Author Topic: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?  (Read 5412 times)

Offline Cookie

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Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« on: April 08, 2016, 07:21:02 pm »
Apologies to all other readers for this but I suspect it is better if I do this publicly rather than by PM.  (It might also help save some time at Saturday's Council meeting.)

So are you saying campaigning to remove landowner rights is not against the Constitution?
Cookie - Your 2015 AGM motion stated that "This meeting confirms that the Constitution allows BCA to seek clarification from DEFRA and Natural England on their existing guidance on The CRoW Act and its application to caving." and places no condition on what else BCA might (or might not) do.  I for one understood your motion to solely focus on the point that the constitution did not allow BCA to campaign to change the law; a point which had been conceded some considerable time ago (I think during the debate on the original proposal in 2014).  As I recall, I made that point during the debate at the 2015 AGM in response to your motion.  (But the minutes record little detail.)

This goes to the heart of the discussion on whether BCA is in breach of its own Constitution.

The Constitution says "4.6. That the owners and tenants of property containing caves have the right to grant or withhold access.". CRoW clarification or not the landowners currently exercise the right. The CRoW campaign's goal is to remove some of those rights. Therefore the CRoW campaign is against the Constitution.

So the conversation goes on to whether the AGM gave National Council (NC) the power to ignore the Constitution by passing the motion "This meeting confirms that the Constitution allows BCA to seek clarification from DEFRA and Natural England on their existing guidance on The CRoW Act and its application to caving." (which, by the way, was not my motion)

There are no other relevant motions passed by the AGM so if this motion doesn't give the NC the power to act against the Constitution then the NC is acting against the Constitution.

The motion authorised communication with DEFRA and NE only. I don't believe lobbying MPs, national newspaper articles and slots on national television can be regarded as a valid means of communication with DEFRA and NE. Nor are these other people and organisations in a position to clarify the legislation.

Clarification is essentially a passive act and it could be argued that it is not against the Constitution because it is a revealed truth that was there all along.

But an active campaign to place pressure on DEFRA/NE to change their clearly stated and repeatedly stated view can not possibly be seen as clarification.

There seems to be a view that if it doesn't require an act of Parliament then all these actions can be regarded a "clarification". I don't believe that is true. Forcing a change of interpretation of the current legislation is not "clarification".

So for these reasons I believe the BCA is in breach of its Constitution.

 



Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services, Webmaster

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 07:30:58 pm »
Very clear. Thanks, Cookie. The difference in "clarification" and "persuasion for a change of interpretation" is very obvious now you point it out. One is "please can you make it clear to us what you mean", and the other is "please can you change your mind on what you mean". It's the difference between a FoI request, and parliamentary lobbying, for example.

Offline droid

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 07:53:25 pm »
Whilst I don't doubt that the majority vote WAS to campaign for a change in interpretation of CRoW, I have to say that the whole process of Referendum was hopelessly rushed.

Might have been better (with the 20/20 vision of hindsight) to have sorted this out *before* the Referendum.

A few more months wouldn't have mattered that much would it?
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2016, 07:57:10 pm »
 I have a feeling it WAS discussed before the ref, but not acted upon? TBH I am not sure.

Offline cavermark

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2016, 08:27:20 pm »
So lets propose and vote through an amendment to the constitution, according to section 8.4 and 8.11 of the constitution. Then the campaign that the majority of the voters in the referendum wanted can continue, and bring about all the well understood benefits of more open access to large numbers of cave sites.

Offline cavermark

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2016, 08:35:23 pm »
3.1. To support Members of the Association in obtaining, ensuring, maintaining and encouraging the development of access arrangements at national, regional and club level in accordance with national, regional or club practice.

If we don't campaign for CRoW (a development of access arrangements) will we not also be in breach of the constitution?

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2016, 08:47:30 pm »
Sorry this is not in order.  You say "which, by the way, was not my motion".  My apologies, I see the motion was proposed by Damian Weare and seconded by Andy Eavis.

