4 February 2009

I no longer have a guaranteed seat on the Executive.

The Guild newsletter and the nomination papers clearly stated that nominations closed on Friday 30th January.  I wrote to the Guild Secretary on 1st February asked that, as nominations were now closed, would she send me a list of the nominees.  That was then emailed to me, with a note saying that there was no need for a ballot.  I wrote my blog and put this news on Ravelry.

Today I received another email from the Guild complaining that I had put the list of nominees on Ravelry, where it could be seen by people who aren’t members of the Guild (I told you that secrecy was a bit of an obsession).  I HAVEN’T put the list of nominations on Ravelry or anywhere else on the internet for that matter.  The Guild also said that if I’d bothered to read the Constitution, it clearly states that nominations must be received no later than 28 days before the AGM, ie THIS Friday, not last.  Since sending the list to me the Returning Officer has received two further nominations.

It’s quite obvious to me that neither the Secretary nor the Returning Officer had read the Constitution either, or if they had, they’d chosen to ignore the election rules to fit in with a newsletter deadline.  But having received further nominations, they’d had no choice but to comply with the rules. Otherwise, why was I sent the nominations list BEFORE nominations had closed?  Incidentally, I believe the latest two nominations to be quite valid in accordance with the Constitution, and should stand, even though it may mean that I don’t get a seat.

The Secretary has also demanded that I “IMMEDIATELY” (her capitals) remove the post on Ravelry.

Frankly, I’ve had enough.  I’m not afraid of a battle and have been involved in all sorts of fights during my life.  I even ended up in the High Court in London once for defending the rights of an elderly woman.  Give me a good cause and I’ll do my best.  But this isn’t about justice and human rights.  This is about KNITTING.  This isn’t the International Court of Human Rights, the United Nations, MI6 or the CIA.  It’s KNITTING.

We were told that rather than whinge, we should nominate.  So I did.  But is this an organisation I really want to belong to?  Give me 48 hours to calm down and I’ll let you know.



  1. I really want you to stick to this Sally. If anyone has a chance of subverting the dominant paradigm, but doing it politely, it’s you.

    I hope you still want to do it in 48 hours.

  2. So who is joining the guild then if they have such archaic rules and regulations? Will it be a matter of enough people getting so sick of the whole thing that their membership will dwindle, all the old biddies running the thing will die out and a new knitters guild can be established. Or is their main attraction (ie value) their library? For me, the attraction of belonging to a guild would be to meet other like-minded knitters and share knowledge, but right now the internet and other bloggers are providing that already without cost and are much more generous. I agree with you that it really is just about knitting – not a cure for cancer. But it might be a challenge you could might want to take on!!

  3. I’m not coming out to visit you until you calm down, and this sounds like it’s going to take longer than 48 hours.

    I once belonged to an organization, and when I relocated, joined the local chapter. The “Old Guard” was firmly entrenched in their ways, in the 18th century, in providing help that was not longer needed, then bitching that no one availed themselves of their “wonderful-ness.” I fought/encouraged/suggested for months, and finally gave up.

  4. I’m pretty much with Petunia. I am really, really not seeing the point anymore.

  5. Is it a bad thing that I now want to join the Knitter’s Guild just so I can vote for you?

  6. How convenient for them to come up with some more nominations after the nominations had closed.

    If you think it was a mistake or a cock up you’re wrong, it’s a loophole that has been put there deliberately so those old wagons won’t lose their power. It’s probably always been there in the back of their minds as a secret get out of jail card. And you know how they love secret.

    I don’t think you should give up. When some of these illiterate email writers are in nursing homes, you’ll be just hitting your stride.

  7. What the hell? This is insane. Really sounds like they are just punishing you for rubbing them the wrong way. I’d be questioning whether it’s worth it too for the same reasons as you! I hope you decide to push on, though, because it would suck to let them win, hehe 🙂

    Good luck!

  8. Under what law, if any, is the constitution drawn up? Is it a charity, for example? Also, mystery about the nominations being put on Ravelry – how did that happen? Can you find out, as there may be another subversive person somewhere? I’m with those who are not really sure if this is a fight worth taking on – perhaps just dying on its feet is the route it’s destined to take.

  9. I really think that the mis-advertising of the date in both the newsletter and on the nomination forms calls the validity of the nomination process into question. Elections like this are done according to a set of rules, and they have transgressed those by getting the date wrong. Lack of care and attention to detail, but I think that it is actually quite serious. I am prepared to take this further as one of your nominees.

  10. Message for Judith: The nominations DIDN’T get listed on Ravelry. Chinese whisphers told the Guild that they had (and that I’d put them up there).

  11. Hang in there Sally – I’ll be cranky if I end up as Secretary with no support on the committee!

  12. I have had a think. I WILL rejoin (though even my dad, who will write the cheque, thinks all this is stupid), so at least I’ll be able to vote next year. Because even if I can’t make a difference this year, nothing will change unless people with passion and drive make it change.

    So sorry this has been so rough on you. I wonder if Kofi Annan has a free moment?

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