Wednesday, February 11, 2009

People who Operate from the Dark

Shh !

Listen !

Can you hear it ?

It's the sound of people talking about me on the Magistrates' Association web forum.

My comments are "cheap. grubby and anon".

My blog is neither "fish nor fowl"

They wonder why on earth I had bothered to become a magistrate.

(my favourite) "I dont think I would find it easy to sit with him as a winger. Perhaps he will "mellow" as he beds in on the Bench."

I was a blogger before I became a Magistrate and I hope to be one well after I retire. We're all entitled to our opinions - it's just that I think it healthier to express them in public blogs like this rather in closed members-only web forums.

On that subject, I believe the Magistrates' Association have missed a trick here. Their web forums (fora?) are utterly fascinating, even the ones that aren't taking a swipe at my little blog. Anyone who's interested in being a magistrate or understanding magistrates should sign up for an account.

Shame you can't do so unless you're a member.


Anonymous said...

Nothing like operating from the dark yourself Stan, copying and pasting without asking. Hardly the action of an upstanding person - how grubby of you.

Stan said...

Just bring the comments into the light. A grubbier blogger than I would have named the Magistrates responsible.

Anonymous said...

Threats now? Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

To be fair there are reasons why the forum is (or should be) closed to non-members, both financial and for privacy reasons. I contribute to both Bystanders blog (and now here I guess) and the MA Forums, both have there place, and I must say I would ditch my membership of the MA if it wasn't for the forum (although the Mag isn't bad either).

Mike said...

It seems you did manage to register for the MA forums, using a false postcode. Rather like Jackie Smith claiming her sister's spare room is her main residence, that's not illegal but it does not give a very good impression. Anyway, like the hacker the Yanks are trying to extradite, you have served a useful purpose in demonstrating a flaw in the MA system, and it turns out the MA's new IT support people were not doing what thay were supposed to in the way of checks, apparently.

What is rather surprising about your comments on the MA is your rush to judgement, on the basis of a brochure you dislike and a new deputy Chairman being caught out in a radio interview. Do you not think that there might be some good things the MA has done, that as a newly hatched magistrate you would not know about? Is the MA likely to improve in the way you would like as a result of magistrates not joining it?

What have you really got against the MA, did they turn you down for a job or something?

Stan said...

Hi Mike - maybe it's a cultural difference that I'll have be sensitive to, but I never ever sign up for anything online with my real name and my real address.

The postcode I gave was TDCU 1ZZ, which is one I use regularly. It's a valid postcode, but it refers to the British dependency of Tristan Da Cunha. Thus any junk mail ends up several thousand miles away in the South Atlantic.

I've got nothing (honestly, truly) against the MA. Analysing my reaction I guess it's an initial disappointment that it isn't anything like as powerful or professional as the BMA or the Police Federation, followed by accumulating negative reinforcement when I find out about the quality of the marketing, the website, public relations ...

I've remarked on here before that it tends to be organisations I almost-but-don't-quite agree with that provoke the strongest response.

Plus, I'm a Blogger. We do tend to crank up rhetoric to 11.

I meant it about finding some more open forum so that Magistrates can interact with non-Magistrates. If I can helpful, please get in touch.

But no, still not joining.

Mike said...

So now we know why the price of stamps keeps going up, it's the cost of transporting all your junk mail to the South Atlantic!

The BMA standard subscription is £399 and they have 140,000 members so they can afford quite a high level of gloss, I suppose. But the MA does have an influence, after all the three Johns did persuade Jack Straw to drop proposal to make 20 more offences eligible for fixed penalties, quite a feat at such at late stage of proceedings, I think.

Stan said...

Mike : Sure, that was excellent work and the best possible advert for your organisation.

I think this is a good place to leave this debate - thanks to all for getting involved.

I've just seen a picture of the Honorary Officers of the MA on the website. Three Johns and a Mike. Interesting, but there's always reasonable doubt regarding identification online.

Anonymous said...

And suddenly you wish to leave the debate? Because someone respectfully challenged your viewpoints? Lets hope you do better than that in the retiring room.

Mike said...

That Mike is not this Mike!

OK. let's leave the discussion there for now, I think we have made our points.

Anonymous said...

Does the MA really want you Stan - unlike the MA you give in too easily.