Author Topic: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc  (Read 3699 times)

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2021, 06:47:34 am »
Old Ruminator, I don't feel you've really addressed the points I made in my post. Nor have you, mrdoc.

Forgive me for being insistent, but given the effort I and others have put in here, which you suggest has been pointless, I'd appreciate it if you would. Starting with the total failure of anyone ever to raise these issues at BCA council meetings, and then to think it's fine to just dismiss the whole thing in such sweeping, derisive terms.

Yes folks. You guessed right. I'm not fantastically happy about this.

I suggest a counter-argument in the next Descent.

Chris.
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Offline mikem

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2021, 09:17:06 am »
I would suggest that the original justification has appeared more than often enough & is still just as valid. There will (almost) always be people with different opinions & not allowing them to express those will just lead to greater frustration.

Offline Badlad

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2021, 10:18:11 am »
The heart of the matter is securing a legal right of access to caves on certain types of land.  I've never really understood why anyone would be opposed to that.  Sure the major impact would be on caves in the north, 71% of the entrances in the Northern Caves guidebook, around 2500 in fact.  The impact on Mendip and the Peak is quite minor. I don't believe there is anything of a real divide in the nation.  Most cavers visit all areas during their caving career anyway and having easy access rights actually benefits those from further afield than the locals (who tend to know local access systems better).

In any case, whatever the current CRoW case settlement is, the campaign has already been hugely successful in improving access to caves.  As Access officer for CNCC I was mandated to renegotiate access systems across the Dales caving area.  This included huge areas of some of the Dales most popular caves on Ingleborough, Gragareth, Penyghent, Leck and Casterton Fells etc.  In negotiating with these major landowners and their agents the biggest single factor for improvement was the BCA CRoW campaign and supporting legal opinion.  Highlighting the fact that CRoW could apply to caves was the biggest driver to changing landowner opinion and improving outcomes.

Thousands of cavers have already benefited from that and will continue to do so.  That is hardly a waste of time more a lack of understanding of the real benefits already delivered.  Raising this issue robustly with government and their agencies will insure, over time, that cavers are not just rolled over and side lined when future reforms are considered. 

The time spent by David and the team at BCA is totally appropriate for a national organisation, democratically mandated, and significantly valuable to the vast majority of cavers.

Offline BradW

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2021, 10:23:23 am »
One question that crossed my mind was why did mrodoc use Descent to publish his opinion rather than this forum? After all, he is a regular and well-respected member here.

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2021, 11:22:32 am »
One question that crossed my mind was why did mrodoc use Descent to publish his opinion rather than this forum? After all, he is a regular and well-respected member here.

meow....

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2021, 11:35:18 am »
 Those who respect a demographic vote can surely address their personal views to the contrary position taken by that vote. Like Brexit its a complex situation that affects different areas in different ways. As ever some jump to the conclusion that I am avidly against CROW ( sic )and may well wish to start the same old pre vote argument all over again. Read properly my intro did not place me on one side or the other. Nothing I  said placed me with the " many southern cavers ". I was merely passing on comments that I have come across when discussing the issue. I guess you could say that I am pretty much on the fence our just rather not that bothered either way. People jump in and try to start an argument. Not my purpose at all so I wont encourage it. My intention was to draw peoples attention to the account in Descent which I considered to be well reasoned and written by one of the most well known and respected cavers in the UK.

Offline Ed

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2021, 01:28:47 pm »
I suspect it not a majority of southern cavers.

It's more like a majority of geographic age related cavers.

There is still a much greater cap doffing mentality in the older cohort in the Mendips than up North or Peak.

I put it down to greater history in the recent past of access and the fight for workers rights been so closely tied in the industrial heartlands that drew cavers to those areas.

Just look at the political history of the towns where clubs were based......

Offline Cavematt

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2021, 01:45:42 pm »
David, your efforts are certainly not wasted, and are surely greatly appreciated by the vast majority of cavers who have voted to support this over the years.

