Robbieredball.net – Netted!

A site run by a fly fishing anarchist intent on exposing what he perceived as being the incompetent running of his local club the Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association has been  instructed to close its doors by his web hosts.

The site started simply enough – one mans dream of sharing his passion for a river he fished for Salmon – he then started a forum which quickly gathered a group of people who were not happy with the way the club was being run.

Accusations, threats, counter accusations, banning,  a walk out by the committee at an AGM (oh it all sounds so familiar) and finally now a legal notice issued telling him he must remove himself from the sandpit and take his nasty friends with him.

This is what happens when people start taking fishing just a little bit too seriously – sure we all mump and moan about our clubs (I did my fair share) however maybe there has been possibly a tad over reaction on the part of all concerned.

You see, if there is a large group of people who have a major grievance against the way a system operates then usually at the heart of the matter a very real problem lies. You either get these people around a table and prove them wrong or admit that your system is fundamentally flawed and try and fix it for them to be happy.

Banning a place where people come together to discuss only kind of makes you look bad – makes it look as if something needs to be hidden away.

Anyway, I do not know who is right or who is wrong – who did what or what happened when, I am just rolling my eyes at a situation that should not have happened.

robbieredball.net – I salute you in your efforts – whatever the hell they were – maybe one day you will be back sharing your enthusiasm with the world – I hope it all works out for you guys I really do!

Let me know!

“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” – Benjamin Franklin

39 comments to Robbieredball.net – Netted!

  • Stuart B

    I’m not sure this is a good thing .I know the “discussions” got a bit OTT but at least it gave a different POV from the LLAIA one on their own website which is obviously biased in their direction .So do we assume that the hand of the LLAIA is responsible for this by them leaning on Robbieredball.net’s hosts .

  • Dafty

    I really don’t think this thread is a good idea especially coming from someone who is not a member of the LLAIA and does not know the whole story.

    Controversy and Boomerangs are word’s which are ringing out loud and clear.

  • Stuart B

    Your turn Alistair …..I’m saying nowt more just now….lol

  • Hey Dafty – I certainly do not know the whole story – please re read my post:

    “I do not know who is right or who is wrong – who did what or what happened when…”

    Why is a post about this not a good idea?

    As much as being a fishing diary this is also a place where people receive news and the odd bit of gossip. The fact the LLAIA have shut down a site dedicated to its river is major news!

  • Stuart B

    A thread about this at the Salmonflyforums has been closed by the “owner” seemingly because he is running scared of the same happening to him .The subject has been raised by robbieredball at
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=860177
    and
    http://www.webhostchat.co.uk/request-products-services/16464-hosting-company.html
    It’ll be interesting to hear what the outcome of the EGM is …is anyone in here or in the Forum a member and attending I wonder ?

  • Stuart B

    There is life after death…Saw this link on FFF
    http://www.lochlomondangling.co.uk/

  • Robert

    Ooops Alistair, I agree this is news, but not about fishing. The guy who ran this site will love that you called him a fly fishing anarchist, because that’s exactly what he saw himself as. I always just saw him as a tube.

    His forum had little to do with fishing, it seemed more like a place where a minority went to slag off people they never met while hiding behind false names.

    This includes many of those standing for election at the upcoming LLAIA EGM who spouted propaganda while posting under multiple different names.

    I remember talking with one of the volunteers who helps with the LLAIA stocking policy. He told me that he was getting up at 6am on a November Sunday, driving for two hours to pick up supplies, tools and other people, standing in freezing rivers catching brood-stock, tidying up and getting home around 7pm all unpaid. He would then turn on his computer to read posts from people who have never done a thing for the association calling him a lazy b’stard or even a crook from the comforts of their living rooms.

