Saturday, 26 October 2013

Looking Back.

Sometimes to get a good perspective on how things are stacking up. Its good to take a look back at what people were saying and doing in the recent past. Its called foresight or in some circles technology foresight. Much of the research into foresight techniques has been rather fuzzy work and has been very elitist. Foresight attempts to go beyond the normal and gather information from much more diverse sources. Foresight is intended to be used for long-range planning that's influenced by using a structured and systematic approach. Foresight is helpful to examine alternative paths and not just what is currently believed to be most likely or business as usual. Measuring how effective foresight is requires a benchmark. The benchmark to measure against, is what has taken place in the recent and distant past.
One issue that has been quietly swept under the carpet were the allegedly 'independent' - to be elected by boaters to represent boaters - Canal and River Trust council members. The whole idea was kicked off in the Boaters Update.

Boaters Update November 2011.

Would you like to stand for election for the Canal and River Trust’s inaugural Council and get involved in shaping the future of Britain’s waterways? Seven positions on the council are to be filled by boaters or boating businesses. Four positions are to be elected by boat licence holders and two positions elected by boating businesses. The Council is the guardian of the long-term values and purposes of the Canal and River Trust. While the trustees are responsible for determining policy and strategy, the Council will have an important role in helping to shape policy, raising and debating issues, and providing guidance, perspective and a sounding board for the trustees.
Tony Hales, chair of the Canal and River Trust, said: “The boating community has a wealth of hands-on experience of the waterways, and having boaters on board is essential to the success of the Canal and River Trust. I am writing to all licence holders and I encourage them to put themselves forward and add their voices to those shaping the Canal and River Trust’s future.”
Short of actually using the phrase 'independent' with no mention of allowing the Inland Waterways Association who already had seats set aside to ride roughshod over the issue as they did. With the three line whip of the membership to get the anointed ones elected. It should have come as no surprise that the 'independent' candidates elected were also high ranking players within the IWA.

True to form the following IWA candidates (in order of election) were elected. Ivor Henry Caplan, IWA Trustee. Ann Farrell, IWA Tea lady. Clive Henderson, IWA Trustee, ex IWA Chairman. Keith Vaughan Welch, IWA Trustee, IWA West Midlands Region Chairman, IWA Deputy National Chairman and IWA Chairman of Restoration Committee. 

Now, I and others expected to hear from the anointed 'independent' representatives. But with the notable exception of Vaughan Welch  who took a beating on the boating forums over  a diatribe he issued on continuous cruisers. The silence is deafening.

So what did Vaughan Welch say he was going to do: (trades description act, not withstanding)
  • Establish primacy for boating.
  • Prevent navigation being subsumed by other waterway interested bodies.
  • Stop the spiralling costs of boating.
  • Seek internal and external cost reductions.
  • Reduce ‘top heavy’ Management costs.
  • Establish salaries equivalent to ‘like’ charities.
  • Develop a proper dredging programme.
  • Improve vegetation management.
  • Increase provision and improve essential boaters facilities.
  • Prevent closures.
  • Seek network expansion.
  • Re-establish the Right of Navigation.
  • Establish opening hours to suit the users.
  • Compensate for long term closures.
  • Encourage residential boating.
  • Legitimize those who have chosen the waterways as their home.
  • Establish security of tenure.
  • Develop measures to enable all levels of society’s participation in traditional boating activities.
 So what did Ivor Caplan say he was going to do:
  • argue for the primacy of navigation and boating as benefiting all waterways users.
  • continue to champion the total heritage of the inland waterways.
  • make the case for responsible residential boating as a major benefit to CRT.
  • fight for the survival and regeneration of lesser used parts of the system.
  • campaign for boating activities to be made accessible and affordable for all sectors of society.
  • negotiate for maintenance including dredging to the highest possible navigable standards.

So what did Clive Henderson say he was going to do as our independent elected representative: (trades description act, not withstanding)
  • As your elected representative I will always be interested in hearing of your concerns and questions and will do my best to deal with them at the appropriate level. This I have done for many years for IWA members.
 Well at least he admitted he was representing IWA members.

So what did Anne Farrell say she was going to do as our elected representative: (trades description act, not withstanding)
  • I have been unable to discover any particular item. So maybe she will bring the fairy cakes.
I expected to see them building links with non IWA members. I expected to read information maybe a website or blog or two. Everyone has been strangely and rather ominously quiet.

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