Yn Pabyr Seyr is published by Mec Vannin, the Manx Nationalist Party. All articles are copyright Mec Vannin unless otherwise stated. Mec Vannin grants permission to reproduce articles from Yn Pabyr Seyr provided that the source is credited.

Issue 1 - June 1991


Mec Vannin was formed in 1984 as a co-ordinated organisation to preserve and promote Manks Culture and increase the Island's degree of autonomy.

Many of the older Islanders will remember Mec Vannin from the mid 'seventies when there was a similar new residents drive to the one we are suffering now. The difference was then, there was not the dual evil of unnatural population increase coupled with the dangerously powerful finance sector.

There were also more Manks people in the Island, and there seemed to be a much greater awareness of the threat posed by an influx of people who, for the greater part, were very much at odds with the attitude and aspirations of the Manks Society. Consequently, although much hard lobbying was required, and protective legislation fell well short o£ the Nationalists' goals, progress was achieved and curbs an those who wee trying to tear the Island apart were imposed.

Then as now, there were those with power who had their fingers in the pie, and the more unsavoury their dealings, the greater the esteem with which others seemingly treated them.

Mec Vannin (Sons of Mann) played a key role in co-ordinating opposition to the free for all.

Unfortunately, an internal rift substantially reduced the party's effectiveness and, with a natural reduction in the momentum of the new residents policy, was effectively "moth-balled".

The threat has returned but much stronger and so Mec Vannin is operative again. But who are and what is Mec Vannin?.

We are the Nationalist Party, but this term has many interpretations and too many people choose the wrong one for Mec Vannin. The activities of the German National Socialist Party, the South African Nationalist Party, and the English National Front have brought the term Nationalist into disrepute.

These are all Right Wing extremists, drawing strength by exploiting the worst that human nature has to offer. It is these very tendencies that Mec Vannin oppose.

Our objective is the establishment of a society in this Island that holds individual liberties above monetary gain, with an economy structured to provide enduring security to those people whose whose birthright this land is, without the need for exploitation of our own or any other people.

Mec Vannin is not:

Riga Wing Extreme

Mec Vannin is, in view of this Island's history, both ancient and recent:

Environmentally conscious
Pro-Civil Rights
Anti New Resident Policy

The Party's motto "Irree seose Vannin" (Rise up, Mann!) is net an invocation to revolution, but an urge to Mann and its citizens to resist a tide of change that will serve the Island no good, and to further build a society, with full respect to our culture and origins, that will survive in freedom for perpetuity.

Mec Vannin is not composed solely of Manks people, nor is there any need or pressure to understand Manks Gaelic, although the re-establishment of the language is one of our objectives, The common factor for membership is the appreciation for the unique qualities of Manks society, and a desire for independence from a corrupt usurper in the form of the United Kingdom.

Because of these objectives, Nn Vannin has common interests with such bodies as The Celtic League, (Mec Vannin was "Green" before the term was even invented) and The Manx Council for Civil Liberties.


The Quality of Life Survey revealed that 87% of the Island's population want some sort of immigration control now. We await the government's action.


Although Mec Vannin and the "F.S.F.O." campaign are separate entities, there are parallels. Here is their press release:

The 31st of March saw the first anniversary of the F.S.F.O. campaigners' release from prison custody and although the destruction of the Manks way of life has apparently slowed down this past year, it is still continuing at an unacceptable and unnecessary rate. Since the boom began over three years ago, the Government has done nothing to protect the unique Manks lifestyle from the effects of the massive influx of new residents, and it seems that the direct message of F.S.F.O. is, unfortunately, far from being history.

Complacency and "traa dy liooar" continue to offer the Government guarantees that it is safe for it to sell off whatever it likes and that the Hanks people may be indefinitely walked over.

In this election year, F.S.F.O. aims to highlight the deteriorating situation in Mann by the launch of a new campaign.

Entitled "Enough is Enough" the campaign aims to rally support against the Government policy of increasing the size, dominance, and destructive tendencies of the financial sector in Manks life. As a realistic alternative to this potentially disastrous over-dependence the F.S.F.O. campaigners call on the Government in the strongest terms to close the door now on any further growth in the finance sector by the simple expedient of limiting the issue of licences to banks and insurance companies.