    Anyway, the members of the LLAIA get to choose who they want as a management team later this week, so it’s maybe not all bad news for Mr. Redball, he might be running the LLAIA website soon…

  • Stuart B

    Robert .Of course it’s about fishing .It’s about the opinions of a group of people regarding the way the LLAIA is being run .
    As for false names the majority of Forums are populated by folk who use false names or a single name ( like Robert or Stuart B) .Unless you have actually met that person it might as well be false as we know absolutely nothing about you ( or me )
    Looking from outside it’s difficult,if not impossible,to tell what the truth is and I doubt even LLAIA members ( other than those on the Committee) are in the know .

  • All forums are the same Robert – which is why I insist on people using their own names in my wee forum – cuts out the rubbish!

    The reason I posted this is because pretty much no other site will even touch it – I think people should be aware that the LLAIA wanted to shut this guy down before the EGM – why not just let em’ be elected and if they make a balls up of it then boot them out next year :-)

    Just like any election the chairman should be campaigning to stay in power not shutting down the people that might stand in his way – I think he might just have shot himself in the foot.

    Good luck to you – I hope you guys sort out this mess – it is all down to the members after all.

  • Dafty

    “I do not know who is right or who is wrong – who did what or what happened when…”

    How can you possibly hope to moderate or make sensible comment on this topic then.

  • Paul R

    If you are just making information available to people then you don’t have to moderate or comment. Dafty, I think you’re reading too much into this.
    All of the info in the post was freely available. Probably better it was announced by someone that admitted to not being able to comment due to lack of info, than someone baised that claimed to know it all.
    Robert – how can news about an angling club (or a site related to an angling club) not be related to fishing? If a UFO lands on the transport museum tonight, I fully expect Ali to post on how this might effect my chances on the lower stretches of the Kelvin!

  • the facts will only come out if the matter is discussed “openly” amongst the people involved and also amongst impartial observers, to suggest otherwise is disingenuous…

  • Dafty – I can see where you are coming from – however I do think (like another commenter said) that the whole true story will ever come out.

    You are thinking who the hell am I to go and even talk about this and tell anyone about it …yes?

    The simple answer is – because I can …no one else wants to, or feels able to – they are simply a bit scared of having the same lawyer get in touch with them to shut down their site.

    What has happened to Robbie Red Ball has serious consequences for what I write here – imagine I said something nasty about the LLAIA – am I too expect a call from my host shutting me down (actually no – as I already ran the situation past them)

    It is not about what was said or who was accused – this is more about the shutting down of a website of the opposition!

    “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” – Benjamin Franklin

    Why are you so concerned about this Dafty?

    More to the point why are you not willing to use your real name?

  • Robert

    Whoooo Alistair, calm the jets!!!

    Very nice sentiments about free speech and you are 100% right. However I do think that in this case you have the right end of the wrong stick.

    RobbieRedball did not offer free speech. If you tried to post an opposite view to Robbie and his alternative LLAIA committee, you were banned and your posts removed. As Jim from the Royle Family would have said… “Free speech, my arse!”

    More than once or twice there was insinuations of violence against those they opposed i.e “wait till we meet him on the river on a dark night” or “one night he’s going to get a chap on the door and then he’ll be sorted” etc.

    The worst of it was repeated insinuations of criminal activity without once offering up any proof. This went on for almost two years and now the people on the receiving end have obviously decided enough is enough.

    I actually think that they should have left the site up as it would give the chance for people to go and see the proposed new management team of the LLAIA for what they really are. However, I can also understand that after years of dog’s abuse from people hiding behind their keyboards, they have simply tried the only thing left.

    Alistair, please continue reporting on this as otherwise we wouldn’t know what is happening, but please don’t champion the unacceptable face of fishing websites.

  • Dafty

    Alistair,

    The whole and full story is in the LLAIA, AGM / EGM notes and appendages. Not just one side but both sides and is going to be the subject of an independently chaired EGM on Thursday where the matter will be voted on and decided by the membership. I am an ordinary member of the Association and will vote for the good of the Association on the evening.

    You’ve made sweeping statements about this sensitive matter without full knowledge of the facts and posted an article which is misleading about an Association, Committee and it’s Chairman which works and has worked tirelessly for the improvement of the Lomond system for over more than a decade.

