Thursday, 28 February 2013

I had two most extraordinary

e-mails yesterday. Let me explain.
Last week I had a conversation with someone in which it was explained to me that we needed an attendance sheet to be filled in or we were in danger of losing the space for the knitting group at the library. The attendance sheet has appeared on occasions and we have dutifully added our names. My own feeling is that it should be sufficient for the library and the local council to know how many people were there but they insist on knowing who was there. (As anyone can wander in and out of the library and you could sign on under any name you please this seems more than a little strange to me and the other members of the group.) 
I know that there are members of the council and one or two library staff who feel the knitting group has nothing to do with the library and they would prefer it did not meet there. We have usually managed to overcome any objections and most of the library staff have been very supportive. I have tried to support them in turn.
I assumed I was being given the information about the attendance sheet for a reason. The staff member who told me about it actually asked me to "let the others know". 
I also thought it would be a good idea if people knew why the attendance sheet was important so I put up a personal note on the relevant local internet site. Anyone is free to post there, so long as they join the group.
What I said was not controversial. It was merely an explanation. I in no way suggested that the information was coming from the library or the council. I just suggested that, if we wished to retain the group then people would need to come. 
Naughty me! Yesterday I had an e-mail from the library asking me to take the message down - because it had not been approved and did not fit their format.
Then there was another e-mail from a different group. It was a long e-mail. There were four attachments. There were all sorts of explanations and references and backtracking. I have put it aside to try and sort out later. I suppose I will have to sort it out at least in my own mind. These are proposed changes to an already unnecessarily complex "constitution". It is already an over-long document in which they are trying to cover any possible eventuality. The excuse for the many changes is that the law is changing and that, if they wish to make changes in the future, then it will cost them something to register the changes. They need to do it now an get it right.
I know they will never get it "right". There will always be someone who will argue. The more complex a document becomes then the more it will be possible to argue about it and to find different ways of interpreting something.
I have legal training. I know there need to be rules. I also know that there are people who delight in working with such details. They live and breathe this form of "constitutional law". It is their bread and butter. It makes them feel important and they feel it allows them to dictate to others. 
I suspect these are the same people who argued over rules in the schoolyard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought you had been asked to let the others know? Ros