Comments from the Owner....

Discussion in 'tMP Site News & Suggestions' started by TheMusicMan, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    It would seem that although this is never my desire, tMP is often dragged through the mud and criticised harshly, as well as sometimes becoming intricately involved in the sad world of banding and bandroom politics. Me... well, I am just the owner of tMP that's all... I do not pretend to be a banding guru, a performing superstar, nor have I desires to become a budding journalist; but given my position here I do occasionally have to think about what I post, and am obliged to wear the 'part of the banding media' hat that has been bestowed on me for coming up with tMP in the first place. Sometimes, I therefore have to make comments about what I see and hear going on around me in the banding world. That's my punishment I guess... not a bad one though eh!

    I never like to see negative comments written about tMP, after all, who likes to see false accusations and the like being made and published about their baby? When I do though, I feel somewhat compelled to respond to these inaccuracies with comments of my own. This is one such instance, so here goes...

    I had cause to seek legal advice from my lawyer recently after being informed of an ugly situation between a band in North Wales and one of their members. The member, actually… a long standing member, player, Deputy Conductor and Treasurer of the band, had rather surprisingly been sacked from the band in what transpires are somewhat bizarre circumstances. Where this involves tMP, is that the reasons cited in the sacking letter received by the person were that he had apparently made offensive, inappropriate and inflammatory posts on the brass discussion forum -

    Hmmm... that's news to this tMP owner!!

    The band, through their MD, wrote a letter to the Welsh language magazine, “Golwg” which was published a few weeks ago. I invite you to have a read of what was so disgracefully allowed to be published;

    "4. The member in question was expelled from the band not because of any political matters, but for a series of unpleasant/upsetting, defamatory insinuations against the band, along with regular 'conductor bashing' on the brass band website,, over a period of a few months. The unexpected appearance of his confidential letter to the Nat Watch website merely confirmed his hostile attitude."

    Now, I have no interest in what has happened between these two parties, and only hope they are able to settle their differences amicably, but to see these comments actually being published enraged me. We all know here that I do my utmost to ensure there are never any such posts on tMP. If these posts are made, then you all know that they are removed immediately by one of the team. It was two aspects that incensed me;

    (1) The Band and their MD simply have it wrong. No such posts were made and the tMP team have never had cause to remove any of that persons posts.
    (2) Golwg should show more respect to their media colleagues, and should have carried out at least some research before they allowed that letter to be published.

    Golwg offered me no courtesy of informing me that this letter was going to be published, and allowed these incorrect comments to be printed. Makes them look rather silly to me eh!

    Anyone viewing tMP can clearly see that serious errors have been made by the Band and their MD, but nonetheless I shall leave it to you all to make your own minds up as to if you think tMP does allow these type of comments on our site, and hence why the Band should make such false accusations.

    Unfortunately though for the individual concerned, this episode continues. The story seems to have broadened in appeal, and yesterday he found himself being interviewed by Gwilym Owen of BBC Radio Cymru, which was broadcast during his lunchtime show. Showing nothing but true journalistic professionalism, the BBC did actually offer me the courtesy not offered by Golwg, and I was contacted by Gwilym Owen last week. I confirmed that this individual never made any such posts on tMP, no complaints have ever been made about him. I added that I felt the Band, their MD, and the Welsh News magazine Golwg were out of order making those comments about my site, and were also totally wrong in this aspect of their accusations against the individual. Gwylim did mention during the interview that he had spoken to me, and that I had indeed confirmed these accusations were untrue and no posts of such a nature were ever made.

    I do not wish to become involved in bandroom politics, but in this instance I wish all success to the individual as it seems he has been penalised unfairly and did not ever act in the manner accused. I wish him the best success.

    Keep an eye on this owners comment thread as I shall keep you posted on any further action tMP intends to take.

    Finally, I found myself amused yesterday after being informed about an apparent humorous article, penned by none other than tMP member Dr. Murray Aitken (shhh... he likes to hide behind his mask of BobSherunkle when posting on tMP) that appeared in last months edition of BBW magazine. Dr. Aitken has, it would seem, a rather strange sense of humour. He seems to think it is funny to imply that poor results and performance by bands in the Upper Twaddle Clog Makers Contest are taken far too seriously, that discussion about mouthpieces is not fascinating, and quite amazingly feels that tMP is run by a collection of Nazis and Sunday School teachers.

    How silly... humorous…? maybe, sarcastic…? certainly! but then again, these Nazi’s and Sunday School teachers know why such an article appeared. How many of you tMP'ers have behaved in a manner to have been banned from tMP...? personally, I didn't expect anything less from our resident Dr. and see at least that yesterday, at 15:44, BobSherunkle is still happy and willing to fraternise with said Nazis and Sunday School teachers...!