    I reserve my right to anonymity as was reserved by posters on the site in question and will make no further comment on the matter other than to say that my intention was not to cause you or your family and friends, libel, defamation, concern, upset or to keep this whole sorry episode going.

    I don’t know whether I’ll post again here on this matter even if allowed to do so. Thank You for allowing me that privilege in the meantime however.

    Best left at that for me in the interim I think.

  • Stuart B

    Dafty…You say above
    Alistair,

    The whole and full story is in the LLAIA, AGM / EGM notes and appendages. Not just one side but both sides and is going to be the subject of an independently chaired EGM on Thursday where the matter will be voted on and decided by the membership”

    Try as I might I have looked at the LLAIA website and cannot see “the whole and full story” as you describe it.

    You say that the EGM on Thursday is to be chaired independently….By whom might I ask and who appointed this person..do you know?
    Clearly the situation does need someone totally unconnected with either side to sit down and look at all the issues ,including the Constitution of the LLAIA ,and see if the AGM was conducted within the rules ,and to look at the total conduct of the LLAIA including the financial affairs because my perception is that the latter is behind much of the discontent from the opposing faction

  • Robert – I am with you – the problem is now noone will know what was said on the site – I visited every now and again and never seen threats however I will now never know if they were their or not.

    Dafty – dont bow out now – we are having a conversation – you said:

    …and posted an article which is misleading about an Association, Committee and it’s Chairman which works and has worked tirelessly for the improvement of the Lomond system for over more than a decade”

    The facts are they got the lawyers involved to shut down a site – that is a fact – not very misleading at all. I may be a bit wishy washy and lovey dovey and would like em’ all to get around a table and talk it out – did they do this? am I missing something?

    This is a conversation about my view on the stuation – I am perfectly willing to admit that I do not know all the facts – you have opened my eyes to the fact there is certainly a lot of feelngs around this topic.

    Like Staurt says I would like to hear who is independantly chairing the meeting – I would be happy to step in.

    :-)

  • Robert

    I think the moderator is the factor of Luss Estates (don’t know his name).

  • Stuart B

    Have a read here guys ..Too long to quote :–

    http://bxttlines.wordpress.com/

  • Well – what a lovely article – now that really is a man in the know – you cannae argue with that!

    I know where I will be heading to find out what is going on!

  • Dafty

    As far as I understand it has been agreed that Ian Cheves, factor of Luss Estates will chair the meeting by both parties but this will be put to a vote for acceptance by the membership on the night.

    I’ve read the link above and noted the comments about bringing the System and Association into disrepute. A lot of the trouble which was caused was due to Libel and Defamation on the site which is the subject of this thread.

    You must ask yourself was there a hidden agenda to create a terrorist or freedom fighter ( whichever you so desire ) in order to cause mayhem and trouble and then provide a political alternative to chaos. ( All sounds very convenient and familiar doesn’t it especially considering the large sums of money involved in the LLAIA coffers – which are there entirely as a result of the current Chairman and Committees hard work with the support of the membership. )

    Re. dwindling membership. The Committee are working very hard to increase the fish stocks and reverse this decline. One thing I would like to tender here though is whether it is possible to do something for the Brown Trout fishing on the system. This would help compensate for lowered stocks of migratory fish both on the Loch and in the rivers.

    Re. your comments about lawyers becoming involved Alistair. Libel and Defamation, and it did take place on the site in question is illegal. It is particularly distasteful when supported by a forum administrator who silences the ” Freedom of Speech ” within reason and within the rules of the forum for some but does not do so for others. This does not lead to debate or banter but a breach of forum rules, bullying, distress and alarm for those who have to endure it and if you are the person publishing it you are in fact breaking the law.

    Without going into the ” he said this and you said that thing ” you must ask yourself Alistair if you or your respectable association were being Libeled and Defamed and you or your supporters were being silenced by a variety of methods would you not seek recourse from the law ?

