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Colin Harvey

Defending The Pipe Organ

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Very interesting. It seems that Don't Panic should be the order of the day (as I rather suspected might be the case) while still ensuring that steps are taken to turn an "understanding" into a clear cut rule. Meanwhile,  I think  people might carry on as normal, without worrying that the police will turn up en masse on July 1 and cart off to jail anyone found working on the instalation of a new organ.

 

BAC

 

 

======================

 

 

Well Brian, is IS very interesting indeed, and whilst there may be NON-LEGAL reasons as to why organ-builders should not panic, the law, as it is about to be adopted, DOES APPLY TO NEW ORGANS, as Reijo Kemppinen points out; thus bringing organ-pipes WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE LEGISLATION.

 

This is the critical thing, because once organ-pipes are included, it is quite possible that the dumb-ass politicians and civil-servants at the DTI will simply interpret the rules in the usual way, "without fear or favour" and in a high-handed manner. Then they will require organ-builders to apply for exemptions at very great expense and stone-wall any small amount of protest which may, or may not gather pace.

 

Brian must know better than anyone, that where laws apply, they tend to be applied, or prosecuted by those who may have a vested interest in seeing the downfall of the pipe-organ industry. That could be as diverse as "pop evangelists" and "ye maykers of ye olde worlde electronics."

 

It is these people who are the really hazardous substances in all this, and throwing THEM into a landfill-site is not, unfortunately, an option.

 

As I have stated before, satire is one way of making these people take the matter seriously and to get their facts right, and the other is to find out if public money is being spent on NEW organs.

 

If anyone, anywhere in Europe, knows of just such a project, then we have a very strong lever indeed, because it could force the issue without having to go through the machinery of exemption applications and time-wasting humbug.

 

Think about it!

 

MM

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Current media and broader interest appear to have misunderstood the Directive's requirements and their impact upon the organ industry. Much of the current reaction suggests that the organ industry will not be able to undertake repairs to large, historic organs such as those in Salisbury and St Paul's Cathedrals and Birmingham Town Hall. This is not the case.

 

Since the law applies to new products only, existing church organs are not affected.

 

Organists can continue to play pipe organs, you can enjoy their beautiful music and the industry can even continue to repair and upgrade them with lead without any further restrictions under RoHS.

Sigh! Yet again, a superficially encouraging statement that actually confirms the worst interpretation. In effect it tells us that new pipe organs are covered by this legislation, and merely reminds us of the provisions for repair of old ones.

 

When will anyone in authority anywhere get the point? They all seem to think that the preservation of the process of drafting laws is more important than the results. If the actual intent of all this is to remove lead from electrical wiring and circuit boards, why don't they just say in the directives that the measures apply to electrical wiring and circuit boards (and not to organ pipes)? Is it so hard?

 

Paul

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Guest Barry Oakley

I am now in possesion of the media release issued by Liz Lynne, MEP, on 24 March 06 which I include below.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

Liz Lynne MEP (Liberal Democrat)

www.lizlynne.org.uk

Shropshire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire

and the West Midlands

Brussels: 003222845521, mobile: 07764452725 email: elynne@europarl.eu.int

 

Release time: 24/03/2006 Embargo: Immediate

 

Eurosceptics fail to silence West Midlands organs

 

Contrary to reports, traditional church organs in the West Midlands will not be silenced by new EU legislation, a local Euro MP said today.

 

Liz Lynne, Lib Dem MEP for the West Midlands, has welcomed a categorical assurance from the European Commission that new laws designed to curb the use of lead will not affect church organs.

 

Organ manufacturers had feared that the ROMS (Restriction on Hazardous Substances) Directive would lead to the banning of lead in organ pipes as well as many electrical components.

 

But Margot Wallstrom, Vice President of the European Commission, has told MEPs that there is no threat to church organs.

 

She told the European Parliament: "You can rest absolutely assured that the directive does not cover church organ pipes."

 

Criticising the recent spate of media scare stories, the Commissioner urged MEPs to "just make sure that now and then the poor people in the UK hear the truth, as they rarely receive correct information."

 

Liz Lynne, who has been working on this issue on behalf of several constituents, today said:

"Once again measures which are intended to protect human health and safeguard the environment have been twisted and distorted."

