Hello St Albans We Have A Problem

CAMRA is at something of a crossroads. Actually it has been for some time. Membership continues to climb but, like many long established organisations that rely on volunteers, there is concern for the future. The solution is, of course, to recruit more young members; not only to keep CAMRA growing but to hopefully put in place the future committee members and organisers. That is what the Young Members section is for and it has done a sterling job on the ground with its representatives achieving year on year results. However, all that good work risks being undone by the latest blunder by St Albans. Rowan Molyneux is to be thanked for really pushing this into the public domain. As she says this isn’t an attack on CAMRA per se but it is something that really needs sorting out.
It’s often said that CAMRA is run by old men who drink in dusty time capsules of pubs and who are out of touch with reality. That is of course a broad brushstroke that doesn’t paint the whole picture but this particular faux pas does threaten to undermine CAMRA’s professional reputation in some quarters. Of course it shouldn’t have happened at all and there are many questions to be answered. Yes, the leaflet was a mistake in the first place but then things seemed to completely unravel. Why was the Young Members committee consulted and then ignored? Why did it take so long for CAMRA to respond to the concerns raised and then only in a half-hearted way? The genie is well and truly out of the bottle now and it will be interesting to see what sort of damage limitation exercise CAMRA runs. On the plus side, hopefully important lessons will be learnt from this whole debacle and the organisation can get back to what it should be doing: promoting real ale to one and all. 


Cooking Lager said…
Why would young people share the 40 year old concerns of CAMRA?

Anyone under the age of 30 has bigger issues than some ropey pub on the corner closing or having diff beer. If they had any sense they would celebrate any pub closing in new flats being built in order to increase the housing supply and provide a chance that one day they might buy one.

It’s a different world to the 70’s

The only reason a young fella would join the beards is for the Spoons tokens & discounts. The only reason CAMRA want them is to milk them as free labour for the myriad of money making scams it runs.

Tyson said…
The only reason a young fella would join the beards is for the Spoons tokens & discounts

The main reason MOST people join?
Cooking Lager said…
Eye, but it's even cheaper for the kids. £15 or summat, for £20 of beer tokens.

The deal is piss poor for full priced adults these days, really. There are fuck all festivals they let you in for nowt for. I claim to be disabled, to make it worthwhile.
Tyson said…
Put your other half down as your carer then she'll get in for nowt as well
Cooking Lager said…
and not far from the truth Ty,

Seems the beards have canned the leaflet.


Be an ebay collectable soon, so keep any you've got.

What would you say is the biggest fuck up. Your actual sexism or ignoring the young members that said it was shite presumably in favour of the marketing company that were paid consultants?
David S said…
The sexism is understandable if inexcusable. The failure to heed the young members committee's advice points to bigger institutional problems within camra. As a member I'm very disappointed and at a loss at to how this could happen.
Tandleman said…
Well CAMRA has a new CEO now. Might be a blessing in disguise if he looks at this question and the wider ones thrown up by it.
Cooking Lager said…
New? Pagey has had the job for weeks now, and still he hasn't got to grips with a sclerotic and sexist organisation. Is he up to it? All this happened on his watch. Fall on your sword Pagey. Do the decent honourable thing.
DaveS said…

All very depressing - as you say, not just for the content of the leaflet itself but for the way that CAMRA HQ has dealt with the issue. The fact that the Young Members' committee was ignored was bad, the fact that even in their official non-apology they can't bring themselves to actually admit that it IS sexist and instead have to use the weasel words about "some members finding it sexist" suggests that they Just Don't Get It and is almost unforgivable.

(NB: argh, there's another David S on the block - I'll have to remember to be more consistent with my Dave.)

Anonymous said…
Just proves what we all know that Camra is run by fat old blokes. Surprise surprise.
Tyson said…

Well as an Anarcho-Marxist I feel obliged to say "white middle-class blokes." There is no need to bring weight into it and some of them are actually sickeningly slim.


Yes it's the classic modern non-apology.

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