    If this whole matter had been approached in a democratic way in the first place by lobbying and campaigning then the whole sorry situation would never have arisen and the integrity of the Loch Lomond Angling Association, It’s Chairman, Committee and members which remains intact would never have been called into question.

  • [...] Urban Fly Fisher, Alistair Stewart has added his take on the Loch Lomond controversy in his own direct style in a latest posting.  Followers of Stewart’s long-running and highly entertaining blog will already know that on his home beat, administration of the River Kelvin fishings is not immune from feud either, as his post earlier in the year on the River Kelvin Angling Association’s AGM revealed. [...]

  • Paul R

    I must be missing something here!

    “Alistair Stewart has added his take on the Loch Lomond controversy”

    I thought the comments related to the banning of a forum? An issue regarding freedom of speech, which is in itself a massive can of worms which Alistair perhaps should have seen coming (but then Alistair isn’t to fond of worms anyway).If the incident is indeed joined to ‘the Loch Lomomd Controversy’, then it is only a part of it. Surely then Alistairs post cannot be taken as a direct opinion on the greater issue (although perhaps freedom of speech is the greater issue?!). The person that wrote the article which started “Alistair Stewart has added his take” must hold the matter very close to his heart, because as a former journalist I would have expected more impartiality. Afterall, the post is about the shutting down of a forum. Emotions among the Loch Lomond Angling community are clearly running high. I hope for the sake of the club matters are resolved.
    Dafty – if you could point out the sweeping statements (not counting the ‘talking would be preferable to fighting’ bit. That’s more of a cliche). Offering an opinion on your own personal forum is not misleading. If I say Falkirk will stay up this season because I think St. Mirren are on the slide, is that misleading?
    Perhaps the answer is that no one posts anything related to any issue, anywhere, ever . . . . . ever!
    Who wants a game of dominos?

  • Luchanbeag

    Sorry Robert if I am mistaken but reading between the lines I suggest you may well be a member of the deposed comittee or at least in some way connected to it.
    It may lso have escaped your notice,but since the birth of web sites and forums,contributors have operated under nom de plumes…but then again is that reflective of the standard scatter gun approach employed to devalue the charcter and contributions of those criticising the committee voted out at the last AGM?
    I do agree with you in the suggestion that there were individuals contributing to the RRB site with less than gentlemanly language.I and a number of other fishers and contributors were quick to raise the question of the decency and veracity of their postings,however the majority of the contributions were valid,honest and to the best of their ability helpfull.
    I,or any of my reasoned fellow contributors,at no point had a post removed despite being contrary to the gentleman or his cohorts opinions.
    To remove a site becuase of one or two individuals reeks of fear.Fear that the truth or criticism might out.It may well be the biggest own goal in the history of the LLAIA,come Thursday I certainly hope so.
    The RRB site was not just composed of opinions.There were extensive postings related to water levels catches and other information.Unlike the unresponsive and occasionally derogatory LLAIA site.
    I am a LLAIA member and have been for a number of years.It is in my interest and that of my fellows that the association is run in a competent manner under a benign and responsive leadership.
    The language used by those individuals you cite on the RRB site is not unlike the present Chairman/Secretary/Chief executive,(have I missed any self appointed napoleanic titles?,)has used against publicly against the membership.In what way would that resolve (or attempt to resolve)schism?It seems to me the last resort is to continue a strategy of divide and rule in attempt to firstly to continue to coin in a wage and secondly as a crude machievallin device in a bid to hold on to power.(Do you realise that the alternative intend to end the payment to officials and plough it back in to the association?).
    I’m afraid The shutting down of the RRB site is only the latest attempt to stop members full and associate,communicating their reservations,criticisms and information between one and other.
    The quicker that a ‘professional’ forward thinking executive is elected the better.Or will a few hundred ‘members’ crawl out of the woodwork on Thursday night?
    Here’s hoping for change…

