Saturday, 1 August 2015

Freedom: A curious business!

RICHARD Parry writes:  
'If there was any impropriety in my election as a 4th Director it was in the failure to tell me about it.'


That is an odd statement for a solicitor to make:  his appearance at Freedom was more like the Immaculate Conception, in which only the Company Secretary and God Almighty seemingly knew about it.   Last Autumn, I spoke on the telephone to Donald Rooum, another member of the 'Friends of Freedom', about Mr. Parry being a member of the 'Friends' and he was adamant that this could not be the case, saying that 'I'm sure Steve (Sorba, the Company Secretary) would have told me.'  Donald insisted that at that time there were only three 'Friends of Freedom'.  Given that Donald didn't know about Richard being a 'Friend', I should have thought that it would be more appropriate to say that Mr. Richard Parry was 'appointed', presumably by the the Company Secretary Mr. Steven Sorba, rather than 'elected' by the 'Friends of Freedom' as a whole.  Far from being a pedantic point this constitutional misrepresentation would merely seem to highlight, yet again, the curious way in which business has been conducted at Freedom in recent years.

Brian Bamford - July 2015.

1 comment:

andy meinke said...

Richard was appointed as a director of Friends of Freedom Press (FFP) for the simple reason that the Freedom Collective recommended him to the then directors. New directors were needed after Harold and Colin died. The Freedom Collective had a meeting in 2011 and suggested some people and Richard responded. The clue is in the first word, “friends”. The “Friends” are not the people responsible for how Freedom is run. The “Friends” are people who want to financially support the work that Freedom does in all it's aspects (shop, building, publishing and news) but are no longer active in what the Collective does and who as a limited company own the building in trust for the good of the Anarchist Movement as a whole. This is a really important safeguard. The building is a great asset (£1.1 m at last valuation) and needs to be protected against any attempted takeover. On the other hand the members of FFP are excluded from decision making in the Collective to ensure the day to day activity of Freedom is controlled by those active in the anarchist movement today and free from influence by those providing financial backing.

However Freedom Collective meetings (which are held on the first Monday of the month at the shop) are open to everyone in the movement- especially members of FFP. That's been so for at least the seven years I've been involved. If anyone had any problems with the decisions the Collective has taken over the years they can come and discuss them