"Eurosceptics should pipe down and stop bellowing such ill-informed nonsense." ENDS

 

For further information, comment or to book an interview, please telephone Liz Lynne on 003222845521 (Brussels) or 077644 52725 (mobile) or the Press Officer Steve Nowottny in Stratford-Upon-Avon on 01789 262785.

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I am now in possesion of the media release issued by Liz Lynne, MEP, on 24 March 06 which I include below.

PRESS RELEASE

Liz Lynne MEP (Liberal Democrat)

www.lizlynne.org.uk

Shropshire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire

and the West Midlands

Brussels: 003222845521, mobile: 07764452725 email: elynne@europarl.eu.int

 

Release time: 24/03/2006      Embargo: Immediate

 

Eurosceptics fail to silence West Midlands organs

 

Contrary to reports, traditional church organs in the West Midlands will not be silenced by new EU legislation, a local Euro MP said today.

 

Liz Lynne, Lib Dem MEP for the West Midlands, has welcomed a categorical assurance from the European Commission that new laws designed to curb the use of lead will not affect church organs.

 

Organ manufacturers had feared that the ROMS (Restriction on Hazardous Substances) Directive would lead to the banning of lead in organ pipes as well as many electrical components.

 

But Margot Wallstrom, Vice President of the European Commission, has told MEPs that there is no threat to church organs.

 

She told the European Parliament: "You can rest absolutely assured that the directive does not cover church organ pipes."

 

Criticising the recent spate of media scare stories, the Commissioner urged MEPs to "just make sure that now and then the poor people in the UK hear the truth, as they rarely receive correct information."

 

Liz Lynne, who has been working on this issue on behalf of several constituents, today said:

"Once again measures which are intended to protect human health and safeguard the environment have been twisted and distorted."

"Eurosceptics should pipe down and stop bellowing such ill-informed nonsense." ENDS

 

For further information, comment or to book an interview, please telephone Liz Lynne on 003222845521 (Brussels) or 077644 52725 (mobile) or the Press Officer Steve Nowottny in Stratford-Upon-Avon on 01789 262785.

 

 

===================

 

Well, that doesn't tell us anything we haven't heard before, and in fact, it really doesn't matter what a Liberal MEP says when it comes to "interpretation" of the law. It is the accepted machinery of the EU that each member-state is responsible for drafting law which complies with EU law, and consequently, it is UK law which matters, and which is set to come into force on July 1st as a result of the WEEE directive.

 

Thus, instead of seeking clarification about a law which has already been decided upon some years back, it is important to know HOW that law is going to be interpreted here in the UK, and by whom it will be enforced.

 

The answer seems to rest with the DTI (Dept. of Trade & Industry) who have ALREADY STATED that NEW pipe organs are within the scope of the July 1st legislation.

 

I would respectfully suggest that approaches to MEP's and Euro goodwill are possibly wasted, when we have statements coming from the DTI which are quite perverse, ill-informed and clouded by wishful-thinking.

 

It is the DTI and OUR goverment which need to wake up to the problem, and if they cannot do that, then they should be held accountable.

 

MM

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The answer seems to rest with the DTI (Dept. of Trade & Industry) who have ALREADY STATED that NEW pipe organs are within the scope of the July 1st legislation.
But the DTI don't necessarily speak with any more legal authority than an MP or MEP. Unless they have taken the trouble to consult their departmental solicitors it is probably safe to assume that they don't. Whether they have sought such a view in this particular case is not clear. I think we should be told.

 

But have they categorically stated that new organs come within the scope of the directives, or have they just given an advisory opinion? I'm rapidly losing what tenuous grip I had on exactly who has said what, but I thought it was the latter - and I would have thought there is a legal difference in status between the two. If the former, could this be something for a judicial review?

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But the DTI don't necessarily speak with any more legal authority than an MP or MEP. Unless they have taken the trouble to consult their departmental solicitors it is probably safe to assume that they don't. Whether they have sought such a view in this particular case is not clear. I think we should be told.

