The publication of a letter from Betty Shingleton to myself last week gave people some more background as to what has been ‘going on’ as they say. One thing that comes over loud and clear is that the GCCF, or their HQ, seems to have been receiving a lot more ‘complaints’ than we ever did in our office or at the shows.
Seems strange that.
Bearing in mind that I was the bloke in the shirt which said,
Vince Hogan OUR CATS, at many shows all over the country, I find it hard to believe that no one from the GCCF, or all these people who made so many complaints (allegedly), ever came up to me in person. If and when anyone did ask about a report, our booking in system (a simple file with lists...) was always freely available on the counter.
Many a time a judge complained a report had not been in, but I then found it for them through the index system... same goes for exhibitors.
In fact, that’s one of the main reasons why I trawled around the motorways of Britain, (well, a lot of them...) to help promote the paper and answer such questions.
In fact, it was also the reason why I offered to take a selection of GCCF items to the shows, as at many shows, there was no GCCF representation at all, and I found myself helping many newcomers to the fancy who seem to be left to their own devices at shows, sometimes clueless as to what’s going on.
However, our offer to take these forms was rejected, along with three other workable ideas that could have been developed. Hey ho. As you could see from that letter, the four initial ideas were all geared towards the PR and communications side of things, as I believe, along with many others, that this is a weak point of the GCCF that needs addressing.
My attention was drawn to a survey we did in Our Cats a few years ago when out of 210 people asked, 140 complained of a lack of GCCF presence or information at shows, so I think I was on the right track with that one. Incidentally, 173 out of the same 210 also complained about the shortage of judges, another point we have raised of late.
Some people have suggested to me that from the tone of the letter, things were already stacking up against Our Cats in the corridors of power, no matter what we would have said or done. That may or not be the case, but having reflected on some real life stories in the last leader, I enjoyed a TV documentary last week on the Great Wall of China.
Draw your own comparisons, but it was fascinating to hear how the Emperor spent most of his time inside the Imperial Palace, impervious to what was going on in the outside world, focussing on his own ‘agendas’ shall we say, whilst the Mongol hordes invaded the country. He didn’t seem to believe his advisors, even when the invaders were destroying the very suburbs of Beijing (Peking), with his people banging on the doors to get in, and smoke rising on the near horizon.
He was only saved when the hordes departed and went home, of their own accord... not because they followed the Emperors instructions, but because they chose too.
Vince Hogan - Editor in Chief
PS: My PS this week is a straight lift from a letter from a reader, which I think has appeared some weeks ago, but it seems so relevant, it merits a repeat...
PS. The GCCF had always been held in high esteem in the past but this latest stunt which has been staged with absolutely no contact or concern for all the breeders and exhibitors will no doubt do them severe damage with many abandoning them.
If this happens they can only blame themselves for being so short-sighted and blinkered…..or letting themselves be manipulated by the favoured few.
We are aware that there is an important motion at the forthcoming delegates meeting in October regarding the future relationship between OUR CATS and the GCCF, and Fancy That publications.
Firstly, everyone at OUR CATS wishes to thank all our readers and exhibitors for the tremendous goodwill shown to us since this whole situation blew up way back in July. We feel that their interests in all of this should remain paramount, yet at the same time feel that they have been seriously let down by the decisions of the Governing Body, or at least the Executive Committee and those in particular who engineered this change.
The delegates meeting next week is a critical meeting for the future of the fancy. This has now gone beyond who publishes a show magazine as it is clear that some very undesirable practices have taken place within the GCCF, and the question of trust should be high on everyone’s list. Again we refer you to the many letters we have had on this subject from a wide group of people and especially one in this weeks edition.
As for OUR CATS, regrettably, we cannot say that we have the same level of trust in the GCCF or its principal officers or Secretary as we would like, or should have come to expect, after 24 years carrying their torch. It is an organisation which appears to be in desperate need of a thorough overhaul, an opinion that is shared by many thinking people within the fancy. Its shows are suffering through reducing entries, there is competition from TICA and other groups, there are difficulties filling committee positions at all levels, the judging pool is getting older and more limited, its principal show, the Supreme, has had its share of problems, and the finances of the GCCF are not as sound as they would like, currently trading at a considerable loss in 2007.... nearly £60,000 on the year to date we are led to believe.
Against this background we have had many pleas to continue with OUR CATS. In an already crowded market with two other cat publications (both monthly) there is now to be another, ‘Fancy That’, carrying the title of Official Journal of the GCCF.
OUR CATS (and its holding company OUR DOGS) directors have viewed the developments of the last few months with total dismay and have received a number of letters from Marshalls, solicitors acting for the GCCF, telling us in no uncertain terms that this is the end of the contract. We then saw the statement put out by the GCCF to all delegates and which also appeared on their website. This statement only names one person, our Managing Director and Editor in Chief of Our Cats, Mr Vincent Hogan. They appear to blame him for their decision - a view which is clearly ludicrous and which we vehemently reject.
OUR CATS and the directors of the company wish to affirm their full support for Mr Hogan who has maintained a quality publication with high journalistic standards since 1983 when he first became involved following the acquisition of the title from Watmoughs. We are confident that this is a view shared by the vast majority of the cat fancy.
We have no wish to undermine the motions on the table at this critical meeting, or devalue any debate that is likely to take place. However, we have to be realistic and consider that the future of the magazine may not be viable when set against such a turbulent background and against a failing relationship with a governing body, which itself appears to be in disarray. We, along with many in the fancy, await developments with interest.
OUR CATS ON THE ROAD
The OUR CATS Stand is at the YORKSHIRE COUNTY CAT CLUB SHOW
at the The Dome, Bawtry Road, Doncaster on Saturday, 27th October.
OUR CATS Managing Director, VINCE HOGAN, is on the road again, bringing our superb stand to this great show. Fabulous freebies for all subscribers who renew their subscription at this show (rolling rates applicable for the remainder of our time as Official Journal of the GCCF).
Advertise your win in our forthnightly paper and see our selection of BOOKS, STATIONERY & CALENDARS. Complete your collection of OUR CATS ANNUALS and make sure you have your copy of OUR CATS ANNUAL 2007 - THE LAST THAT WILL EVER BE PRODUCED.
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On Sale Here: CATTERY DESIGN - THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREATING YOUR PERFECT CATTERY by David Key - a worthwhile investment!!
Rely on OUR CATS for all that’s best in the world of cats!
* Our thanks to all who have supported OUR CATS over the past 24 years! *
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