Strathaven Fairtrade Group member – Irresponsible behaviour

I have very reluctantly been forced to publicly try to obtain a response from the secretary of the Strathaven Fairtrade Group to a letter that I wrote to her, demanding an explanation to her disgraceful and insensitive behaviour at the Scotmid car park on the occasion of the Fairtrade cycling event on the 23rd/October.

While I was standing on the opposite side of what seemed to be the reception party, waiting for the arrival of the cyclists , the group secretary interrupted a private conversation I was having with another spectator, to announce that I had to leave the public event because of “all the trouble [ I ] have caused the [Fairtrade] committee through the years“.

As I was the first chairperson of the group, wrote the original constitution which, for the first time in Britain, promoted support for local farmers and was responsible for making Strathaven the First Fairtrade Town in Scotland (jointly with Aberfeldy) working through the nights for a year before there was even a Fairtrade Group, I am at a loss to understand why I cannot have the courtesy of a reply letter of explanation.  I am even more puzzled by her actions (this has not been the first time she slanders me) as she was a member of the original team who worked so hard with me to achieve our goals.

I am more concerned about the unhealthy feelings that seem to have been festering  through the years than with the actual incident itself.  If they remain unresolved it means that situations like this will most certainly occur again, with more talking behind my back and further acts of public show down.  I wonder why Margaret waited until I was talking to someone in public to announce that I was not welcome when she and I had spent a considerable time together during the same day at the Fairtrade event held at the Strathaven Academy as I spent a lot of time buying raffle tickets from her while we chatted (did I really have any chance of winning that raffle?).

It may even be that I have really done something that the Group or the Group secretary didn’t like but this is not the way to deal with it.  Has it crossed your mind Margaret that it may have been you who have created any of the alleged trouble and all that I may have done was in response to your actions – like having to write this public letter?

To make it absolutely clear, my commitment is with the Fairtrade cause, not the Group and not individuals. This is why I left the car park instead of spoiling the day for Fairtrade and the proud cyclists as they arrived from their 106-mile journey from Aberfeldy.  The fact is, when personal issues are allowed to be more important than the cause, it is time for the person or the organisation to re-think their position.

Would the Fairtrade Group not agree that it is time to stop the bickering and personal vendettas and focus on the promotion of the Fairtrade principle and Strathaven’s important position in the global Fairtrade movement?


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