You state "The CRoW campaign's goal is to remove some of those rights."  I disagree.  If the law is interpreted in the way we claim it should be, then the landowner has not held any such right since 2000.  Having obtained QC opinion supporting our claim, it was accepted that BCA would hold a referendum to seek the view of the membership.  Council on the back of the result of that referendum agreed to a campaign (as stated in the wording of the motion - "Should the BCA, on your behalf, campaign for the Countryside and Rights of Way Act to apply to going underground?").  We then moved onto a debate over whether seeking a change in interpretation as opposed to a change in law was within the constitution, even though my memory is it was discussed pre referendum.  I accept that a change in law would as its premise concede that the land owner had the right to withhold access.  It is that principle I thought we had debated within the 2015 motion and accepted at that AGM.  The goal of the campaign is to achieve a change in interpretation of CRoW.

The notice of the poll also stated that:

   "In the event of a majority of members saying "yes", BCA will ...

              continue our dialogue with DEFRA, NE and NRW, including seeking advice on successfully limiting  access to our most fragile sites or to sites which might represent a danger to the public;
   
              consult with land owners and open communication with the Countryside Land and Business Association;
   
              seek further legal opinion to support our case;
   
              liaise with other like-minded organisations, such as the BMC and BCU;
   
              continue to explore ways to effectively protect our more fragile sites;
   
               seek to change Section 4.6 of our Constitution at the June 2015 Annual General Meeting;
   
              work with Regional Councils, affected land owners and Access-Controlling Bodies to ease the transition;
   
              lobby MPs and other persons of influence to push for CRoW to apply to going underground.
"
   
The 2015 motion does not make any statement about not undertaking these other actions mentioned nor provide any direction to Council about them.  If that were intended, then the 2015 motion instead of just saying "This meeting confirms that the Constitution allows BCA to seek clarification from DEFRA and Natural England on their existing guidance on The CRoW Act and its application to caving." would have gone onto say something along the lines of '...and instructs Council to cease other activities noted in the poll...'.  I can understand the tactics of you not raising that point at the time.  I certainly do not recall any discussion on such a step during the debate and as I have previously said, the minutes record little detail. 

Obviously we fundamentally disagree so I guess the next step is to see what is said tomorrow at Council, including the intent of the motion as seen by Damian and Andy. 

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 09:12:19 pm »
3.1. To support Members of the Association in obtaining, ensuring, maintaining and encouraging the development of access arrangements at national, regional and club level in accordance with national, regional or club practice.

If we don't campaign for CRoW (a development of access arrangements) will we not also be in breach of the constitution?
No. Obviously. Silly question. It doesn't specify HOW the development should be encouraged.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2016, 09:20:38 pm »
3.1. To support Members of the Association in obtaining, ensuring, maintaining and encouraging the development of access arrangements at national, regional and club level in accordance with national, regional or club practice.

If we don't campaign for CRoW (a development of access arrangements) will we not also be in breach of the constitution?
No. Obviously. Silly question. It doesn't specify HOW the development should be encouraged.

Not at all "obviously", and not at all silly. It is a *very* valid point, should we be going down the route of nit-picking and interpreting the constitution.
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Offline badger

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2016, 09:30:49 pm »
to be perfectly honest the whole thing from cavers in both camps and especially some cavers who  hold positions within clubs/regions/bca is becoming embarrassing from cavers who need to look seriously at what they are doing to English/welsh caving and the bca who is supposed to represent its members, either members/clubs/regions support the bca, even if they don't like the result of a referendum regardless to how many voted, the members as whole supported a campaign, those who voted therefore would expect the bca to act as per vote.
maybe we need a referendum to change the constitution, but if that also comes out in favour would those who oppose then accept the will of the membership

Offline badger

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2016, 09:33:44 pm »
I would say Tim Allen has acted with professionalism giving both positive and negative views from what he has been doing,

Offline droid

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2016, 09:40:12 pm »
Tim has been presumably given a detailed mandate from BCA and is doing what he is told.

