It certainly has been a busy week. First of all for me personally: in a few days' time I'm going back home for my dad's birthday, and before I leave I really need to have finished a draft of the main section of my thesis. So, as you can imagine, I've been working pretty hard. On a similar note, congratulations to my friend David Hodge who submitted his own thesis down in Cambridge on Monday.
In the bridge world, there was the vote on the EBU's strategy proposals at Wednesday's EGM. The proposals were voted through, with 52 in favour and 31 against, meaning that Pay-to-Play is to begin in 2010. As you know, I think this is misguided. But I'd like to echo what Jeff Smith said at our county's AGM which took place the following day: now that the proposals are a reality, it's important that everyone helps to make it as successful as possible. If the proposals are implemented well, then it may be unpopular but the EBU will survive. But if mistakes are made there is the potential for disaster. I would have to say that in the past the EBU has been very bad at communicating its ideas, even the good ones. This can't be allowed to happen for something as important as these changes. The number of clubs that have said they would disaffiliate is really quite shocking, particularly here in Manchester and in my home county of Hampshire. I hope that many of these clubs can be persuaded that they should remain a part of our NBO. I'm sure that some of the objections are things that could be overcome by better understanding.
Thursday was the first time I'd been to my county's AGM. It took three-and-a-half hours, but actually I was quite impressed by the relatively small amount of pointless argument. My contribution was to suggest that, in order to try to reduce the number of teams who withdraw from the first round of the cup without playing their scheduled match, teams should not be allowed to enter the plate unless they actually played their first-round cup match. (Teams do have the option of entering straight into the plate, if they do not want to play in the cup.) Apart from this I managed to keep quiet, and avoided being given any jobs to do (having the excuse that I may be leaving the county at the end of the summer).
Also on Thursday was a meeting of the L&E. It appears that they have made a decision concerning the alerting of doubles, but details have not been made public yet. Mr Stevenson said that before being adopted it would have to be looked at by the new "Club Committee" of the EBU. That's slightly scary since I get the feeling a widely held "club" view is that everything the L&E tries to do is wrong; but perhaps we can hope that an official committee would be more constructive. Anyway, it looks like some progress has been made.