Libertarian meetups have been happening at the Rose and Crown on the first Thursday since at least 2007, to my certain knowledge. I once said that this would never change. I said that because the meeting had become a tradition of the community that was bigger than any one person. I did not feel I owned it.
However, having taken the initiative to ensure the room was booked and organise a speaker programme it is now myself that, like or not, has responsibility for this tradition. I did not like that responsibility when people came to me about a shortage of their favourite beers. I did not like that responsibility when I got a grumpy phone call from the pub management before Christmas. I did not like that responsibility when the grumpy phone call concluded with a request for a cash fee (not a deposit) for the use of the room.
Unwelcome changes to the room by the new management, and souring of relations were perhaps unavoidable after Anna left, but I had hoped for the best. That has not panned out, and we are not the first Rose and Crown meetup to have problems. I am now in the position of needing to tinker with London libertarian cultural traditions in order to keep up the speaker programme. I throw myself at your mercy.
This is what I propose to do. We will try out new venues, starting with the Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell Green on Thursday. We will seek out a new sustainable arrangement so that the meetup feels as much like a tradition as the Rose and Crown did. This is likely to require money, so I will be making some institutional arrangements so that money can be handled appropriately, and finally I will be asking for money from the most enthusiastic attendees so that the institution they value can carry on without charging a fee in the door.
Immediately however I need a couple of things. I need you to spread the word about the new venue tomorrow, and again as needed. I also need you to tell me what sort of venue you want. Does it need to be a pub? Is food important? What did you think of the beer at the Rose and Crown? Is the day of the week important? Do you value a speaker every month or are the socials as valuable?
Thanks for all your support.