I'm guessing it isn't his fault the BCA seems not to have sorted it's own constitution out before proceeding. A simple process of nailing down ambiguities would have sufficed.
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2016, 09:57:05 pm »
Not ensuring that the constitution was amended to remove the contradiction being debated has resulted in a completely unnecessary conflict over the matter. The rush to get a members' mandate to seek access to caves under CRoW could be seen to be a rather devious tactic, with inevitable consequences. I clearly recall, I don't know where, but have a clear recollection of it being considered a "problem" that a much greater majority of opinion is required to have a fundamental tenet of the BCA altered, than the simple majority of the poll. To require a greater majority on changes to constitutional content is not "unfair" - it protects very important matters from being overturned and then changed again at the whim of whatever faction is prevalent at any particular time. It protects the fundamental nature of an organisation and what it stands for. If a constitutional amendment had not been approved with the required greater majority, then the poll may not have even taken place with the consequent furore over this contradiction we now have (despite those who deny that we have one). If a constitutional change had been approved, then I imagine there would have been a much smoother ride for a properly mandated charge to seek access to caves under CRoW.
So, to rush into the poll has now resulted in much pressure from pros to accept the result because of the poll, whereas those who are not happy have seen a fundamental value of the BCA being ridden over rough-shod, and are understandably not impressed.

Offline badger

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2016, 10:02:53 pm »
so lets have a referendum on that point of the constitution
but lets all every caver pro or anti look at themselves and they behaviour. to perfectly honest if I did not know we where adults I would think it was a infant school. they done this, no they said this, not they have not done this, no but we did this and so on and so on, and cavers both sides of this debate are all at fault.
maybe we should all go for parliament cause it seems about the same as PM questions.

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2016, 10:13:54 pm »
I have just been reminded that the BCA council itself discussed this in advance of the poll, and the opportunity to sort it out was considered, but it never happened. The idea, as far as I can tell, was that the poll would actually have been a poll to change the relevant clause as required, and it would be made clear that by accepting the change we would also be approving a campaign such as we have. However, as that poll would have required a much greater majority, is it possible that those scared that the change would NOT be approved, made sure that only a 50 percent or greater mandate would be required, by simply not asking for a constitution change? This leaves us in this ridiculous position. You can see how easy it is to think this was done deliberately.

Offline droid

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2016, 10:18:00 pm »
Never attribute malice where you can attribute stupidity....quote from somewhere, haven't a clue where.

Cue S. Wilson claiming 'dirty tricks'....but from who?
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2016, 10:19:18 pm »
Never attribute malice where you can attribute stupidity....quote from somewhere, haven't a clue where.
Very true. I didn't make the attribution, simply pointing out how easy it is to wonder if it was deliberate.

Offline cavermark

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2016, 10:22:31 pm »
"Don't waste time trying to guess what motivates anybody..."

Offline MarkS

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2016, 10:45:58 pm »
The two principally relevant points from the constitution appear to be the aim, "3.1 To support Members of the Association in obtaining, ensuring, maintaining and encouraging the development of access arrangements", and the guiding principal, "4.6. That the owners and tenants of property containing caves have the right to grant or withhold access.", along with the rest of section 4.6 in which it is made eminently clear that free access should be encouraged.

If the BCA chose not to follow through with the actions listed on the poll, which Bob Mehew pointed out above, it could clearly be argued that it wasn't supporting the members of the asssociation in encouraging the development of access arrangements (i.e. acting against section 3.1). Having acted on many (or all?) of the actions on the poll, it is being argued that it isn't acting on the premise that the owners/tentants have the right to grant access (i.e. acting against section 4.6). Given the obvious opposing arguments here, surely the only justifiable action is to act on the results of the poll, which is exactly what the BCA are doing?

Having voted and been pleased to see such a proactive response from the BCA following the poll, I'd be annoyed if they stalled their efforts on the basis that they may be contradicting one point in the consititution, and by doing so potentially just contradicting another.

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2016, 10:50:19 pm »
I suggest everybody reads exactly what the BCA itself recorded on this matter back in October 2014. It makes interesting reading in the light of what has since happened.

Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2016, 10:54:57 pm »
Quote
....Constitution...Constitution...4.6....Constitution...AGM..National Council...Constitution...passing the motion ...relevant motions...passed by the AGM...Constitution...Constitution.
...motion...Constitution...Constitution.


Really? Does anyone (other than possibly a tax dodging politician) speak like this in real life...

Does anybody genuinely believe that referring obscurely to the minutia of the legalese in a document few people have bothered to read gives anyone reason to try to delay and obstruct the clear wishes of the BCA members...

Lets not forget what the BCA is....its not ruling the country, its not a court of law or a company worth millions of pounds...its a club of cavers...it is EXACTLY what we the members want it to be...and we want it to be a body that supports access for Cavers...we've been asked and our opinion was LOUD and CLEAR


Offline danthecavingman

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2016, 10:59:13 pm »
Oh no it wasnt!  ;)
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2016, 11:02:49 pm »
... a document few people have bothered to read ...

Jumps out.

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2016, 11:03:34 pm »
Good spot, Chris. Go and read it before passing comment.

Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2016, 11:11:26 pm »
Why? I'm a caver...not a Technical Author...(or professional bore)

It doesn't take a genius to work out whats happening when the club you're a member of takes a vote...and people that disagree with that vote start bleating on about some trivial procedural point...

Its not big...its not clever and it doesn't reflect well on them...

Getting into the detail of it dignifies their arguments far beyond what they deserve...the rights and wrongs of Article 27 Subsection xxvii Paragraph 13.2 as laid down by the Constitutional Subcommittee on 17th of May 1971 doesn't come into it

Its not a procedural issue...its a moral issue...

One side won the argument,,,another side lost...do the decent thing...man up and accept it...

Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2016, 11:34:21 pm »
One quick simple direct question Cookie

(Which doesn't seem unreasonable - given that you started this thread)

Is it your wish (in your position as a Group Member Representative to the BCA Council) to see the wishes of the majority of BCA members (as expressed in a fair, extensive and independently monitored referendum) over-ruled on some procedural point buried in the BCA constitution?

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2016, 11:35:13 pm »
Why? I'm a caver...not a Technical Author...(or professional bore)
1. It's written in English.
2. Don't read it too quickly if you want to understand it.
3. Once you understand it, then you are qualified to comment on it.
4. Until then, stop criticising those who have bothered to try to understand what it says and why it says it.
5. I am sure you can achieve this as I believe you are an intelligent person.
6. I appreciate you may not be paid for what you write.
7. 6 was not meant to be serious.

Offline Cookie

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2016, 11:54:28 pm »
One quick simple direct question Cookie

(Which doesn't seem unreasonable - given that you started this thread)

Is it your wish (in your position as a Group Member Representative to the BCA Council) to see the wishes of the majority of BCA members (as expressed in a fair, extensive and independently monitored referendum) over-ruled on some procedural point buried in the BCA constitution?

No it isn't my wish.

My wish is that BCA follow its own rules.

It is quite possible to square this circle, to pursue the CRoW campaign and follow the rules.  Change the Constitution.

PS
It is a Guiding Principle not "procedural point buried in the BCA constitution". Therefore a little more important.

Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services, Webmaster

Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2016, 11:58:49 pm »
I'm sorry...I'm not really smart enough to understand that somewhat carefully worded answer...

Was that a YES, you wish to see the result of the referendum go forward, as expressed by the majority of the BCA membership and to see CRoW apply to Caves

or a NO, you believe its wrong for the BCA to ensure cavers are allowed legal access to caves on access land

Offline cavermark

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2016, 12:06:08 am »
Do the "two houses" refer to members present at the general meeting or ALL members of the BCA?

ie. would a change to the constitution require a 70% majority from the people at the meeting or from the entire membership (ie. another referendum....)?

Offline Cookie

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2016, 12:11:09 am »

The notice of the poll also stated that:

   "In the event of a majority of members saying "yes", BCA will ...

