View Full Version : Student Brewer - Bye-bye CAMRA

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03-01-2012, 08:10
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Well my eyes have well and truly been opened recently.

There's been a few things going on over on the CAMRA forums, that I've decided to keep out of and not get involved in, but one particular discussion I've been following with interest has been regarding the AGMs.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7ZQX43AeWQI/TwImcLYGxUI/AAAAAAAACGA/f8wT2juRWbA/s320/FlowChart.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7ZQX43AeWQI/TwImcLYGxUI/AAAAAAAACGA/f8wT2juRWbA/s1600/FlowChart.jpg)

The process to submit a motion

I haven't been to one, read about one or chatted to anyone about one, so I have no idea what goes on. From what I can gather from What's Boring, it seems that after a complex procedure to submit a motion, nothing much happens. This, to be fair, could because the communication from HQ is poor. One of the points made in the fit for purpose review.

Back to the forum, what did interest me was the suggestion that the AGM could be recorded, or even better involve web-conferencing. This would be ideal for me, as I don't have the time or money to travel to any AGM (I doubt I'll be able to make any more GBBFs for that matter as well).

The chairman, Colin Valentine, graced the forum with his presence and had the following response to this suggestion:

{extract}Anyway, back to the thread. Personally, I am totally against webconferencing although, as I said to conference in Sheffield, it is conference's decision and the only way to influence conference is to actually go there.
Just because someone is pathetic or dishonest enough to record parts of my address to conference (see you tube, search my name and join the other 845 views, 6 comments who watched 2 minutes 47 seconds of my (almost interminable) 16 minute speech) does not mean that we should record it and post it on the website.

Now this grabbed by goat - I've read it back a few times and mulled over it for a couple of hours and still stand by my interpretation:

I'm not allowed to influence conference, specifically regarding access to it, because I can't make it to conference.

It's the final straw for CAMRA and I, so I'll be trying to get a refund on the remainder of my membership fee. The NE appear to be stuck in their own world, full of hypocrisy (during his speech Colin refers to the 'blogerati' in a derogatory way, yet admits in his speech he only reads Tandleman's) and poor communication. In this day and age, with blogs, tweets, emails, websites etc, there is no excuse for poor communication.

In the example above, be against web conferencing by all means, but at least have the decency to explain why!

In my view this further demonstrates that CAMRA is stuck in it's ways and the NE won't change. As I still feel with trade bodies, organisations that claim to represent their members should make it as easy as possible for their members to get their views across.

I'm not going to do a Brewdog and not sell any real ale in the pub - that would just be daft. But I doubt CAMRA will be around much longer - not because of 'craft beer', but because real ale has been saved - almost too much. There are beers and breweries out there that I won't put on the bar due to their quality and their attitude to the pub when quality issues are raised. There are a lot of good keg beers now that are far superior to these ales.

I also certainly know of at least one large beer festival that will be showcasing amazing beers, be they cask or keg, coming up this year.

Sound the bells, Cask has been saved.

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