 

But have they categorically stated that new organs come within the scope of the directives, or have they just given an advisory opinion?  I'm rapidly losing what tenuous grip I had on exactly who has said what, but I thought it was the latter - and I would have thought there is a legal difference in status between the two. If the former, could this be something for a judicial review?

 

=========================

 

One must assume that a Trade Minister is higher up the political food-chain than a civil-servant, and closer to UK legislation than a Euro MP. On this basis, Peter Luff MP received only the following re-assurance:-

 

Industry minister Alun Michael replied,

 

“One of the great problems is the pessimism of people such as the hon. Gentleman. The directive to which he refers will not have an impact on the refurbishment or maintenance of existing organs, whether or not they have electronic components—the issue that has been raised. The pipe organ industry can apply for an exemption for new electronic organs and the Government are happy to continue to provide information to help it to do so. DTI officials have been in regular contact with those concerned and will be meeting the sector soon, so I trust that the hon. Gentleman will now become more optimistic about the future.”

 

That, thus far, is the only "re-assurance" given, which of course, is no re-assurance at all because it misses the target by a mile...ooops sorry...that's 1.61 Kilometres.

 

MM

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Well, as I said before, Alun Michael will only have been repeating what was drafted for him by the DTI (because that's what happens with parliamentary questions).

 

The impression I get from all of this is that no one - not the DTI, the Commission, parliament, European parliament - really has the foggiest idea what the status of organ pipes really is under these directives. If the DTI are technically able to clarify or amend the UK legislation to give the pipe organ industry the certainty it desires, but aren't doing so, then I'd be prepared to bet it's because they're scared of upsetting electronic organ manufacturers. Playing it by the rule book at least upsets everyone equally.

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As I have stated before, satire is one way of making these people take the matter seriously and to get their facts right, and the other is to find out if public money is being spent on NEW organs.
Now here's a delicious irony: Barry Jordan's new organ is being part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund!! http://www.domorgel-magdeburg.de/html/the_future.html

 

I don't know the timescales involved - and these would be all-important - but could we have a situation here where the EC really does accept that new organ pipes can be manufactured, while the DTI is taking a view contrary to the Commission's interpretation of its own directives?

 

Edit: Come to think of it, though, it's not the Commission's interpretation, but that of the German authorities who awarded the grant. The Commission could still disagree with what Germany has done, but we don't want to go there.

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Well, as I said before, Alun Michael will only have been repeating what was drafted for him by the DTI (because that's what happens with parliamentary questions).

 

The impression I get from all of this is that no one - not the DTI, the Commission, parliament, European parliament - really has the foggiest idea what the status of organ pipes really is under these directives. If the DTI are technically able to clarify or amend the UK legislation to give the pipe organ industry the certainty it desires, but aren't doing so, then I'd be prepared to bet it's because they're scared of upsetting electronic organ manufacturers. Playing it by the rule book at least upsets everyone equally.

 

 

==========================

 

Exactly, and the same goes for manufacturers of any sort of digital keyboard such as the big players from America and Japan, who regularly synthesise organ-tone of sorts.

 

This tends to suggest that the legislation, as passed, is flawed.

 

Now whilst not wanting to deprive the excellent Barry Jordan (in my view, now a man of criminal intent by collaboration :lol: ) of a wonderful new organ, it gives those concerned with EU legislation something of a bargaining chip and makes a mockery of the whole thing where it matters; among politicians.

 

This is EXACTLY what I've been searching for.

 

:o

 

Excellent sleuthing my Dear Watson.

 

MM

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======================

Well Brian, is IS very interesting indeed, and whilst there may be NON-LEGAL reasons as to why organ-builders should not panic, the law, as it is about to be adopted, DOES APPLY TO NEW ORGANS, as Reijo Kemppinen points out; thus bringing organ-pipes WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE LEGISLATION.

 

This is the critical thing, because once organ-pipes are included, it is quite possible that the dumb-ass politicians and civil-servants at the DTI will simply interpret the rules in the usual way, "without fear or favour" and in a high-handed manner. Then they will require organ-builders to apply for exemptions at very great expense and stone-wall any small amount of protest which may, or may not gather pace.

 

Brian must know better than anyone, that where laws apply, they tend to be applied, or prosecuted by those who may have a vested interest in seeing the downfall of the pipe-organ industry. That could be as diverse as "pop evangelists" and "ye maykers of ye olde worlde electronics."

