So the Ubuntu Community Council has asked Jonathan Riddell to step down as a leader in the Kubuntu community. The reasoning for this can be broadly summarized as “poor conduct”.
Some members of the community have concluded that this is something of a hatchet job from the Community Council, that Jonathan’s insistence to get answers to tough questions (e.g. licensing, donations) has resulted in the Community Council booting him out.
I don’t believe this is true.
Just because the Community Council has not provided an extensive docket of evidence behind their decision does not equate to wrong-doing. It does not equate to corruption or malpractice.
I do sympathize with the critics though. I spent nearly eight years pretty close to the politics of Ubuntu and when I read the Community Council’s decision I understood and agreed with it. For all of Jonathan’s tremendously positive contributions to Kubuntu, I do believe his conduct and approach has sadly had a negative impact on parts of our community too.
This has nothing to do with the questions he raised, it was the way he raised them, and the inference and accusations he made in raising such questions. We can’t have our leaders behaving like that: it sets a bad example.
As such, I understood the Community Council’s decision because I have seen these politics both up front and behind the scenes due to my close affiliation with Ubuntu and Canonical. For those people for who haven’t been so close to the coalface though, this decision from the CC feels heavy handed, without due evidence, and emotive in response.
Thus, in conclusion, I don’t believe the CC have acted inappropriately in making this decision, but I do believe that their decision needs to be illustrated further. The decision needs to feel complete and authoritative, but until we see further material, we are not going to improve the situation if everyone assumes the Community Council is some shadowy cabal against Jonathan and Kubuntu.
We are a community. We have more in common than what differs between us. Let’s put the hyperbole to one side and have a conversation about how we resolve this. There is an opportunity for a great outcome here: for better understanding and further improvement, but the first step is everyone understanding the perspectives of the people with opposing viewpoints.
#ISupportCommunity; our wider Ubuntu and Kubuntu family. Let’s work together, not against each other.