Tuesday, 9 October 2012

This jumped out at me today

"External signs of wealth and success are often cheap storefronts that hide internal mediocrity or even incompetence".

When I first became a college governor I was working in Somerset. My very first Chair of Governors was a large scale landowner and a local "worthy". He had no interest whatsoever in the views of other governors from outside his small inner circle - neither were the views of the pupils (16+) or their parents worth finding out, never mind acting upon. He had none of the attributes normally associated with being a "good" Chair and I always wondered how he came to be re-elected year after year.

When I first was elected as a staff governor the Principal (a gentleman in every sense of the word whose word was his bond) warned me in a friendly way about the utter indifference the Chair felt towards staff governors and the extreme hostility he seemed to feel towards trade unionists. This was always going to be a problem for me because I had been elected by trade union activists at the college who had become bored to death with the lap-dog inaction of the "Association of Agricultural Education Staff" (AAES). I don't the Chair ever spoke to me 1 to 1 during my years as an elected representative.

It was much the same with the officers of the West Africa Study Circle during my brief spell as a member. The senior posts were almost invariably held by those members with the most valuable stamp and postal history collections - regardless of their skills in other areas. Everything seemed to revolve around their convenience with 90% of the membership being regarded as little more than a source of subscription income.

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