  • Robbieredball

    I am the person that you are all talking about! Robert I did offer free speech I would even have tolerated you as a poster! You are entitled to your views but the hierarchy that you appear to agree with did not In the next few days there will be revelations that I think will have you repenting and hopefully you will be good enough to admit you got it wrong When and if the the present incumbents are deposed then the full story will be told? If they somehow manage to stay in power then it will be more difficult but the truth will prevail I won’t say any more at this time in case it attracts the attention of lawyers

    Robbieredball

  • G Weir

    I am a member if the “alternative” committee and it irks me in the extreme that people will believe, without question, the propaganda issued by the present LLAIA committee. We have been labelled the breakaway group, the rebel group, the VOLDAC takeover, the Leven committee, and even Thugs by the current chairman. This is all propaganda and scaremongering. We are members of the LLAIA that are unhappy with the present management decisions. I was on the committee when the unrest started and the rest of the committee convinced themselves and the members that another angling club, the Vale of Leven District Angling Club (VOLDAC), were trying to take over the running of the LLAIA. Now that this lie has been disproved, the LLAIA are painting the picture that the group of concerned members are all Leven only anglers that want to strike a better deal for Leven anglers that the rest of the members will pay for – nothing more than scaremongering.
    There is no direct association between the Robbieredball site and the alternative committee. Anybody that knows me will know that I have never hidden my identity on that site and was a member of the forum when I was also a member of the LLAIA committee. In fact I was the only member of the LLAIA committee that openly and transparently conversed with club members on open forums.
    I am also a moderator on the Salmon Fishing Forum, and I think that it is clear for all to see that the Salmon Fishing Forum does not tolerate biased opinion from either side of the LLAIA debate.
    Robert mentions that he met a member of the present committee on an early morning jaunt to catch brood stock. I too did this for a couple of years until it sickened me to see dead fish lying in buckets and dead juvenile fish floating down stream of the area being “fished”. Other members of the “alternative” group were instrumental in setting up the current hatchery operation, prior to more evolved thinking on fishery management.
    Two years worth of LLAIA accounts have still to be approved by the members.
    The LLAIA have thus far failed to provide a response to the LLFT (Loch Lomond Fishery Trust) management plan that they were issued six months ago, despite pleas from the LLFT. The LLAIA started a smolt programme and failed to inform the LLFT until just circa six months ago. There is now, in the public domain, four years worth of study into the fish stocks and their genetics in the Lomond system carried out by the LLFT. This type of information should be invaluable in forming a management plan, but the LLAIA committee insist on continuing their non-genetically informed hatchery plans.
    These are just some of the issues that concern us – there are many more.

    I would urge anybody to hear both sides of the argument before they form any opinions of their own on the debate.

  • Tam Mac

    Robbieredball was about anglers having the freedom to speak honestly about fishing…..simple….what the llaia dont offer on their site is this basis right…..Read the comments which are written in T&S, about the Lomond system,,utter garbage, but it sells tickets…Is it not immoral to sell a product on this basis. in regards the minimal threats that were made on the site there is always an element that are impolite and threatening…Speak to some of the anglers on the system as to how certain people speak to them in regards checking their tickets if you require evidence of threatening behaviour..The final straw appears to have been when their ex baliff began filling the public in about the internal working of the LLAIA such as how the baliffs were paid etc etc..I hope Robbieredball gets up and runnning as soon as possible as it was the most informative fishing site, next to this one, about all aspects of angling across scotland…..and to be legally threatened is the action of someoen with someone to hide….Regimes have high fences and dont want freedom of speech or transparency…sound familiar….

  • Robbieredball

    Quote from Robert

    I remember talking with one of the volunteers who helps with the LLAIA stocking policy. He told me that he was getting up at 6am on a November Sunday, driving for two hours to pick up supplies, tools and other people, standing in freezing rivers catching brood-stock, tidying up and getting home around 7pm all unpaid. He would then turn on his computer to read posts from people who have never done a thing for the association calling him a lazy b’stard or even a crook from the comforts of their living rooms.

