William Metcalfe wrote:People are very fast to snipe from the sidelines they are a lot slower to get of there backsides and get involved.When a prominent figure in Cleveland chess was being economical with the facts i got involved i took over a job nobody else was doing,then got myself elected,then got the evidence that got rid of the prominent figure.
That was much more satisfying than sniping from the sidelines Paul
Maybe I should let this go, rather than let it derail the chances of Alex replying to a substantive point I was trying to make. I'm not going to though, probably mostly because it is difficult to ignore an insult. But partly because it does raise issues I want to discuss, even if they are not the main point of this thread.
I say insult, because I think that was the intent. I looked up sniping in case I was being over sensitive, but the relevant definition is 3. To make malicious, underhand remarks or attacks.
which, if anything, is worse than I thought. Get off you backside implies laziness. It hardly seems possible William thinks I am qualified to run the British. The whole intent seems mocking.
In so far as there is content beyond the insult, I think there is an implication that because I am only minimally involved in organising chess competitions, I have no right to criticise those that are. But apart from being a member of this forum, and a member of the ECF, I am also qualified to play in next years British. I think I can claim that I have a personal stake in the matter being discussed.
Perhaps there is also an implication I'm not being constructive. I suppose this goes to the existential question:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:We can discuss all we like here, but what effect will it have? I'm not entirely comfortable with the implicit assumptions in some of these threads that this forum can be a place where solutions are proposed, discussed and then presented as a fait accompli. Aren't people elected to the ECF Board and appointed to do this sort of thing?
I accept that this is just a forum, whose point is to allow people to discuss things. But I think there is reason to believe that what is discussed here is opinion forming in the ECF Board and Council. I'll admit I enjoy the discussion for its own sake, but I probably wouldn't bother if I knew no-one would read it.
So constructive. How? If William had used the word "moaning" instead of â€œsnipingâ€, I'd still have been unhappy because I think criticism has a point. My overarching point in these related discussions is that the ECF is an under-performing organisation due to problems with its culture. Iâ€™m trying to persuade Alex that his actions are contributing to a negative culture.
I am also telling a wider audience that I think Alex is wrong about some things, in case I cannot persuade him. I suppose this might have made William think that I am making a personal attack on someone he thinks highly of, and therefore a personal attack on me is justified. Justin does seem to have this view, since he expressed shock when I used the phrase "playing the man not the ballâ€
. Perhaps. To my mind my criticism of Alex is only related to things I think relevant to the subject we are discussing. I donâ€™t think Williamâ€™s comments about me were particularly relevant to the discussion.
Still I'm not so thin skinned that I feel the need to disengage from the discussion. Justin generally treats my opinions with a refreshing forthrightness. But I continue to discuss things with him because he does address the issues I am interested in. I don't think William has. All his posts in this thread have been either supporting people or criticising people, which is less interesting to me than discussion of the issues.
That said maybe William was trying to make the point, that even if Alex has faults, they are inconsequential when weighed against his volunteer work, and more people should do the same. You do hear this opinion a lot from organisers. More money and more volunteers, and it will all be fine. I think it is wrong though. If the culture of an organisation is wrong, you are throwing good money and good volunteers after bad. The ECF has a six figure income and hundreds of volunteers. Increasing either by 10% isnâ€™t going to make a huge difference unless the organisation becomes more professional.
Arrogant as it may be to criticise a job someone else is doing, my professional opinions on change management and organisational design are more expensive than the ECF could afford. Everyone is free to ignore them, but I am secure enough that they have value anyway. Iâ€™m also secure enough in my value to society, not to feel the n eed to justify myself if someone criticises my character on the basis of my lack of participation in chess organisation. Besides, Iâ€™ve already spent ages on this post, when I have some work to do for a charity this evening...