              1. continue our dialogue with DEFRA, NE and NRW, including seeking advice on successfully limiting  access to our most fragile sites or to sites which might represent a danger to the public;
   
              2. consult with land owners and open communication with the Countryside Land and Business Association;
   
              3. seek further legal opinion to support our case;
   
              4. liaise with other like-minded organisations, such as the BMC and BCU;
   
              5. continue to explore ways to effectively protect our more fragile sites;
   
              6. seek to change Section 4.6 of our Constitution at the June 2015 Annual General Meeting;
   
              7. work with Regional Councils, affected land owners and Access-Controlling Bodies to ease the transition;
   
              8. lobby MPs and other persons of influence to push for CRoW to apply to going underground.
"
   
The 2015 motion does not make any statement about not undertaking these other actions mentioned nor provide any direction to Council about them.  If that were intended, then the 2015 motion instead of just saying "This meeting confirms that the Constitution allows BCA to seek clarification from DEFRA and Natural England on their existing guidance on The CRoW Act and its application to caving." would have gone onto say something along the lines of '...and instructs Council to cease other activities noted in the poll...'.  I can understand the tactics of you not raising that point at the time.  I certainly do not recall any discussion on such a step during the debate and as I have previously said, the minutes record little detail. 

The Secretary stated after the vote that BCA could proceed on all items except item 8 until item 6 was concluded. (Item 7.c BCA NC Minutes 10/1/2015). That point was manifestly true and accepted since Council can not go against the Constitution.  Therefore there was no need to include it in the AGM motion one way or another until such time as the Constitution was amended.

So a stand by my assertion that BCA is in breach of its Constitution.
Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services, Webmaster

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2016, 12:33:47 am »
The Constitution says "4.6. That the owners and tenants of property containing caves have the right to grant or withhold access.". CRoW clarification or not the landowners currently exercise the right. The CRoW campaign's goal is to remove some of those rights. Therefore the CRoW campaign is against the Constitution.

I'm not convinced one way or the other that the above statements are true.

Currently there are two possibilities:
Possibility A: CROW does not apply to caving
Possibility B: CROW does apply to caving
We don't really know which is the case. Some people (including various statutory bodies) believe A, some people believe B. Until it is tested in a court of law, we just don't really know.

If possibility A is true, then Section 4.6 is in agreement with current law. I am not however, sure either why this purely factual statement is in the constitution, nor how it binds the BCA to any given course of action.
If possibility B is true, then Section 4.6 is not always true. If the Constitution said that all caves were in limestone, would we be banned from non-limestone caves? If the constitution is just plain wrong, then I really don't know what that means.

Again, unless this is tested in a court of law, I honestly don't know how we can be so sure how much the BCA are bound by their 'guiding principles' (which aren't necessarily guiding).

Incidentally, I thought the BCA constitution was actually reasonably short and reasonably simple? (you just skip past the bits you aren't interested in)

Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2016, 12:46:38 am »
Quote
No it isn't my wish.

My wish is that BCA follow its own rules.

If the purpose of the BCA is just to exist for the purpose of obeying it's own rules rather than the wishes of it's members then it does not have a purpose and may as well disappear up its own a**e Ouroborous style.

Offline droid

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2016, 03:58:46 am »
I'm sorry...I'm not really smart enough to understand the BCA Constitution


Fixed that for you, Jason.....
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2016, 08:37:55 am »
If you want people to answer questions with just a yes or a no, then the question must essentially be simple. Why is it that every time someone here wants to tie another poster up in knots, they compose a complex question that covers every single point with which they agree, then asks whether another person agrees but they are only allowed to reply Yes or No? Then, when for obvious reasons you don't get a Yes or a No, you jump to the wrong conclusion.


Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2016, 09:29:00 am »
Its slightly different though isn't it...YOU Peter are fully entitled to answer simple or complex questions in whatever manner you see fit...

You can ignore it...tell me to poke it (which I frequently deserve) or answer in as simple and complex fashion as you like...

However, If I as a BCA Member ask a Member Representative to the BCA Council

It doesn't seem unreasonable to expect a simple and obvious answer...not cutting and pasting paragraphs of legalese from the BCA Constitution...

