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The Administrator has put the stand-alone manifestos to the top of the list, which is useful.

There are some, including mine, buried within this thread. Is it possible for him to "exhume" them and put them together somewhere more prominent?

As the oldest candidate (by quite a long way) I'm very pleased to see younger people coming forward. I think the last time we had so many young people interested in running things was the 1960s, but I suppose most of you don't remember that.
David G Congalton Wrote:
Jacqui Thomas Wrote:the question is more like when? which was just over a year ago.


What was the cause?

If it was just over a year ago, this would mean the catalyst for the whole aftermath was prior to last year's AGM and way before anything else that may be being debated.

I do appreciate though that perhaps your assessment of when things went wrong may not be completely accurate but I think it would be helpful to have a starting point. If other issues have occurred as a result of the initial cause then they will continue to occur until the primary concern is addressed.

Kind Regards


David, I am just guessing but I think the 2012 AGM and the election of office bearers is the event Jacqui is referring to.
Ken_Stewart Wrote:There are some, including mine, buried within this thread. Is it possible for him to "exhume" them and put them together somewhere more prominent?

Might as well use my moderator powers for good occasionally. That's that done. Let me know if I've missed any.
Further, I've changed the names of the topics (manifestos) so that they all begin with "Manifesto..." in order to make them more obvious to those who want to read them. 8)
I tend to take the view of some of the comments on this forum that there is no reason why these motions should not be published. Just because there is an attempt to rule them out of order at the AGM doesn't in my view prevent them from being discussed here. I believe it is important that they are discussed so that members can see why I feel the need to challenge the decision to rule them out of order. Otherwise I am asking members of Chess Scotland to vote to overturn a decision on the competence of these motions to be heard without them knowing what they are voting for. I have included a statement which explains the need for these motions to be debated.

I stated earlier on this thread that I would only wait so long for a reply to my request for an explanation as to what regulations were used to rule the motions out of order. As I have not had the courtesy of a reply I will now post the motions.

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1. The name of the CS official who was involved  in this incident shall be made public.
2. The Standards Committee shall investigate how much alcohol had been consumed by the CS official at the time.
Proposer : Robert Montgomery
Seconder: Andrew Muir

The following is a statement in support of the two motions moved by Robert Montgomery and Andy Muir motions which have been omitted from the agenda for the Chess Scotland AGM.

I do not know The individual concerned personally nor should it be necessary for me to know him personally to believe that he should be named as the person that Chess Scotland suspended. I have not attacked anyone personally on the noticeboard nor will I do so here. However, that does not mean I will not be critical of the role that some people have played in this whole sorry episode and I fully expect that there are those who will not enjoy having the spotlight shone on their activities or lack of activity. As we have not been able to put forward our arguments on the website it has allowed them to be presented to the wider chess audience as a spat between the usual suspects. However, it is the issues that I want to concentrate on and to show it is far from that however much it may suit some people to have it presented as such.

If Chess Scotland is the democratic organisation it represents itself to be then it will be big enough to allow this debate to go forward both here and at the AGM and to deal with the criticism in an open and honest way or it can hide behind the veil of censorship which is currently operating in the organisation. I have asked for an explanation for the blocking of the motions and none has been forth coming I am still waiting for a satisfactory answer. I informed Andy Howie that I was not prepared to wait until the AGM to hear a statement from Hamish and so I will post the motions and an explanation why I believe they are necessary.

Personally I had no problem with the noticeboard placing an embargo on the subject of the incident once it had gone to the Standards Committee. However, to continue that embargo once the decision has been made and the appeal has been heard is a poor decision. The statement on the website while it is accurate is not the whole story yes a member had their PVG cleared coach status suspended. However, that was not the initial decision of the Standards Committee. The initial decision was to strengthen the hand of the delegation leader abroad hence the additional clause on the Child Protection policy which appeared on the website as an update without stating why it was required. Basically the delegation leaders word would have become law but doesn't mention what to do when the leader may be under the influence of alcohol. At this stage no suspension was handed out and it was only when the parent complained and this was treated as an appeal was the decision to suspend the individual reached.

When the original complaint was made the perpetrator was interviewed as were some of the parents who were present. At no time was the victim or the parent of the victim who was present during the incident asked to comment directly to the Standards Committee. The information from the victims came from the Lead Signatory and I believe the President of Chess Scotland as the incident had been reported to them. I believe that there are members of the Standards Committee who to this day believe that this was all they had to do in relation to the victims in this event and no direct contact was necessary. I consider this to be a mistake if for no other reason than by not interviewing the victims they feel they have been excluded from the process and this can lead to frustration and anger over feelings of not being listened to or taken seriously. Especially as the original decision can be seen as a criticism of the victims and yes I view both parent and junior member as victims.

