Firstly, I was simply putting forward a sensible argument against an
entirley open membership, not suggesting that we should follow some
sort of rigorous vetting procedure. I understand that, currently,
all applications to become a member the Guild, are usually upheld
unless there is some very strong evidence to reject that
application. I see no sensible reason to change this position.
As for the protection of the Law. This only serves to protect
Victims. To become a victim, there follows, a crime has already
been committed. As a responsible organistation, surely it is the
duty of the Trustees or Board to ensure some form of preventative
measure be established. To this end it may be necessary to prevent
someone becoming a member. Yes, rumour and hearsay may form part of
that reasoned decision process. Clearly, this measure can not
prevent all unfortunate incidents occurring but surely it would be
an error to remove all procedures to veto any such applications.
Your arguments are all very sound but appear to be based on the
premise that we are all as trustworthy as each other unless proven
otherwise, in Court. I am afraid that my experience tells me
different. Proof in a Magistrates or Crown court is not 'On the
balance of probabilities' but is 'Beyond reasonable doubt' and if
there is any 'doubt' the case is dismissed. Cases where 'Justice'
is dealt, do not always imply that the offender did not commit the
crime simply that there may have been just a shadow of doubt
introduced and guilt could therefor not be 'found'. This does not
imply that there was no Justice, merely that Justice is not always
what it seems.
In view of this, I cannot entirely agree with your resolution.
But then.... That's what this forum is about. To allow exchange of
ideas without anyone actually falling out. I for one respect others
views, even when I disagree with them.
--- In Gauge0@yahoogroups.com, "Ian Kirk" <iankirk@...> wrote:
> Hi Tony,
> You ask: Are you seriously happy to have "known" theives become
members of our friendly and trusting organisation?
> The answer to that is another question. "Known" to whom?Are we to
exclude people on rumour and hearsay? What has happened to the
concept of "innocent until proven otherwise."
> The point is that our friendly and trusting organisation should be
just that and welcome everyone. If someone subsequently abuses that
trust and uses their membership to further some dishonest purpose
then that is gross misconduct and if proved they should be expelled
using the correct procedures which to continue the principle of
fairness must include the possibility of an independent appeal. The
resolution itself allows for all of that but merely seeks to
restrict the possibility of anyone pre-judging the issue.
> All of us, whether members of the Guild or no have
the "protection " of the criminal law. "Judgement" and "punishment"
are a function of that law but have no place in an organisation like
ours. We should concentrate on being "friendly and welcoming" to
everyone and leave the prosecution of "thieves" (if it can be
proved) to the police and the magistrates.
> best wishes,
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]