I would like to say it has been a discussion but it has really been an argument.
It began with me offering a group I belong to the opportunity to give some feedback. In another role I could take that feedback off to a meeting and, hopefully, any alterations would meet the approval of the first group. Let it also be said that I was not opposed to returning with some information. I actually offered to give some feedback.
I offered to meet two members of the group. I even suggested that I'd buy the coffee. The offer was turned down. If I was going to give feedback I was told I should present myself to the committee.
(In this context the word "suggestion" sounded more like an order.) Sorry, no. I can't get there at the time the committee meets - and even if I could it is not an appropriate way to handle the situation.
E-mails went backwards and forwards for two days. In the end I gave in and agreed I would give some feedback to the group as a whole. I am not happy about doing that for a number of reasons. It's a group where people tend not to listen. Most people in the group are not in the least bit interested in participating in the other activity. I am laying myself open to very public criticism about things over which I have no control.
Nevertheless I am going to do it. I am going to do something I would normally never do. I am going to write something and I am going to read it out. That way when someone says, as they are bound to do, "but you said..." or "Cat told us..." I will be able to point to exactly what I said.
I know it won't be popular and I know, unless I am very careful, it could backfire on me too. But, I have been following the progress of a couple of political spats and it seems to me that exact written records can be a good thing...and not just in Hansard.
It seems to me that it is quite likely the previous Prime Minister didn't know something. There was no reason for him to be told. If he was told then would it have been anything more than a passing remark? It's made no difference of course. Assumptions have been made and there is the suggestion that he should have known anyway.
But the senior most member of a certain Commission most certainly would have known and would not have forgotten what she said. It is her business to remember such things and it is not the first time she has been caught out. Unfortunately for her there was a written record this time. She can be heard saying what she claims not to have said because there is an actual recording.
There won't be an aural record of what I say but there will be a written one. I'll try and keep it short - and to the point. I'll try to make it as clear as possible.
And I am going to - politely - say just a little more than the person making the demand has bargained on. I won't scratch but I will growl - just a little.