The iTrust is “intrigued”– we are awed ... - Alcyonenews

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Islands Trust
Posted April 3, 2020

NB:   This is an enhanced version of the article with the same title published in the Marketplace, March 27, 2019 issue

The  iTrust is “intrigued”– we are awed ...

Democracy is when the people ask questions and the Government answers.  Despotism is when the government tells the people what the government want the people to “know”.

It was in 2009 I first offered to study the disarrayed and deteriorating interface between the Trust and the populace. I offered the study pro bono; the recommendations to be

non-binding on the Trust, but to be published. The last aspect would protect the Trust against me making unreasonable recommendations; and would protect the society and me against the Trust suppressing meritorious recommendations.

“They” never acknowledged my offers – yes, plural. But moved surreptitiously to pull the carpet from under my feet. They would interact with the populace via Facebook, they said. But the feedback came in “unpleasant” and they quickly shut the thing down.

In 2012 Trustee Peter Grove sought to honour his pre-election promise to institute the Ideas Bank.  But he approached it the wrong way by pleading with the Trust Almighty Staff:  “Would you please kindly consider allowing society some democracy by doing the Ideas Bank a constituent of mine has asked me to bring to your attention?”. The rendition may be over-worded, but is substantively correct.  The Staff hit hard the peoples’ elected representative, resolutely denying the Ideas Bank.  However, to protect itself against the eventuality of the denial leaking out, and to placate Peter and me, the Trust substituted PlaceSpeak in lieu of the Ideas Bank. Triumphantly, Peter Grove emailed me:

“Hi Tom. This is to let you know that the Executive [iTrust ExCom] approved using PlaceSpeak on the new website on a test basis.  I know that this is not what you really wanted, but it is a step in that direction…. and you were what got it going!” (The ellipsis original)

PlaceSpeak was not “a step in that [the Ideas Bank] direction”.  They did it to avoid what the Ideas Bank would do.  It was supplanting the unsuitable to evade the necessary –  PlaceSpeak fell flat on its face.

The Trust buried PlaceSpeak unceremoniously, without the usual “post mortem” and without considering doing the Ideas Bank to do that which the  PlaceSpeak “substitute” had failed to do and which ought to be done. They had done  Place Speak to placate  Grove and that happened. Grove was absorbed into the Trust and on the way to become a champion of Trust censorship.

Suppressing Democracy increases the need for it.  To cope with that phenomenon the Trust is now unabashedly wasting  public money to buy themselves a fake face with which to deceive the people, to ease us into inaction. This will save their surreptitious campaign to acquire more power to expand extend  their “governing” us.

Since the 2017 SSI “Urbanization Referendum” scare, the Trust has been seeking to seize control of the “Consensus for Trust Change” which emerged from that referendum.  The Trust is seeking to wrestle victory from the fangs of defeat, that is to say, to empower itself to do more of what it had been doing in the past, that which earned it much public disdain.

Faced with that, on January 7, 2020 I emailed the “three of the SSI LTC” asking them to make formal motions at the January 27, 2020, LTC meeting and at the March quarterly Council convention for implementing the Ideas Bank. I reasoned my request as follows:

“Given the iTrust historic serialization of professing dedication to Open  Governance; and the failure of the Trust to institute a reasonable interface with its electorate, as evidenced by the current outburst of rhetoric about the Trust efforts at building such an interface; and that I have been equally persistently advocating the Ideas Bank for the whole of the past decade; and given that all three of the current LTC have expressed affinity for the Ideas Bank; and that none of them nor anybody else for that matter has ever found fault with the Ideas Bank concept; I therefore submit that it  would be beneficial all around to institute the Ideas Bank. Now.”

Trustee Grove instantaneously moved to avert consideration of the Ideas Bank. He emailed me as follows:

“I am copying this to Luckham, Patrick and to ‘ssinfo’ ”

This was the entire message. But I became perplexed by his copying it to “ssinfo” and sought particulars. He answered that  “ssinfo” is:

“Staffed by clerks who organize and accumulate documents. In this case, the agenda package for LTC”

And I digress.

