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Re: [Fsfe-uk] AFFS grants for free software development

From: Kevin Donnelly
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] AFFS grants for free software development
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2004 10:01:49 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.5.1

On Saturday 18 September 2004 11:46 pm, Robin Green wrote:
> Jason is as entitled to nitpick as any other AFFS member. I think he has a
> point. There are many ways of contributing to the free software movement,
> and plonking down 10 quid for an AFFS membership is only one of them. I
> don't think it's fair to give AFFS members a headstart, although I don't
> feel very strongly about that.

Then why ask AFFS to get involved in the first place?  If AFFS was given the 
role of distributing this money, AFFS Committee has to make some decision on 
how it should be done.  The first attempt was heavily criticised at the AGM, 
the second attempt (which is actually what was asked for at the AGM - 
something lightweight) is now being nitpicked, and if we do nothing about 
distributing this money we're also going to get flak.  The Committee has made 
a joint decision on what should be done, and that is what is going to be 

> > I'm not going to keep replying to longer and longer whinges
> I don't see it as a whinge. It's constructive criticism. And as someone
> just said, the committee is answerable to the membership... we are a
> democratic organisation, right?

The Committee is answerable periodically (at AGM, or an EGM), not on a daily 
basis.  If you're going to take a straw poll on every issue, there's no need 
for a Committee, by definition.  Once you have one, and you've voted people 
onto it, they take some decisions on behalf of the membership.  I'm afraid 
that doesn't mean they refer everything back to the membership for a 
"democratic" vote.  The disadvantage is that not every member may be happy 
with every decision - tough.  The advantage is we can actually try and get 
things done, instead of going all around the houses on every issue.  

If anyone is at any point unhappy with a Committee decision, they can send an 
email to me personally as the Secretary, formally marked FOR ATTENTION OF 
AFFS COMMITTEE, and that will be put before the Committee for the next 
meeting.  It will be discussed, and the Committee response relayed back to 
the member.  I've never been involved with any voluntary organisation where 
things didn't work like this, and I'm not about to start now.

> All I'm saying is, let's not shut out discussion of the committee's
> decisions on the basis that it is "whinging".

You're quite welcome to discuss them until the cows come home - I don't care 
about that at all.  All I'm saying is that you shouldn't expect them to be 
changed on the hoof just because someone doesn't like them.  If AFFS is to be 
any more than a talking-shop, some basic ground-rules have to be put in 
place, and the role of the Committee is one of them.


Pob hwyl (Best wishes)

Kevin Donnelly

www.kyfieithu.co.uk - Meddalwedd Rhydd yn Gymraeg
www.cymrux.org.uk - Linux Cymraeg ar un CD!

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