As is the case of Jersey, the financial sector would not be allowed to grow beyond its present size, but would continue as an element in the Manks economy while investment by government in other non finance sector based industries (such as Manks owned small businesses and light manufacturing etc.) reduced its relative importance and dominance in our economy.

In short, the aim of the campaign is to put economic power back in the hands of the Manks people, where it belongs. The time has now come to say "Enough is Enough" to the men of greed and close the door on finance sector led development.

We couldn't give a XXXX for "Indy's" reporting.

A story carried by a local paper needed this sort of headlining to attract attention.

Despite its title, the newspaper in question is about as independent as Sooty is of Harry Corbett's right hand and, since being bought by a finance sector company, prostrates itself before the said industry in the same fashion as the other local rags.

In an island where real news occurs once a month, however, it is easy to see why a paper that publishes twice a week has to resort to a certain amount of sensationalism to provoke a few spontaneous sales.

The real point of the story was, however, that a business man resident in the Island considered the idea of halting the growth of the finance industry and expanding the economy by means of developing an internal economy, as naive. The businessman in question believed that F.S.F.O. would be hard put find any sort of industry that WASN'T finance related.

We haven't got the time or space to educate him here, but if he enrols at the C.O.F.E. for G.C.S.E. Geography and History, in another couple of years time he may have learnt that there is life outside merchant banking. Or maybe he wont. Or maybe he was misquoted, in which case we're sorry, but what can he expect if he talks to papers like that?

The Government has, once again, placed all its eggs in one basket. The basket in question is perched on top of a shaky fence, and when this fence is kicked in the form of the need for greater industrial efficiency on one hand and a growing international moral awareness on the other, the basket and contents will fall. Many of the eggs will undoubtedly turn out to be rotten and it is we, the Manks people, who will be left crawling through the festering goo.

This is not idle speculation or panic mongering. We have already had a taste in the form of the S.I.B. collapse and, despite the fine words of Messrs. Gelling and Walker, there is nothing to show that control is any better now than it was then.

The fundamental flaw is that despite the Government's talk of Gross National Product, the FS. is, in true terms, non productive In terms of Global economics, it is a giant sponge and one day soon, it will be wrung out and thrown away.

Meanwhile, as if to prove the total fallacy of the "Economic Population' theory, our farming industry is in ruin at a time when it should be enjoying an expanded market.

The More It Changes, The More It Stays The Same

The Fourth Duke of Atholl told the Keys that "they were no more representatives of the people of Man than of the people of Peru."

Many people have been unfortunately misled into believing that the Manks Government in its current form is an ancient democracy, enjoying unbroken representation of the people since 1079. Nothing could be further from the truth. Godred Crovan (King Gorree) established the Tynwald after becoming King of Mann in 1079, after which the elected representative of each parish aided in the settlement of disputes, and interpretation of the law, W &e may had the right of petition of grievance ad a Tynwald.

After the lapse of Norse rule, there was an unstable period during which the Church established itself as the Common Law-maker of the land, and was none too Christian about it. In 1405, Mann found itself under the absentee rulership of Sir John Stanley. Upon becoming King of Mann, his son (also John) came to Mann and set about curbing the power of the Church, and had the Keys formalise the previously unwritten Law. Although capable of exerting his power ruthlessly, it must be said that he ruled the land with more than personal gain in mind. The Stanleys continued to rule Mann,  either in person or via a system of Governors but, by 1610, the Keys had become self electing.

How, is uncertain, but by 1649 the Church was once again imposing punitive tithes, causing near rebellion. This was astutely averted by the 7th Earl of Derby, but the upshot was that Edward Christian was imprisoned for, amongst other things, trying to make the Keys an elected body.

After the notorious Revestment Act of 1765, under which the title of Lord of Mann was purchased by the British Crown, Tynwald had no control over the finances of the land. In 1791, a Royal Commission was carrying out an investigation of the insular constitution and a petition was laid before the Commission asking far an elected Keys. There was no change.

The English Reform Acts of 1832 went a long way to making the English Parliament a popularly elected body and, in 1833, Robert Fargher established The Mona's Herald newspaper, a vehicle for reformist views. He was unswerving in his efforts to publicise the need for such reforms, and made many enemies in the established authorities. There were several other worthy Manksmen from all walks of life who maintained the momentum of the reformist movement through to the 1860s when reform did at last come. It did not come until after it had been pursued by the new governor, Lord Loch, and James Brown (then editor of The Isle of Man Times) had been improperly imprisoned for criticising the Keys, however, and still met stiff opposition from within the Keys itself. 1867 saw the first popularly elected Keys for at least 250 years.

