a Board where the members' sole representative is their elected president.  

 

How is the President the sole elected representative. We can split hair between 'elected' and 'approved'; but the bottom line is that it is the members who put them in place.

Currently; the Board has the President. The Chair; approved at the AGM so members decide that they are appropriate to represent the membership). Three NC members individually approved at the AGM (so members decide that they are appropriate to represent the membership). Three Independent Directors individually approved at the AGM (so members decide that they are appropriate to represent the membership). Three nominated Directors approved at AGM (so members decide that they are appropriate to represent the membership)

 

2
gallam1 - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to andyr:

With respect the distinction between "elected" and "approved" is not some fraction of a hair.

A director "approved" by the members from a choice of one, when the candidate has been selected by the Board, vetted by the Nominations Committee (made up of members of the Board) and then recommended to the members for approval. This approval process is in no way comparable to an election of a candidate who agrees to stand and represent the members, is proposed and seconded by members and then elected in competition with other candidates by the members freely voting.

Under the approved director process all the directors other than the directly elected President owe their jobs to the other directors. Where do you think their allegiance will lie? And as for the directors "appointed" by the National Council, by means unspecified, they can only be removed from office by the National Council. Who do you think they will owe allegiance to?

9
Andy Syme - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> A director "approved" by the members from a choice of one, when the candidate has been selected by the Board, vetted by the Nominations Committee (made up of members of the Board) and then recommended to the members for approval. This approval process is in no way comparable to an election of a candidate who agrees to stand and represent the members, is proposed and seconded by members and then elected in competition with other candidates by the members freely voting.

So someone who applies for role as an Independent director or nominated director doesn't agree to stand?  If they aren't there to represent the members interests as defined in the articles what are they there for? Their selection is a competition which is open and transparent.  And you can't be suggesting that even with an appointment the members won't be freely voting. 

So the only difference is that under Option A the NomCom select people, after a proper selection process with interviews etc, based on skills and needs of the Board and the members get to agree (or not) having read the selection criteria and NomCom selection report

v's

anyone can stand and the members have to try and ascertain from a CV and a 5 minute speech at the AGM which person is best.  These sort of elections are OK for clubs where you know most people but for an organisation of 85,000 people it's unlikely many candidates will be known by more than a handful of the electorate.

> Under the approved director process all the directors other than the directly elected President owe their jobs to the other directors. Where do you think their allegiance will lie?

No they owe their UNPAID volunteer commitment to the Members who approved them and who they have decided to volunteer to support in their FREE TIME.

>And as for the directors "appointed" by the National Council, by means unspecified, they can only be removed from office by the National Council. Who do you think they will owe allegiance to?

As National Council are elected by the Areas then either to their members in their area, or to the other National Council members who represent the members in their areas. 

 

 

Ian W - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

The vast majority of directors will be unpaid volunteers. Its not as if they owe their place at the corporate trough to their fellow director mates. I strongly suspect their allegiance will be to doing the best possible for the furtherance of the organisation, as it has been with every director (and non directorial volunteer I have ever come across at the BMC). Personal enrichment is not a likely outcome of any of these positions, and you have to be some kind of special case of egotistical fool to think you owe allegiance to whoever got you the job........

Post edited at 16:18
slab_happy on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> And as for the directors "appointed" by the National Council, by means unspecified, they can only be removed from office by the National Council. Who do you think they will owe allegiance to?

Wait, weren't you guys claiming that the whole point of Proposal B was to keep power with the National Council rather than the evil Board?

Obviously various people then pointed out that Proposal B removed almost all the clauses where the National Council had power over the Board, but that *was* the original claim.

How has the National Council -- which is the members' representative body -- suddenly morphed in this narrative into another evil entity that's going to hold the "allegiance" of directors it appoints and use it for some nefarious purposes?

1
spenser - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> With respect the distinction between "elected" and "approved" is not some fraction of a hair.

> A director "approved" by the members from a choice of one, when the candidate has been selected by the Board, vetted by the Nominations Committee (made up of members of the Board) and then recommended to the members for approval. This approval process is in no way comparable to an election of a candidate who agrees to stand and represent the members, is proposed and seconded by members and then elected in competition with other candidates by the members freely voting.

> Under the approved director process all the directors other than the directly elected President owe their jobs to the other directors. Where do you think their allegiance will lie? And as for the directors "appointed" by the National Council, by means unspecified, they can only be removed from office by the National Council. Who do you think they will owe allegiance to?

It appears to be the case that contested elections are the exception rather than the norm within the BMC. Given what happened with Rehan and his treatment by supporters of the MoNC last year I doubt we will ever have a flood of people wishing to take on the role. 

You seem to be claiming that the directors would collude with each other to remain in post, you do realise that the Option A articles preclude directors from being paid, right? What possible motivation is there to collude with other directors such that they can remain in post other than some petty power seeking?

I asked Andy Syme about the make up of the board and Nominations Committee in the Q & A yesterday, he confirmed that the make up of the nominations committee is not confirmed yet, perhaps you might consider volunteering to help with some of the phase 2 work streams?

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/ukc/andy_syme_on_the_bmc_agm-686788?v=1#x8798084

The directors appointed by National Council are selected according to the skills which the board needs to run the company, all of them are either area reps or chairs of specialist committes, as far as Andy Say is concerned this seems to make them "Ordinary Members", why would they act against their and their fellow members' interests?

If you are not willing to put your name next to any controversial opinions and arguments for all to see I am usually of the belief that they are not worth holding.

Spenser Gray (not posing as anyone else)

Post edited at 16:31
andyr - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> A director "approved" by the members from a choice of one,

Why would it be a choice of one. If a number of people put themselves forward; and the committee considers them all suitable, then all of them will be presented as a choice at the AGM. The members will decide on who gains approval. 

Equally; the committee could offer up just one candidate. At the AGM the members may decide they don't want to approve them; and they are rejected.

Members do not have to approve anyone proposed by the committee.

Andy Syme - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to andyr:

> Why would it be a choice of one. If a number of people put themselves forward; and the committee considers them all suitable, then all of them will be presented as a choice at the AGM. The members will decide on who gains approval. 

On this point I would agree with Rodney/Gallum1 that it's highly unlikely to be more than one because as it's a rigorous selection process there will always be one candidate who ultimately in some way will be the 'best' for the boards requirements.   In theory though if there were 2 completely inseparable candidates a run off could be possible I suppose.

Obviously for Nominated Directors selected from the whole membership then it will be an election where all the candidates with the requisite skills would be presented to the members.

 

Post edited at 16:56
Offwidth - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

Most past Presidents were elected as the only man standing. The vast majority of NC reps (Peak excepted ) are currently elected as the only ones standing. I'd like to know if there have ever been any other contested elections for NC in the history of the NC. The option B staus quo in this sense is hardly something to be thoroughly desired in democratic terms. It's still not stated anywhere that Proposal B has confirmed Sport England Tier 1 compliance, even exactly who still supports it  (surely people with such a sense of accuracy on M&As and AGM process and democracy would have done this?). If it does have SE confirmation,  since they require board primacy with very particular conditions, maybe you can explain how that can tally with what is being presented here by you and Andy Say?

Maybe you could also spell out exactly which parts of the M &A have been broken as its not perfectly clear from you posts and you seem to be concerned about detail.

Its a shame you won't confirm if you are Rodney Gallagher or not as he was reportedly one of the three Option B proposers inolved in trying to negotiate a compromise with The Proposal A implementation team and I hoped he might have explained why what was good enough for Jonathon and Crag (the other 2) wasn't good enough for him. Also going back a year, what he thought about a sloppy MoNC submission that had incorrect names and was subject to major revision to a point that it had no clear meaning at all, and those naughty leaked letters Bob and Leo wrote, with all that misinformation. Hey and how all this now looks given what was said in the UKC thread 'Bobs right of reply' (discussed  on this thread with you, or someone else since it seems there may be two of you).