I haven’t received my copy of Descent yet, but I’d certainly like to see a counter-article in the next issue to achieve a balance.

As Badlad has correctly pointed out, much of the access improvements in the North have come about thanks to negotiating tools gained through the momentum in the CRoW campaign. Seeing this campaign brought to completion is important to help secure these access gains for the future.

Until caving is recognised under CRoW, freedoms of access to thousands of caves in northern England cannot be taken for granted, as it is not enshrined in legislation. We have seen at High Birkwith how access that was taken for granted for many years can suddenly be lost (yes, I know these caves are not on Access Land, but many others are).

Therefore, a big thank you to David and his predecessor, Badlad, in driving these efforts.

For Mr O Doc to argue that it is a waste of time and effort either demonstrates a lack of understanding of the benefit this has in the north OR suggests there are threats posed in other regions which cancel out the northern benefits. I’m looking forward to reading the article.

I find the campaign, and the accompanying efforts with the Welsh Government, to be a breath of fresh air. The BCA is an organisation that moves at snail pace, and which struggles to retain those who offer futuristic visions or who have the ambition to challenge the status quo. Your efforts over the last few years bucks this trend and provides a shining example of what a National Body should be doing. It is tremendously appreciated.
York Caving Club

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2021, 01:51:59 pm »
My copy arrived this morning and I've just read it, twice. Not sure what purpose it really serves (if I'm being kind). It's a re-hash of all that was said prior to the members vote.

The last paragraph is interesting for two reasons: the strange contradiction re: BCA promoting caving as an activity (the author has written quite a lot about how that would be a bad thing  :-\); and everything else mentioned in this paragraph about the BCA role isn't mutually exclusive from the access debate.

As for nothing changing before the current generation has moved on. I've booked out a few caves via the CNCC website. Slick, easy, no waiting for snail mail etc. A direct by-product of the efforts of some people to gain reasonable and sensible access arrangements. And for that I applaud them.
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2021, 03:44:28 pm »
I am saddened to see the article published without a right of reply, as this would have given more insight and even "fairness" to the article. It is NOT a waste of time and needs clarifying from the current ridiculous "limit of daylight."
Perhaps if the NCA officer at the time of the CROW formulation had followed his mandate to INCLUDE caving, rather than do an about face and argue against it / do nothing we wouldnt be in this situation now.
Sadly once again it seems the Medipians are trying to push their agenda on the rest of us...

NOTE: This would only relate to CAVES and NOT mines

What seems to have been forgotten is that, when the proprosed CRoW legislation was first being considered, the government sent out a consultation document in 1998 to all the so-called "outdoor activities" organisations and asked for their comments.  They included NCA in this consultation. The then NCA Conservation and Access Committee, which included CSCC as well as all other regional councils, considered this carefully and made a unanimous response in favour of caving being included under the CRoW legislation.  The documentation still exists and the British Caving Library has the copies in its archive files.  The then NCA Council accepted this view and the response made by the C&A Committee.

Shortly after the response was made, the then NCA C&A Officer stood down and another took over, after which no further attempt appears to have been made to follow this up.  A little later still the then NCA and later BCA Legal & Insurance Officer took it upon himself to misrepresent the situation in a statement in Descent: saying that BCA was opposed to the CRoW legislation being applied to caves - giving his personal view and not the view democratically agreed by NCA.  Knowing that this statement was incorrect, I raised the matter again at a BCA AGM and put it back on the agenda, resulting eventually, after a great deal of work by others, in the national vote confirming the original representations made way back in 1998 by NCA.

The rest, as they say, is history.  But just don't let anyone ever try to tell you that NCA was not in favour, right from the beginning, of CRoW legislation being applied to caves.  (Note that it cannot be applied to mines as they come under totally different legislation.)

