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Comment – No-win situation…

The warring factions within the NFDC come face-to-face at tomorrow’s EGM.

And so it comes down to this. The weeks of covert conversations, political manoeuvring and intrigue; the all-too-public blood-letting; the claims and counter-claims. All of this is now done, and tomorrow the warring factions of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors will meet to hopefully lay to rest the unrest that has plagued the once-proud Federation in recent months.

It will not be pretty; it could be downright ugly. Ill-feeling on both sides is running deep, and accusations and recriminations seem unavoidable and inevitable. And with emotions running so high, it is difficult to envisage an outcome in which anyone will leave the NEC satisfied or reassured.

The battle lines are deceptively straightforward; what they represent is far less so.

On one side is a group that believe that Paul Brown’s presidency has run its course and that is, therefore, pushing for his resignation. If that fails, it seems they’re willing to attempt to oust him.

On the other side are several of the Federation’s five regions and – it seems – a good many of its members.

But that is only part of the story. There is a feeling among some regions that the executive of the NFDC – the Federation’s inner circle – has become too powerful.

There is also a widely-held belief that the Federation is regionally imbalanced; that too much power resides within the London & Southern Counties Region to the exclusion and detriment of the other regions. It is difficult to argue against such accusations. The London & Southern Region has provided six of the Federation’s last seven presidents; and a good many of the Honorary Life Vice Presidents – which still wield considerable influence – also speak with a Southern accent.

Although to the best of my knowledge, no-one in the Scottish Region has formerly resigned from the NFDC, the fact that its members have so readily embraced a newly-formed and – let’s face it – rival organisation speaks to a disquiet North of the border. That disquiet is apparently mirrored in the Midlands & Welsh Region and – possibly – in the North West Region as well.

Compromise does not appear to be on the agenda for either side; and, even if it were, would that actually quell the unrest?

If the EGM – or the AGM just a few weeks later – results in Paul Brown’s presidency being terminated in one way or another, that would surely serve merely as further evidence that it is an inner circle of individuals that is controlling the Federation, and not its members.

If Paul Brown stays on; if the members rally behind a man that has given the Federation for 40-some years of his life, that surely would make the role of that inner circle untenable.
With so many concerns, so many objectives and so many vested interests, it seems unlikely that anyone will emerge truly victorious or even vindicated when the Extraordinary General Meeting draws to a close.

Whatever transpires behind the closed doors of that meeting, however, it seems that the Federation itself could be the biggest loser. But better that than the members themselves.

If you are one of the many NFDC members that is scheduled to attend the Extraordinary General Meeting tomorrow, I STRONGLY urge you to LISTEN TO THIS before you go.

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