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rocktalk/bobs_response-672258#x8657566

I had better go now as I've been threatened with potential legal action for alledged defamation on UKC and Bob's latest emails seem to say he has collected a file on such defamations and presented it to important people in London to ensure the BMC faces consequencies. I'm not sure I can believe it. He must be fishing for reactions? A democrat and honorary personage who cares for the BMC would surely never do such a thing. People say I shouldn't obsess about Bob. Maybe they are right and all the emails from him (and Dennis) and the important third parties, who surely can't be foolish enough to be involved in such communications, are all just part of a massive 'wind-up' this time, in contrast with what the very same people did in the MoNC. Its not fake news afterall and we can all sleep easy and the Option voting is clean as can be on the B side.

Post edited at 17:09
6
andyr - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> On this point I would agree with Rodney/Gallum1 that it's highly unlikely to be more than one because as it's a rigorous selection process there will always be one candidate who ultimately in some way will be the 'best' for the boards requirements.   In theory though if there were 2 completely inseparable candidates a run off could be possible I suppose.

So you position is based on second guessing a committees process; and assuming their judgement of the candidates will be biased towards 'fitting in'. Still doesn't get the candidate an automatic 'shoe in'. As the details of the candidate will have been made public before the AGM, there will be plenty of time for concerned members to canvas for a 'No' to approval. The members can reject the candidate.

Andy Syme - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to andyr:

> So you position is based on second guessing a committees process; and assuming their judgement of the candidates will be biased towards 'fitting in'.

I wouldn't say biased, but I just think it unlikely that a rigorous selection process would often come out with more than 1 candidate.  But happy to be proved wrong. 

>Still doesn't get the candidate an automatic 'shoe in'. As the details of the candidate will have been made public before the AGM, there will be plenty of time for concerned members to canvas for a 'No' to approval. The members can reject the candidate.

Absolutely agree. The AGM papers will provide the recommendation and I believe the 'assessment outcome'

No Approve = No place on the board. 

Rob Parsons on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

Offwidth Products: "Never Knowingly Under-melodrama'd" (tm)

3
john arran - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Seems a little harsh, since one or two folk on here seem to be going to enormous lengths to throw spanners in the works of the best BMC reform conceivable in light of the various constraints and opportunities present. It's hard not to see such action as over-dramatising any possible weakness in the agreed proposal.

Especially when offering such paucity of alternative.

1
Will Hunt - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Can people please stop calling Rodney Rodney? Please refer to him by one of his preferred monikers: Rod, Rodders, Roddy, Rod Rod, Hot Rod, Big Hard Rod, or Dave.

Thank you.

1
IainWhitehouse - on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it that you articulated your view clearly. (I rather less appreciate that you delivered it as a defacto truth rather than opinion but that may not have been your intent. This is the internet after all and nuance of delivery is often lost)

Sadly, in my opinion, your view is largely, or even entirely poppycock*

I'll leave it at that since I think others have already dissected most specifics of you post.

* I use that word advisedly and in full knowledge of it's etymology.

1
Rob Parsons on 07 Jun 2018
In reply to john arran:

> Seems a little harsh ...

I was referring to drama such as: "I had better go now as I've been threatened with potential legal action for alledged defamation on UKC."

Either go, or stay - I don't suppose anybody really cares. But flouncing around like that doesn't really get us anywhere. Does it?

Post edited at 23:22
6
slab_happy on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Ian W:

> Personal enrichment is not a likely outcome of any of these positions

1. Take over the BMC.

2. ?

3. Profit!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO5sxLapAts

slab_happy on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Is it the case that the person posting as 'Neil Foster' here is a close acquaintance of Dave Turnbull? If it is, then perhaps he should have declared that.

My god, what a hideous cover-up! Clearly he's tainted by his association with Dave Turnbull, a known Option A supporter, which he attempted to conceal by not listing all of his friends and climbing partners in his posts, as is now mandatory!

On this note, I am obliged to declare that once at a Peak area meet I stood within several metres of Dave Turnbull while I was queueing up to get chips, but I was at the end of the queue and there were no more plates left and I had to eat off a paper napkin.

1
UKB Shark - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> A director "approved" by the members from a choice of one, when the candidate has been selected by the Board, vetted by the Nominations Committee (made up of members of the Board) and then recommended to the members for approval. This approval process is in no way comparable to an election of a candidate who agrees to stand and represent the members, is proposed and seconded by members and then elected in competition with other candidates by the members freely voting.  

The process of using a Nominations committee will widen the pool of candidates and hence tend to improve the potential calibre of the Board. A soon-to-be vacant position will allow Nom Comm to look at the current makeup of the board and advertise with specific skills and experience in mind to make up for any deficits whether that be governance, finance or whatever. That allows the opportunity to attract from the membership high calibre experienced individuals who may or may not be active volunteers and thereby introduce new blood and thinking to complement experienced BMC “regulars”.

As others have pointed these are voluntary positions and subject to member approval. Whilst there is increasing abuse in the corporate world of schemes that financially favour Directors at the expense of shareholders with an unpaid BMC Board (CEO excepted) this is not an issue.

A bigger issue is attracting a high calibre and diverse board motivated to use their valuable skills and time. High calibre Directors are independently minded and not given to chummy allegiances and furthermore having some Directors brought in from outside the normal circles will reinforce that in terms of board dynamics.

The NC route you advocate will tend towards a less diverse board drawn from a smaller and narrower pool of candidates. 

In fact I would personally prefer things went further. The BMC also has a wider remit to represent all climbers and hill walkers not just BMC members. There is a lot of talk about being member led and the stipulation of Directors who have been BMC members for 12 months (which is I think an Option A requirement) This is hardly conducive of representing the even bigger silent majority we purport to also represent. Probably a topic for another thread at another time.

Post edited at 08:52
1
Rob Parsons on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> My god, what a hideous cover-up! Clearly he's tainted by his association with Dave Turnbull ...

Not up to your usual standard of commentary.

Nobody's 'tainted' by anything. But it puts a different light on Neil Foster's posts, and the association is therefore helpful to know.

 

 

6
UKB Shark - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Not up to your usual standard of commentary.

> Nobody's 'tainted' by anything. But it puts a different light on Neil Foster's posts, and the association is therefore helpful to know.

Is it? Dave Turnbull is promiscuous when it comes to climbing partners. More a case of who hasn’t climbed with Dave Turnbull than who has.

More relevant than assumed personal allegiances is Neil’s experience as a Company Finance Director and someone who revitalised the Peak Area with Lynn Robinson and Neil was a BMC Director representing National Council no less.

Post edited at 09:39
Rob Parsons on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

Equally useful background to know.

For all such matters: unless you tell us, most of us will have no idea.

johncook - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Below is a copy of my e-mail response to those who contacted me. It is almost identical for all the contactees, with a small variation in the greeting. The recipients have been kept anonymous, if they want to publicise this they are quite welcome.

Hi *****! I am sure we will have met more than once.

The reply is slow as I was waiting to give similar responses to all who messaged me. 

5 messaged me, mostly using pseudonyms. Some friends, some acquaintances, some who I don't think I know. All accept, like you that they have 'appeared' to have accepted an 'extreme' stance. Whether they are or that is just a perception from this and other UKC threads and the assortment of conflicting web sites I am not sure. I am sure that you are all passionate about the BMC and it's future.

