NAG is not an affiliate of International Naturist Federation, but takes an interest in its happenings. On the whole we have found them to be inactive and complacent as regards their brief to defend and promote naturism internationally. However, there was an interesting development in November, when at INF’s biannual World Congress the President Sigliende Ivo was voted out of office, and replaced by Armand Jamier.
It was an interesting and encouraging turn of events. I was glad Sigliende Ivo had been replaced as President, as under her ‘leadership’ (and those before her) INF was going nowhere. We obviously have to wait and see what changes Armand Jamier might make, but he looks a bit more progressive than previous regimes. I hoped that this was the long awaited awakening of INF.
However, within a couple of weeks there was bad news from INF. As reported above, Sigliende Ivo was voted out as INF President at their World Congress in November 2016 in New Zealand. A lot of people, me included, were encouraged as this signalled a possible change from the complacent ‘do nothing’ policies she had stultified INF with for years. However, instead of seeing the writing on the wall, and accepting that she was unpopular because INF was achieving nothing under her leadership, she decided to appeal against the vote. Mustering a small group of her friends in INF, she appealed against the vote on procedural grounds, claiming that the process was unconstitutional, and therefore not valid. As a result the INF Council met at Strasbourg on December 20th 2016 to hear her appeal.
In a typically amateurish and muddled communique, they have come to the compromise decision that the vote should be held again at a new General Assembly to be called in Vienna some time before the end of July 2017. In the meantime Sigliende Ivo “…will act as administrative President in order to handle ordinary duties.
Members of INF, can expect their money to be wasted again on more protracted meetings, arguments and administration, and in the meantime nothing much will get done apart from all the INF factions tying themselves up in behind-the-scenes plotting and politics. We can hardly expect INF to do anything much for naturism during this time as it wasn’t before, and with, Sigliende Ivo tenaciously clinging on to office why should anything change? I despair – again – INF seems to be incurable. Like so many International Organisations it seems to have been set up with such good intentions, but made ineffective by being riddled with national rivalries, constitutional obsessions and deadlocks, and overtaken by the personal egos of those involved.in running it. Instead of being a beacon of naturism to the world, INF has become just an inward looking bureaucracy which spends members’ money in simply existing to speak to itself. Sigliende Ivo has personified and perpetuated this approach, and her thick skinned, intransigent attitude now will at best disable INF for another year, and if she gets back in, will ossify it out of existence. We could have expected this development from, Sigliende Ivo – it is in her character and the reason she was voted out in the first place – but more worrying is that the rest of the INF Council are letting her get away with it.
The latest twist is that former INF Council member and former Canadian Naturist Federation Chairman, Stephane Deschenes has written a new open letter to INF commenting on the situation, and INF have replied. The letters are attached. Stephane Deschenes resigned from INF’s Council last year in protest at their inactivity, inefficiency and ineffectiveness.
So INF looks to me as if it is still chasing its own tail rather than working for naturism, and using up a lot of its members money in doing so. INF’s members are the national naturist Federations of the various affiliated countries – British Naturism in the case of the UK. Why the member Federations seem blind to INF’s expense and ineffectiveness escapes me. At present they seem to be ignoring the shenanigans as they have for years. Until the national Federations wake up and demand action from INF, they may as well throw their money down a drain.