No news is bad news

Discussions regarding the 70,000 Free Chess Sets for Schools in England.
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andrew martin

No news is bad news

Post by andrew martin » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:35 am

I am away in Vietnam as one of the coaches at the World Youth Chess Championship. I understand that I have been appointed Director of Chess for Schools . Therefore, I will be seeking immediate clarification from Holloid Plastics on my return as to the status of the Chess Sets for Schools project, which is a huge part of this new Directorship.

In my opinion and I don't think I am alone, I think it is damaging to the ECF that this whole business drags on without any clear idea of what is going to happen and when. I for one am not going to get caught in a colossal time-wasting project which may or may not be realised.

Like every other single person I have spoken to, I consider this project extremely important. However, in view of the earlier publicity( mistaken, given that nothing has happened) , progress has to be made on several fronts.

We thank Holloid Plastics sincerely, but I will want to know:


a) When exactly the sets will start being produced ?

b) In what quantity ?

If no progress can be made for whatever reason, whether an alternative way of producing the sets can be found.



If there is movement, I will then be consulting the project manager to find out when and how we are going to distribute the said sets. Once again, if no progress has been forthcoming as to haulage and distribution, I will be seeking help from all ECF Officials, junior organisers and interested teachers and coaches up and down the country to get these sets delivered to the people who really matter, the children.

If there is no movement, with a heavy heart,I will have to take the only logical course of action available, to scrap the Chess Sets for Schools Project.


The ECF has already put an enormous amount of time and money preparing to get these sets out. I am not happy that anyone should spend a single extra man-hour from now on until the questions above are answered. Once the sets start rolling, I will look forward to your support,because I know how much you all want this project to work.



Andrew

Paul Buswell
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Paul Buswell » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:53 am

Andrew:

I suggest that it would be wise for you to be silent on this topic until you have met Holloid Plastics and can report from knowledge rather than from speculation. Your post, after the first paragraph, seemed to be rather shooting from the hip. If I were the incoming boss at Holloid Plastics I would regard it as rather unfortunate in tone if - as I trust - the project is still on course from my point of view and, as the new guy, I just needed to get up to speed (with the rest of my job too) and then to meet with ECF to agree next actions. Very early meeting yes, but wait for the facts.

regards

Paul Buswell

andrew martin

Re: No news is bad news

Post by andrew martin » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:15 am

Paul,

What on earth makes you think I am not in full possession of the facts ?

Andrew

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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Scott Freeman » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:50 am

Several people have expressed similar concerns to me as Andrew's and I don't think anyone is unsympathetic to the concerns. I just want to encourage everyone to stay positive. Yes, there will be frustration whilst the sets are not physically in possession of the schools who ordered them thinking they would get them quickly, but the job is so big that it will take time. It is not just a case of making the sets. They have to be made, transported, stored, distrbuted to local storage areas and then distributed locally. Complicated and potentially expensive.

I have spoken to Charles Wood many times and I know what he is trying to achieve for chess. If more people with his drive, infectious enthusiasm and ideas were on the chess scene, we wouldn't have half of the problems we have. The British way is to get negative about things we don't understand or are not directly involved with, etc, but let's for a change be positive behind a brilliant opportunity, albeit that the delay after the initial publicity is not what anyone of us would have wanted.

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Re: No news is bad news

Post by David Robertson » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:15 pm

Scott, I'm sorry to be blunt, but you are being naive - very naive.

No news is not merely bad news: the news we do have is even worse. Either you believe every word you're told; or you read between the lines. When I apply the same analysis to the statements on the C4S project from Holloid, Charles W Wood and the ECF Board as I do to statements from companies I might invest in, I dump the whole lot like a radioactive rodent. These statements are full of benign blather about the future, but not a shred of credible evidence that anything is happening.

And of course, there are the excuses, the promise of good times ahead, but always requests for patience. Wise investors head for the hills at this point, cutting their losses where they can, because they know where everything is leading. But the gullible, the clueless, cling to the hope that what they are being told is true. Scepticism is 'negative'; keepng faith is 'positive'. And that way, in investment, suckers lose their shirt. The same applies here. The entire ECF Board is utterly clueless. Just wait and see.

In sum, C4S is currently dead in the water, a dead parrot, fell off its perch, deceased, an ex-parrot. Holloid won't deliver because Holloid can't deliver. There will be no 250,000 chess sets from Holloid. Does that make Holloid a bad company? Probably not; it probably intended to do something at one stage. It probably misjudged the competence and capability of ECF - not hard when you think about it. You'd need to scour the planet before finding an organisation equally as bereft of competence as ECF; it can do nothing in a business-like manner. And now of course, we have harsh trading conditions. Holloid will hardly place 250,000 chess sets ahead of its solvency.