What should have been a reasoned and serious and factual debate has turned into a poisonous quagmire of personal insults , misinformation, obfuscation. The only victim will be a sensible future for the BMC, as this fiasco has turned off many members, even amongst regular meeting attenders who I know.  The BMC is an important institution of which I am a dedicated supporter, and my fear is that the 'extremists' are causing the average member to become disaffected by all this infighting. The secrecy and the personal insults and the accusations of various kinds are a toxic mix which will ultimately kill the BMC.

I will ask you, as I am asking others, respond concisely and factually. If asked a question respond with a concise, complete answer, with refs, No opinions and no personal comments, no personal insults. If you have copies of 'secret' e-mails, make them public. If you have sent 'secret' e-mails directly related to this farce and the people involved, own up to them. 

Good luck with your campaign, and hopefully we can shortly see an end to all this nastiness, and all accept the result and get on with promoting the good work done by all the staff, volunteers and members of the BMC for the good of the whole outdoor community.

 

John Cook

I hope the vote is decisive one way or another, I hope all the 'combatants' will accept the vote. The BMC is starting to appear fragile and factionalised, with a few people at either end of the argument determined to stay that way and not accept compromise. That is a shame as they are mostly reasonable people!

UKB Shark - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Equally useful background to know.

> For all such matters: unless you tell us, most of us will have no idea.

Fair point but I challenge whether it is equally important.

I have to wonder whether the reason that some focus on the personal angle so much is that the way things used to work was much more of an old boys network where the personal allegiances were at least as important as the abilities they brought to the board table.

A modern board has to have personal chemistry but a dispassionate, objective  and independent approach should prevail where the outcomes for the organisation are    primary concerns and personal loyalties towards individuals and cliques do not figure in decision making.

Post edited at 09:51
muppetfilter - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

I fail to see how the underpant gnomes have relevance to this situation...

David Camerons "Nudge" department on the other hand is , all these adverts on social media saying how many famous climbers vote for A . No information of what A is just that we all better jolly well vote for it ....

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/behavioural-insights-team

Post edited at 11:36
1
Dave Garnett - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> On this note, I am obliged to declare that once at a Peak area meet I stood within several metres of Dave Turnbull while I was queueing up to get chips, but I was at the end of the queue and there were no more plates left and I had to eat off a paper napkin.

Sadly, I know both 'Dave Turnbull' and 'Neil Foster', which precludes me making any further comment. 

Andy Syme - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to muppetfilter:

> No information of what A is just that we all better jolly well vote for it ....

There's plenty of information on what A is (and B)

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm-2018-essential-information 

Provides both full articles (Option A including the changes agreed at the Open Meeting), and Summary Notes (2 pages so a good place to start) plus a plain English guide for Option A (though some say the articles themselves are plainer )

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-constitution-the-way-ahead

Includes links to a detailed comparison by Martin Wragg (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Download.aspx?id=1606) and the first 2 pages of the Option A articles download (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Download.aspx?id=1604) lists the key changes between the Articles shared at Area meetings in April and the articles shared on 8 May.

There are plenty of people who have done their own analysis and published on FB, to clubs as newsletters or via blogs (obviously these are opinions so read them with however large a pinch of salt you wish to take).  I won't list them all here.

And as you say there are articles 

Option A

Nick Bullock https://www.thebmc.co.uk/nick-bullock-calling-a-spade-a-spade-and-which-way-im-voting-in-the-bmc-agm

Hazel Findlay https://www.thebmc.co.uk/hazel-findlay-why-im-voting-in-the-bmc-agm?s=5

John Cousins https://www.thebmc.co.uk/john-cousins-mountain-training-BMC-why-vote

Chris Bonington, Dave Musgrove, Charles Clarke, Rab Carrington, Scott Titt, Rehan Siddiqui, Steve McClure, Mick Fowler, Pat Littlejohn https://www.thebmc.co.uk/six-bmc-expresidents-two-patrons-and-one-9b-climber-collectively-champion-option-a

Calum Muskett https://www.thebmc.co.uk/calum-muskett-why-im-voting-option-a-for-a-healthy-and-successful-bmc

I know some suggest they are 'doing what they are told' and haven't read the articles.  Well I don't know if they have or not; though reading them I think they show that they have.  The point is why would you assume because they are a 'celebrity' they are not capable of making up their own minds like Andy Say has.  None of them is forced to write these articles. 

Option B

Andy Say https://www.thebmc.co.uk/andy-say-an-ordinary-member-why-im-supporting-option-b 

Also this thread has some good stuff and has, as yet, avoided some of the more spicy exchanges that are on this thread (https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/ukc/andy_syme_on_the_bmc_agm-686788).  Mainly Option A but the later posts include some comments from Option B

Anyway hope this helps you make a decision and importantly vote on that decision.  

dickie01 - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

CV for the independent director nomination (whilst I am sure she's brilliant) is a bit vague....

Graeme Alderson on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I know Marco Scolaris so I had better be careful!

And I know Shark, in fact I co-authored his nickname

Jules King - on 08 Jun 2018

If you think a lot of this stuff about loosing membership control to an Executive Board is scaremongering take a look around the Internet.At the moment ther has been extensive problems in Ukrainian Judo with an Executive that would not listenin the CIOB as a result of an Executive that restructured its areas and area volunteeers without listening, and at top of the list is a 'partner organisation' in world Sailing - Laser Performance - now dominating a sailing class in such a way that there is a danger that amateur accessbility will be compromised.

Of course there is no risk that this will not occur in the BMC...? We can trust everyone now and have such foresight as to able to be sure of the motives of everyone in the future....or we could simply stump up less than the price of a pint a year in subs and keep the BMC to ourselves, .....or Is someone in the office going to come clean about the wider motives behind this push, those beyond Sport England? 

12
slab_happy on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Jules King:

> or Is someone in the office going to come clean about the wider motives behind this push, those beyond Sport England?

Out of interest, what do you believe those "wider motives" to be?

 

Jules King - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

Oh, nothing insidious at all.  In fact they could be viewed as quite legitimate, which is why I'm quite surprised that some people in the BMC will not openly talk about the subject, despite it having a history of internal debate that goes back at least 12-15 years.

Lets see if someone from the BMC will make a comment.

Did you look into the points I suggested? What is your view on stumping up less then the price of a pint to keep the operational status quo? for the moment at the very least? No can't travel the NGB road another, later, day that I've ever heard.

9
Offwidth - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Jules King:

Less than the price of a pint depends very much on where you live. You need to visit Glossup.. Another way of putting it is at least a 10% rise  at a time where many are struggling, as their income is getting squeezed by this everlasting austerity. Member subs always have price point economics. This cost also ignores the fact that a good lump of our membership is in our partner organisations who feel they will be badly let down by Option B (from their public communications). I've heard estimates that it will need another 10% the following year even if membership doesn't decline. 

I'lI look into Ukrainian Judo as I'm from a judo family and my mates train with lots of eastern europeans (including a blind russian world champ) but you must be able to give a better example than that? How about table tennis as a counter example,  who were out of SE funding and worked to get in again.

You're right about the length of debate and all the votes (especially on Olympic issues), that were nearly all lost (including Doug for Pres). I can't see how anyone can sensibly have a problem with different democratic opinions. What's a shame is the ongoing anti-democratic underground 'guerrilla actions' through those emails from Bob.

Post edited at 21:43
5
UKB Shark - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Jules King:

> Oh, nothing insidious at all.  In fact they could be viewed as quite legitimate, which is why I'm quite surprised that some people in the BMC will not openly talk about the subject, despite it having a history of internal debate that goes back at least 12-15 years.

> Lets see if someone from the BMC will make a comment.

