Author Topic: Vote Rostam!!!  (Read 5519 times)

Offline Cap'n Chris

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 12457
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #50 on: October 13, 2021, 05:34:01 pm »
The BCA really is in danger of collapse.

Agree. When the Weares left the implosion commenced. British caving is a house divided.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 07:21:22 pm by Cap'n Chris »

Offline NewStuff

  • Gobby McGobface
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 901
  • www.dddwhcc.com
    • Deep Dark Dirty WetHoles
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #51 on: October 13, 2021, 07:46:09 pm »
When the Weares left the implosion commenced. British caving is a house divided.
The implosion is happening as a small section of people have been called on shenanigans they've gotten away with for decades. They don't like it. They're determined to stop that happening. If they were not doing silly things, there wouldn't be any acrimonious talk, threats, flounces from groups etc.

Either they stop, or the as David says, the BCA continues it's downwards spiral. We've already tried to negotiate, meet halfway etc, but they've clearly shown they have no interest in doing that. I've said for years that the BCA needs to be killed off and started afresh, and fit for purpose.  I appreciate people have an attachment and have put in a lot of work, but as long as a tiny amount of people can pull out stops and stall or stop altogether the wishes of the membership, then it is not fit for purpose.
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline David Rose

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 806
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2021, 09:31:53 am »
For anyone with Sky Atlantic or Now TV, a highly recommended series on at the moment is Scenes from a Marriage. It provides a searing portrait of a couple going through a divorce, and leaves the viewer with a very clear message: sometimes, the pain of doing this is unbearable, and leaves deep scars that can't be easily healed.

In its way, this is what the breakup or collapse of the BCA would be like. There would, to state the obvious, be no more insurance scheme. There would be a pile of cash in a bank account that no one would know what to do with - and probably bitter arguments as to what should happen to it. Maybe even legal action.

There would be no representative body to fight cavers' corner on issues such as cave access at a national level; and obviously, no CROW case - into which I have personally poured many hours of time, and in which we are now making real progress - even since the BCA AGM to which I reported positively last weekend.

New Stuff, I urge you to be careful what you wish for. Many people inside the BCA are working to reform it already, and evolution is a far better path than ripping it all up and starting again.

The Three Counties Traverse last month showed the caving world at its very best: a huge group of cavers, from every part of the country, working together for a common objective, and pulling it off amid much laughter and enjoyment for all. That is the spirit we need to spread, not acrimony, recriminations and mutual loathing.   

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 6211
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #53 on: October 14, 2021, 10:11:17 am »
The BCA really is in danger of collapse.

Agree. When the Weares left the implosion commenced. British caving is a house divided.

Nonsense. British caving is getting on with caving, as normal.

Those heroic volunteers who serve the caving community as BCA officers may have differing ideas on the best way forwards for BCA. But as David Rose has articulated, BCA is doing a good job; those closely involved are aware of issues that would be better addressed than left and they're working on these.

Try and look forwards, not backwards - and be a bit more positive about things.   ;)


Offline Stuart France

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #54 on: October 14, 2021, 10:47:29 am »
I can see more troubles ahead but not an implosion.  If vacancies arise then they will get filled.  In recent years the fillers of vacancies at BCA have generally been good people but having got themselves elected or co-opted into post with high hopes they then find they are trying to swim through treacle, so they get discouraged and they resign.  It then repeats.

Historically, what has happened is that fanatical people got into control and stayed in control of NCA and later BCA in pursuit of their own agenda because most ordinary folk could not be asked to fill committee posts themselves thus leaving the voluntary work that voluntary organisations rely on for other people to do.  But fanatics always find the time to pursue their own agendas because this is what drives fanatics.  Fortunately they are few, but the havoc their mis-directed energy wreaks is quite disproportionate to their number.

Fast forward to recent years, and a few concerned individuals evidently decided on uncoordinated personal action to stand for office to replace the politically-driven on national council.  In my own area, in Wales we voted off the majority of the incumbents on our regional council in just one AGM via coordinated action.  We expected them to stage a counter-coup but it has never come despite career politicians that some were:  they sat on BCA, on Cambrian, on club committees, and on access and other caving bodies, external consultative bodies, all at the same time.  They collected committees like having a stamp collection.