Anyway, the message, more or less, tells Staff to suppress my request by using Censorship Bylaw 473, which Grove had himself sired in 2013. Patrick and Luckham fell silent.

Evidently they “discussed”  the matter secretly, as I will show shortly.  It is ironic and significant that they would discuss secretly the Ideas Bank, the purpose of which is to prevent them discussing public affairs secretly.

On Jan 21, 2020 Laura Patrick  joined Grove and Luckham to deny my effort to get the Trust to discuss Open Governance in front of the public eye. The same day but after the fact, Laura  emailed me the “explanation” they had devised for the denial – in her words:

“I wanted to let you know that we did discuss your proposed motions about the ideas bank.  I sincerely like the concept of an ideas bank to improve the LTC’s community engagement.  We are intrigued by the eDemocracy project being piloted through the climate action plan update.  This is a made on Salt Spring product that might work like your ideas bank.  I have requested a meeting with the developer and will get more information about the platform and launch with the climate action plan.  I will let you know what I learn and I expect you will let me know your thoughts on the eDemocracy platform when you get the opportunity to interact with it.” (Emphasis added)

Her  “explanation” is rife with poppycock, some of which I emphasized above. Yet, on February 19th I gave her another chance to make things right by bringing the Ideas Bank to the March Trust Council meeting. I emailed her:

“Dear Laura, Good Morning

With your message, below [in the email thread], you let me know that you “discussed my proposed motions about the ideas bank”. This I appreciate, as I do your liking  the Ideas Bank concept.

But I am at a loss to find the record (Minutes or whatever) of the Trust discussion of the matter. Given that the Trust is obligated to make its discussions in the open and keep records; and that the subject is of utmost importance; and I need that information; I would appreciate it if you would direct me to the “record” of the discourse.

And since the LTC and/ or the ExCom, appear to prefer e-Democracy, as an alternative to the Ideas Bank, I need to see the “comparison chart” (under any name it may be) that lead to preference of e-Democracy.

Thanking you in advance,

Best regards, Tom V”

My purpose was to insinuate that those with whom she had “discussed” my request for advancing the Ideas Bank, had mislead her into the making and supporting the wrong “decision”. And had lead her to believe that they would protect and preserve Secret Governance against Open Governance, e.g. the Ideas Bank, by a nonsense pretense to “cosmetic reform”.  Obviously I had let optimism prevail over reality.

My illusions were doused quickly. On February 19th Patrick emailed me as follows:  

“Good Day Tom,

It states in the Jan 21 minutes under item 9.6 that your correspondence was received. There were no decisions made in relation to it. I am interested in seeing the results and feedback from e-democracy tool when it debuts with the climate action planning team.  I would also like to learn more about how you see the Ideas Bank working.  I am successfully pushing for greater collaboration in all project work going forward and we need better tools.

Can we meet for coffee soon to talk about the Ideas Bank?  I also suggest you register with so you can experience the e-democracy when it is launched, as I value your feedback.


There are many “misunderstandings” in her response, some of them being:

*  “received” is not synonymous with “discussed”; the confusion of the two obfuscates the occurrence of the “discussion”. But the hiding of the “discussion” manifest awareness that the particulars              of the discussion are unfit for public consumption, due to breeching Ethics and Law;

*         The “There were no decisions made in relation to it” assertion is patently false given the LTC “decisions” to: (a) suppress the Ideas Bank; (b) to hide the act of suppressing it; and ( c)  to seek               to  “pre-empt” the need for the Ideas Bank  by pretending becoming exited by the “e-democracy tool when it debuts with the climate action planning team”.

*         There is no specific reason given for the Trustees’ over 10-year long stubborn and surreptitious refusal to consider the Ideas Bank publically. Instead of denying it by stealth ...

*          Patrick does not describe the e-Democracy; Nor does she explain why and how  the mere prospect of that rusty CAP trying out e-Democracy, whatever it may be, whenever it may happen,                   prevents the Trust from considering publicly the Ideas Bank now.

*           The long-serving Trustees know the Ideas Bank. Patrick knows it too. And they fight against it  because they know it and because recognizes its potency to crack the Trust cocoon of secrecy.