 

It is these people who are the really hazardous substances in all this, and throwing THEM into a landfill-site is not, unfortunately, an option.

 

As I have stated before, satire is one way of making these people take the matter seriously and to get their facts right, and the other is to find out if public money is being spent on NEW organs.

 

If anyone, anywhere in Europe, knows of just such a project, then we have a very strong lever indeed, because it could force the issue without having to go through the machinery of exemption applications and time-wasting humbug.

 

Think about it!

 

MM

 

I would certainly not want to be understood as saying "and they all lived happily ever after...." : only that 1st July is not the doomsday that some of the more gloomy prognostications have implied, in the sense that if everything is not sorted by that date then the world will come to an end and the situation will be completely irretrievable. That is clearly not the case and I do not believe it helps the argument that we wish to make to pretend that we think it is. Panic is contagious and leads people to behave in foolish ways. It is not in our interests (I assume all of us here have the same interest in preserving the future of the pipe organ for generations, at least from this particular threat) to appear to be irrational or incapable of understanding the issues, otherwise we get the sort of condescending press release referred to in an earlier post today which clearly implies this is another scare whipped up by euro- sceptics who, in the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davis, "would say that, would n't [they]". It cannot benefit us to have our arguments simply brushed aside in this way, and they will be if we can be made to appear hysterical, irrational and over- reacting.

 

MM makes the perfectly valid point that laws once enacted can be used in a self-serving fashion by those with their own agenda to promote. But this takes time to produce its effect. We are not in the situation of the occupants of Pompei on the day before the erruption - get out now or be entombed for 2000 years. We have enough time to organise an orderly evacuation: we do not need the equivalent of a panic stricken flight in which people are heedlessly trodden underfoot in the crush. Indeed, we can organise so that no evacuation is necessary, which makes our situation rather preferable to theirs.

 

To make my position quite clear, it is not that we can now sit back and do nothing. The problem "has not gone away, you know" and work for a permanent solution needs to continue to be pursued, and pursued with vigour. However, the world will not end on 1st July for organ enthusiasts, any more than 90 years ago it ended for the British army who encountered an equally traumatic July 1st but were still there on the 2nd. I am quite confident we shall be as well, absent that asteroid strike but, should that happen, it is unlikely toasters will inherit the earth!

 

BAC

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Sigh!  Yet again, a superficially encouraging statement that actually confirms the worst interpretation.  In effect it tells us that new pipe organs are covered by this legislation, and merely reminds us of the provisions for repair of old ones.

 

When will anyone in authority anywhere get the point?  They all seem to think that the preservation of the process of drafting laws is more important than the results.  If the actual intent of all this is to remove lead from electrical wiring and circuit boards, why don't they just say in the directives that the measures apply to electrical wiring and circuit boards (and not to organ pipes)?  Is it so hard?

 

Paul

 

No, it is perfectly easy to do that. The problem is not a technical legal one. It is one of motivating the appropriate people to act in order to achieve this.

 

BAC

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Had a reply from my MP Damian Green today. An early day motion has been put forward to discuss/debate this issue (EDM 1827). The wording of the motions and the names of the MP's that have signed it can be found here http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails....301&SESSION=875

 

And I quote from his letter:

"I am delighted to see that as a result of Conservative pressure the DTI Minister, Alun Michael MP, has now promised that church organs will be excluded from the directive. I assure you that we will continue to push the Government to ensure that this exemption is granted. I sincerely hope the Government will take the opportunity to prevent the huge amount of damage this directive could cause to the Pipe Organ industry and the United Kingdom's cultural heritage."

 

Sounds encouraging to me.

 

Rob

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Guest Andrew Butler

I suppose that a good thing about this whole business is that it has attracted the attention of the general public to the organ, if my own congregation are anything to go by.

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I suppose that a good thing about this whole business is that it has attracted the attention of the general public to the organ, if my own congregation are anything to go by.

 

=====================

 

 

I'm holding the following in reserve until Ken Tickell has met with the DTI:-

 

Sir,

 

I have been involved in discussions concerning the provision of a new pipe-organ for a small, rural church in Yorkshire, but due to conflicting EU statements concerning new laws which come into force on July 1st, I have now distanced myself from the project.

