Article printed in Our Dog August 25th 2023


Our Dogs



Profit or Purpose

by Peter Clifton.


With the release of "Love for Sale," his album with Lady Gaga, Tony Bennet

earned a Guinness World Record, becoming the oldest person to release an

album of new material. The jazz legend turned 95 in August 2021. He

celebrated his birthday by performing with Lady Gaga a series of sold-out

concerts at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The entertainment industry has

long been a world leader promoting the fact that ageism must never exist in any

walk of life, supported by the general public with sold out events.

As a young girl working in a Bradford mill, Florence Remmer’s life-long

dream to become an actress came true. Then, aged 81, she got her chance

thanks to a festival in Bradford aimed at celebrating age. “I read”, Florence

chuckles, as she recalls the character she plays, “a lady in her 80’s who is

internet dating”. She says of her role: “It’s just a small part because I’m in the

chorus, but I’ve got a juicy act, because I have to tell people I’m having the

best sex of my life!”

At 84 Florence Remmer is living proof that age really is a number, having now

become an author, and to date written a number of children and other books

including poetry. Her quote “It’s like being in bud all your life and all of a

sudden you turn into a flower,” sums age perfectly.

Sadly Tony passed away this year, but his talent and experience will always

live on, and with Florence they give hope to those starting in the profession.

They will always be wanted and never be forgotten.

My article in Our Dogs March 2023, ‘Our Kennel Club certainly ‘walk the

line’ and possibly a very fine one when it comes to working within the Equality

Act,’ proved that our now Royal Kennel Club works decades behind all others.

Maybe still in the Victorian age. I wrote that “It’s long known that Crufts do

not appoint judges after the age of 80, be you a breed specialist or all rounder.”

Following this article I wrote to the chairman of Crufts requesting this matter

be put on the agenda before the committee, to which I received assurance that it

would at the next meeting. In July I received the following emails from him. “

The issue was discussed at some length at our last meeting and it was

unanimously agreed that the existing policy was the correct one for Crufts. I

know you will be disappointed with the response but I promise you that it was

discussed fully and the decision was subsequently ratified by the board”.

Many like myself feel that Crufts and the Royal Kennel Club board are not

working within the meaning and goodwill of the Equality Act 2010.

Furthermore I ask, would the same decision have been reached had my

complaint been under the other categories within the Equality Act. And if so

just imagine the national and international outcry.

Having taken a few days to reflect on the decision I responded by writing, “I

feel that I must now, on a number of counts, along with the interests of all

within our sport, pursue this matter via every channel available.

It is extremely disappointing that this decision was reached without coming

back to me on what simple procedures could be put in place to ensure all age

groups could be treated equally”.

On my part I continue to hope honest dialogue between us will avoid adverse

publicity. Therefore I would ask at this stage, for reconsideration by your

committee and the board of the Royal Kennel Club”. I await a reply.

Every general championship show including Crufts have judges withdraw,

thankfully unlike Crufts, they do not have age restrictions thus proving that

Crufts are acting indiscriminatly and disrespectfully towards the over 80 group

of judges and stewards.

Does the Crufts committee have concerns over any other age group or gender,

after all in the UK one man in five dies before the age of 65. The number of

women aged 45 and over giving birth is at the highest level since records began

80 years ago, and women over 40 are having more babies than the under 20s

for the first time in nearly 70 years.

Crufts has certainly become our most successful show, solely by brand name.

Entries remain huge compared to all others, yet judges seem at times to be selected by a blind person with a pin.

Let’s turn back time, look in the rear view mirror for

one will find it clearer than the front. Let the show serve its true purpose by

giving every breed the proven best, irrespective of age, colour or sex.

Common sense says age is just a number, and we have more important issues to

address. The success of any business depends on its ability to maximize

profitability and minimize costs, a crucial factor in achieving and providing a

service customer satisfaction.

Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman worked hard to solidify the notion

that, for a company to pursue anything other than legal profit would be “pure

and unadulterated socialism.” His view was, quite simply, that businesses have

no social responsibility to the public or society at large.

Thankfully in 2023 there is government intervention along with a growing

business movement that says businesses, large and small, should be taking their

social responsibility more seriously. They should be supporting employees and

communities, protecting the environment, and fuelling the local economy. In

fact, the argument is that these should be the biggest priorities for businesses—

ahead of profit. This idea doesn’t sit well with everyone. But this article is

about putting purpose before profit—not in place of it.

Ronnie Irving Our Dogs 07/07/2023 wrote a must read article called

fundamental shift towards all-rounders” It’s interesting that the Kennel Club

board adopted the backdoor system, long used by big business, to deal with this

controversial policy decision. This new system has apparently been approved

by the KC Board for those judges who are now described as ‘Policy Judges’.

(reminds one of the many E.U policy documents)

In the same issue, again a must read and one that draws the word ‘Purpose’

right to the fore, Our Dogs Opinion writes “In the interest of giving a balanced

view, it has to be said that there are however several reasons to support the new

system Firstly, there is the practical fact that as our general championship

shows become smaller, it becomes more and more unrealistic financially for

them to afford to have specialist judges for all of the numerically smaller

breeds which attract more modest entries”.

It is certainly correct that entries are falling, many to embarrassing levels. It is

incorrect for the columnist to write “of the numerically smaller breeds”, a fact

seen in any schedule, that breeds drawing excellent entries are also being

drawn into the modern thinking of general championship shows, that one judge

suits all. While it will always be in the interests of all breeds and shows to have

all rounder judges percentage wise, breed specialists must always outnumber

all others both in breeds and groups.

The Opinion column also fails to mention the most important factor of all that

the quality of exhibits in so many breed rings now has become a shadow of

former glory years.

It’s clearly time the Kennel Club board along with all general championship

show committees ask themselves one vital question “what should be your

purpose”. Should this be profit (which is not a dirty word) driven, or should

your purpose be the interests of the breeds? If the latter, then one needs to ask

the wisdom of using less breed specialists.

In the business world to remain successful one needs to move with the times.

With footfall, one invariably has store closures, which happened when Kennel

Club regulations destroyed open shows around the country, with great shows of

the past being just a memory. In the interests of breeds should the Kennel Club

stop trying to prop up general championship shows to the detriment of all

others. Let us ask the question, have the number of general championship

shows sadly now outgrown the entries available? Would breeds be served better

by less general championship shows and more breed clubs championship

shows? All in the interest of breed purpose?

The Kennel Clubs execution of the present judging system was driven by

purpose. Unfortunately it was the wrong type of purpose, being solely driven

for profit by the introduction of the licence fee. Please remember while this fee

was stopped at the time by public outcry, it is not yet dead and buried, it’s lying


More shows, classes, C.Cs, cheap champions, easy wins will never achieve the

purpose. Purpose in breeds will never be achieved by a minority group, greed,

self interest, lack of understanding of people and breed’s needs and footsteps.

The quality of the breeds must always be the number one purpose, and if the

show world is going to have any sort of future, then failure to understand now,

will result in suicide for many breeds.

From my age and experience I end by saying take note of the L.S.Lewis quote

We can’t turn back time and change the beginning, but we can start where we

are and change the ending”.