I’ve been working at the Office for 18 months working directly for the CEO and for the record I haven’t got a clue what you are driving at.

 

slab_happy on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Jules King:

> Oh, nothing insidious at all.  In fact they could be viewed as quite legitimate, which is why I'm quite surprised that some people in the BMC will not openly talk about the subject, despite it having a history of internal debate that goes back at least 12-15 years.

So are you going to say what you think they are, then? Or just hint that there's something unspecified which people are refusing to "come clean" about?

 

Andy Say - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> Maybe you could also spell out exactly which parts of the M &A have been broken as its not perfectly clear from you posts and you seem to be concerned about detail.

Have a look at items 2 and 3 on the AGM Agenda.  They are asking the members to vote to accept breaches of the current Articles.  

> I hoped he might have explained why what was good enough for Jonathon and Crag (the other 2)

Touch out of date there.  I think there's only one of them left voting for Option A

> People say I shouldn't obsess about Bob. 

 

1
Andy Say - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to johncook:

Thanks for the email John.  I have replied.

Offwidth - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say

There is nothing new there.

Agenda item 2 is based on the BMC reaction to a complaint about the neccesity under rule of AGM approval of an independant director. The person would have beeen approved anyhow and so we removed the chance, for nearly a year, of a very experienced volunteeer contributing to a depleted executive (acting president.... VP on maternity leave). The complaint had to be upheld but it seems to me to be use of rules to spite the organisation. The mistake was recitifed.

Agenda item 3 allowed space for compromise on Option A. It was carefully arranged with the BMC legal advice. The compromise gave a chance to bring most of the BMC back together (everyone I knew on either side said they felt Bob and his hardliners from the MoNC were never going to move). I think the compromise significantly improved Option A. Even if Crag or Jonathon no longer support  Option A (odd really that either would do this without being pubic as they have been in my view open, hard working and honourable throughout) I am always going to regard them with gratitude for their peace making actions at a time of polarisation.

I guess some feel picking on process and trying to stir up trouble on defamation in London is just the next step if you lose the democratìc option vote. I'm really sadened to see you standing next to such bitter vexatious men.

To quote Bob 

".......the notorious “Offwidth” is the most prolific of the abusive trollers.    However, that may be coming to an abrupt end because his entire string of defamatory trolls relating to me and my colleagues now rest for examination with the Digital, Culture, Sport and Media Committee, which is responsible for enforcing compliance with the Code of Good Governance on which all  future Sport England grants of public monies to the BMC will depend, whether it be Tier 1 (9b) or the extravagant Tier 3 (9a).  That status of Compliance, which still eludes the BMC, is now in further jeopardy because of the lamentable lack of any disciplinary procedure on the hooliganism which took place last April in the National Mountain Centre, Plas y Brenin.    Bear in mind also, that the BMC is the only one of 55 representative bodies of Sport which has chronically and repeatedly failed to achieve Compliance.   Further to this development my colleagues and I  are investigating the possibility of a delegation to place the problem before the Minister for Sport as we did in the great debate between the Mountaineers and the Educational Lobby which led to the definitive and decisive Hunt Report in favour of the mountaineers.   I recently asked Z whether or not he had read the Hunt Report.   He replied that not only had not read it,  he had never heard of it!

There are pages more of modern history of the BMC which will demonstrate decisively that we have entered the most extended period of maladministration in its history.   Reform is urgently needed since the ORG Review was a thinly disguised and massively incompetent coup d’etat spear-headed by several people like X and Y previously unknown to the BMC in any capacity - especially not known to the hard grafting core of volunteers, nor are they known to have worked in kind for the clubs they cite i.e. the CC and the Yorkshire Ramblers.    However it is clear they would make excellent exponents of the ancient practice of Snake Oil salesmen!"

Thinking the actions of someone with no BMC position who is makiing political points in public can cause the BMC to be held to account seems delusional to me. The hooliganism is presumably 'beergate' where he made sexist comments and otherwise insulted a BMC volunteer area officer (who was really more angry about how Bob had left Mark Vallance,  who struggled to speak, to defend the MoNC at the area meering than at the motion itself)  and got shandy dregs in his face, and then retaliated with wine.

The email was sent on June 5th, so he knows all about UKC and can email and is currently causing trouble which in my opinion would be categorised as secretive and undemocratic. I've removed the rest of the email as its potentialy problematic for various reasons (unfairly indentifies individuals, elections influence, etc).  I've only replaced three names in this continuous block of text with X, Y and Z to protect them. Others can confirm the email exists if required.

Post edited at 11:08
3
Andy Syme - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Touch out of date there.  I think there's only one of them left voting for Option A

So you do know who is supporting option B.  Please do enlighten us. 

If Crag or Jonathan have gone back on their word and the agreement and not declared that would be very 'unfortunate' and I find it hard to believe it of them. 

Andy Say - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> So you do know who is supporting option B.  Please do enlighten us. 

Not what I said!  'I think there's only one of them left voting for Option A'

 

 

 

9
Andy Syme - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

So you are hinting that one of them has changed his mind but without wanting to provide any evidence as to why you are thinking that?  

Offwidth - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

That was my guess from what you were saying. However someone putting their name to Option B then negotiating and signing up to a much improved Option A is one thing (a good, brave and honourable one in my account which is a view I would hold even my political position on this was reversed). Yet  letting you announce to the world they are not voting for either seems very odd to me for such key players who have argued their points themselves in public. It also very strongly implies it's a particluar person, so I really hope he is happy with you saying such things on here.

Andy Say - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> So you do know who is supporting option B.  Please do enlighten us. 

Well my mate Steve is quite passionate about it as is his wife, Chris.  I know that Ian is pretty hacked off by Option A and there's a couple of his mates have asked me to act as a proxy for them.  Pete, obviously.  There's a couple of Jons, a few Julians and there seems to be a plethora of Andys.  I think Carol is behind it now as well as Richard.  Of course Paul, Ken, Deirdre and Roger are right on board - always have been.  

To be honest I've not got around to asking everybody - I'm sort of leaving that 'till Kendal.

 

Post edited at 12:58
9
Andy Syme - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Very transparent and clear. Thanks. 

Andy Say - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

Hey, man. I answered the question! I could have added second names but since they are just ordinary BMC members they probably wouldn't have meant much to you.

We are at the point where all this 'who', 'when', 'why' is actually irrelevant. You and I will find out how many 'supporters' there are in 7 days time. Chill.....

9
Monk - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

 Well I've just voted for option A. I can't wait for this shitstorm to be over. 

1
Will Hunt - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I think it's absolutely disgraceful that Bob and others are accessing this online discussion but are choosing not to partake and let their ideas be pulled apart in public.

Perhaps the reason is that they don't really have any ideas at all. The email that Offwidth cites is full of flamboyant language used to denigrate the modernisation of the BMC structure, but doesn't offer anything else - just threats of legal action against those who have stood up to him.

It is very telling that he mocks somebody for not having read the Hunt report on mountain training - published in 1975 and presumably only available in certain obscure archives and specialist libraries.

5
UKB Shark - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Monk:

>  Well I've just voted for option A. I can't wait for this shitstorm to be over. 

Just one more week. I’m ticking the days off on the calendar.

2
johncook - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Monk:

My vote is also cast. As with you voted A, and I also voted for Ms Robinson for President! I am just a basic BMC member who is tired of all this political crap.

I am seriously thinking of giving up climbing so that I have enough time to devote to reading all the BS and petty squabbling that has been posted here and elsewhere.

Roll on the count, although I am pretty sure the losers, whoever they are, will try all they can to continue the pettiness and squabbling, even resorting to legal means. 