 

Obviously keen to protect the beautiful environment of rural Yorkshire, we naturally welcomed the WEEE directives passed by the EU concerning the dumping of lead in land-fill sites. The organ-builder assured us that the lead pipes of the old organ would be melted down and re-used for the new instrument, which re-assured us greatly.

 

Then came an un-expected bombshell from one of the parishioners; an active campaigner for all things green and pleasant in this land of ours. A retired civil-servant, who once specialised in nuclear-waste disposal, she knows a thing or two about landfills, I can tell you.

 

Anyway, she informed us that the new organ would be illegal under the WEEE directive, if it were to be blown by an electric-fan, due to the fact that it would then qualify as an electrical device, and should therefore not contain more than 0.1% of lead.

 

We immediately contacted a member of the EU, who re-assured us that we really didn’t have problem, because the restoration of organs was outside the scope of the legislation.

Re-assured, we continued with our discussions, until our retired civil-servant friend informed us that the man from the EU was talking rubbish, which of course, we knew already. Apparently, the new pipes made out of the old metal, were sufficiently “new” as to come under the scrutiny of the DTI.

 

Naturally, we contacted the DTI, who stated that the new organ was indeed “an electrical device like all electronic organs” and should not contain more than 0.1% of lead. Nevertheless, she tried to re-assure us that the organ-builder could apply for an exemption from the WEEE directive if he so wished.

 

We therefore went back to the organ-builder, who’s reply was deleted from the Minutes of the Meeting on the grounds of obscenity and offending public decency; though the abbreviation WEEE and the word wind were left in as a point of reference.

 

Obviously anxious to comply with all aspects of European and UK law, we considered the options, but discovered that a water-powered engine would drain the small local reservoir with just two toccatas and half a fugue, long before worship commenced. Obviously, child labour laws prevented the use of choristers chained to a treadmill, and as most of the church-members are very elderly, we couldn’t reasonably press any of them into active duty.

 

Sadly, during the discussions, the old organ collapsed in heap at the rear of the church, leaving us without a musical instrument and a waste-disposal problem. Fortunately, Mr.Ferris, a local farmer, came to our rescue with his old fair-organ and traction-engine, which was carefully driven in through the west door. The parishioners have been delighted with this, but it can only be a temporary measure until the summer steam-fair season starts.

 

It was when the organ committee decided to have a new steam-driven fair-organ built that I withdrew from the committee, after notice was served on the organist. Whilst I am delighted that the church-members have found a way of complying with the WEEE directive and forthcoming UK law, I feel that the worship of God is not best served with the crashing of cymbals and the banging of drums (whatever the Psalms may state), and in any event, the current air-pollution-levels in the church have reached unacceptable proportions.

 

Am I alone in believing that the EU legislators and the DTI are talking out of their collective plumb-bumbs?

 

Yours etc.

 

 

 

MM

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I've just received the following in an email:

================================

 

Subject: Press release from Bill Newton Dunn MEP - Organ pipe confusion unblocked

 

Strasbourg, 5th April 2006

 

Release: Immediate

 

Organ pipe confusion unblocked

 

Media reports appear to have misunderstood an EU law and its effect upon British organs and their manufacturers.

 

The EU law, 'Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive', aims to protect human health and the environment by restricting the use of hazardous substances in new equipment - for example, lead and mercury.

 

This law will only apply to new products - existing historic organs in churches in the East Midlands are not affected. They can be repaired and upgraded with lead without restriction under this law. If British organ pipe manufacturers wish to continue to use lead when building a new organ, the British Institute of Organ Builders can apply to Brussels for an exemption on their behalf.

 

East Midlands Liberal Democrat MEP, Bill Newton Dunn, said:

 

"This is another example of a Euro-myth. Facts have been distorted and confusion has been created - about an EU directive which seeks to protect the environment by reducing the use of hazardous substances in electrical equipment and subsequently, the quantity of waste."

 

"Existing church organs in our region are not affected and can continue to be played and enjoyed."