Let us be clear the offence has been admitted it did happen a junior member was manhandled and it is accepted that the suspended individual had been drinking. There is no excuse for his behaviour, he may have issues with the parent but this is no excuse and to reward his behaviour by strengthening the role of the head of delegation is an appalling decision and sends out completely the wrong signal.

The motions I want discussed at the AGM and I am not accepting that they have been ruled out of order as I intend to challenge these rulings both before and during the AGM if necessary. Are to clarify how much alcohol played a role in this incident as it could have a baring on the instructions we as an organisation give to adults participating on Chess Scotland delegations at international events.

The first motion to name the person is necessary for several reasons first of all it is a protection to Chess Scotland as an organisation. While it can be argued that most of us know the identity of the person who was suspended this is not necessarily the case and it should not be a reason for not naming him. If a parent or guardian knows officially that this person has been suspended under PVG guidelines and they are happy to let him work with their children then they have made an informed choice. If they are not aware or can even claim not to be aware of his suspension then Chess Scotland has left itself wide open for legal action to be taken against it if another incident occurs in the future. Secondly it protects the individual as parents/guardians can avoid contacting him knowing he has been suspended and in this way reduce the risk of another incident by keeping him away from junior members. Thirdly it protects junior members as parents/guardians and coaches will know that he shouldn't be contacting them. Fourthly The argument has been put to me that identifying the individual could lead to the junior member being identified. Both the parent and junior member are aware of this and prepared for it, they both still want the individual named. Fifthly It defends the reputation of the two other Chess Scotland officials present in Slovenia at the time. Anonymity here creates a short list of three suspects at the expense of two innocent parties.

Perhaps at least partly due to the way the initial investigation was handled I believe that this individual sees the sanction as little more than an inconvenience. There are some people who believe that he will not hold an official position in Chess Scotland nor have his suspension removed in the near future they may be correct. However, I do not share their confidence. Since the suspension this person has continued to show himself to be involved in junior chess he was contacting parents and juniors about participating in Congresses he contacted Michael Hanley for the names of junior members from Hamilton to pass on to the IJD when he should simply have advised the IJD to contact Michael Hanley himself. He is able to discuss the make up of junior teams to a level far beyond any information he should by privy to. He knows the composition of the teams why, certain players are playing in particular age groups and what there reaction is to being moved into a different age group he knows why certain players are not available and their whereabouts. How does he know this, has he been told by others if so what action has Chess Scotland taken in advising those people involved in the junior scene about speaking to him about team selection issues. He gives every indication of someone who is very much involved in junior chess all be it behind the scenes and most certainly not someone who believes that he will not hold office again in junior chess in the short term. I fully expect that he believes his PVG status will be updated and he will be back on the list of coaches in September. I will seek to prevent this if at all possible or at the very least make sure that as many people as possible know that his status was removed, why it was removed and his conduct since it was removed. I will make it clear here that I do not believe that David Congalton is responsible for informing this person about junior selection. However, as an organisation we should be concerned how this person can be so well informed while suspended.

Has this person been defended by Chess Scotland officials? Yes he has, like it or not by refusing to allow discussion on this issue Chess Scotland officials are defending him. They are allowing him to hide behind a cloak of anonymity which has allowed those of us who want him named to be seen as the usual suspects which is how this topic is being played out on the ECF website. While we are prevented from discussing this individual on the noticeboard or at the AGM the PVG status of Phil Thomas is seen as fair game and there has been no sudden rush to block comments about his PVG status quite a contrast but then Phil is seen as a trouble maker by some and is therefore fair game. It appears this discussion has led to Phil's removal from the list of ECF arbiters – he is part way through investigating this with his English contacts. Since ECF published rules require 35 days notice before removal of an arbiter from the list it is distinctly possible that the ECF were led to believe that Phil Thomas was the individual involved in the assault – especially when the Vice Chair of the Standards Committee is querying his PVG status and warning about “future embarrassment”.

The President Hamish Glen and at least some members of the Standards Committee believe that we have done all we can as an organisation and Chess Scotland cannot stop this individual from being involved in chess or contacting friends by email. This raises a few issues firstly we have not said he cannot have an interest or participate in chess. Yes he can be involved in adult events and he can post good luck messages to junior teams but he shouldn't be involved anywhere near junior events or junior members and he most certainly should not be contacting anyone about junior availability for internationals nor to play in any Congress. Perhaps what we need to do here is to send this back to the Standards Committee as we should be looking to see if the action we took as an organisation in suspending him should be increased to include informing Child Protection they were not informed as his initial offence was seen as a very minor one and he is certainly close to if not in fact breaking the suspension. Secondly I quite agree that we cannot stop him conversing with friends but we should make it clear to others what their responsibilities are when divulging information to someone who has been suspended.