Apparently democracy is dead, truth is on hold, and nasty personal infighting is the order of the day. 

If only the BMC could be allowed to get back to doing what it's members want and not spending time and money on the pettiness!

Post edited at 20:39
2
Andy Syme - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to johncook:

> I am seriously thinking of giving up climbing so that I have enough time to devote to reading all the BS and petty squabbling that has been posted here and elsewhere.

I see to have given up climbing just to develop Option A as asked by NC and now to try and at least correct 'inaccuracies'.  I hope I haven't been personal or rude to anyone.

>If only the BMC could be allowed to get back to doing what it's members want and not spending time and money on the pettiness!

The good thing, for the BMC is that I'm a volunteer so it cost them nothing

6 sleeps and, fingers crossed, we can move on to more interesting stuff and I can get my grades back!! 

 

andyr - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> To quote Bob 

> ".......  Further to this development my colleagues and I  are investigating the possibility of a delegation to place the problem before the Minister for Sport as we did in the great debate between the Mountaineers and the Educational Lobby which led to the definitive and decisive Hunt Report in favour of the mountaineers.   I recently asked Z whether or not he had read the Hunt Report.   He replied that not only had not read it,  he had never heard of it!

The Hunt Report reference seems a bit self defeating. From memory...the Hunt Report commented on the role of education and certification within UK mountaineering. It gave continuing support to mountain training; but suggested the end of formal certificates. The two sides were argued by Jack Longland (for training) and Dennis Gray and Bob Pettigrew (against). If I recall correctly Gray as the BMC National Officer; and Pettigrew as the BMC President called for a BMC vote of no confidence against Jack Longland MLTB President. It was defeated.

 

Rob Parsons on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to johncook:

> If only the BMC could be allowed to get back to doing what it's members want ...

That's the crux, isn't it? And of course the question means different things to different people.

 

Andy Syme - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> That's the crux, isn't it? And of course the question means different things to different people.

So I think that there is broad agreement on much of what the BMC should do.  Some question hill walking, some question competitions/indoor climbing but generally we all agree.

The issue we don't agree on is governance (how the BMC manages itself and  members have the ability to ensure the BMC remains 'theirs').  The current articles don't work any more so the question is just around how the new articles should be written to make them right for now. 

As  I've said elsewhere the question is should we just apply the tweak that Option B proposes, changing the powers to the Board and giving a vague statement about NC defining Policy, or should we must implement the sort of governance that is recommended by the Sport & Recreational Alliance and by the ORG and the checks and balances that were included and subsequently strengthened/clarified through the discussions with Crag and Jonathan etc; with the follow on being, and having implemented that are the small number of changes that SE require for assurance worth the funding they allow us access to. 

That debate seems to have been replaced by people attacking people which is what has made this debate so toxic.

Offwidth - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

I agree with your view on the options but I really don't think the dehate has been that toxic, other than occasionally on social media, the odd forum thread and in a few private emails and letters. I went to my local area and the NW area twice (and sat outside a third time) and aside from the odd exception there was no toxicity there from the majority present (and in fact I as an option B supporter commended the quality of  NW debate). The ad hominen personal attacks I've seen on the Option B side are mainly against Bob and they are nearly all anonymous and rarely on UKC (as rude words breach UKC site guidelines). There are plenty of personal attacks from identifiable posters in the other direction (just trawl the threads here), but those of us defending option B  can cope OK. All the serious identifiable commentators supporting option B  are just dealing with things like Bob's ongoing dishonest and undemocratic actions (that are now publicly visible here). I won't be the only BMC member who will refuse to overlook what he is doing with these private communications, that continues to damage the organisation. I'm not after punishment or revenge but after the AGM (too late now for before) what he is doing must stop and its really his friends and fellow political travellers that need to be working harder towards ensuring that. When he stops producing fake news we can get back fully to debate (iits hardly like the issues haven't been covered enough anyway).

Post edited at 12:15
5
mrchewy - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

>. I'm not after punishment or revenge but...

 

It really has been toxic. On both sides when viewed as a very ordinary member, to the point that I now feel that I want neither side representing me and that's sad when there are some great people who work for the BMC.

I can only speak for myself. I've cancelled my personal membership, which I'd for many years been happy to pay alongside the one I receive through the my mountaineering club. I have voted but against both Options A & B.

Having read all the vociferous posts on this thread alone, I really wasn't inclined to have either side win.

 

Yours rather sadly,

 

2
Andy Say - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> I agree with your view on the options but I really don't think the dehate has been that toxic, other than occasionally on social media, the odd forum thread and in a few private emails and letters. I went to my local area and the NW area twice (and sat outside a third time) and aside from the odd exception there was no toxicity there from the majority present (and in fact I as an option B supporter commended the quality of  NW debate). The ad hominen personal attacks I've seen on the Option B side are mainly against Bob and they are nearly all anonymous and rarely on UKC (as rude words breach UKC site guidelines). There are plenty of personal attacks from identifiable posters in the other direction (just trawl the threads here), but those of us defending option B  can cope OK. 

Good to see you've finally transferred from the 'dark side'.  All together now....

'Option B: the one for me!'

 

8
Offwidth - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to mrchewy:

I'm really sorry to hear that. I guess its hard not to pay attention to web forums (where people often say things they would not say to someones face), but the area meets really have been a lot better. There is also a big difference between individuals supporting an organisation and the formal organisation itself (rrepresented here mainly by Andy Syme and Alex Messenger... both of whom have been very well behaved).   I'm pissed off with Bob as he is continuing to spin damaging misinformation in secret about myself and my friends on a personal level and on BMC candidates... I really don't like fake news in elections, undemocratic dirty tricks or bullies and always felt exposure to be the best route, albeit difficult at times here given third party involvement and some letters that are probably libellous.

3
toad - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to mrchewy: i sort of agree with you. I occasionally climb in France, which is the only time i use my membership for a purpose. Most years i regard my subs as supporting an organisation i broadly agree with, but I'm finding this nonsense really infuriating, mostly because its so damn unprofessional ( and yes i expect volunteers to act professionally). I might drop our membership for a bit until i need it again

 

Andy Syme - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to toad:

Not sure how many of the 'misbehaving posters' here are volunteers.  Also, while I understand your sentiment, not sure it's fair to say if you are a volunteer you always represent the BMC; staff are different IMHO but that's a separate issue.  

I have posted here recently mainly 'on behalf' of the BMC so I have tried to be careful but if people aren't representing the BMC then must they behave better than others (other than for the obvious moral reasons)?

spenser - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

>(and in fact I as an option B supporter commended the quality of  NW debate).

Is there something you need to tell Lynn?

Offwidth - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to spenser:

She knows my declining short distance eyesight means I really should be using glasses when I use a tablet. I won't be cowered by Andy though ;-)

keith sanders - on 11 Jun 2018
In reply to Neil Foster:

Neil I'm 100% behind what you say about people hiding behind false names too scared to put there real name behind their comments, and thats the problem with UKC, other than than UKC give out good info.

 

keith s  

3
Jim Hamilton - on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> 6 sleeps

I wonder if the "personal" message to members from M-A Ochota today is a good move from the BMC in persuading the undecided voter ?!

 

 

Rob Parsons on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I read the message but I have no idea who she is.

I've also read a couple of the other celebrity endorsements: they largely seem to be content-free. If anybody can actually find any arguments in Nick Bullock's contribution (see https://www.thebmc.co.uk/nick-bullock-calling-a-spade-a-spade-and-which-way-im-voting-in-the-bmc-agm) for example, I'd be delighted to hear!

