Not only does Nominet apportion more votes and consequent influence to the largest Registrars, to the equivalent disadvantage of smaller registrars and members, but - perhaps as a result of that - we find Large Registrars represented on the Nominet Board... registrars whose companies 'benefit from understandings' with Nominet... for example over the .uk mass-registrations. Now let me be clear: I am not personally attacking James and Kelly, the Board members who work for GoDaddy and Namesco. Nor am I saying that anything illegal has taken place. It is even possible, though scarcely provable, that James and Kelly distance themselves from all decision-making and policy development that involves their companies. But even so, there is the real danger of a perceived Conflict of Interest, and this issue: The Appearance of Bias. That really matters. In a statement this week, on a different matter involving a Church legal case, Lord Carlile made this very pertinent point: There cannot be "equal opportunity if there are conflicts of interest involved. Anyone with a conflict of interest must leave the deliberations and take no further part. This is what lawyers understand as the law of apparent bias. It’s not to say that such people are biased: that’s often misunderstood. It is the appearance of bias that matters. Having people on a core group with a conflict of interest is simply not sustainable." Now, even if Large Registrar board members technically absent themselves from certain votes, there is all the unminuted collaboration and influence that may be brought to bear on a company behind the scenes, when vested interests are not kept at sufficient arms length outside the company. In my opinion, whatever expertise they may offer, they should not be right at the core of the company and members of the Board. Conflict of interest is an obvious concern for other members. The appearance of bias is itself unacceptable, and should be avoided in the interests of transparency and trust.