Thirdly and perhaps most importantly if we can do nothing other than suspend him and watch as he works away under the radar why bother with the suspension was it just to placate an angry parent?
So in relation to the questions I raised above about what have Chess Scotland officials done about the conduct of this individual while suspended? The answer, absolutely nothing.

 There is no good reason for protecting this person's anonymity there is no Data Protection issue, no defamatory statement if he is named as the individual involved. The longer this issue goes on the more damage will be done to Chess Scotland's reputation, is this individual really worth this level of protection. The loser in this is Chess Scotland especially if this incident is kept under wraps. We are not going to go away, and while others may claim that this matter is closed it is far from closed. If this is not dealt with openly it will fester and cause even more problems, it is necessary to take steps to ensure that this is resolved and resolved now. If I am prevented from raising this through the AGM there are other avenues and I will take them. As someone who has a background in junior chess I am not prepared to remain silent on this issue I view it as far too important. I would hate to think that this issue would have a negative impact on Chess Scotland especially as we are looking forward to running the Commonwealth Championship next year. If this person has the level of interest that he claims to have in the well being of Chess Scotland he will not stand in the way of his name being published and he will take himself away from junior chess from now on. I won't be holding my breath.

It is somewhat ironic that more effort has been put into ensuring that those of us who want to raise this issue are subject to greater scrutiny on the website and prevented from raising this issue than someone who's PVG cleared coach status has been suspended. He works away unmonitored while we are subjected to scrutiny and ignored when we ask for clarification on rules used to gag us. Perhaps if there was as much diligence on this individual's activity as there has been on us we would not be having this discussion.

In closing I would say this, my opening remarks stated that I would keep personalities out of this but warned some people aren't going to like what I have to say, I believe I have fulfilled that obligation. I do not believe that this is about name and shame it is about name and protect my reasons for wanting this individual named are to protect all of us not as a vindictive statement. Hopefully this statement will explain why we want these two motions debated and answers your questions and explains why we are putting forward these motions at the AGM.

The end result of this sorry mess is that the junior member has given up playing all together. The parent who gave up time to work voluntarily with Chess Scotland wants nothing to do with the leadership of Chess Scotland and won't work with them again and we have lost a director.

Before I agreed to move these motions I had several lengthy discussions with the parent both face to face and by email making sure that this was the course of action that they wanted to take and they were aware of the consequences. I was left in no doubt that this is the case. I did warn them at the time that the motion would be blocked as Chess Scotland does not want this matter discussed, sadly I was proven correct. I am quite happy to declare that I can be seen as having a vested interest in this as the victims are part of my club Hamilton. I would like to think that my actions would be the same if the victims were from any other club. Hopefully others involved can say the same thing whether friends of the suspended individual or not.
What purpose would be served by a public debate of the incident?

The vast majority of those that would be involved in it would have no first hand knowledge of the incident and would most likely be basing their comments on a partial set of 'facts' that they have been told by others and simply would not be qualified to speak.

Are you really suggesting a public lynching?

We must surely be able to trust the independence and competency of the SC and if there is real evidence to indicate that we can not - or at least not in this case - then I would agree that some mechanism to have it considered and action taken.

If you want an independent and unbiased SC you can not have the AGM - or an office bearer - instructing it what to investigate.
I give up. My only hope remains that you are all able to sort out all your personal differences before I have kids my self and decide if I want to bring them to chess tournaments. And I hope the next generation of helpers: the macqueens, edwards, brechins and machargs are able to block out this kind of nonsense.

Good luck!
Quote:If you want an independent and unbiased SC you can not have the AGM - or an office bearer - instructing it what to investigate.

I don't see the problem with the AGM/council/an office bearer having some form of this power, so long as they don't have the power to instruct the SC NOT to investigate something.

Robert M's post does raise concerns regarding the suspended individual - and if this matter isn't going to just disappear (unlikely by the sound of things) then CS as an organisation is going to have to deal with it somehow. Referring it back to the SC for a review might be an option they can't ignore?! We certainly shouldn't be starting a new season with new faces involved in CS directorships with this mess unresolved Sad

# I confess I have no idea what the constitution of CS allows it to do in this respect - but as there has been no official response as to why the motions were blocked, neither I suspect does anyone else?
This just looks like an attempt to lynch a particular individual despite the Chess Scotland incident process being complete.

The incident was sent to the Standards committee who made their decision. This was then appealed and the appeals committee made their decision. As far as the whole process goes that is this issue finished. This was the process at the time of the incident, draw a line in the sand and move on.

If you do not like the process of how Chess Scotland manage incidents and feel so strongly about it then you should spend this time instead looking at ways to improve the process.
Andy B.,
I guess my fear is that if the AGM (or directors) can refer matters back to SC then it could be used to put pressure on the SC to come to a particular decision or to, in some way, harass people by having instances re-investigated.

If there were a mechanism in place to carefully define what can be referred to the SC and on what grounds then it might be an option to consider.
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