*           As for “meeting for coffee” I would like to do that. Indeed I had pleasant  discussions with Laura at the November  29 and December 13, 2019 “Vision Booths” at the Swimming Pool. On both                occasions I took written questions on the subject of the “Islands 2050! Vision Booths” which was “Islands 2050", none of which Laura and her associate “Visionaries” would not answer at the               “Booth”, despite the professed purpose of the booth being to answer such questions. Instead we discussed the Ideas Bank. Incidentally, Laura took my “Islands 2050" queries under                               advisement, but the responses came made of poppycock.

On February 21, 2020, I wrote Laura once again, at length this time, in a last-ditch attempt to explain the issues in some detail:  Here is whole email:

“Dear Laura

Thanks for your message.

I will start with the first sentence, which reads: “It states in the Jan 21 minutes under item 9.6 that your correspondence was received.”

The agenda of that Jan 21 LTC meeting, lists my request for a Motion to institute the Ideas Bank.  but cites it cleverly mutilated into: “Concerning the Ideas Bank” and slated “For [LTC] consideration”

Back In 2012 in the first LTC of that year, Leah Hartley “trained”  the then cub-Trustees Grove and Grams as follows: “When you do not like something,  just say “Received” and that would be the end of it.” Please also see the PS to this letter.

The Draft Minutes of the Jan 21, LTC, shows the LTC having uttered “Received” which as per Hartley, means that the LTC had “considered” it and decided to suppress,  once again,  open discussion of the Ideas Bank.

Accordingly, in effect, your inform me that the LTC “decided”  to wastebasket my request; and to do it surreptitiously. This  stands foursquare in what the IB is meant to protect society against happening.

I do not mean that you, personally, are acting in bad faith, I tend to believe that they made you the bearer of the bad “decision”.

After a whole decade of enduring intense  Trust  chicanery aimed to protect Trust secrecy, I am challenging the Trustees to end the serialized chicanery and come clean on Open Governance, in front of the society. No more suppressing from the dungeon the call to open governance.

I asked the Trustees to take a stand on the Ideas Bank and do it in the Open. I asked the Trustees to make a formal “motion” so as to trigger an open discussion of the Ideas Bank”. This would contrast the dirty tricks they deployed in the past to protect and preserve the facility to “govern” us from the dungeon.  Which, in plain words is nothing less than subverting Democracy.

The first time around they sought to avert it by doing the Facebook “alternative”; this resulted in some “unpleasant” effects and they withdrew quickly.  But I kept the pressure  on and they sought escape   by doing the  PlaceSpeak “alternative” – this too, failed dismally. Now the Trust resorts to CAP doing the e- Democracy “alternative”. Or so they say.

Once, inadvertently the Trust let us have a glimpse at their aversion to Open Governance. This   was when Lisa Gordon converted Peter Grove who was promoting the Ideas Bank by telling him: “You don’t want to create a facility for the people to interfere every time you want to do something the people do not like”. Peter became  converted ...

I noted your suggestion that I register with the “”. I visited the page and, to my dismay, I found it anonymous and looking garish. Worse of all is that they are asking clickers to register with them sans voir, which makes them appear like sleek scammers “harvesting” innocent peoples’ identities.

I became astounded that the Trust is “intrigued” by whoever hides behind this scheme. I am astounded by your assertions, that the CAP engages in eDemocracy, from the burrow they have made their Home[page]

After further and copious digging I found a “pamphlet” listing 14 corporate entities, being the “principals” of the enterprise. It includes the CRD and the Islands Trust. Its listed address is “PO Box 614".

However, in any event, the CAP doing “e-Democracy” or whatever,  has no bearing on the Trust adopting the Ideas Bank.  Except that it suggests the Trust adopts the Ideas Bank  to shield itself against the CAP ...

This request for the Trustees to stand up for Open Governance, which I commenced on January 7, 2020, is exposing the Trust’s  aversion to open governance and amounts to a compelling reason for the institution of the Ideas Bank. With the Ideas Bank functioning they could have not survived half a century of “governing” us from the dungeon. The ideas bank would ferret them out  with the efficiency hounds ferret out the fox in that British sport.

