Tuesday, 2 August 2011

At few months ago at the AGM, Percy had been kicked out of the club for good, but he refused to accept his expulsion lying down. Bigot was then mortified when he heard that Percy intended to appeal against the committee's decision , as was his right under the club's existing but flawed constitution. Unable to rig the ballot to get Ronnie and Reggie on board, Bigot realized that the five randomly selected panelists were in obvious need of expert guidance and advice to deal with this very difficult and onerous task .
So for their benefit and welfare, the kind and considerate chairman laid down the following rules, which he hoped of course would negate any chance of Percy being reinstated as a club member :
1. All panelists must take an oath of allegiance, which reads as follows : The committee's decisions are always right. Long live Bigot and his wonderful committee. Down with anyone who even dares to challenge any of its rulings.
2. You must pull out every stop to deny the appellant's right, or wish, to be legally represented, especially if he/she is looking to enlist the services of someone who knows the score.
3. You must also deny the appellant's right to have anyone else present, who might be able to offer assistance in terms of legal knowledge and moral support.
4. Even if the appellant is mentally retarded in any way, or has the intellectual capacity and wit of a child, rules 2 and 3 will still apply.
5. Once we get the errant member presenting his/her own case, you are duty bound to reach the conclusion that his/her bad behaviour will resurface again at the hearing. Any continued criticism and condemnation of the committee will be clear proof of their rebellious tendencies, which cannot help but undermine and invalidate arguments he/she is relying upon .
6. There will be no need to question any of the witnesses brought by the appellant, because you are under no duty whatsoever to take any of their submissions into account. Clearly, if they are on his/her side then they are all liars.
7. You must ignore all the arguments, contentions, opinions, and conclusions made by the appellant's witnesses. In an ideal set up, you must insist they make only statements of fact, which of course pose far less of a threat than any logical interpretation of them.
8. You must at all times replace any notion of fairness, impartiality, and objectivity with prejudice, bias and subjectivity ( in favour of the committee ).
9. You must always remember that in hearings of this kind, there is an irrefutable presumption that the appellant has no valid grounds on which to challenge the committee's rulings. However, you must do your utmost to give the impression that you have (a) listened attentively, and (b) given a decision based on careful consideration and analysis of the facts .
10. You must not permit any hearsay evidence whatsoever to be introduced by the appellant or his/her witnesses. The fact that the original complaint to the committee was based on hearsay evidence is completely irrelevant, and should therefore be ignored.
11. You must strive like crazy to end the hearing within 30 minutes, looking to adopt the same abruptness, ruthless efficiency, and " cut and dried " approach as the committee did at the original disciplinary hearing, when they without hesitation upheld the complaint and implemented an appropriate punishment.
12. You must adopt the position that the only rules that count are the ones written into the club's constitution and regulations. Strip from your mind the notion that rules of natural justice apply in situations like this. Its the machinery of process that matters, not the manner or way in which that process is carried out.
13. Under the club's about-to-be-revised constitution and regulations, " any actions " which undermine the good work put in by the chairman ( and his loyal committee ) shall be regarded as gross misconduct, subjecting all those responsible to instant reprisals and ultimate expulsion from the club. This essential change will also have retrospective effect.
14. Before taking up your posts on the panel, you are required to give Ronnie and Reggie your names and addresses, along with accurate details of the whereabouts and movements of your close family and friends.

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