What now? Well, the ECF Board has messed up big style. So expect the Board to start blaming everyone and everything except itself. Blame this Forum - they've started that. Blame individuals - let the scapegoating begin. Blame me - ha ha, I'm well-prepared for that. Guys losing money in the dot-com bubble would blame me for bursting the b*llsh*t in companies' statements. As if I could move markets :lol:

All we need, Scott, is a little less happy-clappy 'positives', and a ton more nitty-gritty 'realism'. That way, we get to keep our shirts. But alas, some people carry on 'believing' until they stand naked in the gale - an image I simply cannot bring myself to apply to the ECF Board without feeling nauseous :)

David
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:25 pm

David Robertson wrote:In sum, C4S is currently dead in the water, a dead parrot, fell off its perch, deceased, an ex-parrot. Holloid won't deliver because Holloid can't deliver. There will be no 250,000 chess sets from Holloid. Does that make Holloid a bad company? Probably not; it probably intended to do something at one stage. It probably misjudged the competence and capability of ECF - not hard when you think about it.
So let me see. Holloid don't provide the sets that they said they were going to provide - and that's not Holloid's fault, that's the ECF's.

Now the ECF may have (and does have) all sorts of failings, but your agenda is clearly to make them not only responsible for all things that go wrong, but to absolve anybody else from any responsibility.

Everybody can see that, Professor. Everybody can see that you are less interested in the facts that in finding a stick to beat the ECF with.

When you always come up with the same answer, regardless of the question, it's because you've decided what the answer is before you've heard the question. And there are words for that sort of approach.
"Do you play chess?"
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by David Robertson » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:47 pm

What histrionic twaddle from a lazy mind

The ECF Board is manifestly culpable of promising, via Charles W Wood's lengthy comments and others, to deliver 250,000 chess sets. It informed MPs, schools and others to prepare themselves for imminent delivery. ECF officers were inviting themselves into negotiation with LEAs on various complex matters. I could go on, and probably will, in due course.

Holloid, for its part, is culpable in business terms of entering into a partnership with ECF without undertaking due diligence. It is also guilty of over-promising and under-delivering. Both parties are guilty of appalling project management.

The difference between the ECF Board and Holloid is that I'm a member of the ECF, and therefore have an interest and responsibility to hold it to account. You on the other hand seem to have spent too long in left fascist organisations to recall what membership accountability might involve.
Last edited by David Robertson on Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Angus French » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:47 pm

Gosh, Andrew.

You don't need to report, now, on this Forum. Go and see Holloid Plastics. Assess the position with them and look for positive outcomes. And remember that Holloid are a potential benefactor (a very big one)!

Angus French

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JustinHorton
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:50 pm

David Robertson wrote: You on the other hand seem to have spent too long in left fascist organisations to recall what membership accountability might involve.
Could you talk us through this, please? I'm keen to know precisely what you mean. Do be as specific as possible, please, I think the terms you use are strong enough to make that a reasonable request.

I'll deal with the rest of your posting on receipt of a satisfactory reply.
"Do you play chess?"
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Ian Kingston » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:07 pm

Is there any chance that this thread will avoid degenerating into a series of personal attacks? There's a pretty big issue at stake, and maybe - just maybe - some calm consideration of the facts would help.

Of course, when facts are thin on the ground, speculation tends to run riot. A statement explaining the exact current state of the project would help.

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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Paul Buswell » Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:59 pm

andrew martin wrote:Paul,

What on earth makes you think I am not in full possession of the facts ?

Andrew
Andrew:

No idea whether you actually are or are not. But as your post said that you would be seeking immediate clarification from Holloid Plastics I think a reasonable reader would assume that you are not, and in those circumstances it behoves you to keep your tone very neutral until you have got that clarification.

PB

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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Administrator » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:04 pm

Ian Kingston wrote:Is there any chance that this thread will avoid degenerating into a series of personal attacks? There's a pretty big issue at stake, and maybe - just maybe - some calm consideration of the facts would help.

Of course, when facts are thin on the ground, speculation tends to run riot. A statement explaining the exact current state of the project would help.
To back this up please keep to the "facts" as any sign of getting personal by anyone will be not be accepted
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

andrew martin

Re: No news is bad news

Post by andrew martin » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:06 am

I regret to announce the resignation of Charles W Wood from the Chess Sets for Schools project.

I would like to thank him for all his effort and enthusiam on behalf of the project and wish him personally and the Renaissance Academy, all the best for the future.

Andrew

David Robertson
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by David Robertson » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:45 am

I feel a song coming on. Join in if you like :)

http://www.lyricstime.com/tony-bennet-p ... yrics.html

David
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Paul Stimpson » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:08 am

If there is no movement, with a heavy heart,I will have to take the only logical course of action available, to scrap the Chess Sets for Schools Project.
This can't be a viable option can it? The damage this will cause will be immeasurable!

If Holloid can't deliver on the 250,000 then other avenues will need to be explored such as perhaps a lesser amount with ECF making up the shortfull. If the ECF can deliver a really good package to the Schools at a reasonable cost perhaps this can self finance the rest of the sets, anything really other than walking away.

Have the meeting with Holloid, report back and tell it like it is and we will all try our best to make this work.

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