Sunday, April 12, 2009

get your act together...both of you...ha!

before you read this make sure you know the back it here. let me save you some time...basically, the ifbma has been beef'n with the bmef. here, i'll save you some more need to read the following letter just know that the ifbma is basically saying...get your act together and we'll endorse/help you out again...haha! oh-man, you kids are too much. in all glad everone is working things's a shame that cats had to publicly go after each other but i guess that was the only way to make things work properly? in any case...


This has been a very long and difficult week for all of us. For me it was the first time I was called upon as president of the IFBMA to do something that really stressed me out. At the end of the week though I had a constructive email exchange with Lucas Brunelle which calmed me down.

Everybody agrees that the IFBMA should in principle support the BMEF, but it can only do so if the BMEF operates transparently and communicates effectively. The council has a duty of care to the messenger community as a whole and we would have been negligent in this duty were to have continued to endorse an organisation that was in such an obvious state of disarray. Lucas agrees with this.

Reactions to our statement last week showed how many people care about the BMEF. Quite a few have also already come forward to volunteer and work with Lucas to pull the BMEF together. The IFBMA council will of course help in whatever way it can, and if the BMEF commits to reconstructing itself professionally, the IFBMA will return its endorsement.

The BMEF is, as Joe Hendry reminded us, the jewel in the centre of the messenger community. The priniple it embodies is in fact the defining characteristic of this global family. We all work in traffic, and we all know how dangerous it can be, how often the drivers of vehicles who cause collisions get away, while the messengers injured as a result are no longer able to work. And because we know this, all of us would help a fallen colleague in whatever way we can. We've all been there .... this feeling, this commitment, this sense of solidarity with colleagues in whatever city in the world, is as much part of our culture as arguing about whether or not to mount a front brake on your fixie.

Many issues were raised during the reaction last week that must be clearly addressed both by the BMEF and the international messenger community as a whole. As many others have said, the most obvious obstacle to straightforwardly administering an international emergency fund is the different laws and regulations relating to health-care and insurance in different countries. This means that criteria applicable in one country may be inappropriate in another, and tends to suggest that a network of locally organised messenger emergency funds would be better than one global fund. But then again, if funds were only local, those of us working in rich decadent societies with sophisticated health-care and insurance systems, and with no real need of a BMEF, would not find it easy to make donations in support of fallen messengers in poor countries like the USA, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and so forth.

Before the email exchange with Lucas Brunelle, I was on the point of making the following announcement on behalf of the IFBMA council. At the end of last week, reaction was looking like a game of Chinese whispers as more and more of our initial announcement simply disappeared from the picture. It is a little curt, but to the point:

That the IFBMA has withdrawn its endorsement of the BMEF does not mean that the BMEF has been closed down, nor does it mean that the IFBMA no longer supports the principle of supporting fallen messengers with a fund. Nor is it a personal attack on Jean Andre Vallery.

The crucial words in our original announcement are these:

"For such a fund to operate, it must be transparently administered, it must communicate effectively, and it must maintain a reputation that inspires trust. As far as we can tell, this is not the case."

And also:

".... we will always credit Jean Andre Vallery with inspiring the international messenger community and having started the BMEF."

The IFBMA council will consider endorsing the BMEF once more if it can demonstrate that it is doing what it was set up to do in a way that does inspire confidence and trust.

There are very many messengers who have benefitted from the support they have recieved from the BMEF, but there are also quite a few who have put in claims and heard absolutely nothing at all. We would be derelict in our duty as caretakers of the interests of the international messenger community as a whole if we did not speak out about this.

This is a crisis that strikes at the heart of the community. We are aware of this. But as is often said, a crisis is also an opportunity.

But now it is different. The reaction settled down. Ashira's remark was the turning point :'s actually a really good thing that the BMEF was brought up like this ... makes people realise that things sink if they're not cared for ... and if this is something we care about, ... then we gotta take care of it

People often wonder exactly what the IFBMA is. Ashira has the answer. It is much more than the eight of us who sit on the council. Actually, it is the international community itself, every messenger everywhere, you!

So what better endorsement of the BMEF would there be than if everybody just worked together to support it? It is surely up to all of us to thrash out how best to run a global fund that assists fallen messengers anywhere, to raise money, to volunteer and do the work necessary.

love and peace,

Andy Duncan, IFBMA president.

...that last part is the most important. while a few are helping to organize it takes all of us to actually help out...peace.

click on image to enlarge...

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