In response to your editorial comments
I WRITE in response to your editorial comments in OUR CATS magazine, 24th August, Edition No. 1123.
You made a statement which was not completely true and, as a result, in the search for a little journalistic accuracy, I trust you will have the integrity to include my response in the next available issue of OUR CATS.
Not wishing to hide beneath the blanket of anonymity to which you appear to have afforded me, I have no problem in being identified as the member of the Executive Committee to whom you referred you had spoken to at the Lincolnshire Cat Club Show.
My response when asked your question, was, as you indicated, that it was not an ‘Agenda Item’ for the following Wednesday’s Executive Meeting, by which I stand. Whereas you stated in your editorial, you knew this was not the case. To reiterate, the matter was not an Agenda Item, it came up under the Office and was the result of an ongoing Working Party remit, as will be seen from the minutes when they are circulated.
I trust this clarifies the situation.
John H. Hansson, Vice-Chairman GCCF
OUR CATS comments:
We are perfectly happy for John to put his case; in fact we are delighted that someone from the Executive has responded. However, we do feel that semantics are at work here!
Infringement of human rights and animal rights too!
I am replying to the letter in Viewpoint written by Dr and Mrs Bishop.
Having recently written and sent to OUR CATS my own lengthy account of the appalling undemocratic working of the GCCF, I am keeping this letter strictly to the point raised by them in considering taking legal action against the members of the GCCF Executive Committee.
During the past ten years, I have had a number of letters sent by solicitors to the GCCF.
This has mainly been due to the failure of the GCCF to ensure that judges comply with the Standard of Points and Veterinary Defects List (made for the protection of the cats health).
I first sought the advice from a solicitor in 1996. At that time we had an excellent GCCF secretary, Mrs Lesley Pring.
In a reply to my solicitor’s letter dated 7th March 1996 it was stated by Mrs Pring that “The Investigation Committee are intending to look further at the correct route of judges to comply with the Standard of Points. The GCCF also have Breed Advisory Committees which are responsible for the nomination of judges to the full Council and are generally responsible for full conduct of judges.
I realise Mrs Howes difficulty in that the people she complains of may be members of the Breed Advisory Committees, but it would appear that these committees are the first place in which complaints must be made.” (Solicitors have been amazed that there is no proper complaint procedure for the organisation).
Mrs Pring went on to say that she was awaiting the outcome of a disciplinary hearing later that month and on further deliberations of the investigation Committee. She wrote, “It seems probable that some recommendations may come forward to the executive committee to lay down procedures in these circumstances”.
Unfortunately, I believe the case she spoke about did not come to a satisfactory conclusion and no improvements in the system were ever made.
Mrs Pring retired from the Office as Secretary and in my opinion the GCCF has been in decline from that time onwards.
In May 2000, I again had cause to consult a solicitor regarding the outrageous working or non – working of the GCCF committees and clubs.
The solicitor was a specialist in ‘Club affairs’. Having seen all the documents, I gave him, he was very willing and enthusiastic to act against the GCCF, although he did warn me that the costs could end up to an enormous amount and suggested that perhaps a group of us could take on the GCCF together.
One of the matters concerning a GCCF affiliated club, I consulted him about, resolved itself. At that time, my mother’s husband was seriously ill and I was trying to cope with the illness and deaths of some of my family members and friends, and in the circumstances, I agreed with Mr Jones (my then solicitor) that I would contact him at a later date when I was in a better position and I continued to gather evidence.
Earlier this year, having sorted out the problems following my mother’s death, I again tried to contact Mr Jones following another unsuccessful complaint to the GCCF.
Unfortunately he had left the law firm where I saw him in Gloucester. The Law Society found me his telephone number in another city where he had moved, but unfortunately he is now working in a completely different field of law. He did remember me and the GCCF matters, and recommended me to contact another law firm in Gloucester.
The solicitor, now representing me, has written to the GCCF. The reply he received quoted some GCCF rules, (those same rules in fact, that for the past ten years I have been pointing out, judges are continually breaking). This letter was sent by the GCCF Office Manager, although it was signed PP by another office worker.
My solicitor has now held a meeting with a colleague to discuss the whole matter and really both agree that the next step is to engage a junior barrister for a consultation.
I have just sent my solicitor a cheque for the cost to date. He is now awaiting my instructions. The cost for the two senior partners and me to meet with the junior barrister has been quoted at £3000 plus VAT.
The GCCF, in my opinion, is no longer a democratic society; it has become a dictatorship, run by a small minority of manipulative people who believe they can get away with their actions.
We have a choice. We can take these people to the courts: quite clearly this is the only way to make them take notice of us. This of course will be extremely costly for one side or the other.
With the losses the GCCF have these days, how much more can it take? The alternative suggested to me is to break away from the GCCF and start our own cat fancy.
Preferably we would like our cat fancy back in the hands of genuine cat lovers who will pick up the pieces, and put it back together.
Marlene Howes, Honeymist Persians
The Kennel Club are professional - GCCF sadly are not!
I HAVE waited during this whole debacle over the awarding of the GCCF contract to Anna Shafto, for someone from the GCCF to answer the questions posed by your readership, seemingly to no avail.
It would seem to me that GCCF is governed by a clique who are typical of the sort of bullies you came across on the school bus. They run the organisation as though they own it, and to suit their own ends, not for us, the exhibitor and breeder. No wonder there is a dearth of young judges; “who would willingly put themselves through a training scheme only to find their face does not fit?”
