Saturday 13 October 2012

No Hard Feelings

Having a look through the latest copy of Private Eye. What do I find on page 31 under the title Argy-Bargy. The Kennet and Avon Boating Community  are being threatened by legal action by CART. With the ink of the ministers signature almost, but not quite dry. CART it seems are already considering spending a wad of our money this time on a libel action. Might be better spent on fixing a breach in the canal!

Is it time for boaters to show their support by pledging cash to The Kennet and Avon Boating Community to form a fighting fund. I for one would quite happily give a donation to that cause. I remember Private Eye magazine and the success of its libel fighting fund. It's possible that this could create a few ex-friends of CART whose £3 a month might be spent that way.

However, a look on the Kanda WebSite makes it quite clear that such a fighting fund might not be required. European Court of Human Rights has ruled previously on the grounds of the inability to get a fair trial on the ground of inequality of arms. (Basically when you're skint and some cash rich litigant gets vexatious and bullying. Then hires a boat load "pun intended" of legal eagles "AKA Vultures" just because you're skint.)

The more I look at the issue and after a quick peruse of the article, the more confused I become as a "lay man in the street." I just don't understand what is it exactly that CART is complaining about. I am left perplexed as to why CART as a charity is at odds with it's customers. 

As CART is also demanding an "undisclosed donation" to its funds, it must be some sort of  a Capital Appropriation Request Threat. Now that's what I call being charitable.

An investigation has found that leading charities pay as much as £136 to private contractors for every direct debit secured by High Street and door-to-door fundraisers. The disclosure will infuriate people who believe the money they donate through so-called chuggers, or charity muggers, goes directly to the good cause. For the chugger operators its a time of plenty. With more charities like CART looking for their help (at a not insignificant cost) to raise a share of the ever scarcer charitable donation pot.

However, the more obscure and unpopular charities may have to pay an even higher premium because the fund raisers they hire struggle to recruit many donors. I expect when given the choice of supporting canal or cancer appeals it will not be the canals that joe public will choose. Now lets speculate for a moment that this £136 applies to CART's £3 a month "friendship" sponsorship. That would be three years and nine months before any of the donations made would be added to the charities coffers.

Torygraph article on chugging costs. Click Here

I was reading on-line a bit about the "Memorandum of Understanding" (called a MoU pronounced "moo")  between CART and the IWA. At first sight you have to wonder what's in it for each party. (But then it's a bit like the Tories and the Liberals jumping into bed together. Political parties with fundamental differences but a common interest in politic, make for strange bed fellows.

So which is the "Nick Clegg" of the Inland Waterways. Which is the "Tory Toff" and which is the "Wishy Washy Lib." I have to add that at the same time, I have this black and white image of Neville Chamberlain in mind. Waving a piece of paper in his hand. It is a masterstroke by CART to put a possible source of questioning and challenge on the back foot. 

Maybe someone at the IWA has an eye on moving on to a spot elsewhere. A bit like in politics where Treasury Ministers when out of office, gravitate to the board of a bank!


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