    Unquote

    The LLAIA were were reported to the police for doing what you said They were lucky to get away with a warning from the Prosecutor Fiscal for their actions and you are praising them? Taking fish from a river out of season is a criminal offence!

  • Jim

    well further to the L.L.A.I.A.

    Democracy prevailed the alternative committee got beat by 6 votes which the current chairman may such a hash of counting ,so the current committee stay in power.

    maybe it was his counting skills which mewant there where anomalies in the accounts.??? (His statement)!!

    Why then did the members vote to ratify the accounts, instead of calling in the fraud squad.?????

    Does this mean the current committee can do what it wishes with our funds..!!! if you voted to ratify them ask yourselves deep down can a single sigantury on these accounts be trusted..
    The Mind Boggles.

    This is my first post here and my last probably because Political people and angling dont mix.

  • Jim

    One final point The Chairman stated that he closed down RRB because He was being vilified,
    and when questioned after being coaxed to give the right answer (stated the lawyers cost approximately £220 per hour), As He felt he was being vilified and instructed the lawyers.
    He should foot the bill not the Association,
    Hell knows he costs us enough already

  • Stuart B

    Re the accounts ….Surely they should be properly audited by an accountants company .That’s the way it’s usally done and then the members vote to accept them .

  • “Anyway, I do not know who is right or who is wrong – who did what or what happened when, I am just rolling my eyes at a situation that should not have happened.”

  • Luchanbeag

    “I am a LLAIA member and have been for a number of years.It is in my interest and that of my fellows that the association is run in a competent manner under a benign and responsive leadership.”

    If you look above this formed part of an earlier post by myself.
    Since then the Committee was re elected 116 to 110 votes.
    The post election speech by the chairman acknowledged the tight margin and he conceded that “it is now 50/50″ and that “the committee now must take on board and act upon the concerns of the wider memebrship”.
    Will the committee take on board an extended body?I wonder?As one would hope ,the alternative commmittee will be given a place on an extended body and that some if not all of their suggested strategies and suggestions be acted upon.I await in hope.
    It is a chance for the executive to prove that they have integrity and fulfill the content of this post election reflection.
    Otherwise I wish all well,including those that I argued against,over the coming years and look forward to a untited mebership and success in our fishings.
    Tight lines and good luck to all!

  • Robbieredball

    Quote

    Will the committee take on board an extended body?I wonder?As one would hope ,the alternative commmittee will be given a place on an extended body and that some if not all of their suggested strategies and suggestions be acted upon.I await in hope.

    Unquote

    A nice theory but If you knew the nature of the Chairman then you would realise that it isn’t possible He is a control freak At present it appears that the committee let him do as he wants The alternative committee haven’t given in and are looking at other ways of carrying on the battle

  • Someone said over at http://bxttlines.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/loch-lomond-committee-survives-by-six-votes/#comments

    “the club has an almost 52 – 48% split; how else can we bring both sides together? A suggestion may be to co-op enough willing members to fill the whole committee of 16 spaces. The extra 8 persons could be made up of the alternative committee and any other willing members”

    I am surprised you guys did not get yourselves elected on to the committee on the night as their are so many free places?

  • Jim

    Re Accounts.
    That’s what should happen I run my own business and my accountancy FEE is almost double what the association pay.
    that tells you how well AUDITED the accounts are.
    Of Course the Chairman will explain the BILL is so low because of GOOD FINANCIAL CONTROL HA HA HA.

  • This is not the place to talk about “who did what or what happened when”

    I think this has now run its course – you guys should get yourselves on your committee :-)

  • Ian D

    Now that the committee who has ruined the system are back in power, there is only one way to hit them where it hurts – finance. Do what I did, go elsewhere and dont give them any more money. As for the people who voted them in – you have voted for the death of your own system.

  • [...] forum that was set up by a disgruntled member of the opposition was closed down by legal threats by the [...]