It was not ever envisaged that this would result in a free-for-all whereby all restrictions were lifted from all caves.  It was always accepted that certain sensitive SSSI sites could legally be made exempt from open access but that the case would have to be made for each instance of this.  The situation is different according to the local situation and landowner expectations and it would always be down to the regional conservation and access people to work out what would be the best way forward in specific instances.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2021, 04:24:26 pm »
It was not ever envisaged that this would result in a free-for-all whereby all restrictions were lifted from all caves.  It was always accepted that certain sensitive SSSI sites could legally be made exempt from open access but that the case would have to be made for each instance of this.  The situation is different according to the local situation and landowner expectations and it would always be down to the regional conservation and access people to work out what would be the best way forward in specific instances.

I would add that it is clear that restrictions on access under CRoW can be applied to any caves (and not just SSSI ones) under Section 26 of the CRoW Act as was discussed back in 2016 by BCA C&A committee and advice was then issued to all Access Controlling Bodies.  Obviously a case for such rerstrictions needs to be made.

Offline Martin Laverty

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2021, 04:43:53 pm »
I am with Stuart Anderson in not really seeing what purpose Peter's discursive rummage through a bag of old, and sometimes irrelevant, arguments serves, other than to fill Descent's pages (not that that is needed in this particular edition, but maybe the editor hopes to fill the next issue with a barrage of replies, perhaps to go with an anticipated result of the Judicial Review for Wales).
It does, however, tell the story of a previous JR(?) in England (taken up on behalf of his parents by the Medical Protection Society) which cost a lot but failed to grant GP's the right to pay family members they might have wanted to employ in their practices. Peter goes on to say how he went on to employ no less than 3 family members in his own practice, the failed case having built up momentum for a subsequent change in the law. So, while he would rather the BCA fund the promotion of caving as an activity, public education, conservation projects (all of which I think it tries to do), and (I suspect not least) a national digging fund, it may be that he does see that something like Scottish-style access may be not such a bad thing...and will come...thanks to Dave Rose, Stuart France, Jenny Potts, and their many supporters.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2021, 06:15:49 pm »
This problem does not really concern vocal people in Mendip.  The problem lies in the temptations that face any newspaper owner.

Just look at the one-sided coverage Descent gave to Ogof Draenen and its “one entrance policy” over many years, and the negative coverage it has given to the astonishing exploration efforts in the Dan-yr-Ogof catchment to expand the known caves.

I think it is time that BCA stopped subsidising and placing advertising with Descent if it runs material like this without right of reply that challenges national policy that has been democratically mandated.

Is Descent there to serve cavers or itself?



Offline mrodoc

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2021, 06:49:23 pm »
Well I hope everybody read the piece I wrote rather than relying on hearsay! This was an opinion piece not a statement of fact.  I wrote it from a background of experience. Others may have had different experiences and they are also entitled to their views.   I am sure the editor of Descent would welcome further opinions from others.  I was amused by the comment somebody made that it should have had a right of reply before being published. Perhaps they should think hard. What if every newspaper had to publish a right of reply to every letter they printed - at the same time? I look forward to some reasoned arguments regarding some of my remarks. I might even change my mind!

Offline BradW

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2021, 06:55:58 pm »
I am sure the editor of Descent would welcome further opinions from others.
Yes - I think he would. Despite Mr France's rather negative comments towards Descent, I would rather we did not introduce cancel culture into British caving and it's publishing outlets. We don't have a lot - let's treasure what we have, and submit items for publication, whatever angle they come from. I have always thought Descent did a pretty good job of covering the caving scene in a well-balanced manner - it isn't easy for them I am sure, especially in recent years.

Offline fishes 1

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2021, 07:14:20 pm »
Is Descent there to serve cavers or itself?

In general I think Descent serves cavers well. If you don't like it then the answer is quite simple - don't buy it.

Offline mikem

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2021, 07:26:46 pm »
& to some extent they publish what they get sent (like this forum, but with some editing)

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2021, 08:17:19 pm »
If you had to make a comparison for airing views between here and Descent you might think that online there are many " Keyboard Warriors " too ready to jump on your remarks without understanding their input. Descent gives time for a reasoned reply if that's necessary rather than the opportunity for some hothead here to try to start an argument. I think there are areas in this thread that show that. If you value Descent be aware off the issues ( pun ) now facing magazines who have a fair sized market abroad. No doubt Brexit related though I cant be bothered to look into it all.