    The joys of running a brass discussion forum eh! I love it. Thanks for reading...
  2. 1alexm

    1alexm Member

    It's sad to see those people complaining about tmp, i just carn't understand how they could find something negative to say about tmp.
    I'm not a nazi, or a sunday school teacher.
    Don't let them get you down John, tmp is ace.
  3. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Brighouse, Yorkshire
    Well if that doesn't take the biscuit.

    TMp has always been a free forum for reasoned debate, where bandspeople can air their (often conflicting) views and debate the issues that re important to them. That's the main reason I became a member in the first place! I've had some rare old arguments and debates whilst posting here, but have always received reasoned and well thought-out counter arguments. That's what debate is about, and yourself and the other mods do a great job of preventing anything descending into a slagging match, as well as allowing open debate between people who otherwise might never have met.

    Keep up the good work. People always mock what they're jealous of.
  4. yorkie19

    yorkie19 Active Member

    If you want to talk about offensive, I find this very offensive. There is nothing, and I repeat, nothing funny about the Nazis, and any reference is entirely out of place.
  5. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Well, if it was MY site, the good Doctor would more banned than a banned thing. If he doesn't like how a FREE site is run, he should not abuse the privilege!!
  6. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Reading, UK
    I don't think theMusicMan said this was funny :confused:
  7. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member


    Just to let you know I agree with you that the comments made are offensive, and that I do not find this funny at all. I am referring to an article posted in the December/January issue of Brass Band World, by Dr. Murray Aitken. In it he proudly posts his inane drivel, which BBW portrays as a humorous column, in the hilarious attempt in thinking he has the wit and intelligence to pass himself off as a form of humourist.

    Ego's eh! ;)
  8. Valvecap

    Valvecap Member

    Hook Goole, East Yorkshire
    Dont let em get to you John... Mouthpiece has shown fantastic insight - bringing the movement together, entertaining, informing and allowing its members to post their own opinions on a variety of topics both banding and none banding related. The Mods and yourself work hard to ensure a 'netsafe' environment for us all to participate in (or just watch from the shadows) as we see fit. Any reference to either you, the Mods, or Me (and I am sure 99.99999999% of the rest of tMP members) being or being associated with Nazist beliefs in any way is offensive and bang out of place. - Wonder if that would get said to your face... Doubt it.

    Jealousy is a dangerous and sad thing really isnt it - has anyone actually come up with an argument based on FACTS and actual happenings as to why Mouthpiece has done anything but good for the movement?

    Mouthpieces??? Er.... Pretty important part of banding I think - not personally involved in the discussion, but I think the number of people who were is testement for the demand for such a discussion....

    Keep developing tMP - Ive been with it since the earliest darkest days - the record number of folk online at one time used to be 11!!!!! - The demand is testement to the sites success.
  9. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    i think you are very hard done to at times john. some people will find any excuse to do something, and unfortuneately its always the good people that get blamed. i think you do a fantastic job, and what you have created with tmp is nothing short of stunning. most people on tmp are genuinely nice people. anyone who isnt registered and hasnt been on tmp wont know this. so, i just thought i would say thank you john for creating tmp. you and your team of mods do a stunning job to keep it all fair, and stop any cat fights happening on the boards and at the same time keeping the freedom of speech and opinions, as everyone is entitled to an opinion.

    some people may be of the opinion that tmp isnt a good place, but i think the majority of people think tmp is a great place, with excellent resources, and is excellently run. its a shame that some people seem to become jealous of what's here.

    i personally have found tmp to be a fantastic place, with lots of great people. i have made many friends, found a new band, and become part of a fantastic community, with geniune caring nice people. i dont think i would be wrong in thinking that i am not the only one who has experienced this too.

    so.. john thank you! :D
  10. matti_raz

    matti_raz Member

    tMP is only as good as the people at it's core so I guess...... It's bloomin' brill!!!!!;)

    Sorry to hear all that John..... It's amazing how something so "minor and trivial":confused: as tMP can really show the "big guys" like bbw how hypocritical they are at times, or at least some of their writers anyway!!!:rolleyes:

    Keep goin John and all the Mods for that matter of fact, and to echo every registered user of tMP Thank You very much, you've brought the "scene" into the 21st century!!:clap:
  11. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    For more information about this story see

    Let me make the comment that if every band committee took the attitude that the band committee in question did, then bandspeople would not be able to discuss their interest & passion on the web- that would be a very sad situation. That would mean no tMP and without tMP the banding movement would lose out. I applaud John for running this site in a responsible manner and for his strong stance on this matter.
  12. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Brighouse, Yorkshire
    Having followed the link in hellraiser's post, it all seems like a very sad situation, and one that should have been dealt with in-house as fast and as fairly as possible. There seems no need to drag TMp into it at all.

