Sunday, 24 June 2012

British Waterway's marginalisation of boaters plan proceeding well

Steve Haywood's recent vent on the subject of what a stitch up the recent election for boaters to CRT were reminded me of this theme. You've heard what I think, which is not so different. I've long observed that the one thing BW seem to fear the most and will do their utmost to disrupt is individual boaters from talking to people in power and authority about the reality of being a paying BW customer.

If there was any doubt about BW's contempt for individual customers, BW Director Stuart Mills kindly reminded me of it when he wrote to my MP in response to our complaints about the £600 mooring fee increases we are getting this year.

Anyway apparently I and my neighbours (so its not just me!) are mistaken in our complaints and should remember that we enjoy various privileges by being allowed to have our moorings. Gosh,  I am so honoured I don't know what to say; may I just grovel and say thank you, oh Great Munificence!

Anyway my the conspiracy theory is that BW do not want people to really understand the reality of how they treat their paying customers and (mis-)manage navigational issues has been reinforced from observing the what do they know website. It may be a coincidence but the Great Ones seem to be consistently finding reasons not to answer lots of questions about their policies and activities on mooring enforcement. Simon Salem's recent review of Nigel Moore's request is one of the finest works of bullshit I have see in a long time!

It also seems in response to my recent enquiry that BW does not possess an easily accessible report of progress with the Court actions they have taken out against boaters. Fills you with confidence doesn't it?

Sure it's the often usual suspects asking the questions: people who live on their boats and don't believe that they are getting fair deal from BW.

A particularly touching personal moment was Nigel Johnson's evidence in this where he confirmed under oath that what BW had denied was the case to me for many years previously, was in fact the case. Para 58 in...

Maybe BW are just scared of public scrutiny of their actions generally, one assumes in fear of getting another judgement that they have breached the human rights of a live aboard boater. That would be the judgement that said BW's actions "suggest inappropriate haste and carelessness." But don't worry I'm sure that was an unfortunate one off.

Of course the BW fat cats are committed to the CRT not because its a good deal for the waterways but because it will put their activities even further away from scrutiny and regulation than they have already dragged themselves. Stuart Mills letter confirms for me that BW Directors see themselves as some sort of Feudal cabal. The Cabal seem to be particularly intent right now on making every effort not to let live aboard boaters 'concerns in particular de-rail their move to greater autonomy.

BW don't want people to know that if you are insolent enough to live aboard a boat on BW waters, that you are to be stuffed either way: if you bother taking a residential mooring you have to put up with the sorts of things I have documented here: manipulation of the legislative protects supposed to protect us, refusal to specify what we get for our money, failure to fully and consistently maintain your moorings even even if you get the Ombudsman to agree with you. If you don't have a mooring and want of course you have to be the highest bidder, nothing else matters any more.

If you don't have a mooring there is a whole separate set of conspiracy theories and spin we can get into about BW's intentions to make at least some boaters suffer.

Of course all the above is pure conspiracy and paranoia and there's not a hint of truth in any of it: is there? 

1 comment:

  1. That Mr Salem was indulging in his usual PR lies in his review of my FoI Request is evident from the very same website publishing his Review. In response to a previous FoI Request, BW confirmed on 27 February 2012 that information held by them on every boat, included “whether the boat was licensed or unlicensed” at any date of sighting. It also confirmed that for any boat that “has had any enforcement action taken against it, we hold copies of letters, S8 and/or S13 notices, patrol notices, photographs, internal/external emails.” That would include all reports made by the Patrol Officers which DO note whether the S8 notices were for sunk or abandoned boats OR for being “left or moored unlawfully”.

    [ ]

    I’m glad you got something of value from the judgment – I have had to argue the ‘houseboat’ question at length both in this trial and the subsequent Appeal Court case. I did so from a different angle than your own of course, because it was important that ‘Gilgie’ was NOT classified as a ‘houseboat’ – but the same arguments are involved.

    Nigel Moore