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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 12/10/2018

Marmite moment?

I recently read in the press that Unilever, makers of products such as Marmite and Dove soap, has scrapped its plan to move its headquarters to the Netherlands after growing criticism from investors.
The firm has headquarters in both London and Rotterdam, but announced in March that it planned to have just one HQ located in Holland, but investors said the move could force UK shareholders to sell their shares.
Unilever has now said that it recognised 'the proposal has not received support from a significant group of shareholders and the board will now consider its next steps and will continue to engage with our shareholders.'
I could not help notice parallels with our own KC and hope they, too, have a Marmite moment and take a lot more notice of their shareholders and supporters. Also, maybe some Dove soap will help them come clean about a few other things as well!
Yours etc
John Ford

Never too late!

Thank you Ronnie Irving on your article about falling numbers at dog shows.
The majority of exhibitors are over 45 and there is a missed opportunity in encouraging older people to take part in the hobby.
I have enjoyed my first year of showing and have been encouraged by those in my breed and by my local association. I am the young age of 54!
I did watch one judge give a mini lesson to a new bright young thing, which was good to see, but not when the person said she had time to learn as she was young and not hitting fifty! 
Perhaps there is a missed opportunity there. We might not be so young but still have a lot to offer and hopefully learn fast! Looking forward to my first BIS!
Yours etc
Deborah Wilcock

Time for change?

Last Friday, the news broke of the resignation of Kennel Club Chairman Simon Luxmoore, Mark Cocozza, Chairman of the Kennel Club's Finance and Disciplinary Committees and Jeff Horswell, the gentleman in charge of implementing the Kennel Club's controversial Judges Competency Framework.  
However, for many the initial feelings of relief that the Kennel Club was to be spared any more horrors, of which Speechgate, St Bernardgate and Dressgate are just a few, were soon replaced with ones of incredulity.
The three gentlemen whose resignation were sought by the Kennel Club members in their letter requesting an SGM have resigned their positions, but not their seats on the Kennel Club board. Mr. Cocozza has not even resigned all his positions, remaining as chairman of the Finance Committee. Thus all three remain in influential positions within the KC. This does not bode well for the future. 
Why does this bother me so much? Simply because I cannot see how the rifts and repercussions caused within the Kennel Club can begin to successfully heal until the three gentlemen in question resign from the board and several important questions are answered:
For instance: 
The resignations - what do they mean? By this I am asking were they given voluntarily or as a result of board voting? Has any action been taken against the three gentlemen in question? If so, what is the outcome? Why has Mr. Cocozza retained his finance position?
Is the board unable to remove the three men that have brought the KC into disrepute because of the Articles of the company?
Will the board have the Articles revised to close all the current anomalies?
The disciplinary committee, under Mr Cocozza's leadership, has made some controversial decisions, to say the least. Should all the cases be reviewed by a new committee?
The disciplinary committee's idea of justice appears to vary as to whom is the subject. Is it time for a new system consisting of a fixed set of penalties to be constructed and published to ensure fair play for all?
Implementing the JCF has caused huge problems, with some long standing judges leaving dogs altogether. Surely this is a great loss to the Kennel Club. Is it not time to review this unpopular system?
If the members of the board are taking legal advice on anything rather than procedure, who is paying for it?
Do we know about all the damage done? In particular, financial irregularities? Surely, such things affect the whole of the dog world and not just the Kennel Club members.
Consequently, I believe we need a completely new board.
Unfortunately, in some people's eyes the current board will forever be tainted by the reputation and behaviour of a few people. I believe in a fair and just Kennel Club that will stand up for everybody connected with dogs and support them through all canine disciplines, as well as overseeing the health of pedigree dogs. We need an end to secrecy and closed door actions. We need the promised transparency. We also need to know that the Kennel Club will be just and fair in its actions - providing a level playing field for all.
It is time for a completely new board to sweep away all that is driving long term exhibitors from showing in droves. Like many, I look forward with interest to the results of the Our Dogs survey. I can only hope that a new board within the Kennel Club will embrace the results positively and use it to bring about change for the good - this time, change that the dog world really wants.
It's time for change - and that time is now.
Yours etc
Name and address supplied

KC in turmoil 
 
It would appear that the SGM has been usurped by recent activity, with the three people in question clinging on to power and influence with a grip that's turning knuckles white; no one takes any joy from seeing the KC in such turmoil. However if the committee don't show some backbone and get a grip the ship will strike the iceberg.
The natives are restless and someone somewhere needs to get a grip at the wheelhouse before the ship starts listing. The support is still there but the membership and those that utilise the service of the KC need to feel not only listened to, but heard and understood. 
The KC can no longer garner the support of the few and march on like a Roman army, the new board must carry with it and clearly demonstrate its commitment to honesty integrity and impartiality. The trough is being pulled from the snouts.
Yours etc
Nigel Keates

To be a board member

In the world of dog lovers a powerful argument has been presented for the lowering of the criteria required for membership of The Kennel Club. The rationale behind the view in favour of a broader and more diverse membership lies within the understanding that a club of common interest encourages and enhances this common interest.
While this may be partially true where an increase in club members proportionally increases the total interest in the common pastime, the same is not necessarily the case when a club is a reflection of a common interest, thus being more a mirror image rather than a body creating an interest.
The KC is primarily a governing body for a common interest rather than a creator of a common interest. It is an entity in which the soul and feeling of the dog world exists.
The vast number of individuals and the complex relationship they share with their canine friends has created a world which grows and thrives solely upon the single and undeniable bond existing between mankind and the dog; the remarkable ability of two creatures to communicate and reach an understanding which defies a real explanation.
The KC therefore is the forum where individuals attempt to make sense of this phenomenon and bring some order to the activities enjoyed collectively by these two It must therefore be true that to be a member of the KC is to be a shareholder of a responsibility beyond that which would be expected of a club seeking to promote an interest or a commercially corporate identity. An individual taking on a membership of the KC is also adopting a tradition and history embracing a relationship between humans and animals that is possibly unique within our society.
Exclusivity of membership is truly recognition of this responsibility and a clear statement that all members understand they share in this responsibility. The clearly implied honour achieved in becoming a member is then greatly enhanced, that if by popular agreement, a member is invited to take a position upon the governing committee of this illustrious club. To be asked by fellow members to guide and protect the history and tradition of both previous and future dog lovers cannot be accepted without humility and respect.
In this context, the element of respect is paramount and extends beyond the limited numbers that hold KC membership; a board members requirement is a respect for the whole world of dogs, as well as the collective wishes of those who bestowed the honour of board membership.
In the absence of financial entitlements or intellectual property, board membership within the context of the dog world as manifested within the structure of the KC is by the will of the people and if lost, then a course of honour and respect is the only avenue open and in the end is the action that will ultimately be judged as acceptable.
Yours etc
David Cooper

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