"So what?" you may ask. All western countries have had to fight to achieve popular representation. People getting locked up far criticising the government of the day was common hundreds of years ago. Our basic rights are under threat every day, and once lost, are extremely hard to regain. Only a few years ago, two well known local men were hauled before the Keys for contempt. People have made enormous personal sacrifice for the rights we so often do not, exercise, and so stand to forfeit. Tynwald, as a body, seems all too keen to override basic human rights and, when exposed, will twist and squirm like a snake rather than face its responsibilities.

Gay Laws - The Altar of 'Manx' Morality

A letter from a Mec Vannin member

In the recent furore over "gay laws" an the Island, I found myself in a somewhat ironic position as a nationalist. Here, at last, is the likelihood of the Manx government taking on the might of Europe with, apparently, the support of many Manx people.

In other circumstances one might take heart. Is the Manx nation finding its feet at last? Unfortunately not! This nation will never he worthy of its name unless it allows equality and civil rights for all its people. The arguments against legalising homosexuality have been put loudly and clearly by many of our M.H.K.s. Some may believe what they say and others, more cynically, may not but, nonetheless, they display a degree of stupidity, ignorance and bigotry which makes me ashamed to be Manx, and therefore associated with it.

I would say to our elected representatives, by all means stand up for yourselves and your electorate, but do it for the right reason, the worthy cause for in spite of what you may purport to believe, discrimination against people on the grounds of sexuality is not a reason or a worthy cause. There are some Manx people who do not wish to be sacrificed on the altar of "Manx" (i.e. Victorian evangelical) morality.


Publication Anniversary

Thomas Paine's "The Rights of Man"

The two hundredth anniversary of the publication of this famous book took place in February 1991. In it, Paine spoke out for the governed in a class divided society and part one was dedicated to George Washington.

Part two, "Combining Principles and Practice" argued for a democracy against aristocracy. He was a republican whose vision of a better, fair society included a programme of social reform.

On the subject of finance he wrote, "Public money ought to be touched with the most scrupulous consciousness of honour. It is not the product of riches only, but the hard earnings of labour and poverty. It is drawn even from the bitterness of want and misery."

Following publication of a popular sixpenny edition of his book, Thomas Paine was prosecuted by the British Government of the time and "The Rights of Man" was suppressed between 1792 and 1817, although it was still circulated in both printed and hand-copied editions.

It is not coincidental that, following the suppression of his book, before the end of the eighteenth century, the dubious Two Acts were passed, suppressing freedom of speech and assembly and trade unions were made illegal under the Combination Acts.

Wolfe Tone wrote of Thomas Paine: "He has done wonders for the cause of liberty both in America and Europe, and I believe him to be conscientiously an honest man."

What did Paine mean in the quote about Public Money?

The language of the quote in the article above is quite "flowery" as was the fashion for the time of writing, but its message is straightforward and extremely relevant to our current situation.

He is saying that a treasurer, faced with vast sums of public money at his disposal, can easily became frivolous about its expenditure, treating sum in terms of percentages of the total available funds, rather than their absolute value. In doing this, such people are forgetting where a large amount of that money comes from.

We believe that Mr. Don Gelling has fallen into that very trap. A huge outcry was raised both within and without Tynwald about the 2.5% ?? increase, and rightly so What seems to have been forgotten, however, is a much larger sum of money wiped off the accounts over a period of eighteen months and Mr. Gelling admits to allowing it to happen. What is more, he is not unduly concerned about it.

We are talking about a sum anywhere between 8 and 14 million pounds, frittered away in unsuccessful unit trusts. He defended his department by saying that it was not a particularly large sum when measured in terms of total investments.

But it is still up to £14 million!

The Government tells us that the average household now earns £280 per week. This will just secure the mortgage on a £30,000 house. After all the various allowances, this average household, paying this mortgage will have paid around £400 in tax. Just imagine what that money could do for a young family ,just starting off. But it was gambled away on bad investments. Infact, this sum is equivalent to five years' taxes for 7000 such families!

Mr Gelling was allowed to get off very lightly on this issue, while households an considerably less than this average figure scrape to make every penny count. Don't they deserve consideration?

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