Fast forward to now, and simply removing another BCA chairman not long in office who has done no obvious wrong with a different person who also has clean hands would probably trigger resignations amongst bemused others that BCA can’t afford to lose, and more chaos is not going to fix any perceived problem with BCA.

Cavers at large have got what they deserve if they will not engage personally with their national body, with their regional council, with their club committee etc all of which comes at a personal cost in terms of hobby time that would otherwise be available for recreation being used up instead with voluntary work like administration, sport and youth development, IT infrastructure, training, information, external relations, and all other functions which only teams working within an organisation can deliver.

To fix BCA actually needs a coordinated approach directed elsewhere by new caving-focused people willing to give up some personal time for a few years to “sort out” troubled club committees and regional councils and arrogant access control groups that need a jolly good kicking to prevent them continuing to undermine active cavers’ interests.  It needs a bottom up approach.

BCA itself doesn’t actually need a coup because the rot sits lower down the political tree.  The vast majority on national council now are well intentioned and capable people who deserve at least your moral support if not your direct help with making further meaningful progress.

Online Badlad

  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2337
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #55 on: October 14, 2021, 11:33:23 am »
I agree that it is nonsense to suggest that the national body is on the verge of collapse.  I'd say it is in as good a place now as it's ever been.  There has been a welcome influx of some excellent young white men at least in recent years who are trying to take the organisation forward.  I wish it was more diverse but at least it is not all old white men in charge.

I sometimes pick up old copies of Descent and Caves & Caving for a read.  You soon appreciate that there has been disputes and shenanigans going on for decades as Stuart France alludes to above.  If social media had been as alive then we'd have all seen those battles   more prominently.  As it was they took place in the letters pages of magazines and the back rooms of committees.

It is quite amazing that just changing the word chairman to chair does not receive universal support.  I expect amongst the younger caver this would seem a supremely obvious thing to do but perhaps amongst the elders it is just 'woke', whatever that means.

So how can you bring everyone together?  I expect that is impossible given the track record.  There seems to be two options to me.  Push forward democratically for change.  This will mean leaving some who like things the way they are very unhappy.  Or try to keep everyone happy with some fudged status quo and kick anything slightly controversial down the road for ever more. 

For either, the association needs a strong chair and that has been lacking.  Pegasus reminded me that when she was a BCA officer a member of council shouted and screamed at her to the point she was on the verge of tears.  The chair at the time did nothing to stop it or reprimand the council member.  It is my belief that out of the two candidates for chair, Rostam would stop that sort of behaviour dead - and that screaming council member is still there.

Offline BradW

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 235
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #56 on: October 14, 2021, 11:36:29 am »
Reply to Stuart: Which is all well and good,  but it's when the agenda gets personal, from any quarter, that I despair. EVERYONE, should do some honest soul searching now and again, and think about what possible benefit comes from anything that even remotely resembles a vendetta.

Offline ttxela2

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #57 on: October 14, 2021, 11:41:47 am »
Bewildered by quite a lot of this, I certainly hope the BCA isn't near collapse as they appear to do some useful things, not least arrange the insurance a lot of folk who own holes seem to want you to have these days before you go down them.

As a mine explorer I don't even know what the various veiled references to age old disputes refer to  :shrug:

I don't think I've voted at a BCA AGM before but the process was more accessible so I thought I'd take part. I did vote for Rostam, I've met him and he's a jolly nice chap, I also voted for a couple of other people standing for positions that I've met and liked the cut of their jib. I'm sure the other candidate is a splendid fellow too but I don't think I've ever met him (sorry if I have and have forgotten).

The whole tone of this thread leaves me rather inclined to disengage and stick my head in a hole in the ground.......... wait...  :unsure: :thumbsup:

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 6211
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #58 on: October 14, 2021, 12:34:33 pm »
I've known (and caved with) Russell for a long time and I'm pretty sure that, if anything like Badlad just described were to happen in the future, Russell would certainly intervene.

Offline Cavematt

  • stalker
  • ***
  • Posts: 260
    • York Caving Club
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #59 on: October 14, 2021, 01:08:16 pm »
I apologise for sounding so cynical in my previous rant.

However, the feeling Ed W reports is one that I can identify with entirely, my own passion for caving having been severely dampened by working in BCA and only slowly returning now.