They are a dictatorship, who do not have the decency to accept that the judgement they made is not what we want. It is us, the breeders and exhibitors, who pay the wages of those who work for Council, and they would do better to remember that. It takes a person with dignity and moral fibre to admit a mistake and clearly these people have none.
I suggest that all clubs should put on a coach for club members who wish to attend the forthcoming Full Council Meeting, and a call of no confidence be made in the people who see fit to ignore the wishes of their members. I understand that GCCF have decided they do not want to have this item on the Agenda of the meeting... what a surprise! If you wish to attend this meeting on the 24th October, 2007, you need to write or email GCCF office and state your wish to attend.
I wonder what these people will have to say for themselves if and when the new magazine folds owing thousands and leaving the GCCF without any publication at all. All because a few committee members with no business acumen got too big for their boots. If you are sensible, you will register your prefix and your cats with TICA, because when this all comes to a sticky end, you will at least be able to continue to breed, show, and sell your cats. If GCCF ceases to exist as we know it, you will be unlikely to access the archives, etc. Editors Note: Actually, most of the archives are in my office, including Fur & Feather).
I see on the GCCF website it is suggested that they are the feline equivalent of the Kennel Club, the difference is, the Kennel Club are professionals. The actions of a few people responsible for this situation have shown we, sadly, are not.
Name & Address supplied
Firstly, I am very upset over the news regarding the GCCF’s decision to discontinue their agreement with yourselves regarding publication of show reports.
I feel outraged that something like this could so suddenly be sprung upon exhibitors, clubs etc without any of us ever knowing there was a problem at all.
I do think this has changed many people’s view of the GCCF with many exhibitors now considering other organisations to show under.
I think so many people feel slapped in the face by what has happened, but this is nothing compared to the catastrophic effect this has on Our Cats.
I have read the message that the GCCF have posted on their website. So why I wonder has it taken them so long to tell their side of the story. I’m sure you will have a lot to say in response and we all look forward to reading your comments.
Name and Address supplied
Editors Note: OUR CATS reiterates that all of the names of people who have asked for anonymity have been provided by the writers. We respect their wishes not to be named for various reasons.
GCCF statement... read it and be worried
I am horrified with the statement recently published on the GCCF website re OUR CATS.
If you read certain phrases, you realise that you are dealing with people at the top who appear to have risen above the masses and are doing things off their own bat....
“It was considered by the Chairman and Vice Chairman that the time had been reached when it might be necessary to investigate the possibility of an alternative solution for the provision of an official GCCF Journal.”
Not the members, not the delegates, not the readers, but the CHAIRMAN and the VICE- CHAIRMAN thought this was a good idea.
They also say:
“A major concern has always been that the GCCF has no control or influence in the way in which our information is made available to our ‘members’ by our ‘journal.’ Some believe that over recent years Our Cats has become less sympathetic to our needs.”
This worries me because it shows a degree of control freakery that the GCCF want to exert some sort of control over the press. It has always been my understanding (and you only have to read what goes in) is that OUR CATS just publishes everything it gets from the GCCF word for word. If any editorials or letters are unsympathetic, then surely that should be a signal to the GCCF that something they are doing may not be right, and maybe it should be something that they need to address.
Their idea of addressing this problem appears to be to get rid of OUR CATS and have the magazine produced by someone they can control.
Also, the new magazine is to be monthly... how will that help get information out more quickly than a fortnightly paper, especially if you do not go on line?
Finally they say:
“However, having decided that OUR CATS was no longer providing the service we desire for the majority of the members of the Cat Fancy, the EC has endeavoured to provide a smooth transition to a viable alternative.”
Name and Address supplied
Disenchanted with GCCF
Having held a GCCF registered prefix since 1979, I have today joined both TICA and FIFE.
I am aware that many others have already done so and am certain that many, many more will follow suit. Would it not make sense to have a publication that covers the shows and events staged by these bodies? Also to publish judges reports from them.
As OUR CATS already has a loyal readership - many of whom already feel disenchanted with the forthcoming changes that the GCCF thinks it can impose upon us, this may well be the way forward.
We the rank and file members of the cat fancy still have the most powerful vote of all - the right to spend our money as and where we CHOOSE.
Carole Mellor, Fleurielle Persians
I would like to add my voice
As a relative newcomer to the cat showing world, I would like to add my voice to those who have expressed concern and puzzlement as to how the decision to rescind your contract was made, apparently without any consultation with yourselves, the readers or the membership.
I have so enjoyed receiving your fortnightly paper, packed with interesting information not usually found in the ‘glossy’ cat magazines and, of course, the show reports.
I like your format - it is a pleasure to receive a paper rather then yet another ‘glossy’.
Best wishes to you and all the staff at OUR CATS.
Can anyone help me please?
IF ANYONE can help me with a massive problem, I will be eternally grateful.
My husband died very suddenly in January, and I have relied on good friends to ferry me to shows. I have been let down twice for transportation to the Supreme, firstly by my friends husband booking a surprise holiday on the wrong date, and secondly, by a pet taxi who went out of business.
I live near Woking (Junction 10 on the M25) and need to go to the Supreme on the Friday in order to decorate the pens. My Maine Coon neuter boy will not be able to last the trip in one day. I will be taking two Maine Coon neuters.
I am willing to pay petrol, hotel accommodation (already pre-booked), entry to the show and parking expenses etc. I desperately want to go in memory of my husband, and will be so grateful if someone can help me.
My phone number is 01483 222539 (evenings).