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 12 - July 1993


The latest farcical piece of Banana Republic style security to be imposed at the Tynwald ceremony is a 4 mile radius aerial exclusion zone. Why? Ostensibly, the reason has been cited as anti-terrorism measures, but closer examination of this reason exposes it as ludicrous.

As far as is known, none of those organisations classed as "terrorist" are in possession of strike aircraft and, if they
were, a 4 mile exclusion zone wouldn't make the slightest difference to them. An aircraft attacking at 350 m.p.h. would take 41 seconds from entering the exclusion zone to flying over (and killing) the assembled dignitaries. More likely, such an aircraft would launch an air to ground missile strike from outside the exclusion zone, in which case most of the victims would be dead before they were ever aware that they were under threat.

Although not officially classed as terrorists in this part of the world, the Americans are more than capable of such behaviour, and the Isle of Man is responsible for former American Vice President Quayle. It could be claimed that our forefathers actions in exporting Mr. Quayle's great grandfather were "anti-American" and consequently any subsequent armed retaliation was purely in "self-defence" Slightly (and only slightly) more realistic is the prospect of a terrorist or just some looney attacking Tynwald in a Piper Cherokee. Just what ordnance could be effectively delivered in such an attack is open to speculation and there's always the Kamikaze approach. The defending forces (?) would have a whole one minute and fifty-one seconds to do something - either shoot it down with something, or evacuate whoever they thought the targets were to somewhere else. In reality, such an attacker would almost certainly approach at low level and remain undetected until a mere twenty seconds from the target. Has Mr. Walker secretly had a Fuhrer-Bunker built under the Hill?

At the end of the day, if someone wants to attack Tynwald, they will, and unless the powers that be seriously do intend shooting down suspect aircraft, an exclusion zone is completely meaningless.

None of this would arise, of course, if Tynwald was not a potential terrorist target - and why is Tynwald a potential terrorist target? Because of the presence of the British military and visiting officials. Tynwald Day is the Manx National Day, so why do we have a foreign, and on occasions in history, aggressive military presence at the event?

In the eighteenth century, British pressgangs were operating illegally in the Island, violently abducting Manx Nationals and leaving their families without support. In the last century, British troops were stationed around this land with orders to suppress any resistance. Resistance against what is unclear. Recently, a Manx Citizen presenting a Petition of Grievance was ridiculed at our own National ceremony by the British military presence.

Their Commanding Officer said and did nothing. Similar behaviour anywhere else would have caused a diplomatic uproar. The British military scrapped the Manx Regiment after World War Two. This Island has no legitimate links with the British military. Why do our leaders insist upon degrading our own National Sovereignty with an outside military presence? Why don't we have a non-military Manx Guard of Honour? They could be Police, Scouts, Guides - anything as long as it is Manx.
Apart from compounding the security problem, the increasing presence of foreign dignitaries at the event also reveals the true nature of the modern Tynwald: An act of self-glorification for our Government, divorced from the original and very real concept of participation government. Let us call for future Tynwalds to be a legitimate peaceful target for the Manx people, not a military target for other peoples' arguments.

Practical Support Required for Manx Language Project.

The fortunes of the language programme continue to be with public utterances of moral support from some quarters of the Rheynn Ynsee (Department of Education) failing to materialise in practical form. Inspite of the literally overwhelming response, the project is still without any positive future.

It was this that led Mec Vannin to pass an A.G.M. resolution that called upon Hazel Hannan M.H.K. to openly declare her intentions towards the programme. So far, she has not responded. But first, let's look at some of the background to the Manx language project.

The most obvious question is "why learn Manx anyway?" Why learn an language? Greek and Latin ceased to be spoken centuries ago, yet are still widely studied. Our children are increasingly forced to learn French, when it is not even a particularly useful language in Europe. Courses are available to our children in several languages that many will never use, without question. But what about Manx?

The teaching of Manx in schools is vital if we are to keep alive a sense of national identity. We no longer have common ancestry, history, or culture to hold our nation together. Even the traditional Manx accent is rarely heard in the streets and villages of Mann. Without a distinct national identity, we will enter the next century as I.O.M. plc, a state of faceless money grabbers and social climbers. But where will the ordinary person fit into this, with no sense of past or future?

The fact that Manx classes have been filled with people who wished that they had learnt Manx when they were younger is a testimony to the simple human need far a sense of identity. This is born out further by the hard statistics that were gathered in the Quality of Life Survey of 1990:

62% of respondents thought that Manx identity and culture will decrease in the future. 36% believed that Manx should be made available as an alternative subject in schools.

On this basis, the project was set up with an expectation of being able to cater for all interested children with two teachers and a co-ordinating officer. Infact, despite Manx Language Officer Brian Stowell joining in teaching as well, several hundred children had to be turned away. Since the course began, fall off has been minimal, with the greatest (as might be expected) being in a secondary school where the lesson took place in the dinner hour.

