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The Pope, Coventry Cathedral and David Moorcroft

Eager readers of the blog will recall that we’ve seen the Vatican’s involvement in mediation within the Venezuelan government, well after 2 years progress is being seen, thanks to mediation.

In the Vatican led mediation project opposition leaders met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s and his political team to discuss and if possible resolve the issues between them, mainly getting a suspended referendum up and running (which is expected to see said President removed from power).

The President announced “We come here willing to listen and, hopefully, be listened to, and find points in the common interest of the great majority of the country, of the national interests. I think that this is not the time for long speeches but rather to assume a deep commitment,”. Prior to the mediation process beginning Maduro met with Pope Francis, and Papal envoy Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli said ”The government and the opposition committed to lowering the aggressiveness in the language used in political debate”

Mr Torrealba of the opposition Democratic Unity coalition’s said “We are here also to demand an electoral solution to the crisis in Venezuela. There is a point in the document that, in diplomatic jargon, establishes the review of the electoral program, the electoral institutionalism, and the respect and promotion of the electoral timetable in the constitution…That is the rescue of the recall referendum because what we are certainly discussing is the advancement of the presidential elections, that is what we are dealing with, that is what is on the table, what we are discussing, and also the topic of normalizing the country's institutional life that deals with reinstating the deputies from Amazonas”.

Evidence if you need it that mediation has Papal backing.

Closer to home God’s mediators have been in action in Coventry. And in one of the most bizarre team ups (and hopefully one better than Batman/Superman), sporting legend David Moorcroft and the Dean of Coventry Cathedral, the Very Reverend John Witcombe, have begun mediating between the hedge fund owners of Coventry City Football Club (Sisu) and various other parties involved in disputes about the Sky Blues’ future.

Disputes revolve around the team playing at the Ricoh Arena or Butts Park Arena, as well as the future of the team’s academy’s using the Alan Higgs Centre.

There are ongoing legal proceedings by Sisu against the Coventry City Council. The Council have refused to engage in discussions while those proceedings are extant.

Deadlock is a term often bandied about in mediation and it would seem that in this particular case the dream team up of church and former 5000 metre world record holder has been called in to guide the parties to resolution. John Witcombe has previously been involved mediation which resulted in the team’s return to the Ricoh Arena after spending over a season playing in Northampton.

In the report in the Coventry Telegraph the importance of confidentiality is highlighted as those involved in the talks have said they are unwilling to talk to anyone ahead of resolutions being achieved.

Meanwhile in the USA in the tricky world of political finance, no not Trump this time, a judge in Wilmington has referred the Federal Election Commission’s case against Christine O’Donnell to mediation. O’Donnell was the former Republican senate candidate for Delaware.

The mediation is hoped to bring an end to long standing dispute about the amount of fine to be imposed for violating campaign laws, the FEC initially wanting $25,000 for O’Donnell’s misuse of campaign funds to pay bills at her townhouse in Delaware. Who’d have thought a politician claiming expenses that weren’t properly incurred?

Also over that side of the pond claimants in a case against Microfibres Inc (Pawtucket) for failures in Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) procedure have been entered into.

Some 185 former employees are involved in the class action, which is now suspended while mediation is conducted in this $1.5m action.

WARN is supposed to give employees 60 days’ notice when any company which is planning to dismiss over 50 employees, warning them to allow them to take action.

If you have a problem which needs mediating, and you don’t have a minister of church or state, or a local former athletics world champion to turn to contact Ed Johnson at Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or

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