INF, Vienna, 22 July 2017
International Naturist Federation has issued the minutes for the reconvened World Congress in Vienna, held on 22 July and it has answered two questions that we raised shortly afterwards.
The first question we asked was about the votes distributed among the delegates. The delegate from Hungary informed the meeting that he (or she) had been held up in traffic and this led to a reduction of votes from 197 to 193. Before the vote for President however, the Hungarian delegate arrived and thereby restored the number of votes to 197. Unfortunately this was missed when we viewed the information sent to us, following the debacle. Stones and glass houses spring to mind, but we are several thousand mistakes behind Leslie Rabuchin, president for the general assembly, who could not even get the original count right.
The other question we had related to the election of Legal Council members in 2012 and 2014, and the length of the term of office. Was it two years, or four? The term of office has already been answered, but the minutes revealed Hervé Bégeot was elected to see out the last two years of German Lawyer Thomann’s term of office when he retired in 2012. Bégeot was then elected in his own right in 2014 for the full term of four years but a mistake in the minutes published suggested it was for only two. Why Rabuchin or Bégeot could not have said that, instead of throwing a tantrum like a spoilt two-year-old, one will never know? Why were the minutes released without being proofread or fact checked? Why didn’t any of the other member federations bother to check the minutes and highlight the mistake before Vienna?
The minutes also confirm the chaotic voting arrangements for the new President and their gerrymandering nature, described by Rabuchin (LFN) on page 8. Delegates could only vote for Ivo or abstain, they had no right under these arrangements to vote against Ivo’s re-election. This followed a meeting to decide if those wishing to stand for President met the selection criteria, which also happen to include one of those self-same candidates, Ivo, among its number. If that isn’t a conflict of interest, we don’t know what is? We are not sure what profession Rabuchin claims to be a part of, but we suspect he isn’t very good at it if this is an example of his work.
This is the essence of our objection to these elections and why we believe there has to be a clean sweep of the whole top table, with reform of the INF’s terms of reference at its centre.
In a statement, Duncan Heenan, member of the NAG’s Management Collective and BN member, said: ‘The toxic mix of incompetence, corruption, childishness and arrogance is breath taking — and this follows a similar debacle in New Zealand. And don’t forget, BN members (and other Federations) are paying for all this!’ A motion, launched by Heenan, about BN’s future membership of the INF will be discussed at the next AGM, in October. What stance BN’s Board of Directors will take is not known at the time of writing, but will no doubt reflect the considered feelings of Nick Caunt, the International Officer. These might be gauged from his statement in Vienna, post election (see page 10 under NCT).
We can only highlight parts of the minutes, and although the document is 12 pages long, we think it is worth reading in full and invite you to do so.