 

The 'Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive' was passed by the European Parliament and all EU member states in the Council of Ministers, including the UK, in 2002. It now needs the rubber stamp of approval from the House of Commons to be transposed into UK legislation to come into effect.

 

ENDS

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Bill Newton Dunn 07939 250 473 or +33 (0)3 88 17 75 12

or Christina Meinshausen +33 (0)3 88 17 77 12

===================================

 

In other words, "stuff you lot".

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I've just received the following in an email:

================================

 

Subject: Press release from Bill Newton Dunn MEP - Organ pipe confusion unblocked

 

Strasbourg, 5th April 2006

 

Release: Immediate

 

Organ pipe confusion unblocked

 

Media reports appear to have misunderstood an EU law and its effect upon British organs and their manufacturers.

 

The EU law, 'Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive', aims to protect human health and the environment by restricting the use of hazardous substances in new equipment - for example, lead and mercury.

 

This law will only apply to new products - existing historic organs in churches in the East Midlands are not affected. They can be repaired and upgraded with lead without restriction under this law. If British organ pipe manufacturers wish to continue to use lead when building a new organ, the British Institute of Organ Builders can apply to Brussels for an exemption on their behalf.

 

East Midlands Liberal Democrat MEP, Bill Newton Dunn, said:

 

"This is another example of a Euro-myth. Facts have been distorted and confusion has been created - about an EU directive which seeks to protect the environment by reducing the use of hazardous substances in electrical equipment and subsequently, the quantity of waste."

 

"Existing church organs in our region are not affected and can continue to be played and enjoyed."

 

The 'Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive' was passed by the European Parliament and all EU member states in the Council of Ministers, including the UK, in 2002. It now needs the rubber stamp of approval from the House of Commons to be transposed into UK legislation to come into effect.

 

ENDS

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Bill Newton Dunn                07939 250 473 or +33 (0)3 88 17 75 12

or Christina Meinshausen    +33 (0)3 88 17 77 12

===================================

 

In other words, "stuff you lot".

 

Why can the politicians not get it into their thick heads that we're NOT asking about existing organs anymore? That question has been answered numerous times but we are still in the dark about new instruments as far as I am aware.

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Why can the politicians not get it into their thick heads that we're NOT asking about existing organs anymore? That question has been answered numerous times but we are still in the dark about new instruments as far as I am aware.

 

Although I still stand by what I have written in earlier posts my determination to be optomistic and not panic does not extend to ignoring the clear message that is beginning to emerge from all these press rleases to which we are being treated, issued by people who clearly either have no desire to see the issue or lack the imagination and intellectual wherewithal to grasp it. Existing instruments are not covered but you can apply for an exemption is a fairly unequivocal indication that new ones ARE . If it were cars rather than organs involved, and a law had been passed which allowed all existing cars to be repaired but no new ones built unless made out of MDF with only the minimuml metal fixings needed to ensure the thing held together, I assume that the enormous problems this caused for existing car manufacturing (OK Assembly) plants in the UK would be understood, and the likelihood of their being driven out of business grasped.

 

Initially, I had assumed that it ought not to take much to get an obvious mistake corrected, but with each one of these press releases that gets published I am finding it harder to sustain that belief. This astounds me, given that there is hardly a country in the EU which does not stand to be affected by this. Stupidity cannot be the explanation. What is ?

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Although I still stand by what I have written in earlier posts my determination to be optomistic and not panic does not extend to ignoring the clear message that is beginning to emerge from all these press rleases to which we are being treated, issued by people who clearly either have no desire to see the issue or lack the imagination and intellectual wherewithal to grasp it. Existing instruments are not covered but you can apply for an exemption is a fairly unequivocal indication that new ones ARE . If it were cars rather than organs involved, and a law had been passed which allowed all existing cars to be repaired but no new ones built  unless made out of MDF with only the minimuml metal fixings needed to ensure the thing held together, I assume that the enormous problems this caused for existing car manufacturing (OK Assembly) plants in the UK would be understood, and the likelihood of their being driven out of business grasped.

 

Initially, I had assumed that it ought not to take much to get an obvious mistake corrected, but with each one of these press releases that gets published I am finding it harder to sustain that belief. This astounds me, given that there is hardly a country in the EU which does not stand to be affected by this. Stupidity cannot be the explanation. What is ?

