[AMRadio] IARU & national societies. A view from the UK

Howard Aspinall g3rxh at tiscali.co.uk
Wed Nov 14 14:56:56 EST 2007

I follow the bandplan debate with great interest, albeit from
the UK perspective.

Perhaps you are lucky that your national society does sometimes
respond to grass root pressure. Here in the UK, those running
our national society are not really accountable to the grass
roots, largely ignore them, and get away with it

As for experimenting, diy and AM, these do not figure
high up in management's list of priorities. There are
salaried staff to pay, publication deadlines to meet,
and advertisers to keep happy.

Granted there remain some volunteers who do good work
within UK's national society, but mainly it is run as a
business, or as one insider described it, it is now,
first and foremost, a trade association, looking after
the interests of the big dealers and advertisers.

It seems though that membership of UK's national
society is flagging, and gimmicks like one year's new
membership for 10 gbp, provided you sign a bank
direct debit form for the full amount next time, are
now the fashion, and as everyone here knows, the
management hopes people forget to cancel the direct

When we had new licensing rules forced on us a bit back,
thus opening up the bands to every tom, dick and harry,
unsuccessful attempts were made to change the official
name of the hobby from amateur radio to hobby radio....a
sort of amalgam between ham radio and CB. People who
enjoyed experimenting, diy or antiquities like AM were
regarded as dinosaurs.

What shows is that so many of the new people, having
licenses given on a plate or with their cereal packets,
don't retain interest in radio very long. What we see
here is an exercise to broaden interest in the dumbed
down hobby, and poach computer addicts in order to sell
more riceboxes. In doing that, it has alienated many
one time keen mature hams. Our bands are quiet, if not
almost deserted much of the time, unless there's a contest

So I wish you all good luck in seeing off your national
society management's bandplan machinations along with
the IARU's attempt at self glorification.


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