1
Andy Syme - on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I guess it will resonate with some and annoy others as with all the comms.  I think the BMC is right in finding people to explain why they believe Option A is the right way forwards and I'm sure that articles/videos from the likes of me would have been less likely to be read/viewed than those from the people like Mary.

It's just a pity that despite requests Option B only provided 2 articles; it looks unbalanced I know but the staff can't write articles on their behalf as when they tried they were accused of misrepresenting the Option B views/intent.

Post edited at 19:41
john arran - on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

No need for further confusing argument, on a subject that many have tried and failed to make simple. To my mind all that is needed is to say: I understand that the BMC, via its office and area meetings, has determined a positive and necessary way forward for the organisation. I am aware it's been amended to successfully assuage concerns of some who were previously opposed. Now I urge members to go ahead and vote for it.

Rob Parsons on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to john arran:

Well, he *could* have said that, sure. But he's the author, so you (and I) ought to let him write what he wants.

As it is, he penned a much longer piece than yours - but to me it seems content-free.

Offwidth - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

As ever Rob you are always quick to see and point out faults on the BMC side and slow and silent for the alternative. If you feel option B is an irrelevance and its important to improve the BMC offer  I could understand it, or if you came out as an Option B supporter but the idea that you are independant in this context  is not evidenced anywhere by what you say on your many posts on the subject. Its also very ironic you accuse others of lacking clear content. I guess I can expect another personal attack for stating this again, but I'd hope you can be clearer on where you stand and why and start to play the ball more than the man.

Post edited at 07:47
3
John Gresty - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Just to correct an earlier post, and give credit where it is due. It was John Horscroft that re-vitalised the Peak Area meetings. Neil Foster made a good job of it, but it was John H that changed it from a meeting where if you got a dozen there you were doing well, to the vibrant session it is today. 

I have been attending Peak Area meeting for over 30 years now, mainly to find out what was happening in the Peak, and avoided the occasional political rows that cropped up. But in that time I have heard, both publically and privately, quite a lot which certainly influenced the way I voted on this updating of the governance procedures. These current shenanigans do not surprise me in the slightest, and suspect that we haven't heard the last of them by any means.

John

 

 

Rob Parsons on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> As ever Rob you are always quick to see and point out faults on the BMC side and slow and silent for the alternative.

I was merely pointing out that in Nick Bullock's long piece - sub-headed 'Mountaineer and author Nick Bullock *explains* [my emphasis] why he’s helping to build a better BMC by voting for our new constitution' -, I couldn't see any explanations. If I'm missing something, feel free to point it out.

> I guess I can expect another personal attack for stating this again ...

Eh?

Post edited at 09:37
3
Crag Jones - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme: Hi Andy

It is worth remembering I had to start an entire website in order to give alternative views an airing. My request to the BMC for an early article was turned down.The BMC's own website and Summit have been very late in the day giving any voice to critics. The BMC did initially, after I specifically asked, provide a few links to my alt website though I note those have quietly disappeared over time. Another example of gentle message massage.

I am supporting option A (Tier 3) but there are also as you know a number of intertwined issues which if resolved would lead to option A far better representing member’s interests and wishes. Perhaps the BMC will put this up on their site in support of option A?

1) Inefficient decision making. Option A addresses this but also needs 4a and b in future.

2) Poor leadership resulting in politicisation of staff body – leading to them increasingly attempting to guide decision making towards both their own interests and vision. That in itself is a bad thing but has also caused additional problems of a suspicious reaction in a significant sector of the membership, refusing to believe or accept anything produced by the organisation, good or bad. Lack of fixed terms and defined responsibility leads to staff assuming ownership of our representative body. There is then the significant risk that member’s wishes contrary to their own then become seen as hindrance instead of guidance. Constant expansion is a danger. New programs arising from where? Are we trying to do too much which diverts funding from core priorities and  then in turn makes us beholden to grant providers and commercial bodies rather than member’s wishes? 

3) Lack of clearly defined objectives of past, current and future programs. What has been decided? By whom? How was it decided? When and where? How is it going to be enacted? How much is it going to cost? Who is going to enact it? By when is it going to be done? We need a framework for managing AND publicising this process so the organisation is accountable to its members for what it does.

4) Management structure and defined responsibilities. Proposed new arrangements try to rectify this. What are the reasons for Sport England’s required management structure? It might be a good thing, however this has never been adequately explained to the membership. They are only told access to funds will be cut off if we don’t accept it. There is the danger that a largely unelected board imposes its own vision on the membership. This tendency could be exacerbated by the questionable overlap of the Nominations Panel <-->Board of Directors.

Therefore the membership needs more transparency and options to :
a) select / elect directors. 
b) define and monitor objectives

They might not choose to exercise those options and simply accept what the board is recommending BUT the availability of those options should they feel the need to exercise them, must both exist and be shown to work effectively and efficiently. It is essential that our representatives work further to persuade Sport England to accept those safeguards. 

5) Procurement policy. This is to be modified to make it clear that directors, staff and officers of the BMC cannot have contracts with the BMC to provide goods or services.

As we agreed whilst attempting to negotiate a compromise between options A and B prior to and during the Open Forum, that in addition to explicit changes made at the time and subsequently agreed by the National Council the following day, that also points 3, 4 and 5 would be addressed by both the ‘MoU’ and other work to be developed during phase 2. Hopefully all concerned members will fully engage with our organization after the AGM to ensure these and other issues they may be concerned about can be successfully resolved in phase 2.

Whatever the outcome at the AGM, these fundamental issues will not go away, and will have to be dealt with, whether in option A, B or even in the case of no change. Friendly, constructive, proactive engagement is the only way forward. At least it has been a catalyst for change, we have all woken up and realized that we have to make an effort to have a fair and effective representative body for all its members.
 

2
Mark Kemball - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to Crag Jones:

We need to remember that the AGM is only the start of the process of trying to implement the ORG's recommendations and that this will continue next year and probably beyond. If I remember correctly, the recommendations address at least some of the issues you have raised. Hopefully we will be able to work together to sort this out next year without some of the acrimony of recent weeks.

Offwidth - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to Crag Jones:

Well I for one always recognised and said here that your website was genuinely useful and I think the negotiations you and Jonathon contructively took part in for compromise, especially given the heat of arguments, were brave and important work. We were all lucky that Sport England bent a bit to enable the compromise to fit, and notably for Andy Syme's efforts on the other side. As a well known '24 hour BMC troll' alledgedly busy defaming anyone with any connections to Option B I'll happily buy pints for you and Jonathon at the AGM and help on constructive debate for stage 2.  Unfortunately, if you read what Bob has written in emails over the last few months I see nothing but angry anti-democratic behind-the-scenes lobbying based on misinformation, in exactly the same way as he behaved in the run up to the MoNC. Dumb threats to run to government in the context of how rude he and his mates have been about Sport England and how flimsy his grand evidence of defamation are, are not fooling anyone. Why can't someone from his grandee pals stop him misbehaving, so we can focus on debate?

Post edited at 18:56
2
Andy Syme - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to Crag Jones:

Hi Crag

As you know there's little I don't agree with there, though I think 2 is harsh.

Transparent responsibility and accountability is what we need so we know what is being done, by whom and why. 

The Phase 2 work is a critical part of taking some good articles and putting in place any changes and the surrounding processes to ensure that the intent behind the articles, and the words within them, are able to be seen to be delivered AND are implemented in a way that is unambiguous; if for no other reason than to have the means to hold people to account for doing, or not doing what was agreed by the members.

The NC have been provided a plan/strawman for delivery, to discuss on Friday and my hope is by the next area meeting the workstreams will be up and running with members, NC and Board working together and reporting their delivery.  Assuming Option A is approved and we are not still discussing articles

> Perhaps the BMC will put this up on their site in support of option A?

