Yn Pabyr Seyr

Issue 11 - March 1992


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. 










WILL MEC VANNIN CHANGE ITS STANCE ON THE FINANCE SECTOR?

In his summary of Mec Vannin's activities in 1992, and looking forward to 1993, Caairliagh (Chairman) Bernard Moffatt stated that he felt the one flaw in Mec Vannin's policy was its "fundamental" opposition to the finance industry in Mannin. 

He has voiced his lack of accord with this part of the policy on previous occasions, and felt that we could not ignore the finance industry as a net contributor to the economy. It was, therefore, his intention to table motion at the forthcoming A.G.M. that Mec Vannin adopt a more "realistic" approach to the finance sector. 

He declared that he anticipated and was ready for vigorous debate. This will very likely be the since the section of the policy he that will be challenging was only adopted as an amendment at last year's A.G.M.. Mec Vannin is no stranger to such debate, and it is an indication of the party's strength that such challenges to policy can be made and discussed with objectivity. 

The A.G.M. is now scheduled for mid-April, and the deadline for resolutions is the meeting of Wednesday 24th March. The final wording of Mr. Moffatt's resolution will. be revealed at this meeting. Other embryo resolutions include a call for our own and the Westminster governments to investigate the constitutional anomaly where by politicians elected under the Representation of the People Act are forced to swear loyalty to a monarch. There will be a further call for support for the Manx Language and for support for the Isle of Man Trades Council's document in response to the D.H.S:S.'s white paper on Child Support.* 

* See subsequent article


Illiam Dhone Commemoration

This year's Illiam Dhone day celebration was yet another success, attracting almost a hundred people at the hill and a similar number at the following church service. 

At the hill, Mark Kermode spoke in Manx, welcoming the Manx Language project and general upturn in Manx cultural interest. He warned, however, that in certain instances, sponsorship from either government or the private sector could be used to gag the political element of the cultural movement. 

Angela Moffatt, speaking for the Celtic League, drew an analogy between the murder / sacrifice of Illiam Dhone, and the fate that almost became the Manx Nation. She went on to question the true objectives of our elected representatives: "When our loyal and patriotic ministers gather next Tynwald Day to offer up their formal obsequities to an English sovereign, and display their love of country, we must ask ourselves what this love is for; soil alone? Meaningless, insulting rhetoric? Self interest?" 

The church service, organised this year by the Church authorities, contained a good amount of Manx and a thorough background to Illiam Dhone's "crime", trial and execution, delivered by Mr. Bill Kissack of Santon. Congratulations to Mr. Don Gelling, M.H.K. for Malew and Santon, for being the only member of Government present. 


Are Environmentalists responsible for ozone depletion?

The Isle of Man Examiner of November 10th, 1992, led with the headline that Industry Minister, Mr. Eddie Lowey M.L.C., 'Hits out at Nationalist threats.' Mr. Lowey was commenting on a Mec Vannin statement which criticised the recent trade mission to Hong Kong. This was a joint venture by members of our government, including the Chief Minister and members of the finance sector. 

In this statement, references were made to previous campaigns of violent opposition to to initiatives to promote this Island as a tax-haven. These references to past opposition are facts, not threats, and these facts can be substantiated by merely looking back over editions of that very newspaper. References to past actual events cannot be regarded as threats. What were the Examiner and other newspapers doing? Either they were reporting facts or they were not, and if they were not, were they attempting to inflame public opinion over nothing? 

Mr. Lowey knows very well how feelings can be inflamed by the actions of an insensitive and grasping government. His own by-election campaign in 1975 was supported by both Fo Halloo and Mec Vannin, recognising in him, "a forthright critic, speaking with the voice of the people. (Fo Halloo Election Extra, November 1975) 

Referring at the time to the Island's dependence on its tax haven status, Mr. Lowey observed that we must not depend upon an idea that is as "transient as the mists of Barrule." There are no veiled threats, Mr. Lowey, just a recognition that what has occurred in the past as a result of Government failure to heed concerns may yet happen again in certain circumstances. 

- K. Clague 

Mr. Lowey's "threats" allegation seems to have been based upon an extremely distorted version of the Mec Vannin statement, relayed to him by a sensation hungry "Examiner" hack. Two statements relating to entirely different topics and separated by some one hundred and thirty word; were fused together to make what Mr Lowey clearly interpreted as a threat. 

