[r-t] CC Methods Committee Consultation

Philip Earis pje24 at cantab.net
Thu Mar 5 11:54:34 UTC 2015

I see, by chance, that the CC Methods Committee has published a 
"Consultation" document online on its website - 

Whilst it is good to finally see some (mandated) action following the agreed 
motion at the May 2014 CC meeting, various aspects of the new "Consultation" 
are troubling.

For starters:

1) Transparency - the whole point of a consultation is to consult interested 
stakeholders, in an open, transparent, unprejudiced way.  This means the 
consultation needs to be announced widely to stakeholders.  Despite the 
document being dated February 26, there's been nothing on this group to 
announce the consultation, nor in the Ringing World, nor on BellBoard. I can 
only assume no announcements have been made - can not?

2) Due process - the consultation does not seem to make any reference to the 
deadline for feedback and responses.  It only says, ominously:

    "This document seeks to start the consultation by asking for views on 
what we have Decisions for, and to understand what changes people think 
might be required from where we are now. The                 Committee will 
collect this input and report its findings with some recommendations and 
options to the CC Administrative Committee at its meeting in March"

When in March is this meeting?  What is the deadline for responses? How much 
time have the committee allowed to collect the input, analyse it and produce 
recommendations? I request one of the Committee members on this list to give 
answers here.

3) Whole premise of the consultation. The motion agreed at the 2014 meeting 
was about a fundamental rethink about the principles and requirements of a 
possible new or revised set of decisions. This was designed to allow the 
whole spectrum of options - from a complete "blank page" fresh start, so no 
change at all to the existing decisions.  Nothing to be pre-empted.

However, the new document very sadly does not adhere to this, but very much 
tries to twist the debate to be based around the current framework.  The 
majority of the document is a list of the current decisions, along with 
defensive comments about why the author(s) feel they are supported.

Both illustrative and concerning is this paragraph from the beginning of the 

    "The current set of Decisions, although they might have their roots in 
the first half of the twentieth century, have evolved over time to match 
changes in ringing practice. It is therefore reasonable to     start by 
asking why it is that changes might be needed, and what those changes are, 
rather than starting with an assertion that they are fundamentally broken"

The tone is clear - the possibility that the current decisions are 
fundamentally broken is not to be considered, contrary to the agreed motion.

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