Do you mean your statement in full or something else?  

steveej - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I'm afraid to say that there are far too many people involved in BMC 'Management', 'Policy and Process' and 'Decision' making these days that stand to protect their own commercial interests that I can totally understand why there is a backlash.

I have a lot of respect for the various volunteer groups and the great work of the National Council, area access reps and so forth.

They (the BMC) have been far too 'commercial' as an organisation and the I'm afraid to say that if this was a proper commercial organisation, the management team would have been sacked two years ago.

Membership is £16.97 by direct debit.

What is a 10, 20 or even 100% increase compared to a 2 hour hour car journey / round trip bank holiday cragging mission?

The BMC have sold themselves out for commercial gain and do not represent the membership.

Crag Jones makes a very good point about 'Procurement'. If I had the types of link ups that this organisation does I would be sacked tomorrow.

There needs to be a management change asap.

 

 

 

Post edited at 23:20
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Andy Syme - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to steveej:

Steve

I really don't recognise that description of the BMC.  When we spoke Crag was worried about the potential of problems but I don't remember him giving actual examples. 

What 'link ups' are you referring to? PM me if you prefer, but I would be interested in the evidence you believe there is behind the statement. 

Offwidth - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to John Gresty:

I'm another who remembers how good John Horscroft was (and the contructively disruptive Ken Wilson whirlwind effect at meetings that make the incident with Phil last month look tame) but numbers were much lower in The Grouse back room than than they are now.  You also forget that attendance was soon low again after he finished. Matt and Trudi got things back on track and Neil and Lynn did more and moved to regular attendance averaging over 50. Rob and Becky have sustained this.

Offwidth - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

As I said Rob, you never explain what your position is on the options or why: how about it?  You only pick away at the BMC NC led Option A side, hardly independant. It was possible to look in detail at Option B and find many problems (and I've cut and pasted a detailed example from Paul Evans to prove the point below).

Ours posts on UKC are semi permanent, so the places that I'm accused of making personal attacks is public, as now is the evidence for all to see if my complaints about Bobs emails are fair. In personal attack 'man rather than the ball'  terms I'd argue I'm really only recieving them. I'm not fussed about the insults and I've faced much worse elsewhere but I find the continued dishonesty in this, in debates on the future of the BMC, rather depressingly typical. Aaron Banks was in front of a select committee this week enthusiastically supporting his 'ends justify the means'  methods of how to win in modern politics and I'd hoped BMC members involved in debate might be above this.

Taken from the thread here on May 28th  (note Paul got a couple of the section numbers wrong and clarified later on in the thread):

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/crag_access/important_questions_for_the_proposers_of_tier_1-685495

"To give our readers a fuller picture, it may be helpful (or may cause people to lose the will to live ) if I briefly detail the National Council (NC) powers removed in option B -

1.       The option B definition of “regulations” has been amended to remove reference to NC regulating and controlling the exec.

2.       The definition of NC role is amended from policy making to consultative.

3.       15.1 changed - weakening the powers of NC - new role is “to consult and set broad strategy”. NB this conflicts with both definitions of NC role above. Arguably also conflicts with SE Code of Governance page 10 where Board must be "exclusively vested with the power to lead" in all tiers.

4.       Section 20 changed. Old sections 20.3 and 20.4 have been deleted (these allowed NC members to be delegated responsibilities from the Exec).

5.       Section 22.1 on finances amended, Section 24.4 removed, Finance Committee no longer reports to NC.

6.       Section 24.5 removed - CEO no longer reports to NC.

7.       New section 25 on committees (can now only be set up by Board,  NC power to set up committees in old section 36 removed)

8.       New section 31 (Regulations) based on old 30, but NC powers reduced, so that NC can only pass regulations on matters which affect themselves, not wider BMC.

9.       Section 39.2 (Board reports to NC) amended to show reporting for info purposes only.

10.   Section 40 substantially weakens the delegating powers of NC, which can now only delegate to the board.

On “checks and balances”, in Option B the new section 27 is the same as current section 26. Under this clause, NC do see Board minutes, we ordinary members don’t have the right to see Board Minutes, we don’t see them now, and option B would not change this. For anyone who views Option A as some kind of “power grab” it is worth looking at option A clause 23.14, which states -

“…All minutes of (Board) meetings shall, subject to obligations of confidentiality be made available to the National Council and to Members on request and in any event, shall be published on the Company's website. The approach of the Board shall be open and transparent at all times and redaction should be the exception, rather than the norm. The decision as to whether a matter is confidential is for the Board to decide in its discretion”.

So this is not total transparency in option A - but it’s a lot better than now, or option B.

Also in terms of checks and balances, Martin Wragg's analysis here - https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm-alternative-constitutions-comparison - word doc link at bottom of page - concludes with the following list of checks and balances in option A (references are to earlier in Martins doc) - 

·         The risk of abuse of power is addressed by new provisions at NC6 and 7. 5.

·         Governance and legal compliance are respectively improved and ensured by new provisions at NC 16,17 and 21-23 inclusive.

·         Membership empowerment is provided by NC 12.2, 17 and 19.3. 7.

·         Membership engagement is facilitated by NC 14, 17 and 19.3. 8.

·         A balance is struck between management continuity and turnover by NC 18.2, 20 and 28. 9.

·         Membership control is ensured by a minimum of 7 directors being Members and possibly all of them. 

 Hope this is helpful.

Paul"

 

Post edited at 08:13
2
Offwidth - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

I don't know why you even bother to ask Steve that. The post seems to me to be yet another clearly dishonest smear of the BMC senior management. If such dishonest commercial practices actually existed at a time when these senior people in the BMC were under attack from a small minority of its members, don't people think this would have been used against them. Its weird seing a post talking about senior managers being sacked, when if the poster were publicly saying such things about their own employer they would be subject to a disciplinary.

The NC currently run the BMC, and the Exec are just part of NC.

6
Andy Syme - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

Steve

If he has 'evidence' then put it out there for some scrutiny. 

  If it's just a smear there will be no credible evidence.

He thinks it's true enough to post here so ignoring him is not going to change his mind or enlighten him if wrong.  Equally if it was backed by evidence it should not be ignored. 

Transparency is the way to deal with conspiracy and conspiracy theory's. 

gallam1 - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

It is pretty simple for the BMC's directors to address the the issue of any commercial links between the BMC and the existing directors.  They have all the information immediately at hand.  If it is too time consuming to produce a list, the Accountants could do it.

If the question has been asked, why not answer it in a completely open and transparent fashion?  To be fair to the BMC, it is possible that this information is already available somewhere on the website, but I don't currently have 2 hours to try and find it.

A simple statement from Dave Turnbull to the effect that there are no such links would be quite sufficient I think.

Post edited at 10:14
3
Andy Syme - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

Rodney

But there is no explanation as to what he means by links for DT to respond to.  

That's why I asked for some evidence of what's behind the statement, what he considers link ups etc. 

gallam1 - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

See further up the thread.  It's a bit boring to have to repeatedly correct you, but my name is not Rodney.

If the question about financial links between the BMC and the BMC's directors has been asked, why not answer it in a completely open and transparent fashion?

Post edited at 10:38
4
Andy Syme - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

Hi I'm Andy Syme a Volunteer who was involved in developing the articles.  I also sit on NC and am Yorkshire Area Chair.  

What name would you prefer to be called?  If we are having a civilised conversation calling you Gallam1 seems a bit odd.  Would you like to introduce yourself?  As you like the Muffs I suspect you are not (always) Rodney.