Its not the Magna Carta or The Constitution of the United States its some guideline written down for a club of thousand or so bearded beer drinking cavers

Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2016, 09:31:40 am »
Quote
I'm sorry...I'm not really smart enough to understand the BCA Constitution

Fixed that for you, Jason.....

Perhaps I am neither smart enough, political enough or slippery enough to understand why quoting chapter and verse from some dusty document in a way in which it was obviously never intended...can over-ride the stated wishes of the club membership as expressed in an inclusive, extensive and expensive (independently monitored) referendum

Offline mch

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2016, 10:09:47 am »
In my view (thought I may as well jump in with my sixpenn'th as everyone else seems to be) 4.6 simply represents the legal position at the time that the BCA Constitution was drawn up - it's a statement of fact, not a policy. If the law moves on and CROW is eventually found to apply to access to caves, then 4.6 needs to be updated at that time. I really see no need to amend it at the moment, it is not contravened IMHO by the current campaign.

Offline David Rose

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2016, 10:36:39 am »
"Jarndyce and Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, over the course of time, become so complicated, that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least; but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes, without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce, without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendary hatreds with the suit. The little plaintiff or defendant, who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce and Jarndyce should be settled, has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world. Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps, since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee-house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce and Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the Court, perennially hopeless."

Charles Dickens, Bleak House (1852)

Offline droid

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #39 on: April 09, 2016, 03:03:41 pm »
Nice quote. As a Tolkien and Tom Sharpe reader I'd love to play 'quote wars' but can't for the life of me think of anything relevant.....


But: to me, the Constitution thing is an embarrassment to the BCA, suggests a rushed approach and is 'amateurish'.

I'll ask again: did no-one point out a pretty obvious (in retrospect) set of ambiguities in the Constitution?

And if the answer to that question is 'yes', why wasn't the Constitution amended to remove those ambiguities? 

No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #40 on: April 09, 2016, 03:24:24 pm »
Presumably, because nobody imagined what was put in the constitution as a relatively innocuous statement of "playing nicely" intended to mitigate against trespass, unauthorised access/removing gates etc etc...would be used by the more cunning of the administrators in an attempt to overrule the wishes of the BCA membership...

Nobody on the pro-CRoW side is tedious enough to make a "splitting hairs argument" about the constitution or that one of the stated "Aims" of the BCA is " obtaining, ensuring, maintaining and encouraging access"

Because neither points were put in that constitution in that spirit...its not about THE LETTER of the LAW its about the wishes of the membership...

And the members obviously and undeniably want the BCA to ensure Cavers have better access...much to the chagrin of many in positions of "authority"
 

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #41 on: April 09, 2016, 03:55:40 pm »
Quote
Dickens


"Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused, and the greater part knew not why they had come together."

Acts 9:32

Offline droid

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #42 on: April 09, 2016, 04:00:30 pm »
Presumably, because nobody imagined what was put in the constitution as a relatively innocuous statement of "playing nicely" intended to mitigate against trespass, unauthorised access/removing gates etc etc...would be used by the more cunning of the administrators in an attempt to overrule the wishes of the BCA membership...

Nobody on the pro-CRoW side is tedious enough to make a "splitting hairs argument" about the constitution or that one of the stated "Aims" of the BCA is " obtaining, ensuring, maintaining and encouraging access"

Because neither points were put in that constitution in that spirit...its not about THE LETTER of the LAW its about the wishes of the membership...

And the members obviously and undeniably want the BCA to ensure Cavers have better access...much to the chagrin of many in positions of "authority"
 

Possibly.

However, unless 37% of those members that voted are in positions of 'authority' or 'administrators' then your comments need a little adjustment.

Frankly, I was shocked so many people voted against.
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Offline Ed

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #43 on: April 09, 2016, 05:37:58 pm »
The constitution only says right of land owner etc.....no where does itsay the BCA can't not campaign for a change.