At this stage of the game, the issue boils down to: Are you, my Local Trustee Laura Patrick, ready and willing to make a Motion to the Trust Council and to the SSI LTC asking them to get out of the dungeon and commit to Open Governance by espousing the Ideas Bank?

There are numerous renditions of the IB concept on file with the Trust, and we talked briefly about it at the Vision stand at  the swimming pool.  I will describe succinctly the IB, again, here:

it is a system through which citizens contribute to the governance of the society. All contributions are to arrive with a 30-50 – word Abstract. This will be showcased in the IB window and be linked to the whole submission paper.

The populace will see the “ideas”,  thrash them out in debate, perhaps use them as  steppingstones  to other and better concepts.  Citizens would access the IB by right. Any part or a whole of a submission that breeches the Law of the Land shall be redacted with explanation,  and posted in the IB, open to court review.

This is the basic principle of the IB. As for the benefits therefrom the rendition is encapsulated in a single word: Democracy. For a more elaborate listing of the benefits start by reading Pericles’ “Epitaph”; Plato’s “Republic”; Bertrand  Russell’s “History of Western Civilization” and more good books, too numerous to list.

As for having coffee together it is something I looking forward to that.

TOM    V”

PS:  Excerpts from a Chair Sheila Malcolmson article in the January 10, 2010 Driftwood.

NB:   Sheila was pitifully pious because herself was an incorrigible serial violator of the standards she claims the Trust has set for itself in respect to Minutes. That is to say, she could be “incorrigible” because of the absence of the IB. It is pertinent that when she went public in the DW, she wrote the right things; but when she could hide her doings, oh well ...  This manifests the reasons for the resistance to IB.

"Trust has minutes policy –  By Sheila Malcolmson

Minutes are the official recording of the LTC's proceedings, and are absolutely the right place to record what was decided, and why. I expect that everyone would want to know why trustees vote as they do. Including reasons for decisions in minutes increases transparency, and amendments to ensure clarity are entirely appropriate.

Islands Trust Policy 4.1.vii says "minutes are intended to be a condensed version of the discussion that took place" and that "any member of the committee requesting the draft minutes to record their comment 'for the record' shall have their comments recorded in the draft minutes.

Islands Trust Policy 5.4.ii says the minute taker should ‘record in meeting minutes any reason given for LTC decisions about applications.’  This policy  also  encourages trustees to explain (in open  meetings and at the time a decision is made) how they reached their decision.

These procedures are consistent with Robert's Rules, which indicate that, when minutes are to be published, ‘they should contain ... a list of the speakers on each side of every question, with an abstract or the text of each address.   ...”

Laura responded promptly, on the same day. Her message was:

“Please allow me sometime to see the results of e-Democracy”.

But I had  apprised her of the Ideas Bank and of the deja vu of the Trust trick. I told and wrote her that the Trust has thrise before deployed the dirty trick of “doing an alternative”; and I have apprised her of having been explaining the Ideas Bank, in print and voiuce to the Trust for over 10-year, the Trust never finding fault with the concept, just evading it with the fervour  mice evade cats.

This time around, I decided to answer Laura in public. This would have never become necessary in the presence of the Ideas Bank. That is why we need it, and why the need is no lesser  than that which makes us keep the courtroom doors open and  build  public galleries in the houses of parliaments.

Likely  I would have  forgiven and forgotten all that,  had Laura taken the Ideas Bank to the Trust Council at its March Quarterly Meeting - but she did not do that either.

It is a chicken and egg situation:  The Trust would not do the Ideas Bank, because the Ideas Bank would not let them hide what they need hide. More than that yet. They loath the Ideas Bank for in it presense they would not be able to to thing that they would need to hide.

That is also why we, the people need the Ideas Bank ...


I have notified Laura Patrick, Peter Luckham and Peter Grove of this article being posted on and its condensed version is in published in the Marketplace.  As a reminder, Alcy provides anyone named in a post on the website “equal space” to correct or challenge anything written about the person.
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