My 'involvement' is that I am a volunteer and while it is not an area I'm directly involved in, I did discuss with Crag and Rodney Gallagher about procurement policy etc on 15 May.   I suggest that either you or Steve write directly to Dave if you want such an assurance.

However I refer to my original question to Steve, he hints at dark doings and link ups here so I would like him to provide his evidential basis of that statement so that people can review it.

(edited because I spelt Rodneys surname incorrectly.  Apologies if he ever reads this)

Post edited at 11:20
gallam1 - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

In relation to how to address me, just press the reply button.  You misspelt the Moffs as well by the way.

With respect to the main question, the BMC and its directors are currently under scrutiny.  There is nothing necessarily wrong with the BMC's directors having commercial relationships with the BMC.  For example, there may be a director with a shareholding in PG Tips, and you might use their tea bags at directors meetings.  That would be an example that no-one would express any interest in.  If however the BMC ran an annual IT budget of £400k, and £300k of that went to a web services company owned or run by a director, that would probably be seen as a real problem.

Just to be clear, I am not stating that to be a fact.  It is an example and I have no reason to think or suspect that there is anything similar going on at the BMC, but it would be good to have it declared publicly.  If you invite people to write in to get an answer you simply encourage suspicion.

 

Post edited at 11:38
7
Andy Syme - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

Not sure why you are so touchy about remaining anonymous as this simply encourages suspicion about your motives, but if you aren't prepared to declare your name or interests then so be it.  I'll reply anyway as I'm quite happy being open and transparent.

I can't provide a formal statement:

1.  because I don't actually know what the question actually is.

2.  I'm not a spokesman for the BMC.

3.  It is not an area I have any involvement in.

So if you are a BMC member and there are specific questions please send the question(s) to the BMC.

In general terms as I said to Crag and Rodney on 15 May, Directors are Volunteers, this means they are unpaid for their work or time, but do get travel expenses etc; there is no intent to pay them and this is specifically stated in the articles.  I also agreed with Crag that the procurement policy needs reviewing to ensure this intent is clearly stated and implemented. 

I am not aware of any commercial relationships between the BMC and any Director, though Will has provided courses for BMC members through his company (well it's just him I think) in the past.  This is a declared conflict of interest as you will see for example in the 28 Apr 18 NC minutes, when published. At para 4.1.2 "WK declared a conflict of interest for this item, as a current National Council Director who runs some training courses administered by the BMC.". 

Finally as I understand it under company law the audited accounts must include any payments to directors.

Does that help?

 

oldbloke - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

If there were any commercial relationship between a director and the BMC, then it would be disclosed in the accounts under a note headed "Related Party Transactions".  That may be disclosed after the event rather than in advance, but the information is available simply by looking at the accounts.

Paul Evans - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to oldbloke:

Good info, thanks for that. 

And for anyone who would like to look, the last 7 years accounts are here - https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-annual-reports-and-annual-accounts 

Just had a look at the 2016 & 2015 accounts and there is nothing I can see suggesting any payments to directors (and indeed a specific statement in both years that "there was no directors remuneration paid in the year"). 

galpinos on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to gallam1:

> Just to be clear, I am not stating that to be a fact.  It is an example and I have no reason to think or suspect that there is anything similar going on at the BMC, but it would be good to have it declared publicly.  If you invite people to write in to get an answer you simply encourage suspicion.

I find this baffling. If you "have no reason to think or suspect that there is anything similar going on at the BMC", then why on earth would you raise it/keep going on about it. Surely, if you don't think its happening, you don't mention it?

To an outsider who doesn't know the protagonists involved (I've met a few at the NW area meeting), it looks awfully like you are trying to cast suspicion without actually accusing anyone of anything.

fred99 - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> Not sure why you are so touchy about remaining anonymous

Andy (and others);

There are many persons who post on here who have an anonymous name, some of whom we can identify, some of whom have "come out", and many of whom still remain anonymous.

There are various reasons for anonymity; persons may not wish their employer to know about them, maybe an ex-spouse, or they may merely not wish to have to repeat discussions when next at the crag. Indeed they may just wish to have a quiet life away from here.

If you (and indeed others) have such a "beef" against anonymity then maybe it's time you (and others) campaigned to get UKClimbing (and for that matter other forums) to ban such anonymity - though anyone can invent a name and e-mail address, so rather a pointless exercise unless you expect UKC to check passports (of whatever colour).

I should also point out that in all the discussions regarding this subject on this forum that I have read through, there has been a constant barrage of aggressive posts from those on the side of the "organisation" against anyone who has spoken up against whatever the BMC has proposed.

Is there any wonder that people wish to keep their anonymity ?

9
spenser - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to fred99:

I think that Andy's issue with gallam1's posts is that multiple people (Rodney and his son Matt, only one is a BMC member apparently) have posted from the account previously, given that Rodney negotiated directly with Andy Syme prior to the compromise made at the Open Forum with this specific concern having been addressed it would be poor form for Rodney to be raising the issue again publicly despite knowing that it was a none issue.

Post edited at 14:25
Andy Syme - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to fred99:

Spenser summed it up.  Its not anonymity perse it's how it's used and why.  

Not sure I agree people who challenge option a are treated worse than those who support.  But I think some of the debate here has been unhelpful. 

 

 

Crag Jones - on 15 Jun 2018

In reply about payments and contracts:

In the hope of clearing up any misunderstandings on a number of issues here. There is a distinction between a director being paid and another of their other companies having contracts with the BMC. I was also keen to prevent the latter as well. In addition to directors we also have to consider BMC paid staff and volunteer 'officers' of the BMC. I argued the case that neither should either of these OR other companies they are associated with be allowed to enter into contracts with the BMC. In our discussions this principle was generally accepted and it was agreed the 'procurement policy', rather than the new articles, would be updated to reflect these principles as stated at the open forum.

The new option A tier 3 articles can indeed be interpreted to allow such payments and contracts (except after revision - direct payment to directors) and this was written into them without the issue being discussed prior to my challenge. It was justified on the basis that it allowed 'in-house' legal advisers who are already up to speed on issues, carry out work very efficiently and relatively cheaply.

My concern is that in future that could potentially compromise such legal advice towards the view of the board who are also dishing out such contracts, rather than give legal advice that might favour members when they had contrary views.

Hopefully the articles and/or procurement policy will be amended in order to prevent this.

Crag Jones - on 17 Jun 2018

Brave New World.

Well here we stand on the threshold of a brave new world post 2018 BMC AGM with Option A – Tier 3 having gained a landslide victory.
Everyone will now hopefully come together to constructively enact what the members have endorsed. Reality will be dictated by the people who volunteer  and interpret what the members have voted for in the way that they see it. Good people with good intentions can almost make any system work.

For the members I’d say make sure you are actually getting what you voted for. Make sure it is the freedom to do things in a modern way and not the freedom to simply consume what the marketeers decide they want to flog to you. Beware the kit, course, qualification, event and media moguls who might want to mould you into pliant customers more than anything else. We are all much lesser free spirits than we like to imagine, but the wide open spaces are meant to broaden your horizons not constrict them in a commodified market. Make sure your directors can think outside that box, listen to what you really want rather than tell you what the ‘organization’ needs. Good luck to all involved.
 

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TXG - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to Crag Jones:

Thanks for your concern.  I know what I voted for. I'm also very clear what I voted against.

The future holds much less fear for me with option A voted in than it would have if option B had got the green light. 

I've just got back from fathers day at the wall with my 2 year old daughter (also a BMC member). Option A gives me confidence that the BMC will serve her as well in the future as it has me in the past.

I'm optimistic about the future now. 

Cheers

Tom (an ordinary BMC member)

 

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