    I'll refrain from further comment on the disagreement per se, as I'm not fully abreast of all the facts so to do so would be unfair. But TMp has had no part in this and deserves an apology for even being mentioned in the same breath.
  13. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    A world of my own!
    Hear Hear Andi, i totaly agree, it seems that our (John's) site has been dragged into this with out any need at all.

    Im sure that John and all of the mods have and will always have our full support. they sure as hell ahve mine!

    keep up the good work guys.

  14. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    The magazine 'Golwg' ought to employ respectable journalists rather than ones that simply publish whatever they can get their hands on without, like John said, performing the necessary research beforehand.

    Is it any wonder there are so many rumours and gossip flying around when articles like that appear.

    Its always going to be the case with a site like this that people may be taken out of context with certain posts, but if this confrontation and what has been written is totally untrue (and i take John's word that it is untrue) then to drag the sites name into it is an appalling bit of journalism.

    Frankly 'Golwg' out to allow '' a right to respond to the article because if they think tMP is partly to blame then they should be allowed to air their side of the story.

    I hope it doesnt do too much to harm the reputation of tMP or John himself.

    Good luck with it John, hope nothing further comes about from this. Personally i'd write to the editor and ask him exactly who wrote the article and how they came about with the conclusion that they finally set in writing for everyone to view.
  15. madsaz

    madsaz Member

    utterly surreal.

    For those that think this place is boring - no one makes you come on the site. Quite a lot of the stuff on here has no relevance to me - but some does. Do I moan that some of it is not interesting to me? No I do not.

    Unfortuantely Brass Banding is a fairly daft and bitchy place at times. I can't believe a magazine was daft enough to publish any daft allegations and certainly you are owed an apology. I think this place is pretty tightly moderated and the users seem more than happy to comply with the code of conduct.
  16. Mister 4x4

    Mister 4x4 Member

    San Angelo, Texas
    As a fairly new member, I have to throw my support behind the others in echoing their comments that tMP is a stand-up site that has been drug through the mud for no good reason. As a member, I'm offended by another fellow member's insulting comparison to being a Sunday School Teacher... oh, and the other thing too. ;)

    But seriously, and not trying to take anything away from the topic at hand, isn't it interesting how the media seems to have the trust of their audience, until they get something wrong that hits close to home?
  17. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Hadleigh, Essex
    Just to clarify regarding the BBW reference, the passage relating to " . . . Sunday School teacher types" and " . . . bore a certain similarity to Nazis " (sic) both referrred to the writer's perception of the Moderators, and the way the forum is monitored, and not the members of the forum.
  18. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    It is always sad when something like this happens. However, just to echo other sentiments, tmp is a great forum. I am not surprised at this event though. When something new starts and grows at the rate that tmp has grown 'others' are bound to become jealous, wary, and very threatened. I've heard comments about this site from those who do not use it, but I just laugh at them. Tmp is informative, funny, friendly (even through some emotive debates!)it also has brought together a lot of 'like minded' people who would normally never have met, and never have exchanged interesting views on banding and life in general.

    To John and all the team - Keep up the GREAT work. :clap:
  19. vonny

    vonny Member


    I have just read your post, interesting I thought.
    I cannot understand why any individual would resort to portraying tmp in such a way... especially when they have been involved for a while. When situations such as this arise it puts emmense pressure on the owner and the rest of the team, and all the positive aspects about tmp are turned to negativy overnight.
    Since I joined tmp just over a year ago I have found it to be a wonderful site, I have seen it as a community where people can get together and share thoughts and thier feelings, not only with regards to brass banding but also everyday situations. I have to say I have found tmp to be an inspiration as there is always someone available to assist or support...

    I know what I have written won't change the situation but maybe it will give you the incentive to continue with what you have established - a wonderful community 'TMP'

    Yvonne x
  20. Andy Cooper

    Andy Cooper Member

    Ive been inolved in many societies / groups etc over time and its an unfortunate and sad fact that within virtually every one of them, some one has hi-jacked the society/ group for their own "political" ends. Ive long since accepted this as a fact, unpalatable as it may be. Whatever the rights and wrongs in the individual case, (and I will refrain from being Welsh-ist at this point lol) why drag an innocent party (tMP) through the mud.

    tMPis an asset to the banding world and should be treated with the respect due, I know as yu say John its upsetting when someone critices your baby unjustly, but look at the comments you have had in reply to your original posting, i think that says it all.

    At the risk of getting moderated here I quote a good mate of mine's favourite line when in similar situations " **** em, **** em all". dont let em grind you down mate.
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