The INF’s Central Committee met in Costa de Caprica, Portugal in early November 2017 and we have seen the minutes. As a consequence, we think there are items worthy of your attention and to British Naturism members in particular, who contribute substantially to the INF coffers.
After the debacle of the 2016 World Congress in New Zealand, Gregers Mollers, (Thailand) has now been asked to re-established contact with member federations and repair the INF’s relationships with them. In a letter to all federations, Mollers asked: What do you want of the INF-FNI? The minutes quotes from three replies received from member federations, while naming just two: The Australian Naturist Federation was unequivocal, “Get rid of the people running it already.” Meanwhile the Canadian Naturists said: “The INF-FNI exists for the federations; it is not a governing body and has no authority over the federations.” These quotes imply the named federations believe that the INF requires a regime change and that it is the member federations that are in charge. Mollers actually read the letter from the Canadian federation in full, suggesting its contents had more relevance to the matter in hand than just the sound bite featured. While we can understand why it was not included in the text, it could have been attached as an annex.
Mollers said the source of the third quote wanted to remain anonymous but it is so innocuous it has raised our suspicions. It said: “The Wellington election was damaging for naturism; top priority should be to work together for INF-FNI.” NAG has no proof of course, but we cannot help wondering if this came straight from the mouth of Sieglinde Ivo, whose election as INF President proved so controversial. Why ask to be anonymous, otherwise? So, is this an oblique warning to those federations who expressed their concerns about the Presidential vote not to misbehave in the future? If so, what would the punishment be; excommunication? British Naturism has already held a vote on its INF membership. True, it was defeated by a substantial margin but with so few members voting the actual winner was apathy, which is what INF and federation management appear to rely on.
The minutes also revealed the cost of the incompetently managed election re-run for INF President. By getting delegates to travel to Vienna after a delay of more than six months, it cost the INF €17,000 (£15,200 or US$20,300 at the time of writing). This was a complete waste of money when a simple email from the federation’s chairperson or president confirming what their vote had been would have sufficed.
Perhaps of more interest to BN members is the news that ex-President Angela Russell is still involved with naturist affairs, having been nominated by her new federation, the Irish Naturist Federation, as EuNat sports’ officer. The minutes show that thisnomination was accepted by the INF and now it just needs to be confirmed by the next EuNat meeting. This is the second time that members of the NAG’s management collective have noticed a BN EC member leaving under a cloud of suspicion, only to find a Europeanstage for their talents by joining another federation. You may disagree of course, but simply by the expedient of resigning from one federation and joining another any alleged inappropriate behaviour appears to be rewarded rather than punished. Perhaps the INF’s working party might like to look at that while they’re at it?
Lastly, the minutes stated that following Nick Caunt’s elevation from International Director to BN President, Huub Giesen said that he, Nick, was too busy to oversee the scientific research that was kicked off by a presentation to the British Psychological Society. However, the minutes do not state how Giesen knows this. Our concern now, is that money allocated by the INF for academic research will languish in the accounts unused, especially as NO UK university has been told that funding is available for suitable post-graduate studies. Hard as it is to write this, there is now doubt that this project will ever achieve its goal.
Taken together, these points make us even more convinced that naturism will be best served by a change in management and purpose of the INF. It might be the ‘working party’ referred to will achieve that, but its scope is not clear and NAG is less confident that ANYONE on the top table is man or woman enough to sacrifice their personal ambitions for the good of naturism, preferring to hold on to the gravy train instead.