Tuesday, 13 March 2012

And the winners are...

... well, it's not independent boaters, that's for sure.

Results here (and candidate info still here).

So, we have 2 1/2 IWA people and one RBOA, I think it's fair to say?

A cynic would suggest it's a neat stitchup by someone in an upper floor office; by denying the IWA and RBOA seats on the council by default (list of 'nominated respresentatives' also here - WRG seems to be the only big directly canal association allowed to play), the IWA get an even bigger voice on the council, RBOA get their say (and so they should) and 'private boaters' get eff all. Diddly squat. As we expected, then.

I should make it clear I have nothing against the IWA, RBOA or anyone else. It's this travesty of 'representation'. Perhaps it was never going to work. It'll be like the NHS, about to be ripped apart by people with accounts at Harley St. In a couple of years, when we look back at when we didn't have to pay for a broken arm to be treated - or our licences weren't doubled overnight, say - they'll tell us we chose this, that we were complicit.

Actually, I'm far angrier about what they're doing to the NHS - that affects far, far more people in a much more important way. But it's all the same. We're f*cked.

Edit: see also Peter Underwood's post on the results suggesting all four represent the IWA. What's the point? I genuinely don't understand why they did this.


Neil Corbett said...

Hmmm. Although I voted for the independents, the aims and views of those who did win didn't seem objectionable to me, and some had good credentials regarding voluntary activity so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and see how they behave. I don't really understand the antipathy towards the IWA, although I'm not a member myself. Just because they are a largish organisation it doesn't have to mean that they are bad. perhaps I'm out of the loop or just naiive, but someone needs to explain to me why IWA is so reviled.


Simon said...

the post isn't actually anti IWA at all, other than the fact that they offered more than one 'official' candidate; I actually think they should have been represented in the 'nominated representative' part of the council, and should have had a seat by right. One seat, and no more. The IWA have a strong, historical as well as current place in modern UK canal life, and do indeed represent directly or indirectly many boaters - but also, I and many others feel, have a cosy weekender image that doesn't cover everyone.

They way it was set up - or at least ended up - that independent boaters - Alan Fincher, say, as well as what might be be called the less shiny end of boating - have no representation at all. It's as if one party in parliament won an overall majority, but then the opposition have no voice at all. If it was intended to have a voice of all sections of boaters, it failed. If it was intended to exclude minorities of any sort, it succeeded.

We can will indeed see what happens; we won't have much choice ;-(

Neil Corbett said...


I take your point, but see it from another angle. Now it's up to everyone to ensure that the elected reps take account of minority needs and views. The reps should be made clear that they are being held to account by the electorate.

Personally I decided I wouldn't vote for any candidate that represented a specific minority group because I feared that the reps would end up arguing amongst themselves and nothing would get done for anyone. In fact from what I heard about the boaters agenda /manifesto meetings, that's exactly what occurred and a debacle ensued.

My close experience of working with political committees has taught me to be wary of single issue candidates ;-)

For the record, I had Alan Fincher as my No 1.

PS must catch up for a pint. It's been too long.

Alan Fincher said...

I think the simple problem is that true "independents" like me were always going to struggle to get the numbers of votes required to overcome the clout of a very large membership organisation the IWA putting forward as many candidates as places, (well more candidates than places, as it turned out!). However I don't think it was completely impossible!
With the best will in the world it is hard to spread your message and convert enough people to your case, so I'm immensely pleased that people like Neil were prepared to place me as a number 1. In fact I was well pleased with 332 first preference votes - that reflects far more people than will have met me personally, and says a lot about people being prepared to commend me to others and/or the power of the internet.
With hindsight it could have been possible for an independent to take a seat. I easily out-polled two of the IWA trustees, the NABO nomination, and the man from the AWCC, (which if I'm honest surprised me!). A chap called Rob Dean, who looked a good choice to me, came very close to taking the 4th seat.
I would very much have liked to succeed at this, but it was not to be, (this time at least!). I would urge people for the future to not be convinced the result is going to be a forgone conclusion - I don't believe it has to be!