A Statement regarding recent events

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Paddy Duncan

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Jan 19, 2016, 7:28:33 PM1/19/16
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This is a statement in response to various questions that have been raised recently which do not seem to have been satisfactorily answered.

It is approved by 5 current trustees and 1 former trustee.

Dean Forbes was not involved in its writing.

 

A lot of the publicly available information purporting to be factual, particularly on the mailing list is, in our opinion, both biased and lacking in relevant detail, not to mention that this is not helped by the fractious and argumentative nature of some mailing list posts.

 

The reason for this lack of detail is mostly due to grievance procedure matters being confidential to Trustees. The result so far has been that the public discussion has contained many allegations, assumptions and questions, while a significant portion of the facts are still publicly unknown as a result of Trustees keeping that confidence.

 

Re the statement from 13 present and past Trustees:

'five occasions where members raised a complaint against Dean Forbes (the allegations being generally for aggressive and dictatorial behaviour)'

Three are recorded. Perhaps they relate to the 2 storage violation complaints referred to later, we don't know. There were also several unofficial complaints regarding storage violations. There is also an outstanding request to the Trustees for this information, as yet unanswered.

 

At least 3 of those who approved that statement took that number on trust, and due to the current lack of records or even informal knowledge of this matter we regret that decision.

 

Regarding those 3 complaints:

The first incident was referred to in the EGM, and when it occurred, in 2013, it was thoroughly investigated and dropped due to lack of evidence.  It was clear that a heated encounter of some kind occurred but there was considerable scope for subjectivity and this was part of the reason for the lack of formal warning.

 

The second complaint, in June 2015, appeared to contain little actionable content, historical allegations, and indeed contained some errors of fact, and no action was taken. This is however still an example of a grievance procedure failure. It was not dealt with in a timely manner and got ignored and delayed for too long. Where there is a general consensus amongst the Trustees, such delays tend not to happen.

 

The third complaint (the one alluded to in the ML thread recently) has been investigated and 3 independent written statements have been received by the Trustees from the members who were present and witnessed the events first hand. They all state categorically that there was no wrongdoing on Dean’s part. It has also been alleged that they are all his friends. It is not so.

 

‘We are also aware of at least four occasions where members have brought Dean's alleged aggressive behaviour to trustees' attention in person’

As far as we know, 1 (now ex) Trustee received all of these allegations privately, and no specifics whatsoever have been passed on to the board.

 

‘but have declined to raise formal complaints because they were fearful of reprisals’

No one has been able to quantify the kind of reprisal they were fearful of,  nor has anyone ever reported or even alluded to any such reprisal taking place, unless this refers to robust  emails of denial or somesuch. No one has ever reported any threat of such reprisals.

 

This statement is in no way meant to imply that Dean is some kind of angel, nor are we the Dean appreciation society. We would like to see fair play though.

It is true that he has been guilty of various things, notably storage infractions, lack of communication regarding workshop equipment, and confusing posts to the mailing list. However, it is in our opinion not the case that the Trustees have failed to act out of fear of reprisals or any such thing. Some of them may have felt that way but if so they were in a minority. We believe that the allegations of intimidation are the result of misunderstanding and miscommunication due to his stature and forthrightness.

The grievance procedure does sometimes fall short, it could do with some improvement, and that is being worked on.

 

We would also like to add that we find the behaviour of some of the Hackspace members (and some Trustees) somewhat less than excellent and rather distasteful, not only with regard to Dean but others too.

 

Yes, this EGM is legal and those who requested and supported it have every right to do so. We believe however that the kind of divisiveness it creates could be as harmful as the problem it purports to solve.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Paddy

Phil

Sam

Matthew

Andy

Dean

 

20 January 2016

 

Russ Garrett

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Jan 19, 2016, 8:14:26 PM1/19/16
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I would like to note for the record that I was never consulted on this
statement.

I would like to know, promptly and in public, if I am a member of the
"some Trustees" who have exhibited "somewhat less than excellent and
rather distasteful" behaviour, and if so why nobody has mentioned it
to me before now.

In my opinion, this kind of passive-aggressive arguing reflects very
badly on the board of trustees in general, and I am ashamed that this
organisation which I founded has lowered itself to this level.

Russ
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Tim Reynolds

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Jan 19, 2016, 8:30:48 PM1/19/16
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Of course it in no way implies that Dean is an angel, nor are you the
Dean appreciation society - you'd just like to drive the point home once
again that no one in the hackspace fears reprisal because all the people
that do have either left or are too fearful to bring it up.

Good job.

I'm past caring what the results of the vote are, this place is fucked.

Billy

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Jan 19, 2016, 9:55:02 PM1/19/16
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On Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 1:30:48 AM UTC, Tim Reynolds wrote:
Of course it in no way implies that Dean is an angel, nor are you the
Dean appreciation society - you'd just like to drive the point home once
again that no one in the hackspace fears reprisal because all the people
that do have either left or are too fearful to bring it up.

This of course applies to all of the bullying and trolling behaviour that happens online.

 

Paddy Duncan

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Jan 20, 2016, 2:58:17 AM1/20/16
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No you are not. You have always conducted yourself in an exemplary manner in my opinion and I'm sure the others would agree.
I would personally like to apologise for not having consulted you, I did consider it but I didn't feel it was appropriate as you have remained publically neutral throughout. The others may disagree, but it was never mentioned.

Paddy

deanforbes

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Jan 20, 2016, 2:59:58 AM1/20/16
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Firstly I would like to thank those of  you who took the time to put this note together, for your integrity I appreciate the effort

I do have short comings and I will endeavour to work on them  - I have just had a massive 360 review / appraisal

Should the membership wish I look forward to working with the board.

deanforbes

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Jan 20, 2016, 3:22:56 AM1/20/16
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I have never experienced anything but appropriate and professional conduct from Russ - he is a good Director and Chair of the London Hackspace 

On Wednesday, 20 January 2016 00:28:33 UTC, PaddyD wrote:

Elliot West

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Jan 20, 2016, 5:09:40 AM1/20/16
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This nature of the release of this statement is a farce and demonstrates that we no longer have a functioning board. I will be cancelling my membership.
--

Matt Taylor

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Jan 20, 2016, 6:04:48 AM1/20/16
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I can't help but feel the timing of this statement is deliberate and is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to swing voters ahead of the online vote. Worse, a statement from *some* of the trustees seems pretty meaningless if there is no consensus on such a statement from all trustees. The fact the statement also calls out "some trustees" for somewhat less than excellent behaviour is exactly the kind of divisive rhetoric that should be avoided, surely?

Good to know that Dean is not part of the "Dean Appreciation Society" though.

--

Tim Reynolds

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Jan 20, 2016, 6:32:19 AM1/20/16
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Absolutely, all forms of bullying are unacceptable. By your own logic the grievance procedure is perfectly equipped to deal with this, and as no one has been banned for it then it doesn't exist. 

space...@gmail.com

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Jan 20, 2016, 6:54:14 AM1/20/16
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I dont see this as the trustees being fractured or having a broken hackspace.
This issue has been very divisive within the hackspace.
The fact that the board is divided over it actually shows that the boards opinions are a good representation of the opinions of the membership.
It is the sign of a well balance board.

Elliot West

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Jan 20, 2016, 7:06:18 AM1/20/16
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That trustees have differing opinions is to be expected. However, that 5 trustees have decided to release a statement, close to a vote, and apparently without broad consensus or even consideration by the rest of the board is of great concern.

--

Adrian Godwin

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Jan 20, 2016, 7:14:22 AM1/20/16
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It seems a reasonable response to other statements. I am personally interested to hear all opinions. I'll judge for myself which are the most believable, though I don't find that easy.

Eugene Nadyrshin

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Jan 20, 2016, 7:23:39 AM1/20/16
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For the most part I've tried to avoid responding to this bickering in public but the hypocritical nature of this 'statement' paired with the fabrications it tries to pass as fact leaves me with little choice but to write a response. I must say though that the timing is certainly convenient, released just the day before the EGM voting opens.

I've reached out to some of the signatories on this statement about the details and have been told that the statement was drafted by Paddy and Phil (the noted ex-trustee) with some of the others "agreeing to the sentiment". The rest of the trustees were apparently not even consulted on the statement or its content at all.

The statement smacks of hypocrisy. Your closing paragraph highlights that the "divisiveness [the EGM] creates could be as harmful as the problem" yet I think little could be more divisive than half of the trustees publicly denouncing the other half for 'less than excellent and rather distasteful' behaviour (something that Dean has been repeatedly accused of, I might add).

This is the first time I've heard that my complaint (June 2015) contained "errors of fact" as in this statement. Why have I never been consulted on this? If you've not attempted to clarify such errors by approaching myself as the complainant then there's clearly not been a fair investigation into the complaint.

With regards to complaints in person you claim "1 (now ex) Trustee received all of these allegations privately, and no specifics whatsoever have been passed on to the board". I have received at least two complaints in person since being elected and notified the other trustees of them so this part of the statement is an outright lie. Both of these complaints were made anonymously, however, as the complainants were fearful of reprisal from Dean (the same reprisals the statement claims don't happen and don't exist). 

And as other members have alluded to you state that "Dean Forbes was not involved in its writing" yet Dean's name is signed at the bottom of the statement. This does very little to lend any credibility to the supposed impartial nature of the statement.

If I'm completely honest this statement reeks of attempting to sweep everything under the rug. You play down or outright dismiss the serious complaints made against Dean whilst trying to discredit the remaining trustees who you conveniently forgot to consult on this statement.

The truly sad thing here is that regardless of the outcome of the EGM voting I can no longer see much hope for the leadership of the space. We now have half the trustees acting behind the backs of the other half and publicly backstabbing them. Who does that serve? It's certainly not for the benefit of the space... 

Eugene (trustee)

On 20 January 2016 at 00:28, Paddy Duncan <pad...@padski.co.uk> wrote:

--

Lynz

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Jan 20, 2016, 7:47:11 AM1/20/16
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This is not the sign of a well balanced board. This is a sign of trustees being unable to work together as a group. 

Any correspondence of this nature that claims to be from the board (which as soon as you say trustees, it's a board statement whether that is what you intend or not) should at the very least be reviewed by ALL members of that board prior to release, regardless of whether they agree with the sentiment. 

People disagree on matters. That is a fact. But what a balanced board should be able to do is be able to reach a decision together. There should not be a smoke and mirrors, backstabbing approach to how the board conducts themselves. It's a poor reflection of the Hackspace and only shows just how bad things are becoming. 

Tim Reynolds

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Jan 20, 2016, 7:51:57 AM1/20/16
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I am amazed that the active twisting of the truth and outright lying to
defend Dean extends to this many trustees, current and former.

I'm just absolutely staggered.
> <mailto:pad...@padski.co.uk>> wrote:
>
> This is a statement in response to various questions that have been
> raised recently which do not seem to have been satisfactorily
> answered. ____
>
> It is approved by 5 current trustees and 1 former trustee. ____
>
> Dean Forbes was not involved in its writing. ____
>
> __ __
>
> A lot of the publicly available information purporting to be
> factual, particularly on the mailing list is, in our opinion, both
> biased and lacking in relevant detail, not to mention that this is
> not helped by the fractious and argumentative nature of some mailing
> list posts. ____
>
> __ __
>
> The reason for this lack of detail is mostly due to grievance
> procedure matters being confidential to Trustees. The result so far
> has been that the public discussion has contained many allegations,
> assumptions and questions, while a significant portion of the facts
> are still publicly unknown as a result of Trustees keeping that
> confidence.____
>
> __ __
>
> Re the statement from 13 present and past Trustees:____
>
> 'five occasions where members raised a complaint against Dean Forbes
> (the allegations being generally for aggressive and dictatorial
> behaviour)'____
>
> Three are recorded. Perhaps they relate to the 2 storage violation
> complaints referred to later, we don't know. There were also several
> unofficial complaints regarding storage violations. There is also an
> outstanding request to the Trustees for this information, as yet
> unanswered.____
>
> __ __
>
> At least 3 of those who approved that statement took that number on
> trust, and due to the current lack of records or even informal
> knowledge of this matter we regret that decision.____
>
> __ __
>
> Regarding those 3 complaints:____
>
> The first incident was referred to in the EGM, and when it occurred,
> in 2013, it was thoroughly investigated and dropped due to lack of
> evidence. It was clear that a heated encounter of some kind
> occurred but there was considerable scope for subjectivity and this
> was part of the reason for the lack of formal warning.____
>
> __ __
>
> The second complaint, in June 2015, appeared to contain little
> actionable content, historical allegations, and indeed contained
> some errors of fact, and no action was taken. This is however still
> an example of a grievance procedure failure. It was not dealt with
> in a timely manner and got ignored and delayed for too long. Where
> there is a general consensus amongst the Trustees, such delays tend
> not to happen.____
>
> __ __
>
> The third complaint (the one alluded to in the ML thread recently)
> has been investigated and 3 independent written statements have been
> received by the Trustees from the members who were present and
> witnessed the events first hand. They all state categorically that
> there was no wrongdoing on Dean’s part. It has also been alleged
> that they are all his friends. It is not so.____
>
> __ __
>
> ‘We are also aware of at least four occasions where members have
> brought Dean's alleged aggressive behaviour to trustees' attention
> in person’____
>
> As far as we know, 1 (now ex) Trustee received all of these
> allegations privately, and no specifics whatsoever have been passed
> on to the board.____
>
> __ __
>
> ‘but have declined to raise formal complaints because they were
> fearful of reprisals’____
>
> No one has been able to quantify the kind of reprisal they were
> fearful of, nor has anyone ever reported or even alluded to any
> such reprisal taking place, unless this refers to robust emails of
> denial or somesuch. No one has ever reported any threat of such
> reprisals. ____
>
> __ __
>
> This statement is in no way meant to imply that Dean is some kind of
> angel, nor are we the Dean appreciation society. We would like to
> see fair play though.____
>
> It is true that he has been guilty of various things, notably
> storage infractions, lack of communication regarding workshop
> equipment, and confusing posts to the mailing list. However, it is
> in our opinion not the case that the Trustees have failed to act out
> of fear of reprisals or any such thing. Some of them may have felt
> that way but if so they were in a minority. We believe that the
> allegations of intimidation are the result of misunderstanding and
> miscommunication due to his stature and forthrightness. ____
>
> The grievance procedure does sometimes fall short, it could do with
> some improvement, and that is being worked on.____
>
> __ __
>
> We would also like to add that we find the behaviour of some of the
> Hackspace members (and some Trustees) somewhat less than excellent
> and rather distasteful, not only with regard to Dean but others too.
> ____
>
> __ __
>
> Yes, this EGM is legal and those who requested and supported it have
> every right to do so. We believe however that the kind of
> divisiveness it creates could be as harmful as the problem it
> purports to solve. ____
>
> __ __
>
> Thanks for reading.____
>
> __ __
>
> Paddy____
>
> Phil____
>
> Sam____
>
> Matthew____
>
> Andy____
>
> Dean____
>
> __ __
>
> 20 January 2016____
>
> __ __
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "London Hackspace" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it,
> send an email to london-hack-sp...@googlegroups.com
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> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
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>
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deanforbes

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Jan 20, 2016, 7:56:56 AM1/20/16
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I was asked if I would consent and support a document setting out the facts which I did and do, I had no sight of this prior to it being published, however I had and have full confidence in the integrity of the people I believed to be involved and felt the record needed to be set straight regarding the incomplete and misleading statement that was sponsored by Jonty and his support base.

The matter's that relate to me are as I believe them to have happened and are the facts without an emotive bent

For me it was an easy call due the amount of distortion, misinformation that is presented as fact on the list.


On Wednesday, 20 January 2016 00:28:33 UTC, PaddyD wrote:

David Murphy

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Jan 20, 2016, 8:01:09 AM1/20/16
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While I believe the letter addresses some important issues and I can't say my feelings on the issue differ too much ... I'm somewhat stunned that 5 of the trustees would release this without at least letting the others know.

I can see why Russ would be left out since he's been acting as the neutral party in proceedings but it's bad form not to note it in the initial letter though can be seen as an understandable oversight.

Both Charles and Mentar have every right to be pissed off about this.
The trustees are not required to be united in all opinions but the more traditional way to handle this where not all trustees can agree is to publish with a dissenting section included or at least to tell them so that they know it's about to be published. 

This thread is by a wide margin far more worrying than anything else that's hit the mailing list related to this.

Eugene is right in that this is one hell of a stab in the back, I'd be cheering this statement if it had been done in a less horrible manner but fuck...

geekinesis

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Jan 20, 2016, 8:02:43 AM1/20/16
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I haven't been to the hackspace in months and have no idea what's going on there so this is just my view after reading months of depressing emails.
This may seem like a stupid question but I think I understand the organisation of the backspace in that there are a set of trustees who are elected by the membership, but is there someone who is ultimately in charge or responsible for the management of the space?
Ie if the hackspace appears (from an outside perspective) to be in semi crisis, is there anyone who is in overall control who can pull things together if the trustees system fails? Like most charities with trustees have a ceo/manager or whatever? Do trustees normally have to be the day to day managers as well?
I fully support the idea of the hackspace as a social/organisational experiment but It just seems from reading the many depressing daily emails that the problems are getting so complex and convoluted it could need a bit of impartial leadership to bring things back into perspective.

Robert McWilliam

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Jan 20, 2016, 8:46:55 AM1/20/16
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On Wed, Jan 20, 2016, at 12:56, deanforbes wrote:
I was asked if I would consent and support a document setting out the facts which I did and do, I had no sight of this prior to it being published,
 
Can I just confirm that this was sent out with your name attached as having "signed" it, but you hadn't at that point read it?
 
Robert
--
 
Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
 

deanforbes

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Jan 20, 2016, 9:09:05 AM1/20/16
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@Robert Yes my "signature"  supports the airing of the facts -  I was deliberately, I believe not involved so that I could have no influence or veto on what was included 

On Wednesday, 20 January 2016 00:28:33 UTC, PaddyD wrote:

Tim Reynolds

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Jan 20, 2016, 9:21:48 AM1/20/16
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You support setting out the facts but then go on to blame Jonty and his
support base. Jonty is not leading some uprising against you. He did not
table the motions to have you removed and did not start the call for the
EGM.
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deanforbes

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Jan 20, 2016, 9:34:20 AM1/20/16
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@Tim - fact  - Jonty solicited and used his influence in this matter, I suggest you ask him for access to his email or to deny this publicly if you want to pursue this avenue 

Peter "Sci" Turpin

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Jan 20, 2016, 9:34:39 AM1/20/16
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Referencing the Articles of Association;
https://london.hackspace.org.uk/organisation/docs/articles.pdf

The term "trustee" does not exist in this document. The title of
"Director" does. It would seem at some point the two terms have been
conflated. I would suspect this is a deliberate attempt to avoid using a
term that seems dictatorial. It is worth noting if we're discussing the
legalities however. If I'm wrong about this it would be extremely
important to address as well as include in the induction.

Companies House lists our current trustees as "Officers" and "Directors"
however, so the terms may be interchangeable. That seems unlikely in a
bureaucracy though, so there is probably some nuance.

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/06807563/officers

The space is run as a self-organising anarchy, aka "no rulers, not 'no
rules', with the trustees only existing for legal purposes. That's the
official line as far as I'm aware. And yes, there is irony in having an
official line on being an anarchy. However my perspective is this only
works for small populations. The autonomous decision making an
in-fighting of the various groups is an example of a how those groups
are becoming untethered from the space as a whole. It's also
demonstrated by the increasing number of times trustees are asked to
step in to settle the incompatibilities between those groups or those
groups and the space at large.

More people means more management for cooperative behaviour.

The current system is insufficient for handling a population of this
size. The board needs to delegate power in an official capacity to more
people. People who are likely to be on-hand, know the rules accurately
and can advise or act on behalf of the board.

And regarding the mailing list itself, I do not believe it is fit for
purpose any more. Even during peaceful times, most will ignore it
because of high traffic and a poor signal to noise ratio. 3000+ people
cannot have multiple meaningful discussions in a single monolithic
channel. It is incredible to me that it works as well as it does.

In my opinion, switching to web-forums would vastly improve
communication matters. The argument against this previously has been
that you can't respond by email. It depends on which forum software you
choose, but there are plugins that permit this. Most will send you
updates to watched topics or sub-forums as standard.
Web-forums would also be a good route for power delegation; forum
moderators, acting to keep discussions civil and in the correct topic
threads.

Tim Reynolds

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Jan 20, 2016, 9:38:35 AM1/20/16
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What do you mean by used his influence? The email that was posted on the
ML? I sent similar emails to a lot of people, as did others. I can't
speak for other trustees but given the positions some of them have taken
they probably did too. Why are they not my supporters, or someone elses
supporters? Why single Jonty out?

What is the problem? They're members and are allowed to talk to other
members. You held a meeting in the space where you aired your side of
the story - why is no one else allowed this luxury? I'm sure that if one
of us had called a meeting it would have been labelled THE CABAL or THE
CLIQUE or some other ridiculous title.
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Mark Steward

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Jan 20, 2016, 9:41:22 AM1/20/16
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The "statement from 13 current and past trustees regarding the EGM":


was drafted mostly by Jonty, but was open to corrections, and agreed with by the people listed on it. I doubt think Paddy would count as Jonty's support base, but he was apparently in the "support base" of the final text.

So it could be worded in a less slimy way, but "sponsored by Jonty and his support base" is not literally incorrect. This also applies to literally correct but misleading phrases like "found to not warrant action".


Mark

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Tom Newsom

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Jan 20, 2016, 9:55:25 AM1/20/16
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I won't comment on Deangate, but I will on these items:


Sci wrote:
The current system is insufficient for handling a population of this
size. The board needs to delegate power in an official capacity to more
people. People who are likely to be on-hand, know the rules accurately
and can advise or act on behalf of the board.

SLMS are doing exactly this. We're tiny compared to LHS (100 members) but we want to avoid the bad patterns that have developed as evidenced on this mailing list over the recent months. We're therefore formalising roles and assigning people to them. Things like "new member welcoming" "woodworking H&S" "marketing/comms" "sysadmins". The thought being that hierarchies are inevevitable and it's better to plan them, rather than react messily when we don't like the emergent informal power structures.
 
And regarding the mailing list itself, I do not believe it is fit for
purpose any more. Even during peaceful times, most will ignore it
because of high traffic and a poor signal to noise ratio. 3000+ people
cannot have multiple meaningful discussions in a single monolithic
channel. It is incredible to me that it works as well as it does.

In my opinion, switching to web-forums would vastly improve
communication matters. The argument against this previously has been
that you can't respond by email. It depends on which forum software you
choose, but there are plugins that permit this. Most will send you
updates to watched topics or sub-forums as standard.
Web-forums would also be a good route for power delegation; forum
moderators, acting to keep discussions civil and in the correct topic

We use Discourse for our communications (https://discourse.southlondonmakerspace.org/) and it's a breath of fresh air compared to a mailing list. Proper categories, tags, @mentions (both of users and usergroups: eg @trustees your attention is needed!), post editing, moderation, built-in wiki, markdown, attractive presentation, API, extensibility etc etc etc. And it's not like anyone would be forced to give up their email client. A single setting in your preferences means you can interact with the whole shebang as if it was a mailing list.

I highly recommend at least giving it a trial. Free and open source, installs in 30m.

Sarah Simmonds

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Jan 20, 2016, 10:01:05 AM1/20/16
to London Hackspace
> ‘We are also aware of at least four occasions where members have brought Dean's alleged aggressive behaviour to trustees' attention in person’
> As far as we know, 1 (now ex) Trustee received all of these allegations privately, and no specifics whatsoever have been passed on to the board.

To clarify: I received one statement from an existing member personally. Not all four, so the suggestion that 1 ex trustee received all of them is false. I have since asked the complainant if they might consider speaking publicly about their complaint, but they have declined to do so as is their right.

I was consulted on "A statement from 13 current and past trustees regarding the EGM" linked above as an ex-trustee. It seems at the very *least* inconsistent to then not ask me to quantify my input so the second statement could clarify details rather than muddy them further. But I guess it's easier to disregard members concerns by publicly claiming ignorance rather than following due diligence.


> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Jonty Wareing

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Jan 20, 2016, 10:41:00 AM1/20/16
to London Hackspace
Since standing down I've been dealing with aforementioned personal issues and have had little time to be involved with the space - I'd intended to keep it that way for a while longer, but when incorrect accusations are levelled at me I have little choice but to reply.

To say that I'm startled and extremely disappointed would be a gross understatement, this email simply makes the current board look utterly foolish and fractured beyond repair.

The original statement was written over a two-day period during which we reached out to every single trustee that had served during Dean's membership. It was an exceptionally difficult document to write, and the final version we sent out was cut down to just cover verifiable facts in order to prevent debate and argument.

Every single fact in that statement was agreed on (and some corrected multiple times) by everybody involved in the writing process. We did not send the statement until everybody was happy with what it said, and people were free to opt out - the point of having as many trustees involved as possible was to try and ensure facts were correct and remove personal bias (which it did).

To cover the statements in this reply:

* The "five occasions where members raised a complaint" number was sourced (I believe) by Paddy checking his email records. If it is actually incorrect then an apology is due.

* Insinuating that the "ex Trustee" (me) fabricated the four in person complaints is ridiculous. Off the top of my head I know both Mentar and Sarah have received them, and Mentar has explicitly communicated this to the other trustees.

* Reprisals comprise fear of in-person harassment and victimisation both online and in the space. This has been discussed amongst the trustees many times.

* Yes, some of the trustees explicitly feared reprisals and opted out of the grievance procedure. The other 50% opted out because dealing with Dean can be absolutely exhausting and they just gave up.

If there are factual errors in the statement issued the fault lies with _every trustee that reviewed and wrote it_.

The fact that you wrote a statement without including three other elected trustees (two of whom have grievances on file) is bad enough, but that you then included _one_ random ex-trustee rather than reaching out to the others is absolutely absurd. That you then incorrectly insinuate that I lied without even talking to me is just disgusting.

Onward to Dean's reply:

    "Incomplete and misleading statement that was sponsored by Jonty and his support base."

If by "support base" you mean "all other trustees", and if by "sponsored" you mean "heroically managed to get 13 trustees to agree on something", then yes. It was never going to be as complete as anybody would like, and it was genuinely not intended to be misleading. I apologise for everybody involved if you find it so.

Again, _every trustee_ had input into the statement and could change it (it was a piratepad). Absolutely nobody other than the trustees (and ex-trustees) had involvement in it's production.

I would like to make some things very, very clear (again):

* I did not propose the EGM.
* The EGM would certainly have happened without my support, it may have just taken longer.
* I supported it because I wanted it to happen quickly. A motion like that brewing slowly in the background would be infinitely more painful than ripping the plaster off.
* I was far from the only person of responsibility who supported it (hence my certainty). Many remain undeclared.

And:

* At that point I'd decided to stand down in 2016 regardless. I was aware of other trustees making noises about standing down if Dean remained elected. I had not yet considered standing down immediately.
* I supported it because I truly feared that the board was about to become completely dysfunctional and cause untold damage to the hackspace either in the short or long term.

Perhaps I should start a career as a fortune teller.

It should be blindingly obvious to everybody that my only concern is the longevity of the space. I do not seek power, and I do not hold power gladly - stepping down was an enormous relief.

Dean being a trustee or not is of no consequence to me if the board of trustees can operate with him and keep the space healthy, but it's very clear the imbalance is so severe as to call into question it's long-term survival. This statement simply confirms my initial nightmares.

Please keep in mind that in just over a year the hackspace needs to begin moving to a new location otherwise it will cease to exist. It's a truly daunting task that will strain every part of the community - if you truly want the hackspace to survive then this is a time to exercise pragmatism rather than battling to prove you are right.

An addendum:

After catching up with everything that has gone on I've been dismayed to see members saying things like "people should just man up" and "if they won't say anything it didn't happen".

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of how most people respond to unwanted conflict. They don't fight to correct an injustice, they just walk away.

And right now, I'm considering joining them.

Jonty


P.S. Thanks to everyone who sent me lovely emails and offered support after I stepped down. I'm somewhat better now, but things are far from out of the woods. TBC.

Samb1

unread,
Jan 20, 2016, 11:52:35 AM1/20/16
to London Hackspace
This definitely could have been timed better. The aim was to release some kind of statement before the EGM and since the vote is happening today it was either release it or not bother at all (perhaps the latter would have been wiser).
More people should definitely have been consulted I agree. Also current trustees who were declared impartial or who had stated they would leave if Dean stayed weren't consulted, we've already debated our differences extensively elsewhere.

It was my perception that those that attended the EGM overwhelmingly showed their support for Dean, well, at least supported giving him a chance given that he was voted into the role (perhaps the vote will show otherwise). Sure, the EGM can mean that he is just as fairly voted back out of it.
I've said more than once that I'm in the odd position of defending Dean, I've looked into a couple of recent complaints about him and personally supported and pushed for the warning for storage violations. However I did feel that much of the extra stuff levelled against him was flimsy, or more to the point personal (something that sol will obviously want to refute as per his message sent coincidentally just be fore the EGM itself).
The other stuff seemed to be grey areas for example the issues with the lathes and NODs etc. People were upset that he did something that was completely within the scope of the rules.

Also, there's no veil, it's clear that this message is being delivered prior to the vote for obvious reasons.

Regarding the 13 trustees statement much of this was drastically pruned down to a few statements to which the term 'alleged' was explicitly added (these may be some of the points of debate that you remember). I think there was a general move toward us all agreeing on a message (after a couple of tedious weeks) that in hindsight ultimately said very little or created further uncertainty.

It was clear that sol particularly did not want to work with Dean and stated that he would not even communicate with Dean directly and thereafter I think certain parties set about creating the storm that we're now all witnessing and getting drawn into (their intentions may have been toward what was thought to be for the greater good of the space but here we are anyway).

I think we both argued over this a lot at the time and I felt that a lot of decisions were being made for emotional rather than rational reasons.

I'm not going to suggest to anyone how to vote on this, they might simply think they want to remove Dean anyway, I just don't think that it should be swayed by loose allegations. Something went wrong somewhere, either Dean is as bad as you say, the grievance procedure is broken or this was an issue that wasn't adequately dealt with by those whose were supposedly on watch. Maybe it's a bit of all three, but I don't think the complete vilification of Dean is the route to solving the other causes.

Things seem to have also become needlessly polarised, no calm middle ground is apparently allowed, at least not by those who shout the loudest. Appealing to anything that doesn't follow the anti-Dean party line seems to suggest one is a "supporter of Dean". Or perhaps I've misunderstood the arguments?
It seems ironic that there's a lot of complaining by people saying they're afraid to speak out but they're quite happy to try and silence or attack people who don't want to gel with their particular set of opinions.

Suggesting the current board is broken is not constructive and also untrue. The statement was OK'd by a majority of current with the exceptions mentioned above, it's also not a statement on behalf of the trustees, just to clarify that.
Further, I think If the board were broken it would be broken because certain people didn't want Dean on it, and they decided if they can't have it their way, then no one can have it at all. Again, more decisions based on emotion instead of reason. But fortunately I think things will hold together OK.

Peter "Sci" Turpin

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Jan 20, 2016, 1:22:19 PM1/20/16
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On 20/01/2016 14:55, Tom Newsom wrote:
> SLMS are doing exactly this. We're tiny compared to LHS (100 members)
> but we want to avoid the bad patterns that have developed as evidenced
> on this mailing list over the recent months. We're therefore formalising
> roles and assigning people to them. Things like "new member welcoming"
> "woodworking H&S" "marketing/comms" "sysadmins". The thought being that
> hierarchies are inevevitable and it's better to plan them, rather than
> react messily when we don't like the emergent informal power structures.

That's an admirable way of going about it. I'm sorry to say I've often
felt the LHS more reacts to issues as they occur, rather than aiming to
address them in advance. And that that in turn is due to the active
desire to let the space self-organise.

My own experience in the growth of communities is easy for some to
dismiss as relevant because it's largely based around the Furry
community in London over the last 20 years. But I see a lot of the same
patterns and problems here as I did there.

At one point the 3-weekly London meetups had higher attendance than any
of the European conventions (IE; several hundred slightly drunken
people, some in elaborate outfits, in jammed into a bar), and one of the
useful things the organising committee did was to give attending members
of the committee bright red T-shirts with "STAFF" on them so people
could easily locate an authority figure if there was a problem, even if
they were new and knew no one.

I'm not sure shirts are applicable, as the space is 24/7 so less of an
event, but some sort of badge or bright lanyard could make designated
Helpful Persons more visible.


> We use Discourse for our communications
> (https://discourse.southlondonmakerspace.org/) and it's a breath of
> fresh air compared to a mailing list. Proper categories, tags, @mentions
> (both of users and usergroups: eg @trustees your attention is needed!),
> post editing, moderation, built-in wiki, markdown, attractive
> presentation, API, extensibility etc etc etc. And it's not like anyone
> would be forced to give up their email client. A single setting in your
> preferences means you can interact with the whole shebang as if it was a
> mailing list.
>
> I highly recommend at least giving it a trial. Free and open source,
> installs in 30m.

It sounds like it has a lot of potential. I'd like to hear how readily
it could be tied into the existing website though.

And thankyou for the answers off-list. It sounds like it would be fairly
trivial to have designated "list admins" separate from the trustees,
both to delegate power and help prevent abuses of it.

Jasper Wallace

unread,
Jan 20, 2016, 1:54:12 PM1/20/16
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On Wed, 20 Jan 2016, Peter "Sci" Turpin wrote:

> Referencing the Articles of Association;
> https://london.hackspace.org.uk/organisation/docs/articles.pdf
>
> The term "trustee" does not exist in this document. The title of "Director"
> does. It would seem at some point the two terms have been conflated. I would
> suspect this is a deliberate attempt to avoid using a term that seems
> dictatorial. It is worth noting if we're discussing the legalities however. If
> I'm wrong about this it would be extremely important to address as well as
> include in the induction.

IIRC this came about cos at one point the hackspace wanted to become a
charity, and charitys have trustees. Becoming a charity turned out to be a
bit of a headache and not really a good fit for us so we didn't bother and
just settled on a non-profit limited by garentee, but 'trustee' stuck.

so yes, trustee == director, at least as far as the hackspace is
concerned.

> Companies House lists our current trustees as "Officers" and "Directors"
> however, so the terms may be interchangeable. That seems unlikely in a
> bureaucracy though, so there is probably some nuance.
>
> https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/06807563/officers
>
> The space is run as a self-organising anarchy, aka "no rulers, not 'no rules',
> with the trustees only existing for legal purposes. That's the official line
> as far as I'm aware.

Yes, thats the official line, (or at least it was). Nowadays the trustees
are activly involved inter member disputes and a lot of day to day running
of the space things, additionally many of the members deffer decision
making ot the trustees and tend to refer others to the trustees rather
than helping with something themselves.

> And yes, there is irony in having an official line on
> being an anarchy. However my perspective is this only works for small
> populations. The autonomous decision making an in-fighting of the various
> groups is an example of a how those groups are becoming untethered from the
> space as a whole. It's also demonstrated by the increasing number of times
> trustees are asked to step in to settle the incompatibilities between those
> groups or those groups and the space at large.
>
> More people means more management for cooperative behaviour.
>
> The current system is insufficient for handling a population of this size. The
> board needs to delegate power in an official capacity to more people. People
> who are likely to be on-hand, know the rules accurately and can advise or act
> on behalf of the board.

This is probably a good point to being up the "tyranny of
structurelessness":

http://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/tyranny.htm

We're not totally structureless (the EGM is proff of that!), but i think
we could do with a bit more, and existing structure encouraged and
enforsed more.
--
[http://pointless.net/] [0x2ECA0975]

Sue Spence

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Jan 20, 2016, 2:24:29 PM1/20/16
to London Hackspace


On Wednesday, 20 January 2016 16:52:35 UTC, Samb1 wrote:
This definitely could have been timed better. The aim was to release some kind of statement before the EGM and since the vote is happening today it was either release it or not bother at all (perhaps the latter would have been wiser).

Yes, the latter would have been wiser. In my opinion, the directors/trustees should not be squabbling on the list at all. This is creating a far worse impression of LHS than is warranted.  The membership should only be getting information on the voting procedure and left to make up their own minds.

I do wonder if members who have been subject to any hackspace disciplinary action should be disallowed from standing for trustee until some expiration period has passed.



Paddy Duncan

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Jan 20, 2016, 2:45:31 PM1/20/16
to london-h...@googlegroups.com

There's not a lot I can add to this but I had probably clear up a few loose ends...

To Jonty: yes it was me that originally provided the count of complaints for the aforementioned statement. It was '4 plus a note' (copied from the transcript). I've gone through the emails again and can only find 3 plus the note, plus an allegation of a complaint that was never made. Apologies for any confusion there.

Regarding the private complaints: Nowhere in the statement is there any insinuation that you lied about them. You repeat that twice but it is not there. We mistakenly wrote that they were all received by you and that is due to a failing of my memory, and I apologise for that and to Sarah and Eugene for forgetting theirs, yes it would have added better historical accuracy but the board's lack of knowledge of the complaints remains the same.

To Eugene: I'm sorry that you think we are being hypocritical and indulging in backstabbing, that is absolutely not our intention. It is not true that this was solely penned by 2 of us with the others 'agreeing to the sentiment'. Anyone who feels they are in that category is welcome to speak up. And yes the timing may seem rather convenient, but as Sam pointed out, last night was the final hard deadline. The original plan was for it to go out days before the EGM. It's true that you were not consulted regarding any factual issues in your complaint in June, but the complaint was barely discussed at all so it never came up. Yes that in itself was a failing as noted and that will be worked on.

On a general note: I became involved in preparing this statement because of enquiries both to me personally and to the Trustees with regard to the discussions on the mailing list, seeking clarification as they felt unable to make an informed decision. You are hopefully now as informed as you are likely to be. If you want to vote him out go for it, as now everyone has vented their spleen no one should have any reason for complaint whatever the outcome, and then we will be in a much better position to move on.

--

deanforbes

unread,
Jan 20, 2016, 4:27:50 PM1/20/16
to London Hackspace, pad...@padski.co.uk
To fill in some context of one of Jonty's emails exchanges 

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dean Forbes (PERS) <de...@deanforbes.com>
Date: 1 December 2015 at 12:53
Subject: Re: This EGM :(
To: Jonty Wareing <jo...@jonty.co.uk>

Jonty

 

As I've said give me time to mull this over, I will be in on Wednesday if you want to chat, 

 

I don't discount the group that are driving this however, I believe their motivation is precisely the thing I stand against, I do however value the space as a community for all, what works against me in my view is that the majority are not the vocal crew or group that generally stick there head above the parapet. 

 

Cheers

 

Dean

 

PS I am sure the space will survive it is bigger than you and I

 

 

Regards

 

Dean Forbes

 

Mobile Phone +44 7906948725

 

 

 

 

On 1 December 2015 at 11:52, <jo...@jonty.co.uk> wrote:

Hi Dean,

 

So far we've had a large proportion of active members of the hackspace support the motion, so while not the majority they're a very large group. Don't discount groups just because they disagree with you, that ends up generating even more hostility!

 

The grievance procedure does not apply in this case, as it doesn't have the ability to remove trustees, only ban people - I don't believe anybody wants to see you banned, they just do not wish to have you as a trustee with power.

 

I have been told that the EGM proposal will not be withdrawn under any circumstances, so efforts in that direction will be somewhat futile.

 

Please seriously consider what I said. I really can't see any other way to stop this being absolutely awful and have you come out of it well.

 

Jonty

 

 

 

 

On Tue, 1 Dec 2015, at 11:22 AM, Dean Forbes (PERS) wrote:

Jonty

 

I will consider what you have to say 

 

I would like to say that I believe that I believe in fighting for what is right. I believe my role as a director is to represent all the member and that is what I believe i am doing 

 

There may be a group of longstanding members who resent me coming in as a trustee. In terms of the membership I don't believe they are the majority and if an egm can overturn the election it makes a mockery of due process

 

I have the interest of the organisation at heart that I hope you know, however at this point I feel that the effort should be asking the EGM crew to be withdrawn there motion and asking them to follow a stand greviance procedure that is fair and transparent, I am one member of a board do they not understand that. 

 

I am in on Wednesday if you want to chat 

 

Cheers

 

Dean

 

 

Regards

 

Dean Forbes

 

Mobile Phone +44 7906948725

 

 

On 1 December 2015 at 10:49, <jo...@jonty.co.uk> wrote:

Dean,

 

I'm writing this email in a personal capacity, after a completely

sleepless night of worry about the EGM.

 

I'm assuming that the reason you stood to be a trustee is to improve the

space and help it continue to exist in the future, and that you have the

space's best interests at heart rather than your own.

 

I've spoken to a large number of long-standing members of the space to

gather facts about the situation, and while very few of them wish to see

you banned from the space, nearly all of them are unhappy with you being

a trustee.

 

With that in mind I've gone over and over all the possible outcomes and

they boil down to this:

 

1) The EGM proposal succeeds in removing you as a trustee. You are no

longer a trustee, and the membership has to deal with an incredibly

harsh action. You stay as a member, and there will always be lingering

nastyness beneath the surface.

 

2) The EGM proposal fails in removing you as a trustee. The large number

of people who obviously do not want you as a director are unhappy with

the trustees, and either end their relationship with the space or

actively attempt to remove you again. You stay as a trustee and there

will be persistent issues because this has happened.

 

Essentially, nobody wins with this EGM. Whatever happens it'll be a

catastrophic blow to the community and the space as a whole. In the next

year we need to actively begin to prepare to move the space to a new

home in two years time, and I am absolutely terrified that this EGM will

lose us many of the very involved members we need to keep the space

running.

 

I've looked at the voting numbers and the EGM thresholds, and I'm

certain that the EGM proposal will succeed to remove you as a trustee.

It really doesn't take a lot of people to push it through.

 

After thinking about every possible option, the only way I can see this

ending well is if you do this on your terms, not theirs: If you

voluntarily stand down as a trustee you can say that you understand

you're a divisive figure in the hackspace and would rather continue your

good work as a member rather than as a trustee that many of the

membership reject.

 

Essentially you spin this in your favour and put them in a bad light,

preventing this from going completely out of control and causing

disastrous harm to the space. I suspect you'd end up with a substantial

amount of respect from members for putting the space before yourself and

trying to end things amicably.

 

I know it's in your nature to fight everything, but I think pursuing

this fight will take the space down with you.


Jonty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 








On Wednesday, 20 January 2016 00:28:33 UTC, PaddyD wrote:

This is a statement in response to various questions that have been raised recently which do not seem to have been satisfactorily answered.

It is approved by 5 current trustees and 1 former trustee.

Dean Forbes was not involved in its writing.

 

A lot of the publicly available information purporting to be factual, particularly on the mailing list is, in our opinion, both biased and lacking in relevant detail, not to mention that this is not helped by the fractious and argumentative nature of some mailing list posts.

 

The reason for this lack of detail is mostly due to grievance procedure matters being confidential to Trustees. The result so far has been that the public discussion has contained many allegations, assumptions and questions, while a significant portion of the facts are still publicly unknown as a result of Trustees keeping that confidence.

 

Re the statement from 13 present and past Trustees:

'five occasions where members raised a complaint against Dean Forbes (the allegations being generally for aggressive and dictatorial behaviour)'

Three are recorded. Perhaps they relate to the 2 storage violation complaints referred to later, we don't know. There were also several unofficial complaints regarding storage violations. There is also an outstanding request to the Trustees for this information, as yet unanswered.

 

At least 3 of those who approved that statement took that number on trust, and due to the current lack of records or even informal knowledge of this matter we regret that decision.

 

Regarding those 3 complaints:

The first incident was referred to in the EGM, and when it occurred, in 2013, it was thoroughly investigated and dropped due to lack of evidence.  It was clear that a heated encounter of some kind occurred but there was considerable scope for subjectivity and this was part of the reason for the lack of formal warning.

 

The second complaint, in June 2015, appeared to contain little actionable content, historical allegations, and indeed contained some errors of fact, and no action was taken. This is however still an example of a grievance procedure failure. It was not dealt with in a timely manner and got ignored and delayed for too long. Where there is a general consensus amongst the Trustees, such delays tend not to happen.

 

The third complaint (the one alluded to in the ML thread recently) has been investigated and 3 independent written statements have been received by the Trustees from the members who were present and witnessed the events first hand. They all state categorically that there was no wrongdoing on Dean’s part. It has also been alleged that they are all his friends. It is not so.

 

‘We are also aware of at least four occasions where members have brought Dean's alleged aggressive behaviour to trustees' attention in person’

As far as we know, 1 (now ex) Trustee received all of these allegations privately, and no specifics whatsoever have been passed on to the board.

 

‘but have declined to raise formal complaints because they were fearful of reprisals’

No one has been able to quantify the kind of reprisal they were fearful of,  nor has anyone ever reported or even alluded to any such reprisal taking place, unless this refers to robust  emails of denial or somesuch. No one has ever reported any threat of such reprisals.

 

This statement is in no way meant to imply that Dean is some kind of angel, nor are we the Dean appreciation society. We would like to see fair play though.

It is true that he has been guilty of various things, notably storage infractions, lack of communication regarding workshop equipment, and confusing posts to the mailing list. However, it is in our opinion not the case that the Trustees have failed to act out of fear of reprisals or any such thing. Some of them may have felt that way but if so they were in a minority. We believe that the allegations of intimidation are the result of misunderstanding and miscommunication due to his stature and forthrightness.

The grievance procedure does sometimes fall short, it could do with some improvement, and that is being worked on.

 

We would also like to add that we find the behaviour of some of the Hackspace members (and some Trustees) somewhat less than excellent and rather distasteful, not only with regard to Dean but others too.

deanforbes

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Jan 20, 2016, 4:35:44 PM1/20/16
to London Hackspace, pad...@padski.co.uk
It is in my nature to stand for what is right not to fight, a number of people claim to know what I am thinking, feel well and why I do things when they hardly know me that's interesting :-) even if they did that would not be possible 

I stood for the position that I did because I wanted an even and fair playing field, and that I felt the engineering element were under-represents on the board - its as simple as that 

Mat Stace

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Jan 20, 2016, 4:39:05 PM1/20/16
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
 
 
 
On Wed, 20 Jan 2016, at 09:27 PM, deanforbes wrote:
To fill in some context of one of Jonty's emails exchanges 
 
 
Out of curiosity, did Jonty give the OK to forward a personal email chain to a public list?
Because if not, that's definitely a bit of a dick move.

deanforbes

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Jan 20, 2016, 4:47:25 PM1/20/16
to London Hackspace, pad...@padski.co.uk
Jonty asking that you need people's help ...... to remove a director on spurious grounds in my opinion 


Subject: I briefly need your help regarding London Hackspace.


From: jonty@jonty.co.uk
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2015 14:32:38 +0000

Hello!

We either know each other, or have had exchanges online or via the
hackspace: Either way, you know who I am, why I care so much about the
hackspace, and trust my views with regards to its long-term health.

We just recently had the London Hackspace 2015 elections. Sadly during
the elections someone just managed to be elected who has personal issues
with at least three of the other trustees, and them remaining elected is
likely to cause a mass resignation of at least four of the other 9
trustees.

In an attempt to halt this disaster before it gets any further and
causes incalculable damage to the space itself, one of the members is
calling for an EGM (extraordinary general meeting) to remove this
trustee.

I would really appreciate it if you could support this EGM by quickly
emailing russ@london.hackspace.org.uk, with the subject "EGM" and the
body "I support the EGM to remove Dean Forbes".

Thanks,
Jonty

P.S. Once the EGM has been called, you'll be able to vote in favour by
proxy (me), you won't need to attend yourself unless you really want to.

P.P.S. If you'd like see why this member is such a problem I do not
recommend reading this recent 40+ post mailing list thread in which they
repeatedly lied while pointing the finger at anybody else who has broken
the rules:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/london-hack-space/6U_cG0LMVXg




Regards

Dean Forbes

Mobile Phone +44 7906948725

Toby Catlin

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Jan 20, 2016, 4:48:46 PM1/20/16
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
That is obviously a private conversation between two people and doesn't feel right that it is public. I hope Jonty gave permission.


--

deanforbes

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Jan 20, 2016, 4:55:33 PM1/20/16
to London Hackspace, pad...@padski.co.uk
It is a conversation between two people I am one of the parties to this conversation and given some of Jonty's point's it is necessary to share this and put it into context how we got here 

deanforbes

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Jan 20, 2016, 5:09:37 PM1/20/16
to London Hackspace, pad...@padski.co.uk
a reasonable person would not expect me to keep it confidential, There was no request to keep it confidential, I see also saw this as an attempt to manipulate a situation and believe that it was in the public/community interest to share .....

It is also relevant to question about Jontys support base, statement about me etc in this thread.

To attack it release because, I suspect you don't like its content holds little value. 

Toby Catlin

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Jan 20, 2016, 5:13:29 PM1/20/16
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To attack it release because, I suspect you don't like its content holds little value. 
Is that directed specifically at me? That you suspect I don't like the content?

--

Martin (Crypt)

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Jan 20, 2016, 5:17:44 PM1/20/16
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Actually I think this proves jontys point, and most of the substance, if not the entire content was public anyway.  You should not share confidential emails sent between 2 trustees on a public list.  There was no direct request to keep it confidential, but it is implied because he didn't post it to the public list in the first place.

Besides that, sharing a leaked private email between another person and Jonty, shows a horrible lack of judgement.  If we can't trust you to keep private emails confidential, how can people at the hackspace trust you with sensitive matters that the trustees sometimes have to deal with.  Will you release those too if things become a bit too hot?

--

Nigel Worsley

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Jan 20, 2016, 5:19:28 PM1/20/16
to london-h...@googlegroups.com, Брат Даждьбог
Dean, it would help a lot if your posts included something that hinted
at who/what you are replying to instead of quoting the first message
of the thread. It is often unclear which person you are replying to,
let alone which of their points.

Nigle

Mark Steward

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Jan 20, 2016, 5:21:53 PM1/20/16
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I suspect this is a UI issue with Google Groups. There's a big red "post reply" button at the top of the thread, which replies to the first post. The individual message reply buttons are much less obvious.


Mark

Peter "Sci" Turpin

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Jan 20, 2016, 6:12:51 PM1/20/16
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I do not think it's right for Dean to drop an entire chain of private
correspondence into a public channel, even in defence. It is a dick move.

Likewise Jonty canvassing for EGM votes then attempting to play it off
as a neutral party working in Deans best interest is also a dick move.

Likewise every other post about it that's been followed by someone
smugly replying "isn't that convenient" like they're a TV detective,
have generally been dick moves.

The EGM was supposed to be a vote to remove one trustee that didn't have
the trust.

Frankly at this point I'd vote "no confidence" in the entire board. The
entire concept of the board of trustees has been harmed by their
handling of this and drastic measures are going to be required, whatever
the outcome, for the hackspace to survive.

The entire thing has turned into a public yelling match and every single
person involved should feel ashamed. I know I am.

I'm also exhausted. Wake me when it's over.

Billy

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Jan 20, 2016, 6:17:47 PM1/20/16
to London Hackspace

On Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 10:17:44 PM UTC, crys...@googlemail.com wrote:
Actually I think this proves jontys point, and most of the substance, if not the entire content was public anyway.  You should not share confidential emails sent between 2 trustees on a public list.  There was no direct request to keep it confidential, but it is implied because he didn't post it to the public list in the first place.


If you read the first email that Jonty sent, it said that he was sending it in his personal capacity, and not as a trustee.
 

James Harrison

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Jan 20, 2016, 6:31:17 PM1/20/16
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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 20/01/2016 23:17, Billy wrote:
>
> If you read the first email that Jonty sent, it said that he was
> sending it in his personal capacity, and not as a trustee.

Oh, fine, I'll wade in - it does not bloody matter what capacity it
was sent in.

Forwarding personal emails - sent in confidence, as implied by any
email being sent between individuals or a private group - to a public
mailing list that is publicly indexed, recorded and thus forever in
the public domain is _not okay_ and is not the sort of behaviour I'd
expect from anyone, let alone a trustee of any organisation.

Dick move doesn't start to cover it. How is anyone meant to be able to
correspond with the trustees in confidence, if it's just going to end
up on the list a month later?

- --
Cheers,
James Harrison
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Billy

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Jan 20, 2016, 6:35:37 PM1/20/16
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On Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 10:17:44 PM UTC, crys...@googlemail.com wrote:
Actually I think this proves jontys point, and most of the substance, if not the entire content was public anyway.  You should not share confidential emails sent between 2 trustees on a public list.  There was no direct request to keep it confidential, but it is implied because he didn't post it to the public list in the first place.
If you read the first email that Jonty sent, it said that he was sending it in his personal capacity, and not as a trustee.
 
Besides that, sharing a leaked private email between another person and Jonty, shows a horrible lack of judgement.  If we can't trust you to keep private emails confidential, how can people at the hackspace trust you with sensitive matters that the trustees sometimes have to deal with.  Will you release those too if things become a bit too hot?

Dean asked me my opinion on the email, and i thought that it showed Jonty in a good light, as he was trying to deal with a difficult situation in a sympathetic manner.

However the later email that Jonty sent out asking for people to support the call for an EGM, that was where a lot of this situation sprang from.

 

hamish campbell

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Jan 20, 2016, 6:40:32 PM1/20/16
to London Hackspace
Echo, the whole thing is a pile of dick.

If your reaching into your pants to get your penus out can you stop for a moment and consider. Course it's embarrassing.

Every one take a deep breath, take you hand away from you zip. Have a cup of tea, then come back to this.

Please.

David Sullivan

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Jan 20, 2016, 6:52:37 PM1/20/16