IAM & Organisations
I think some of the point is being missed here. Advanced riding skills training (however you diefine 'advanced') is usually a good thing. As motorcyclists we need to be constantly aware that we ride essentially unstable machines, if we stop, we fall over unless we take action (foot down), and so on. But (like the Euor-fighter plane) that instability makes for manouverability when in trained hands. However, some training is too pedantic, too rigid. We must constantly think, observer, assess, risk evaluate and take actions (maintaining a plan b, or c or more), not just follow an enhanced/extended set of rules.
IAM & RosPA are 'organisations' and as such are affected by a a group mentality that sometimes overcomes common sense and proscribes some techniques and standards that 'normal' people find difficult to accept or comply with at all times.
I think one point here is that the IAM do not attempt to participate in the 'speed' debate, despite a plethora of evidence that 'speed' on it's own is not the problem. It is this absence of response that infuriates me, and is leading me to consider my subscription fees. I am an IAM qualified rider and I'm training to be an IAM observer and a CBT instructor, I am passionate about learning and teaching good riding skills, but I am also disgusted at the political (and somewhat arbitary) use of speed limits as a tool to gain votes or raise money rather than a considered element in a true road safety strategy.
I sympathise with Neville, whose reason for considering leaving the IAM is not that he thinks rider training is a bad thing, but he feels that the IAM is not doing enough to try and argue the case for proper road safety measures and resist the knee-jerk response of lowered speed limits and more cameras.
Better training, more evenly applied (to all road users) and more relevant testing (maybe a re-test every 5 years, even) is what's needed.
If the organisation you pay money to doesn't support these views, then,like Neville, you may wish to consider stopping your monetary support to them.