Offline 2xw

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2021, 08:24:51 pm »
I am sure the editor of Descent would welcome further opinions from others.
Yes - I think he would. Despite Mr France's rather negative comments towards Descent, I would rather we did not introduce cancel culture into British caving and it's publishing outlets.

Hehe

 "cancel culture" is a made up word for scared dimwits, but I don't think you or your opinions have been cancelled Peter, in fact this anti crow platform has had more than it's fair share of coverage - despite being a rather extreme opinion from a rather tiny group of people. I think they've been following the tactics of Nigel Faragea little too closely! Perhaps next you'll be massaging BCA votes with a joint collaboration between Darkness Below and Dalesbridge Analytica?

I don't look forward to any more opinions on this in Descent. Perhaps it's time the ~10 people still moaning accepted that vote by the membership and quit using Descent as their personal ego massage board - keep your whining to your Priderati sinister cabals and let the rest of us read about some bloody caving!

Offline Brains

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2021, 08:49:57 pm »
In the recent past Descent has published letters with counter letters at the same time, presumably not be coincidence but by soliciting a right of reply where the editorial team felt it was required... As others have said or implied, stirring this croc of shit is a contentious minority stance?

Offline droid

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2021, 10:10:21 pm »


despite being a rather extreme opinion from a rather tiny group of people.

Remind me again of the numbers that voted for and against CRoW....
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline 2xw

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2021, 11:08:05 pm »


despite being a rather extreme opinion from a rather tiny group of people.

Remind me again of the numbers that voted for and against CRoW....

14% against 23% for.

How many actively campaigned? Bet you can't name 10. I stand by my comparison to UKIP ;)

A minority cared about the debate back then, nobody cares anymore, it's done and dead. There's a point at which folk need to start putting the work in like Dave et al or just move on.

Or, if you're gunna start the arguing, can you at least make it darkly/absurdly comic again? My favourite bit was when Badlad took that cake with poison in it to the CSCC meeting. Or when two people debated to hungover checc delegates and everyone melted into a puddle of despair.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 11:30:06 pm by 2xw »

Offline David Rose

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2021, 09:28:56 am »
I see Old Ruminator and Mrdoc are trying to defend themselves.

I objected to the first not because of a Descent article that I still haven't seen, but because of his rude and sweeping comments on this forum that my colleagues and I have been indulging in a "waste of time and effort".

I objected to the second because of what I consider to be his discourtesy, and his ignorance of basic journalistic procedures. He knows me. At the very least, it would have been polite to have been given a heads up that he had written this piece, and that I should expect to see it in print.

As for a right of reply: when journalists write articles, even opinion pieces, they generally seek to represent the opposing point of view, even if only to summarise it briefly and criticise it. In a small community such as caving, where some continually carp about how there are too many divisions, and how, some claim, this forum encourages them, I suggest it would especially valuable to observe such practices. But apparently they do not apply to retired West Country GPs, whose mates then go on to sneer that a project endorsed by the BCA is a waste of time and effort, and that their other mates think the same way.

Not a great way to preserve harmony, I'd suggest. 

I'm told Mrdoc is thinking of becoming the BCA P&I officer. Maybe he will discover that if does take on this important role it would be sensible to maintain amicable relations with his colleagues, such as the BCA newsletter editor. Oh! Goodness! That would be me!

 

Offline BradW

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #48 on: December 03, 2021, 09:45:43 am »
100 percent with you David.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Descent Article re CROW by Mr O 'Doc
« Reply #49 on: December 03, 2021, 12:05:39 pm »
I was going to post a reply to David but deleted it . I think that I might go caving instead.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2021, 12:19:19 pm by The Old Ruminator »

 

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