 

======================

 

 

This Brian, brings me almost full-circle to what I said at the beginning, about undermining the credibility of politicans and officals.

 

I don't for one minute doubt your legal credentials or abilities, but I've worked in the murky world of finance and accounting-fraud investigation, and I know how inept and indecisive these people can be unless it involves VAT payments!

 

We have a very, very powerful lever at our disposal in the form of two "financial irreuglarities" (actually mere inconsistencies).

 

The first, (I'm sorry to say), is the partial-funding, by the EU, of the new organ for Magdeburg Cathedral. The second is a proposed new organ, by the same builder, for the Musik Akademy in Poznan, Poland, which must involve public-money.

 

The simple fact is, that as things stand, we have a dual set of standards being applied in what should be a commonly ratified set of EU-wide statutes. Therefore, if the officials within the EU funding mechanism are flouting the regulations as interpreted by OTHER EU officials, they have got themselves into something of a pickle. Of course, it will not have dawned on either parties that this dichotomy exists, but I can categorically promise that, if these two examples are brought to the attention of the EU lawmakers, they will rush to resolve the issue to prevent possible conflict and red-faces.

 

I don't think Barry Jordan has anything to worry about, because if funding were now withdrawn, the EU could be sued and a very substantial claim for damages lodged, if I understand anything about contractual financial obligations.

 

Watch this space!

 

MM

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Looking at this carefully, I don't see anything stopping us making brand new tracker organs which have hand bellows; then a week later upgrading the organ to have an electric pump.

 

This way, the pump is seen as a completely different entity to the organ; it is made legally. You don't even have to make the hand bellows work- you can put this down to design error.

 

Just a thought...

 

MB :lol:

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Stupidity cannot be the explanation.

Yes it can. Any other explanation (e.g. arrogance, or ignorance in this context) is merely an elaboration of stupidity.

 

Paul

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Looking at this carefully, I don't see anything stopping us making brand new tracker organs which have hand bellows; then a week later upgrading the organ to have an electric pump. 

 

This way, the pump is seen as a completely different entity to the organ; it is made legally.  You don't even have to make the hand bellows work- you can put this down to design error.

 

Just a thought...

 

MB :lol:

 

=======================

 

 

I think the word "intent" springs to mind.........

 

You'd have to burn the drawings once the organ was built.

 

MM

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

Just a few quick questions for those 'in the know'. Thinking around this problem, as it were.

 

Even if we assume worst scenario - i.e. that DTI are not going to accomodate the industry willingly, I believe that there is scope for minimalising the problem.

 

Could new organs be made with 100%, or more correctly 99.9% recycled pipework - i.e. older pipes remade? I merely ask because there are in fact plenty of lead pipes around looking for such reuse. The missing ranks - 16' and 32' reeds, imitation olde worlde stopped diapasons etc. can all be satisfactorily made without lead at all.

 

Even if the available second-hand pipework has severely nicked languids and too high a cut-up, remaking is still less effort and less expense than commissioning new in any case. This would at last put a realistic value upon redundant organs.

 

How do the EU/DTI officials calculate their 0.1% anyway? Is it by weight? Is it by mass? Once again, there is room for manoeuvre - surely the actual amount of lead required in new pipework (i.e. frequently 30% or less) applies essentially to pipes from 4' C up. Take the whole mass or weight of an organ and the quantity of lead required for a few hundred smaller pipes could be a very small percentage indeed.

 

If there was a slight imbalance - say you had a couple of cwt too much lead in your proposed scheme, what is to stop you adding some cast iron bracing to the building frame? Of course you could take this as an opportunity to throw away the schwimmers and incorporate some decent sized double-rise reservoirs, necessitating all those lovely pig-iron weights! The effect of such a wind system upon the tone is more musical anyway.

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Car batteries cannot be made without lead. Will cars be illegal? I imagine that some Ministers will have great embarrasment in getting rid of the 'Green' electric run-arounds that recently they trumpeted in the press. They are more in trouble than the usual ones. The whole thing is a farce and one hopes common sense will one day prevail.

Even a light bulb, I am informed should also be banned. So back to hand-pumping, and candles for Evensong and Vespers.

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