Council's debate and overwhelming decision at the September Council meeting in favour of the single member proposal has demonstrated just how far we have advanced as an Institution since the days when Council was accused of being merely a rubber stamp.
Despite this, it is suggested by some correspondents that the July referendum on corporate membership for existing associates is potentially invalid and that the single member proposal should go to a referendum retrospectively.
Is it really being suggested that many members who voted yes in July for corporate membership for existing associates (71% in favour) would have voted no, against their conscience, simply to force a future referendum on the single member proposal if Council eventually approved it?
Presumably the purpose of any such strategic no vote would have been to subsequently vote against the single member proposal, too. If the purpose had been simply to ensure there had to be a referendum on the single member proposal and then to support it, despite the consequences for the existing associates, then such twisted logic has no place in our Institution.
There is no question over the validity of the July referendum as a result of Council's recent and overwhelming decision in favour of the single member proposal.
Some correspondents, regardless of the level of support for the proposal shown in Council, have demanded the right to ballot because of the 'importance' of this issue.
Is it being suggested that any Council decision in future could, if a vocal minority opposed it on the grounds of 'importance', lead to a referendum of the membership in an attempt to reverse it?
Council would become completely emasculated.
Let us be clear: there is no misinformation and no lack of integrity in our processes.
Consultation has been widespread among all interested and influential parties.
The arguments for and against have been tried and tested. Council has confidently made a bold decision. Let us not waste time looking backwards. This is a time to move forwards, as one Institution.
Dr R Scott Steedman (F), 25 Eldon Square, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4DP