Monday, 9 January 2012

The Boater’s Manifesto

The Boater’s Manifesto was written to put forward the wants and needs of the boaters to the ‘new’ CRT in order that boaters are not sidelined if the transition takes place in April. I have stayed clear of it until the last few days. Just popping in on the odd occasion to see how things were progressing. This weekend due to a very severe dose of man flu I peeked in again, well when you are dying there is little else to waste your time on.

One of the main protagonists spoke to one of the 191 members in a manner that does not engender feelings of confidence in the hierarchy and ended up banning him. 190 members now are reeling. By the time I disassociated myself there were only 185 members. It is not very representative of boaters at all. I did ask said protagonist to stand down (he is an administrator I think) because his behaviour was suspect, but he would have none of it. He didn’t think that calling a member a c**t  was a problem. Well I wouldn’t either but the said member was being rebuked for using bad language.

I think the Manifesto in essence is a good idea. What I don’t like about it is what is left out. I have mentioned this on the writers blog. It says a lot about what boaters want, but very little about what boaters are going to contribute. That in my opinion is its downfall.

Please don’t take this as gospel. It is after all only my opinion.

Go look for yourself with an open mind. And please contribute if you can. You may find it to be exactly what you feel is needed.


Alan Fincher said...


I know you have been observing it, but until invited onto their group by them, I hadn't taken a look before this weekend, I'll admit.

I have to say that what I have continued to observe after I had tried to contribute, but decided it was no longer serving any useful purpose, was what I have seen described elsewhere as like watching a car crash in slow motion!

All to apt, I would say, unfortunately.


Maffi said...

Exactly how I felt. Ody's comments should have been sent by DM not on the page for all to see.

Sue said...

Well you stayed about an hour longer than me!

Maffi said...

Ah so you did leave, I thought you would.

Alan Fincher said...

Since you people ducked out, one of the named promoter's of the BM has been perfectly prepared to post this kind of comment in their open (so very public) Facebook group.....

"I'd also like to suggest that any discussions on the CRT Council elections (which we already know is not much more than a powerless talking shop anyway) should be redirected to the waterscape pages, to avoid attracting any further controversy."

Nice to know Andy, myself and others if we get elected are only to join "a powerless talking shop".

With boater "friends" like that to "unite" us, it hardly stands well for a future, does it ? The people who are its leading figures prove that Boater's Manifesto is not something I want to be involved in, even though a lot of boaters who care about boating (rather than squabbling!) have probably contributed in good faith, and are now sitting back in total desperation.

Maffi said...

I think they have shot themselves in the foot with this one.

Sue said...

I signed the Boater's Manifesto. I'm not sorry I did. I don't agree with everything in it, but it is a start.

As far as "a powerless talking shop" I don't think so. The four people + one BW will pick (that should be interesting) will need to work well together to make some changes.

I do think it will be an awful lot better than what we have now especially with the boaters on the 'inside' keeping an eye.

It may well be that there will be a change at the top, but that does not need to be rushed. Let's get a base and see how things can be evolved.

Bonus payments for directors will be almost impossible to give for one thing. Those directors are not going to have as much freedom as they have at the moment.

I am looking forward to change.

Jonny Hotten said...

Hi Maff,

After our conversation the other day would you be kind enough to clarify what was said by whom to whom, since the way you have written it seems to state that I was making personal attacks against other members, which is not the case as I was the one who was preventing personal attacks, especially those aimed at Alan and the bickering that came afterwards which led to the offending member being banned from the discussion after multiple complaints and warnings for his behavior.

I don't agree that your blog is insignificant and this post has potential for doing a lot of damage to me. I would appreciate it if you would do this for me, cheers.

Jon Ody

Jonny Hotten said...

PS, I do stand by any other comments I have made, so long as they are taken in context. (there were over 1000 comments in the group in question over the weekend, I'm sure if we wished to belittle any individual who has been active in any discussion we could take their words and twist them to our own ends, if we so chose)

As Alan has stated above, I do believe that the CRT Council will be very limited in it's powers (I believe the only real opportunity for change that it will have is to appoint Trustees on a four-yearly cycle?). I also have repeatedly made the point that to allow only 4 members to represent private boating out of 35 members of the council is an insult to all those who make their residences on the waterways. I believe organisations such as IWA and RBOA, NABO and even NBTA should be allowed to appoint their own candidates to the council, in addition to 4 members to represent independant opinion.