My time involved with BCA was frankly one of the most miserable several months of my life. I got involved with perhaps over-lofty ambitions and what I thought was a reasonable wealth of experience, and fully willing to invest countless hours for three years to try to deliver this.

Within my first few weeks, I had already been warning by two separate people not to upset the incumbents who had held roles since the BCA was formed. I was told face to face by one of these incumbents that if I tried to instigate the changes members had voted for, they would block me in any way they could (and they did). My first Council meeting was greeted with an attempt to challenge the AGM as being unconstitutional because it didn’t go their way. One of those opposed to change eventually took to making stuff up to undermine my character.

Despite my best efforts, and being supported by some great people on BCA Council (the majority were fantastic and deserve medals), the small minority always found ways to undermine things.

The last straw came when I was hit by numerous proposals for the 2020 AGM which were cunningly designed to turn the clock back 12 months, including getting rid of the best P&I Officer the BCA has ever had, and reversing our webmaster’s mandate from the 2019 AGM (thus undoing over 300 hours of work he had invested over six months to build new admin systems that would, had he been allowed another few months to finish the job, revolutionised BCA’s workflows).

This was the final straw and I just couldn’t cope with things any more. We had lost the battle.

In summary, it took the efforts of only a small number of people to undermine the BCA from moving in an otherwise very positive direction that was supported by Council and membership. Therefore, I get very concerned when I see glimmers of such things happening again. I don’t think the CSCC are bad at all and I shouldn’t have called out the entire organisation. Much like the BCA, the majority involved will be excellent people giving up time to make caving better.

I really need to disengage from caving politics, stop worrying and try to move on with my life. I have been hurt by what I experienced in BCA and this is still very bitter indeed. It will take a few years to heal. Apologies to Ed W for my rant, and good luck to him turning the tide.

Although some of the worst offenders are now gone, the BCA is still very vulnerable to such things happening again (i.e. democratic decisions being blocked or undermined by a small minority, or being watered down to please everyone such that they achieve nothing). Whoever is the next Chairperson, I urge them to watch out for this and to nip such things in the bud as quickly as possible. If this can be achieved, the BCA can, and will succeed thanks to the excellent people currently involved.

Rostam and Russell are both good people, so good luck to whoever wins!
York Caving Club

Offline droid

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2482
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #60 on: October 14, 2021, 01:33:03 pm »
Seems to me that the problems Matt's alluded to above could be sorted (up to a point) by separating Insurance from membership.

It would reduce the membership of BCA but likely to those that wish to progress caving rather than their own ego.
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Online darren

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #61 on: October 14, 2021, 02:15:17 pm »
Or 2 different classes of membership.

Basic gives you insurance but no other rights and is very cheap.
Normal remains the same as now.
No, I'm playing all the right notes

Offline David Rose

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 806
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #62 on: October 14, 2021, 02:21:38 pm »
Badlad, people will never agree on everything. Personally, I supported the change of term to chair from chairman. I actually made a little speech at the AGM saying how we really have to take the diversity issue much more seriously: there was only one woman on the zoom call, for example, and we all know how few BAME cavers there are. Maybe some people might have found that "woke", though I saw no sign of this at the meeting.

I'm confident that the vote to change the title will pass. But the critical thing is not to disparage each other, but to respectfully disagree. I hope when I spoke against those who didn't support that change I did so.   

I also agree that the behaviour that led to Pegasus's resignation would not be tolerated by either candidate for chair.   

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 6211
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #63 on: October 14, 2021, 02:42:52 pm »
Or 2 different classes of membership.

Basic gives you insurance but no other rights and is very cheap.
Normal remains the same as now.

United we stand; divided, we fall.

Online Oceanrower

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 389
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #64 on: October 14, 2021, 02:53:56 pm »
Or 2 different classes of membership.

Basic gives you insurance but no other rights and is very cheap.
Normal remains the same as now.

Which begs the question, other than insurance and a vote at the AGM (which, whatever class of membership you’d have, I assume would still apply) what other rights would the “normal” membership give you?

Even the BCA website only mentions access to special caving travel insurance which, I would assume, only a tiny, tiny minority of cavers use.

Online Pegasus

  • NCC
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2909
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #65 on: October 14, 2021, 03:06:22 pm »


I also agree that the behaviour that led to Pegasus's resignation would not be tolerated by either candidate for chair.

Good.

