Thursday, May 24, 2007

The 2007 AGM season is over.

Like Christmas the 'AGM season' seems to arrive sooner and last longer every year.

As PPC I have to try and attend an extraordinary number of Annual General Meetings - there are half a dozen local ward Associations, seven Conservative Clubs, a couple of non political associations I am involved with and finally, our Conservative Association AGM that occurred last night, and I try and get to as many as possible.

These AGM's always seem to remind one of a glorious past; our great civic forbears set up these pillars of due process in Victorian times to protect donors and ensure 'fair play'. I cannot help but marvel at the determination of some people to ensure every letter of due process is followed. From 'apologies for absence' right the way though to 'any other business' each and every AGM follows the same format under the hawkish eye of sternly critical committee members.

I do wonder about the need for this when in some cases the bodies concerned can consist of little more than the committee members themselves (not St Marychurch ward committee pictured, they are a successful group doing well.) This leads to the charade of having to 'elect' officers when in nearly every case there aren't any new volunteers and the same people are perenially re-elected without the need for a vote, in a process that is unnervingly reminiscent of a kind of 1950's Communist era.

Last night we racked through the official stuff in a few minutes and then spent half an hour discussing politics - much more fun.

All credit then to Chairman John Cowie for making the evening enjoyable, and relevant, and above all for thinking about his members first.


Anonymous said...

Why couldn't you have been a bit more honest and put a picture up of the committees with no real members, as you describe! And why do you have to add a couple of crawly "oh not you St Marychurch" and "Thank you so much John Cowie" lines when the subtext of your blog is that it's all a colossal waste of time?

C'mon be honest it's just jobs for the blue rinse brigade.

David said...

I think these people you mock Marcus are the backbone of the party. How dare you.

Harold Wishbourne said...

I have served as a committee member for 23 years and sometimes even I wonder why we do it! Well said.

Barrie Wood said...

To disparage the 'voluntary party' - the people who will deliver your leaflets, write letters to the local press, canvass for you et al is rather haughty of you Marcus.

Still if you want to go around upsetting your grassroots supporters who am I to stop you ?!

Marcus Wood said...

Nice try, Barry, David, but I am not doing anyone down, least of all the committees.

If committee members are merely following the rules how can that be wrong?

But have a heart - they do get a bit tedious by the time I am attending the tenth or eleventh AGM in a couple of months as happened last night!

Ted McBride said...

Great point, yes, how many hours good campaigning time is wasted on pointless committee meetings?

Must drive you nuts.

The bain of all parties, though. I used to be a member of a Labour group (not in your patch I hasten to add) and I got so furstrated with it all.

What on earth has it all to do with politics?