Having been a member of the RSGB for over FIFTY years, I feel I am entitled to a small rant. I am appalled at the problems and hole we (the members of the RSGB) find ourselves in. I am of the opinion that the present board and it antecedence along with past presidents have not run the society with anything like the prudence and watchfulness that is required. It amazes me that a general manager was given carte blanche to run the society with little or no scrutiny, to dominate the board and to be allowed to hide financial irregularities for years. It is no use the board, past and present, pleading they didn’t know they should have been much more watchful. I think they should ALL resign and elections held. They all have ‘cabinet responsibility’. I would like to see a few Rottweiler types on the board to keep the RSGB in order.
I have over the years come across ‘the management’ and was not impressed by their attitude to members, especially volunteers, lack of communication and arrogance. I will not dwell on that as it is now in the past.
The RSGB has always been a bit of an old boys net and I think this has led to much of our troubles. The Regional and County reps have not passed on members’ comments and suggestions to the board and as a result of these members have not felt part of the organisation. The system seems to be an upturned triangle with members supporting the society with increasing fees, little say, opaque management and expensive schemes.
It is my opinion that the RSGB should pay much more attention to clubs, because this is where membership is from and opinions formed. Clubs should have a say
In the running of the RSGB (so long as they are affiliated), Clubs are also in a prime position to recruit new members, but need the society’s help in doing so. LEFARS has some 121 members, I think that well under a quarter of these are members of the RSGB. I know LEFARS does not push membership of the RSGB because of lack of interest by the RSGB, demoralization with the society and lack of direction of the said society.
The new regional rep has stated that one of his objectives is to give presentations on behalf of the RSGB; my contention is that he should give presentations TO the RSGB from the membership of the clubs in his fiefdom. This may go some way in keeping clubs involved, interested and active within the society. It is very apparent that over the years little has been passed on, especially about the feeling on various expensive projects that many members were opposed to.
I am in two or more minds as to the efficacy of the new proposals of the general manager. I understand that the RSGB is in dire straights or so we are told. I wonder what happened to all the money from the Potters Bar sale? Why did the Green Shed cost £230,000? Alas it is now money down the drain and in the water under the bridge. I can see a point to the new proposals, in that the RSGB must get on a surer financial footing. If the fees increase any more they will lose members, some of our club members for sure.
So perhaps we do need a new management board made up of people who can actually do the job. It is apparent the present lot can’t. IF it is for a year or so and IF the membership vote to disband or renew for a further period, assuming they are doing the job, at the end of this period and IF they remember they work for us and not the other way round, and IF there are reasonable checks and balances built in, then it may be worth a try. Remember the saying “who guards the guardians?”
The RSGB is the only representative we have. If it goes what then? It needs to represent EVERY radio amateur and EVERY radio amateur needs to join.
John G0VEH (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)