Offline Shapatti

  • newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #66 on: October 14, 2021, 03:22:51 pm »
Or 2 different classes of membership.

Basic gives you insurance but no other rights and is very cheap.
Normal remains the same as now.

I believe there is an issue with offering different classes of membership with the insurance being one of the main differences between them.
It is my understanding that this then places the BCA in an unwanted position of effectively 'selling' insurance which forces it to adhere to rules and regulations as such, not sure if this includes extra liability for BCA in this case?

I'm sure someone more in the know than me can clarify this, though I believe this was the main driving force behind the changes to classes of membership in the last few years?

Offline Cavematt

  • stalker
  • ***
  • Posts: 260
    • York Caving Club
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #67 on: October 14, 2021, 03:31:23 pm »
Correct; the BCA cannot sell insurance, otherwise it becomes an insurance company with all the regulations that go with that. The BCA can only give insurance as a membership benefit. The fact that a whopping chunk of the membership fee is used to fund that insurance is irrelevant, as long as the insurance is extended to all members as a benefit rather than sold as a standalone product.
York Caving Club

Offline Shapatti

  • newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #68 on: October 14, 2021, 03:47:42 pm »
Or 2 different classes of membership.

Basic gives you insurance but no other rights and is very cheap.
Normal remains the same as now.

I've just re-read that and saw that it actually says that both classes get insurance, just that the 1st is Only Insurance and the 2nd is the same as current membership
My apologies for misreading that...

I see we are going off topic again...  :lol:

Offline badger

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 762
  • WSCC. WCC
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #69 on: October 14, 2021, 04:25:18 pm »
how off topic it has all got, since Tims original post was his backing for rostam as the new chair. I think people should listen to davids interviews with both candidates then make up their own minds, both have good cases. depends on who you think will best for the BCA moving forward. some will vote for rostam, some will vote for russell.
as they say hoe the best person wins, I will support whoever that may be.

Online Ian Ball

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1261
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #70 on: October 14, 2021, 05:11:05 pm »
Part of the issue here is the novelty at which there is an election for the BCA!

Offline droid

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2482
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #71 on: October 14, 2021, 06:08:13 pm »
'It's off topic' 

Somewhere above there's the analogy comparing the forum with a pub. Start saying 'this conversation is off topic' in a pub debate and sex and travel will be mentioned...

Anything that makes people consider the direction of BCA and how it might be improved is ''on topic' as I see it....

 :)
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline menacer

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1024
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #72 on: October 14, 2021, 09:38:58 pm »

I

It is quite amazing that just changing the word chairman to chair does not receive universal support.  I expect amongst the younger caver this would seem a supremely obvious thing to do but perhaps amongst the elders it is just 'woke', whatever that means.

I don't know about woke, and I don't know about universal support, or that you find it amazing, it just seemed an irrelevance in my humble opinion.

Is someone really going to be put of from standing for a position based on the ending of a title?
Given the strength of character needed to take on these positions, ( rightly or wrongly) are you really the person for the job of this is so important to you.

With all the issues in the BCA - I found this amendment trivial, almost like a Christmas cracker joke and totally indifferent to the outcome.
I would want to reject it simply in the ground of wasting time.

If a transgender one legged mixed race caver showed up on the caving scene with something good or positive to say, they would get my vote.
 
Maybe I'm just too old to understand.  :tease:  :ras:

Ps
Maybe to be truly inclusive we should invite non cavers to stand for bca positions too? Any thoughts?

New amendment? Y'know, diversity an all  ;)

« Last Edit: October 15, 2021, 06:52:56 pm by aricooperdavis »
Chaos, panic, and disorder - my work here is done.

Offline ZombieCake

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #73 on: October 14, 2021, 10:23:17 pm »
The only concern I have is that if lots of medical types get elected will there be a sudden increase of people in white coats appearing and carting off people to Arkham Asylum in Warmbac straight jackets following meetings and caving trips?
Not too worried about myself, it's everyone else that's odd.   ;D

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4980
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: Vote Rostam!!!
« Reply #74 on: October 14, 2021, 11:25:57 pm »
Unfortunately as far as government are concerned BCA are an irrelevancy - BMC & British Canoeing have 70 to 80,000 members (& they aren't compelled to be)...

 

Main Menu

Forum Home Help Search
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal