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Everyone's mantra should be: don't listen to what people say... watch what they do.
I find it sorts the wheat from the chaff.
Last week, the newly formed
And I thought, fair enough... Maybe I was a bit quick to diss them... maybe some good can come out of it. So, let's give them a chance.
So like everyone else, I have awaited eagerly for news of the outcome of the CA's meet with the KC on Wednesday. So what happened?
First up, came news that there was to be a joint press release from the CA and the KC. The CA seemed very pleased about that - hailing it as some kind of historic precedent (when in fact the KC frequently issues joint press releases with other organisations - such as the BVA for example).
But, yesterday, the promised press release failed to materialise, apparently because the two organisations couldn't agree on the wording.
Never mind. The CA instead released the four-page presentation that Mike Gadsby delivered at Wednesday's meeting. And, boy, does that make for depressing reading for those of us hoping that the CA might rise to the occasion.
Gadsby is being lauded for it elsewhere, but why waste so much time in a 90 minute meeting to reiterate gripes that the KC were already fully aware of - rather than use the time to thrash out some common ground and a proper way forward?
In amongst a few fair points, Gadsby makes some bizarre logic-deficit claims - one being that the breeders of the DQd Basset couldn't possibly have produced a dog with a problem because... they are ABS breeders.
Funny! (And not least because if there's anything most of us have in common it is the agreement that the ABS is next to useless because anyone can join it and be given lovely impressive certificates without proper checks - only 15 per cent of ABS breeders have ever been visited.)
In there too is the claim that the vets had not been instructed in the finer points of the highlighted breeds' standards (ie. that Basset Hounds and Clumbers are supposed to have a little ectropion - after all, how else can you achieve that desirable lozenge-shaped eye?).
But I have to say that the thing that I really took exception to was the repellent inference that the independent Crufts' vets Alison Skipper and Will Jeffels were "activists against our sport". There is absolutely no evidence of this - and indeed a good deal of evidence to the contrary.
Really, they're going to have to do a LOT better than that if they want to be taken seriously by anybody outside the show world.
Finally, this afternoon, the joint press release arrived. And I'm sure the CA will try to put a brave face on it. But it's pretty much a fob-off. The KC has made it absolutely clear that it is not suspending the vet checks (which has prompted some on the Exhibitors Voice and Choice group to start calling for Chairman Steve Dean's resignation because, after all, he's a vet isn't he and so is probably half way to being an animal rights activist himself?).
The KC has of course also said it will listen to any proposals the Alliance would like to present (it would be rude not to), but if there was a real commitment on both sides to finding a compromise here, the wording would have been completely different. As it is, the ball would appear to be in the CA's court to come up with something the KC might find acceptable.
The problem being, however, that at the moment, the CA's racket is full of holes.