Sunday, 14 September 2014

Rally - What Future?



Now I realise that in the great scheme of modern life, national politics and governing a country are pretty damn important, but what makes our daily, working and tax-paying life bearable at times, is the sporting passions that everyone pursues.

Whether it's football or rugby, golf or swimming, curling or cricket, and whether that passion takes the form of active participation, spectating or armchair following, it is the pursuit of such activities that enhance the quality of life and its values.

In the case of most of those who bother to read the utterings spouted forth on these pages, it is rallying primarily, followed by all things motorised - not to mention the worrisome advances of Elephantus Scoticus (see earlier postings if you're new!) reportedly spreading across the Scottish mainland.

Of course I'm referring to Thursday's main event after which we will find out if Wee Eck is to become King Eck. If he wins the day then things will undoubtedly change, and since sport will be way down his list of priorities (naturally enough) then those with the interests of our sport at heart will have to do something, and pretty damn quick at that.

Unlike most other sports, motor sport in Scotland does not have a 'governing' body. It's all handled by the MSA in Englandshire, so there is no-one to take up the wheel this side of the Border and drive the necessary change. Unlike the motor cyclists that is. Although affiliated to the Auto Cycle Union, the farsighted Scottish Auto Cycle Union already have the autonomy and organisation in place to assume control if the great divide happens.

All the other major and popular sports already have 'Scottish 'governing' bodies so while their conversion to National governing body may be more straightforward, motor sport in Scotland will have to start from scratch.

At one time, the Royal Scottish Automobile Club may have been able to provide interim support, but that is no longer an option. There is no other recognisable body which has the knowledge and the expertise to assume the control and regulation of our sport, and I include the Scottish Sports Council in that.

That leaves the Scottish Association of Car Clubs (SACC). They certainly have the knowledge and the expertise but they don't have the manpower, the resources or the budget to undertake such a huge organisational start-up. Mind you, the budget part would be easy to solve - the MSA would have to hand over 'our share' of their surplus, while the issuing of Scottish licence and permit fees would help to pay ongoing costs.

So even if there is no political change after Thursday, perhaps there needs to be some other change? Some form of devolved 'Scottish Motor Sports Association' perhaps?

For instance, I just wonder if we could do a better job of negotiating Forestry Commission charges. After all, their HQ is in Edinburgh. Instead of the MSA flying up for their annual chat, it would just be a bus ticket away for most of us up here. Savings all round, eh?

Scaremongering? I don't think so, but let's see what Thursday brings.

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