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BMFA - Is the 'A' for apathy?

Why does no-one go to the AGM?

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Colin Bernard20/11/2012 23:48:52
502 forum posts
93 photos

I went to my first BMFA AGM at the weekend and was amazed at how few people were there.

I am told that the BMFA has over 30,000 members and 800 clubs and yet there were less than 50 people there. other than the delegates and execs - that means that at least 750 clubs were unrepresented, to say nothing of country members.

So the question is - why does no-one go? I agree AGMs are not the most fun ways of spending a Saturday, but it does give us a chance to hear first hand from the people running the BMFA and maybe help mould it's future.

Or is it simply that to the majority of people it is just a fancy insurance agency?

Greybeard21/11/2012 07:52:36
726 forum posts
6 photos

I think that you are right about the insurance. sad

GrahamC21/11/2012 08:14:28
1240 forum posts
196 photos

It may just be that the FA stands for Far Away for lots of Modelers.

And insurance.... Well why not? After all I need to have it, and the BMFA is really the only way to get it, so why should my need for insurance obligate my participation in a national body that represents a very broad range of disciplines, most of which don't really interest me?

Thats not a rant about the BMFA at all. I'm very grateful for insurance, for the achievement scheme, for the thinking that goes in to the handbook, and the potential support for my club, but I don't really see why that might obligate me in some way to attend the AGM.

My mischievous side considers that if it was considered desirable that a lot of members attend, then the AGM could always be moved so that it takes place one evening at the Nats; but then it may not be so productive. (Can you imagine!)

Now be nice everyone, or the mods will be shutting this one down!

Mike Rolls21/11/2012 08:24:14
500 forum posts
22 photos

Well my excuse is that it is 386 miles away.


Martin Harris21/11/2012 09:22:28
9333 forum posts
249 photos

Maybe this thread should be linked to whenever someone posts to comment on how they feel the BMFA doesn't do what the membership would hope or expect it to?

While we can bask in the smug glow of self-satisfaction that our club has a representative there every year, it is actually because he volunteers to represent us and I suspect we might well often be one of the 750 odd if he didn't take such an interest!

Ultymate21/11/2012 10:12:37
1703 forum posts
62 photos

Eyes down for an argument ! seen and heard all this before, as they used to say before it became illegal it's tomorrow's chip wrapping.

bouncebounce crunch21/11/2012 10:21:28
1739 forum posts
212 photos

Why does anyone need 20 million Pounds/ Dollars/ Euros/ etc insurance to fly a model in a designated area? I drive a car/4 wheel drive on the road go wherever i like on that designated area and i am not covered for twenty million. Are Shooters/Hunters covered for sums as large? I am in Oz and there is talk, whispers/ backstabbing and blacklisting going on behind the scenes, and it is ridiculous, we are here for one thing, to fly our models land and take them home in one piece.

WolstonFlyer21/11/2012 10:35:04
2104 forum posts
189 photos

I guess the £10 million BMFA insurance is a fairly standard amount for public liability these days, it is a very good idea to be covered for all possible outcomes and my view is that it is very good value for money.

Don't forget that the insurance covers country members who might not be in a club and fly from private land, farms and even quiet country lanes etc...
Doing a quick google search easily found similar UK insurance cover for clay pigeon shooters / hunters etc but the insurance also covered theft / damage to equipment as well as public liability and farm & landlord buildings damage.

Edited By WolstonFlyer on 21/11/2012 10:35:59

kc21/11/2012 11:16:14
6503 forum posts
173 photos

Well we shouldnt take any notice of the Australian point of view in this discussion! They dont even have mandatory car insurance in every State there! ( according to my informant) And we all should note some youg girl got 23 million pound insurance payout this week for a car accident.

But the reason most clubs dont send delegates is some years ago the BMFA stopped clubs contacting each other to arrange new proposals. You cannot get a list of club contacts. So only those proposals that come from the self perpetuating BMFA committee will stand any chance of acceptance. So clubs dont waste money to send delegates. We know the BMFA committee will have it's own way.

On the other hand local clubs do all the work insisting on all their members being BMFA members too and so do all the work collecting the BMFA subs for the BMFA! The local clubs keep the BMFA in members, collect the fees and yet have no real influence on the BMFA.

Keiran Arnold21/11/2012 11:51:31
256 forum posts
19 photos

I believe the 20M is to cover crown indemnity which allows us to fly on MOD property

Ian Jones21/11/2012 11:59:18
3220 forum posts
1397 photos

dont know hmm,

erm thinking

Doh! Can't think of anything worth moaning about sarcastic 2.

Is that apathy or contentment?

I think insurance cover is necessary (BMFA cover is worldwide) but I also agree that wanting to go out and to fly models shouldn't automatically label us as a nuisance to society which does seem to be the case sometimes, presumably the same in Oz?

PatMc21/11/2012 12:01:41
4405 forum posts
527 photos

Posted by Colin Bernard on 20/11/2012 23:48:52:

that means that at least 750 clubs were unrepresented, to say nothing of country members.

No it doesn't, clubs are represented by their area delegate. If they want to raise an issue they can via that channel.

Jon Laughton21/11/2012 12:25:56
1215 forum posts
72 photos

Well said PatMc - imagine 30,000 turning up to an AGM where the agenda is so mundane; there could be a riot! wink

Edited By Jon Laughton on 21/11/2012 12:26:08

kc21/11/2012 12:46:21
6503 forum posts
173 photos

If the BMFA were truly democratic they would ask us all to vote for changes to things via a voting slip in the magazine. But they dont.

Lee Smalley21/11/2012 12:47:47
2125 forum posts
68 photos
2 articles

the insurance is not for you, amongst other things,it is for the person you may hit and put in a coma or vegative state, the money is to pay for his/her care and keep the familiy or him /her in the standard they are accustomed to, as a result the amount is dictated by similar awards that have already been given out by the courts. so if a case goes to courts and they award damages for a similar case for 4million next year, then insurance companies will note this and raise the value of their cover accordingly, and raise premiums.

say the unlikely does happen to you and you seriously hurt someone, and the court awards damages and court costs in excess of 1.7 million and you are only covered for up to 1 million.........could you raise the rest?????

not having insurance is selfish and foolhardy, given the cost to us! JMO

Bob Cotsford21/11/2012 12:48:23
8571 forum posts
477 photos
Posted by kc on 21/11/2012 12:46:21:

If the BMFA were truly democratic organised and flush in cash and paid personnel they would ask us all to vote for changes to things via a voting slip in the magazine. But they dont.

maybe more accurate?

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 21/11/2012 12:49:22

Colin Bernard21/11/2012 12:51:15
502 forum posts
93 photos


The clubs are unrepresented in terms of the vote. All motions are put to the floor and voted on by the clubs present. Since at the most maybe 50 were represented which means that the motions are being voted on by around 6% of those eligible to vote. In other words 94% of clubs could not vote because they were not there.

Even the recent police commissioner elections got a better turnout than that!

Bob Cotsford21/11/2012 12:53:52
8571 forum posts
477 photos

but nobody was stopping the reps attending if they wanted to so it's not really fair to say COULD not vote - maybe DIDN'T WANT to vote?

Colin Bernard21/11/2012 13:01:04
502 forum posts
93 photos

We will never know Bob, because they were not there and so could not vote. And if, as you say, it was a case of their not wanting to vote - then isn't that an issue?

If it's not wanting to because they cannot be bothered - then that is a matter for the individual club to decide - do they want effective representation or not?

And if it is a case of there being a motion they do not want to vote on, then abstaining can be just as important as a yes or no - a lot of abstentions means that maybe that topic needs to be reviewed.

Martin Harris21/11/2012 13:19:19
9333 forum posts
249 photos

As an ordinary modeller with no BMFA involvement other than as a member, I'm happy that the organisation is doing a decent job of representing our interests and liaising with various authorities to maintain and enhance our freedom to fly models, providing a level of insurance cover that gives me peace of mind and acting with reasonable financial prudence.

I have spoken and corresponded with the BMFA in the past when I felt certain things were unclear or incorrect and have always had my viewpoint considered appropriately. While I have no particular interest in free flight competitions, control liners, rocketry etc. I'm sure that we RC modellers get at least an equal share of the BMFA's benefits for our fees.

If I wasn't satisfied with the above and let things go unchallenged, I'd agree that I was being apothetic but I suspect that the majority of modellers are content to pay what they feel is a reasonable fee for the benefits provided.

I accept that not everyone feels this way and it's a positive benefit that they raise their concerns - even if many don't share them and it's this way that anything seriously wrong would be likely to be revealed so BBC's impression of "talk, whispers/ backstabbing and blacklisting going on" is probably distorted by the minority view.

With regard to BBC's impression of our green and pleasant land being able to accomodate our hobby without potentially hazarding an innocent member of the public, I'm afraid that he'd need to visit us to appreciate a population density over the entire country (England) greater than that of suburban Sidney - and concentrated largely where the majority of modellers want to fly. The situation in the other home countries isn't as bad but even in Scotland with its wide open spaces, the vast majority of the population is concentrated within a limited area.

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