Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Yes, it does seem odd .....why would anyone with a modicum of common sense want to be involved with club committees ? .......The posts supposedly offer no money, no kudos, no joy...... only numerous meetings where painful tedium becomes utterly suffocating ..... not to mention the regular volleys of verbal flak that comes from disgruntled members, who claim they never see anything in the way of positive outcomes.
Yet for me , being chairman of the Slaughter House Bridge Club, I wallow in the power and privileges that come from being in charge. And therefore as a favour to those who crave power, desperate to use it for their personal advantage, profit and gain, here is my ultimate guide on committee take-overs, and how to exercise and retain total control :
1. Gather together an inner circle of club members, preferably all your close relatives and reliable friends
2. Wait till either the present committee is in trouble , or when membership enthusiasm for AGM's is at an all time low
3. Collectively stand for election at the next AGM, ensuring that all key posts on the committee are specifically targeted
4. If in the rare event certain posts are being contested, then it is essential to recruit easily duped and gullible members to bolster your support base with their gerrymandered votes
5. Once elected, you will need to drive out rogue committee members who (a) are not willing to toe the line, or (b) are posing a serious threat, as for instance by showing dissent, challenging decisions, and informing members of what is really going on behind closed doors
6. Ensure that all committee meetings are held in secret, where only harmless sanitised details ever make their way into the published minutes
7. It is essential that the inner circle use dark corners and passageways to arrive at crucial decisions which then can be rubber stamped ( fait accompli style ) by the full committee later on
8. Always look after one another, because nepotism can only survive if there is a collective effort to protect any committee member, who is under attack for malpractice
9. Rely on misinformation and disinformation to confuse and confound critics
10. If in the event some nosey and enterprising members get close to the truth, you must use trumped up charges of disciplinary breaches in order to expel them
11. It is essential to tighten up the constitution and/or regulations straightaway, so as to provide the committee with carte blanche powers to do what it likes
12. Introduce a whole raft of zero tolerance policies , some of which will help promote an all out war against unwarranted criticism of the committee, its officers or members
13. Employ security personnel to restrict entry of members classed as undesirable, and to eject members whose behaviour on site has put them in the same despicable class
14. Shorten disciplinary hearings to instantly convened on-the-spot corridor discussions , lasting no more than 2 minutes before calling in security to carry out the sanctions imposed
15. Issue on a regular basis persuasive propaganda material that cleverly shifts the blame for the club's current troubles on opposition members, who are ideally suited to be used as scapegoats prior to their imminent removal
16. Strengthen your power base by replacing troublesome committee members with hard-core and easily brainwashed supporters
17. Remain in office as long as possible to ensure the habit of abusing power intensifies to an addictive level
18. Always look to use patronage, privileges and favouritism to reward those you would rather have on your side than in opposition
19. Keep convincing yourself that strong authoritarian leadership is what the club needs, and that democracy is a wishy washy old moded concept that achieves nothing
20. Build up sizeable slush funds in case bribery becomes the only way to silence whistleblowers, or in the event of a public relations disaster to hire specialist lawyers and/or contract killers
Indeed, I have been running the Slaughter House Bridge for several years now......and very successfully, I might add..... but I must confess that so much of the above comes from the wonderful teachings of Sir Francis Dashwood, whose Hellfire Bridge Club established a reputation that still continues to span the world even today , long after its sad demise when unknown arsonists decided enough was enough .

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