Brian Eley

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JustinHorton
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:52 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:26 pm
Yes. I have been told there were over 60 complaints against Eley.
This is an extraordinary number (though it is not unusua to have extraordinary numbers in such cased) and really this is why it would have been good to know whether anybody at the then BCF ever wrote so much as a letter to anybody about it.

I really do not see any alternative, on the evidence we have before us, to concluding that the then BCF essentially chose to respond to complaints by not allowing any formal record to be made - which is to say, to cover up for him and for themselves.
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Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:57 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:52 pm

I really do not see any alternative, on the evidence we have before us, to concluding that the then BCF essentially chose to respond to complaints by not allowing any formal record to be made - which is to say, to cover up for him and for themselves.
Dare I say that this was (shamefully) the standard practice of the time and organisations that were far more professional than the BCF have been found equally culpable? Thankfully things have changed in that respect.
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JustinHorton
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:04 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:57 pm
Dare I say that this was (shamefully) the standard practice of the time and organisations that were far more professional than the BCF have been found equally culpable? .
You can dare it or not, but it doesn't change the fact that best practice regarding historic abuse is not saying "that it how it was then and other people did it too".
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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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MJMcCready
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by MJMcCready » Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:32 pm

In the mid-late 80s there was a sense of resentment over the matter. At the time I thought they had got fed up of hearing it and that it wasn't any of their business or something. It seemed like it wasn't being taken too seriously. Not long before then Eley lived very near my home town but he just acted like a weirdo mostly, always with that same stupid look on his face.

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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:23 pm

Something else nobody has bothered to mention yet.

If anybody is reading this thread was affected by Brian Eley's actions or perhaps at the hands of another individual Survivors UK is the main UK charity that provides support to men and boys who have been affected by rape and sexual abuse. Their website is here. https://www.survivorsuk.org/
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Mike Gunn
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Mike Gunn » Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:03 pm

I think there is definitely a case to be made for an enquiry into the Eley affair. The ECF as an organisation and all of us in the English chess community could learn from a knowledge of how Ely operated and the organisational mistakes made then. Bearing in mind the organisational constraints (and lack of relevant paperwork) the enquiry could be held by a senior member of the ECF (e.g. board member) who would interview those with knowledge of the affair and write a report based on those interviews. The report would only identify those who gave evidence by their roles (e.g. BCF officials, victims, friends of relatives of victims) to encourage them to participate.

I would be happy to play a part in placing a motion on the Council agenda to give effect to this but I am only one fifth of the requisitionists needed to place such a motion on the agenda so I need 4 others to agree to sponsor such a motion.

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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Mike Gunn » Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:21 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:52 pm
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:26 pm
Yes. I have been told there were over 60 complaints against Eley.
This is an extraordinary number (though it is not unusua to have extraordinary numbers in such cased) and really this is why it would have been good to know whether anybody at the then BCF ever wrote so much as a letter to anybody about it.

I really do not see any alternative, on the evidence we have before us, to concluding that the then BCF essentially chose to respond to complaints by not allowing any formal record to be made - which is to say, to cover up for him and for themselves.
I can confirm what the current ECF non-exec chairman has told you. During the period I was in the same role I once went through the entire ECF office filing system looking for various things. There was nothing there as exciting as old BCF minutes let alone any safeguarding records. So (unless somebody from that era tells us otherwise) we will never learn whether any letters were written.

I have only been involved in chess adminstration since the early 2000s but I was on the scene when Roy Heppinstall (then ECF CEO) drew up (what I believe was) the first safeguarding policies for the ECF and the SCCU. I remember those documents containing guidelines for chess officials/ parents etc but I don't remember a requirement to keep records as appears in most modern safeguarding policies (although I may be mistaken on that). I believe it was the insurance companies that introduced that requirement a few years later.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:40 pm

From what I remember it was mostly word of mouth but became too persistent to be ignored. If an enquiry is launched, it will bring great shame on the BCF and make it look inept and incompetent, in other words, the truth will out.

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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Aug 04, 2022 9:37 pm

"If an enquiry is launched, it will bring great shame on the BCF and make it look inept and incompetent"

I doubt BCF would look that good.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Chris Goodall » Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:56 am

Our cathedral organist moved to a post down south. The new diocese sought outside HR advice on what action to take about the rumours that had followed him. Their reply: remove the evidence from his personnel file and shred it, because unless he was convicted of a crime, it's a Data Protection liability. This was in 2008. (The organist is now serving a five-year sentence.)

It's easy for muckrakers to assume that a shredded piece of paper equals a cover-up. They would do well to keep in mind that individuals have a right to have "accurate" information held about them by organisations, and that no-one is lining up to pay your legal costs if you're accused of firing someone based on a rumour that "everyone knows" is true. If everyone knew it was true it would be called a fact.
Definitely below the Goodall Line.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:37 pm

It might be called evidence.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Roger Lancaster » Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:12 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:56 am
Our cathedral organist moved to a post down south. The new diocese sought outside HR advice on what action to take about the rumours that had followed him. Their reply: remove the evidence from his personnel file and shred it, because unless he was convicted of a crime, it's a Data Protection liability. This was in 2008. (The organist is now serving a five-year sentence.)

It's easy for muckrakers to assume that a shredded piece of paper equals a cover-up. They would do well to keep in mind that individuals have a right to have "accurate" information held about them by organisations, and that no-one is lining up to pay your legal costs if you're accused of firing someone based on a rumour that "everyone knows" is true. If everyone knew it was true it would be called a fact.
I think I'm right in saying that, both in 2008 and now, dismissal from employment can lawfuIIy take place if the employer properly investigates whether gross misconduct occurred and finds it more likely than not that it did - ie. the 'balance of probabilities' test. Rumours aren't evidence and a defending barrister, on being told that "everybody knows", would likeIy politeIy enquire as to the absence of a queue at the courtroom door.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:02 pm

We do seem to be a bit short on "properly investigates" here
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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JustinHorton
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:55 pm

Talking of which, I note this post in another thread.

Now without commenting on the particular allegations, this bit does tend to leap out at you.
She states she made the ECF aware and received no reply.
I would want to know if this is true, because - in good faith - a fair few people have been assuring me that things have changed since the events of this thread and such matters are taken much more seriously now. Well, one would hope so, but if it were correct that an ECF official didn't reply when made aware of allegations of sexual harassment, how would they have changed, exactly?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:33 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:03 pm
I think there is definitely a case to be made for an enquiry into the Eley affair.

Perhaps an unanswered question is who or what triggered a police investigation in 1991. For that matter, why such a trigger could not have taken place in the previous ten years or more. After the Glorney incident, the BCF more or less washed its hands of any direct involvement by not appointing Eley as coach or manager in any events it organised. He still had considrable regional influence and may have been part of a Yorkshire decision to disaffiliate from the BCF in the late 1980s.

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