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
motion at the forthcoming A.G.M. that Mec Vannin adopt a more
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
strength that such challenges to policy can be made and discussed with
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.
resolution will. be revealed at this meeting. Other embryo resolutions
include a call for our own and the Westminster governments to
the constitutional anomaly where by politicians elected under the
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
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
At the hill, Mark Kermode spoke in Manx, welcoming
the Manx Language
project and general upturn in Manx cultural interest. He warned,
that in certain instances, sponsorship from either government or the
sector could be used to gag the political element of the cultural
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
representatives: "When our loyal and patriotic ministers gather next
Day to offer up their formal obsequities to an English sovereign, and
their love of country, we must ask ourselves what this love is for;
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
trial and execution, delivered by Mr. Bill Kissack of Santon.
to Mr. Don Gelling, M.H.K. for Malew and Santon, for being the only
of Government present.
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
threats.' Mr. Lowey was commenting on a Mec Vannin statement which
the recent trade mission to Hong Kong. This was a joint venture by
of our government, including the Chief Minister and members of the
In this statement, references were made to
previous campaigns of violent
opposition to to initiatives to promote this Island as a tax-haven.
references to past opposition are facts, not threats, and these facts
be substantiated by merely looking back over editions of that very
References to past actual events cannot be regarded as threats. What
the Examiner and other newspapers doing? Either they were reporting
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
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
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
failure to heed concerns may yet happen again in certain
- 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
hungry "Examiner" hack. Two statements relating to entirely different
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.
Mr. David Corlett M.H.K. wrote a letter to the "Examiner" condemning
Vannin for the threats it never made, and gushing enthusiasm for the
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
Vannin's 16 page submission to the Electricity Generation Options
of which Mr. Corlett was a member, contained several references to that
Appended to the "Examiner" Comment Column that day
was piece entitled
"Dangerous nonsense" that leapt to the support of the Corlett letter.
in a style remarkably reminiscent of the "Manx Independent's" comment
of former times, the anonymous writer denied the existence of the
campaigns that that very paper had reported! It also went on to sing
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
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.
opposes Child Support
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
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
UK single parent groups, who have objected vigorously to the U.K.
upon which the Manx Legislation is based.
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
an increase in the rate of suicides . The rate of "clean break"
would reduce. Step children will lose right to support from step
The implementation of the proposals is a serious error.
Oh Land of Our
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
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
is not our monarch. Our government is free, if it so wishes, to adopt
currency in the world as our standard, and can issue its own coinage
notes in whatever form it wishes. For instance, we could adopt the
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
In the U.K, several banks issue their own notes without the Queen's
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
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
this Island is moving towards independence and these people had better
start getting used to the idea.
A Healthy and
When Mec Vannin produced its policy summary in May
1992, the final section
dealing with the 'media' called for an independent commission to be
to issue and monitor a code of practice for the newspapers and
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
was control or, indeed, censorship of the media.
This, however, was and is not so. The problematic
Mann's media in recent years has been caused more from State or
interference and less from journalistic excess. Many people should not
forget that what remains the most damaging dispute within the Manx
media within recent years allegedly included attempts by the owners to
control what was being printed. (Ref. I.O.M. Times / Examiner dispute,
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
Attorney General. The broadcast media has not escaped such pressure,
long before the so-called "Kreisky-gate" episode, Manx Radio had felt
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
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
a healthy perception of the society. An independent commission should
established to issue and monitor a code of practice." Mec Vannin Policy
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
one forever, and to suggest otherwise is to wilfully mislead the voting
public. What are their objectives?
Celtic league General Secretary, Bernard Moffatt,
has written on behalf
of the League to the U.K. Ministry of Defence, the Department of
and Fisheries for Scotland, the U.K. Department of Transport (Marine
and Mr. George Foulkes M.P., in order to ascertain the nature and
of the incendiary devices recently washed up on the west coast of the
The League is a long standing campaigner against
sea dumping, and its
concerns would appear to have been vindicated. In his communications
the various parties, Mr Moffatt is clearly sceptical about the WW2
story. Similar incidents around the Irish coast, when linked to tidal
weather conditions, point to the Beaufort Dyke munitions dump, north of
This site has been used for both military and
dumping over the past thirty years, and the League believes that its
are on the move. Particularly disturbing, if this is the case, is the
that chemical agents, such as nerve gas, have been dumped at this and
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
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
League, still on the floor over a week later when U.K. industry
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.
while a Manx Government spokesman claimed that B.N.F.L. would "need
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
practice and in contravention of agreement, the Manx Government were
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
gradient running up, through the Irish Sea to the Sellafield site,
is one hundred times as radio-active as the St. Georges Channel area.
waters around Mann range from five times as polluted at the Calf, to
ten times as polluted as the St. George's Channel at the Point of
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
Secretary a "barely disguised
In a hard hitting press statement, the Celtic
League has attacked Council
of Ministers Chief Secretary, Mr. Fred Kissack, for being a "barely
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
an English barrister at appeal. Mr. Kissack said that the decision
on advice from one of the Deemsters) reflected the "maturity of the
legal system. The League cited the obvious contradiction of allowing
such representation in fraud cases connected to the finance
Dismissing the Clothier Commission findings as a
"whitewash", the League
went on to call for an in-depth review of our legal system.
Mec Vannin - The Manx Nationalist Party