Traditional tantrums

Every so often there is a bit of a ruckus on the Traditionalfisherman forum. Despite the pretensions to gentility with all the gentlemen-ing and the sir-ing, the exchange of favourites teas, the snifters of port, virtual slaps on the back and so on, sooner or later someone has a little outburst, usually when they disagree with another who has opposing views on a subject. A favourite topic of contention is the definition of traditional angling. This usually engenders much pointless debate, which is curious given the unspoken but obvious definition that traditional means doing as Chris Yates would do. But to say so would be like telling an addict they’re hooked.

Such wrangles generally die down quickly enough. More toxic are those altercations around politics, a topic disallowed by the rules but which nevertheless crops up from time to time. As I’ve written before, the politics of the average TFFer is strongly conservative, particularly the inner core of the membership. Covid and lockdown rules are currently a prime source of ignition for some of these Angrys of Tunbridge Wells. A while ago a few spouted on about minor breaches of the lockdown rules; contradictions invoked splutterings about discourtesy and ungentlemanly conduct. It’s all rather juvenile but quite entertaining to watch.

To give TFF its dues, there is a lot less of the abuse and casual racism you get on other forums (I might mention the Flyfishing forum or Pikers-Pit, more of which in a future post). The owner, Mark Sarul, who dislikes bad behaviour and conflict, has lately put a stop to the low-level insults and sniping that occurred every so often. That’s not to say there are no members with unsavoury views but these are not articulated too often. In fact one of the worst has disappeared, for the time being anyway. The rest are mostly well behaved and there are some very likeable folk on there, including a few refugees from the uglier fishing forums on the net.

Must give my Mitchells a polish.

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