The use of Postal Voting and Online Voting arrangements at the forthcoming virtual AGM, prompted me to refer to the MCC Rules of 2019 where Rule 24.3 states “Postal voting shall be conducted in accordance with the Regulations made from time to time by the MCC Committee.” This sent me scurrying for a copy of the 2019 “Regulations and General Information for Members” where pages 4,5,47 and 48 are missing! No mention of any Postal Voting arrangements, and so a Deputy Secretary was sent an e-mail for clarification. The following reply was received:
“I have been advised that the Postal Voting Regulations are not published in the booklet entitled “Regulations and General Information for Members”. This is because the booklet is a general information booklet, the Regulations set out in it being to do with match-orientated matters and aimed at how Members might enjoy their membership at Lord’s (and elsewhere).
I do not believe that the Postal Voting Regulations have ever been separately circulated to Members. Rather, the AGM document’s back page, entitled “Notes on Voting and Procedure’ , provides at paragraph 10, that a copy can be obtained on written application to the Secretary’s office. The Postal Voting Form itself directs Members to the AGM document on voting and procedure. Therefore the Regulations are always easily obtainable..”
These Regulations were drafted by Simmons and Simmons the Club Solicitors, on 8th July 1987 in advance of the SGM called by the Committee for 30th July 1987 to address the rejection of the 200th Report and Accounts at AGM for the first time in the history of the Club. The Solicitors were instructed to produce Postal Voting Regulations that would guarantee a Committee victory at SGM. These Regulations have never been published and neither has any of the 12 Amendments made since. Member approval has never been granted and no consideration given to the fact that the ordinary business of the Club AGM Agendas had never previously been made the subject of Postal Voting. Extraordinary AGM Agenda business was always made the subject of SGM’s.
Is Postal Voting lawful?
The non-existent Regulation referred to at Rule 24.3 nullifies any Postal Voting arrangements at any GM as the Regulations are for “match-orientated matters and aimed at how Members might enjoy their membership at Lord’s (and elsewhere)”. Why is not proxy voting used in accordance with Rule 24.2?
In 1999 history repeated itself when the President adjourned the AGM when a Member opposed the appointment of a Trustee and the Meeting became unruly. The Committee called an SGM and the adjourned AGM was never re-convened as Postal Voting would not have been allowed.
The manner in which the Committee abuses power with the use of unpublished and unapproved Postal Voting is an utter disgrace and most probably unlawful. Does the Committee care and do the Trustees care? I very much doubt it.