Many will be aware that Mec Vannin's immediate response to the "Examiner" headline was the special edition of "Yn Pabyr Seyr", issue nine. Nonetheless, Mr. David Corlett M.H.K. wrote a letter to the "Examiner" condemning Mec Vannin for the threats it never made, and gushing enthusiasm for the Government Policy Report. 

Mr. Corlett also accused Mec Vannin of failing to participate in the political process and inferred that he did not believe that Mec Vannin had read the Government Policy Report. This is very disturbing, since Mec Vannin's 16 page submission to the Electricity Generation Options Committee, of which Mr. Corlett was a member, contained several references to that report. 

Appended to the "Examiner" Comment Column that day was piece entitled "Dangerous nonsense" that leapt to the support of the Corlett letter. Written in a style remarkably reminiscent of the "Manx Independent's" comment column of former times, the anonymous writer denied the existence of the opposition campaigns that that very paper had reported! It also went on to sing the praises of the Average Earnings Survey, although Mec Vannin had clearly showed the survey to be a nonsense. It was fitting that the paper was published on the same day that Treasury Minister Donald Gelling finally admitted that the survey figures were unreliable and optimistic. 

Mec Vannin's shoulders are broad, and its membership has tolerated much abuse from those who should know better. On this occasion, however, the malicious distortion of our views by the "Examiner's" reporter brought us very close to legal action.

M.K. 


Trades Council opposes Child Support Legislation.

The Isle of Man Trades Council has submitted a copy of its document which assesses the proposed D.H.S.S. Child Support legislation. 

The Council's conclusions (summarised below) has led it to object to the nature of the proposed legislation, and is asking Mec Vannin for support. A motion to this effect will be put forward at the forthcoming A.G.M.. The Council's document is fairly hefty, and draws on much information from UK single parent groups, who have objected vigorously to the U.K. legislation upon which the Manx Legislation is based. 

CONCLUSIONS SUMMARY 

The Manx legislation is based upon English legislation which has been be object of strong opposition from single parent support groups. There will be no reduction upon the demands for public funding. There would be an increase in the rate of suicides . The rate of "clean break" separations would reduce. Step children will lose right to support from step parents. The implementation of the proposals is a serious error. 


Oh Land of Our Tax Avoidance

Supporting a monarchy is easy when you're not paying the bill

Some of the mindless comments that followed in the wake of Mrs. Hazel Hannan M.H.K.'s request to only have the Manx National Anthem played at a school event are a sad reflection of the mentality of some of the inhabitants of Mannin. 

One popular line was that until Mrs. Hannan's head appeared on our coinage, we must sing "'The Queen". Our currency has nothing to do with who is or is not our monarch. Our government is free, if it so wishes, to adopt any currency in the world as our standard, and can issue its own coinage and notes in whatever form it wishes. For instance, we could adopt the American Dollar and issue $10 notes with Manx cats on. Would we then be expected to sing "God Bless America" ? Of course not. 

Hong Kong, a British colony, has its own currency which is being altered, purely as a matter of courtesy to the Chinese, to carry no emblems of monarchy. In the U.K, several banks issue their own notes without the Queen's head on them. They are still perfectly legal Sterling tender. This is not a back door attempt to alter the U.K. constitution (Mr. Richard Corkill M.H.K. take note). 

If all these ex-pats are so damned keen on a British monarchy, then why the hell aren't they paying the taxes to support it? The fact is that this Island is moving towards independence and these people had better start getting used to the idea. 

M.K. 


A Healthy and Independent Media

When Mec Vannin produced its policy summary in May 1992, the final section dealing with the 'media' called for an independent commission to be established to issue and monitor a code of practice for the newspapers and broadcast media within Mann. 

Given the criticisms directed at some of the excesses perpetrated by the "tabloid" newspapers in the U.K, your average local hack / hackette could have been forgiven for believing that what Mec Vannin was advocating was control or, indeed, censorship of the media. 

This, however, was and is not so. The problematic areas surrounding Mann's media in recent years has been caused more from State or management interference and less from journalistic excess. Many people should not forget that what remains the most damaging dispute within the Manx print media within recent years allegedly included attempts by the owners to control what was being printed. (Ref. I.O.M. Times / Examiner dispute, 1986) 

More insidiously, the State has from time to time intervened with mysterious visits to Manx Papers by C.I.D. officers, apparently at the behest of the Attorney General. The broadcast media has not escaped such pressure, and long before the so-called "Kreisky-gate" episode, Manx Radio had felt the cold attention of those in authority. 