I applaud Alan for his standing (and also his attempts at input to the Boaters' Manifesto group, no other external candidate has come forward for a debate and I doubt any will), but I must reaffirm my observation that his appearance in the group and refusal to debate the topics put to him was always going to be controversial. I am still unaware of any actual policy that Alan is standing for, although he seems to be popular amongst those who he has spoken to personally I fear that popularity enough will not be enough to beat off competition from larger organisation candidates.

Cheers again, Jon

(PPS - hoping to start my own blog this week, I don't half go on sometimes I know)

Maffi said...

Jon I simply reported what you said, you used the word c**t then banned someone off the sit for among other things swearing. Your general behaviour on the FB page was not in my opinion that of a responsible administrator. The management of any style of forum must be above reproach. And if as it appears they you are a major player at the BMFB page, which seeks to represent boaters, then saying such things as "Where exactly do boaters get the impression that they have a right to be listened to???" is not the thing to do. Trying to clarify what you meant after it was picked up on this blog just looks like a damage limitation exercise.

Please don’t tell me this is going to 'damage' you, you have shown a healthy aptitude for doing that all by yourself with your secret public meetings because you don’t want every Tom Dick or Harry there, you don't need any help from me.
Will you kindly remember this is not a discussion group.

Alan Fincher said...

I'm kind of wondering whether I should just step back from this and stay quiet, because I firmly believe that in the challenges ahead we only stand a chance if we pull together, try and build unity, and try and present a common voice of boaters generally. (A challenge when two boaters are usually even capable of falling out about what kind of toilet is best!).

So I was very prepared to come and debate with you when invited, because on the face of it, what I have stated needs to happen seemed to have a lot of resonance with what the promoters of the Boaters manifesto say it has been drafted to achieve.

However, for me at least, the words in the document are almost irrelevant when those who are claerly prominent in its drafting, and its subsequent promotion display the attitudes I have seen over the last week or two.

If you claim to be inclusive, and representative of boaters, how can words like these help.....

(Peter Underwood) "Why would we invite every candidate on here if we only wanted supporters? Why do we tolerate even the most ludicrous posters? Because we believe in total openness even at the price of enduring the terminally stupid."

(Peter Underwood) At least we can put Alan Fincher down as a clear 'don't know' or maybe that should be 'can't be arsed to tell you oiks what I really believe'?

(Yourself) "Daily Rant: Where exactly do boaters get the impression that they have a right to be listened to??? If you don't like it >> caravans, ennit?"

(Yourself) I'd also like to suggest that any discussions on the CRT Council elections (which we already know is not much more than a powerless talking shop anyway) should be redirected to the waterscape pages, to avoid attracting any further controversy. I think it was a mistake to invite candidates to join a discussion here with all their own agendas and supporters, when really all they need to do is answer 8 very simple questions for us.

Not to mention you use of the "c***" word about other members when administering the forum, or the absolutely despicable tone of a private message from one of the other leading players on your group to someone who had behaved very reasonably throughout all his attempts to post in a very reasonable manner. (God knows how much stuff you, as a group, are putting in the private domain that could come back to bite you).

(to be continued!)

Alan Fincher said...

(comment in two parts to meet Maffi's blog character limit - it's up to Maffi if he chooses to post something as long!)


I did try and enter a debate, I did say much of the true boater stuff in your document is reasonable common-sense stuff that most boaters would support anyway, as would many independent candidates in these elections, I feel sure. I also said I can't sign up to a document where I feel some of the demands are unfundable and unenforceable, because doing this devalues the things that can realistically be fought for, (I cited trying to charge access fees to walkers and cyclists - not sensible in my view, if tried as a compulsory thing). If my reception had not been like being thrown to a pack of hounds, I might have told you more, but I came into this to support fellow boaters, not to have them tearing me apart, (and each other as I was still being blamed for all your woes long after I ceased to post). I have better ways to spend my campaigning time, frankly.

Anyway, if you are going to dismiss CaRT council as "a powerless talking shop", why should you care one iota what I or any of the other candidates think ? You have surely dismissed the considerable effort some of us are already putting in as pointless, aren't you ?

I am strongly for a united voice, but with less than 200 "signing" your petition, you have no right yet to set yourself up as a voice of many boaters. I want to stay inclusive, but the continuing attitudes I have seen from the leading lights in your group long after I bowed out mean no way in the world do I want to associate myself with it.

You don't need Maffi’s blog, myself, (or anybody else), to do you any damage, when you openly post in your own group comments like "a LOT of damage has been done this weekend", and use the language I have listed above. You are sadly doing yourselves so much SELF-damage, whatever the intentions of good people who gave you input, and believed this idea could fly, that it seems you are in self-destruct mode anyway.

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