Strangely sat in The Heights in Llanberis - talking to climbers. Quote "what a bunch of my poets not wanting access why don't they just by Xbox and virtual cave"

Offline Gollum

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2016, 07:12:26 pm »
I can see clearly now why many years ago my instructor friends advised me to keep well clear of recreational cavers and clubs and just go caving.
Maybe we should be asking does anybody really care if it's against constitution and what does it really matter.
Think I'll save myself a load of money next year and not bother with BCA and clubs and just go caving wherever i want because the land owner will only blame you lot anyway.
Think you lot should cave together because you'd never agree which way to go and probably never get out.
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Offline AR

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #45 on: April 09, 2016, 09:06:55 pm »
Frankly, I was shocked so many people voted against.

Perhaps many of those people were thinking "if we vote no then that'll stop the endless bickering on UKC"?
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2016, 10:09:54 pm »
This could be unwise but it has been a long day, including the longest ever Council meeting in almost 20 years of which 3 hours was spent on the 3 complaints over BCA's work on CRoW.  Reflecting on my drive home I think that in all fairness I should not try to summarised what happened because no doubt some one will critique it.  So I will be a tease and leave it to the draft minutes (and probably BCA's newsletter due out in around 3 weeks) to explain what went on at today's Council meeting and why Council decided what it decided.  I was not able to even make accurate records of the motions put up for voting so feel I will just get slated if I quote my notes.  Sorry about that but it is clear that some people will critique down to the comma. 

(And if you think that may be extreme, then the Ramblers won a case last year where in an 1816 statute which read “ such private Roads, Bridleways, Footways...”, did the comma mean private applied to just roads or the whole list.  They eventually won the case having started it in 1993!  See http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2015/669.html.  And I will scream if some one goes off topic to answer it.)

One other thing I am not prepared to do is try and answer the many questions that have been posted through today as I just don't have the spare time to do so.  In my defense I would plead I have a shed load of work coming out of today's meeting and I feel my time will be better spent trying to take things forward in a manner which takes into account some of the useful points made today rather than trying to justify the tortuous path which work on CRoW has wandered down over the past couple of years due I will say (being as no doubt some will claim prejudiced) in part by the demands of a minority.   :annoyed: :annoyed: :annoyed:

As I said, probably an unwise post but ....... now to bed.

Offline cavermark

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2016, 10:22:01 pm »
Keep up the good work, Bob.  :thumbsup:

Offline badger

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2016, 11:10:52 pm »
what bob said

Online Ian Adams

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2016, 11:41:18 pm »
Nicely done today Bob and good to meet you.

 :)

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Offline Jenny P

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #50 on: April 10, 2016, 05:22:25 pm »
Just as a matter of interest I looked up Bob's reference so I'll just quote you point 66 of the Judgement:
In view of the conclusion that we have reached on the first issue, it is unnecessary for us to deal with the remaining issues and we do not propose to do so.

But, back to BCA - I thought it actually was quite a good meeting but it was hard going.

Sleep well, Bob.   :)

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #51 on: April 10, 2016, 05:29:47 pm »
Quote
Dickens


"Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused, and the greater part knew not why they had come together."

Acts 9:32


'A house divided amongst itself cannot stand'.

Offline badger

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2016, 05:44:37 pm »
I think the minutes will be posted on the BCA website, cavers can see then what was minuted about 4.6
I think the view is that if crow does apply (wont go into this bit) then 4.6 is wrong and has been since the constitution was put in writing.
I would also say that like the referendum it is only a majority of council think BCA is acting within the constitution, there is also a minority who think otherwise.
like the referendum, like the forum it is an emotive subject. one that will not be resolved  quickly. and yes it was a long day including the 5 hours of driving and Saturday radio is shit if you don't have digital.

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2016, 07:38:09 pm »
Quote
Dickens


"Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused, and the greater part knew not why they had come together."

Acts 9:32


'A house divided amongst itself cannot stand'.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the regions, old as well as new — North as well as South.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2016, 07:45:26 pm »
Just as a matter of interest I looked up Bob's reference so I'll just quote you point 66 of the Judgement:
In view of the conclusion that we have reached on the first issue, it is unnecessary for us to deal with the remaining issues and we do not propose to do so.
SCREAM  Even I did not get that far.