The Society of Authors, the trade union for British authors, is having the first election for its management committee that I can remember in the entire 15 years I've been a member. You'd imagine there'd be quite a state of excitement but today I got my copy of the Society's magazine and there was barely a word about it (nor is there anything on the Society's website). How am I supposed to make up my mind about the candidates?
I can see from the way the ballot paper is laid out that this is an election for four places between four candidates proposed by the board themselves and one other, Gregor Dallas, who was proposed by three other members.
I know Gregor Dallas and have even read one his books. He is an excellent historian, a passionate speaker and a nice man. Perhaps he is a terrible threat to the Management Committee, perhaps his ideas are, but I would like to have been able to make my own mind up.
The Society of Authors is the organisation of George Bernard Shaw, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf and hundreds of thousands of others who were not threatened by new or different ideas but embraced them. Shame.