No, I didn’t go. Wanted to, but was in the office writing scripts, unfortunately. A shame, I suspect, since the inaugural meeting of the Open Rights Group sounds like it didn’t quite proceed as everybody expected. From Suw’s brief write-up you might not guess, but it seems the event was at least mildly hijacked by the Trots.
The rant is well worth reading. Despite my having been in the room when the ORG PledgeBank thing was started, it’s a matter of record that I didn’t cough up the dough since I’ve never been remotely clear on what ORG would actually do. Nick’s concerns may be rather deeper than my own – and arguably deeper than necessary – but it’s likely a good thing to have some of this out.
Make sure you stick around for Danny’s comments on Nick’s blog post; also worth reading Nick’s later post.
My tuppence-worth: Polite finger-wagging campaigning can work, can get results, and is worth the effort. It’s not the only form of campaign that gets results, and arguably a more all-out approach is necessary to effect sweeping changes. But the latter is higher-risk – it’s not at all clear that any change will result.
It’s not, of course, an either/or situation. While ORG, by its nature, background, membership and staff seems set along the finger-wagging-and-tutting course, in my humble that’s a good thing not only in itself, but also because it leaves ample room for a more reactionary movement should one accrete support.
To cite an example of a finger-wagging-and-tutting organisation I admire: Amnesty International. Sure, it’d be far more effective overall to change the global mindset on fundamental human rights issues. But while you do that, we’ll keep on writing letters about individual cases…
But meanwhile: dang. On a personal level, ORG is another of those ships that sailed without me, while I was too busy doing something else.