With new media sources appearing (and disappearing) monthly coupled with mounting pressure for a change in broadcasting policy, it is vital that we ensure that the Island has in place protection for those within the community who, as well as pedalling the local "skeet", provide an indispensable service to the community. 

"Our society's perception of itself and its current affairs are in the hands of the media. Consequently, a healthy independent media will ensure a healthy perception of the society. An independent commission should be established to issue and monitor a code of practice." Mec Vannin Policy Summary, 1992. 

J.B.M.


The Birch

Those M.H.K.s fighting the removal of the Birch must be roundly condemned for their attitude. They are 100% aware that this form of punishment has one forever, and to suggest otherwise is to wilfully mislead the voting public. What are their objectives? 


MUNITIONS DUMP INVESTIGATIONS

Celtic league General Secretary, Bernard Moffatt, has written on behalf of the League to the U.K. Ministry of Defence, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland, the U.K. Department of Transport (Marine Directorate) and Mr. George Foulkes M.P., in order to ascertain the nature and source of the incendiary devices recently washed up on the west coast of the Island. 

The League is a long standing campaigner against sea dumping, and its concerns would appear to have been vindicated. In his communications with the various parties, Mr Moffatt is clearly sceptical about the WW2 wreck story. Similar incidents around the Irish coast, when linked to tidal and weather conditions, point to the Beaufort Dyke munitions dump, north of the Island. 

This site has been used for both military and commercial explosives dumping over the past thirty years, and the League believes that its contents are on the move. Particularly disturbing, if this is the case, is the belief that chemical agents, such as nerve gas, have been dumped at this and other sites around the Celtic seas. 

At the time of going to press, Mr. Moffatt had just received a positive response from the M.o.D. who have promised to research the Beaufort Dyke dumping. 


NO MODERATION OF SELLAFIELD OPPOSITION

Sellafield / Windscale / B.N.F.L, has tripped into the League's spotlight several times over the past few months. A spillage of over 30 litres of highly toxic plutonium nitrate at the plant in September was, claims the League, still on the floor over a week later when U.K. industry inspectors arrived at the site. 

A statement issued by the C.L. at the time called for, opposition groups to step up their efforts, particularly in view of what was perceived as a possible moderation of the previously firm opposition stance adopted by both Manx and Irish Governments. Irish Energy Minister, Mr. Malloy, has dismissed any possibility of legal action against the U.K. Government, while a Manx Government spokesman claimed that B.N.F.L. would "need time to clean up." 

Hot on the heels of this incident was an air-crash which narrowly missed the plant inspite of an exclusion zone. The latest in the long list of disasters was the escape of a large cloud of radio-active gas. As ever, B.N.F.L. was dismissive about any dangers and, as is increasingly becoming practice and in contravention of agreement, the Manx Government were allowed to find out about the incident through the media. 

Attached to one of the League's statements was a distribution map of caesium 137 in the Irish Sea. It clearly shows that there is a radio-active gradient running up, through the Irish Sea to the Sellafield site, which is one hundred times as radio-active as the St. Georges Channel area. The waters around Mann range from five times as polluted at the Calf, to over ten times as polluted as the St. George's Channel at the Point of Ayre. 

This would appear to be in direct contradiction to statements made by Professor Trevor Norton of the Port Erin Marine Biological Station over past two years, to the effect that the Irish Sea was not radio-actively polluted.


Chief Secretary a "barely disguised spokesman...."

In a hard hitting press statement, the Celtic League has attacked Council of Ministers Chief Secretary, Mr. Fred Kissack, for being a "barely disguised spokesman for the legal profession." 

This followed statements made by Mr. Kissack in the wake of the Lieutenant Governor's decision to deny a convicted murderer legal representation by an English barrister at appeal. Mr. Kissack said that the decision (made on advice from one of the Deemsters) reflected the "maturity of the Manx legal system. The League cited the obvious contradiction of allowing just such representation in fraud cases connected to the finance sector. 

Dismissing the Clothier Commission findings as a "whitewash", the League went on to call for an in-depth review of our legal system. 


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