Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Well done Pam on Narrowboatworld for your excellent dissection of CRT's statement published in defence of the Judicial review action being pursued by Nick Brown; the piece highlights Nigel Johnson's statement to the Court which seems to unambiguosly confirm that there is a 'good boater/bad boater' mentality ingrained within CRT thinking.

The ugly is of course the consequences of this attitude; his express scapegoating of continuous cruisers. (The timing of the statement also confirms that nothing whatsoever has changed in this respect since the transfer from British Waterways.)

Others have commented on the 'braveness' of publishing these views at this time. Apart from being blatantly provocative, the position that Continuous Cruisers are the main problem is also largely unsubstantiated by the evidence.

Making such 'good and bad' judgements is dangerous at the best of times, but of course as highlighted in the Bath and North East Somerset Council report, CRT don't seem to have much understanding of the wider impact of some of such judgements.

The wider boating community while often silent, watches what is going on. Charity starts at home and if CRT cannot find more sympathetic and co-operative ways of working with boaters, locally and nationally, they risk marginalising their biggest group of paying customers at a time when they are desperate for our support financially and in kind.

If the stories Pam relates from boaters are correct then all boat owners also need to be worried about CRT's new policy of fines and overstay charges and as I said before should question the capability of CRT to administer this accurately and fairly. It is notable that on much of the web based chatter, it's not just continuous cruisers that are questioning the capability of some CRT's enforcement processes. (Even if CRT don't learn from it I would still urge anyone who thinks they have been unfairly treated to use the complaints process.)

As I have said before a lot of us are reluctant to support an organisation which at times treats us with outright hostility.

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