There is also definite hostility to the programme from some quarters, both within the Rheyn Ynsee and the teaching profession. There have been reports of children being offered additional music or sports lessons in an attempt to lure them away from the Manx classes.

Recently, the English Times Educational Supplement ran a feature on the Manx Language course. It reported the matter
very seriously and objectively, without any of the hysteria that has issued from certain elements of our own community. Interviews with children demonstrated just how strongly the participants felt. Yet the project is still insecure. The "Times" article confirms the reports of hostility when interviewing Ramsey Grammar's Head, John Christal; "There was a lot of enthusiasm initially, but some colleagues are hostile to the idea." And the Minister for Education continues to remain vague about the project's future.

So let us compare the lot of the Manx Language course to that of the French.

The French scheme was bought "off the shelf", probably at substantial cost. The Manx scheme was devised by Dr. Stowell and his two teachers, virtually as they were teaching the language.

The French scheme started with five peripatetic teachers, teaching from year 5. This has now expanded to 14, teaching from year 3. The Manx scheme started with two teachers, and Dr. Stowell also teaches in an attempt to satisfy demand.

French students receive two half-hour lessons each week. Manx students only get one.

French is compulsory. Manx is a chosen subject.

The French teachers are "scale" posts, receiving extra remuneration as time goes on. The Manx teachers are on basic rate.
It is even believed that the teachers' petrol allowance for the French course is calculated in a way that is preferential to that of the Manx teachers.

The Rheyn Ynsee promised to cater for all interested children. This, it has not done.

Now ask yourself how often you have used French since you left school. Manx can be spoken each and every day in this island.

It is clear that the scheme was established with failure in mind. Don't allow this to be the case. We owe it to our children and the many thousands of people who have struggled to keep Manx alive. It has never been a dead language.
Enclosed is a standard letter. Send a copy to Bnr. Hazel Hannan M.H.K., and a copy to your M.H.K..
These letters do get read, and notice is taken. If you wish to write your own letter, that's better still. Do it today, before you forget, before we lose the Manx course.

Finance Sector Policy Review Committee to sit soon.

The committee established to review Mec Vannin' policy in relation to the finance sector will hold its first meeting at the end of August. Members of both Mec Vannin and the general public are invited to send submissions / observations before the 31st August.

Lost: One Democratic Left Party.

Earlier this year, a party calling itself the Democratic Left was born from the ashes of the Peoples Forum. The Forum, claimed the D.L. , had been boycotted by Mec Vannin. That's a little difficult, since after its conception at a public meeting last year, we never heard of it again. We haven't heard of the D.L. again either. Maybe we're boycotting that as well.

Found: One disgruntled nationalist in Ramsey.

Rhenwhyllyn Objections Upheld

Mec Vannin wrote a letter of objection to the proposed development by Mr. R.H. Cooil of land near Gansey Point. This was to be the site of the new Port St. Mary School. The matter now goes to review.

One of the objections supported by the Planning Committee was that the development in an elevated position would be detrimental to the appearance and character of an area of coastal attraction. Since this would also apply to a school, it leaves us wondering what would have happened if the Department of Education had obtained the land by compulsory purchase.

Buy Manx

It is a sad fact that the only crops really worth growing on Manx soil these days are 'legoland' housing estates and multi-storey office blocks. True enough, most farmers can scrape a living out of Manx agriculture, but if they're to live up to the modern fast living life style that we are lead to believe will provide us with eternal happiness, selling a couple of fields to a developer beat's the monthly milk cheque hands down.

It's not just farming either. How many of the small shops that we've grown up with, Manx run and owned, have been sold to make way for another prestigious office block or a UK owned and managed superstore shopping complex.

If all this makes gloomy reading, remember - it doesn't have to be this way! Next time you are out shopping, THINK MANX!

Support Manx producers and retailers. Embarrass the big supermarkets into actively promoting Manx produce, instead of including it as an after-thought. If you can't find Manx produce in a particular shop, write to the management and find out why not. Organise boycotts of shops which don't promote Manx produce, or better still encourage others to shop in stores which do promote Manx goods.

Remember that buying Manx will encourage producers and retailers to stay in business rather than sell up to speculators and developers.

Philly Beg

* Mr. Richard Leventhorpe M.H.K., in a response to a letter from Mark Kermode concerning Laxey Mills, claimed that an increased population would benefit our farmers through increased demand for home grown produce. Whilst there may not be anything wrong with that reasoning, it is clearly not the case. Farmers are growing to export into a market in which they can hardly compete, whilst the population spends £millions each year on identical imported food, because the Manx produce simply does not appear on the shelves. Food for thought?


MANNIN - The land where companies have more rights than people.

The last week of June saw the House of Keys unanimously approve legislation to allow intimate body searches in 'the war against drugs'. This means the physical invasion of body orifices. Mec Vannin passed a resolution at this ear's A.G.M. calling for the Keys to think again over this matter.

Clearly, the Keys has yet again been blinded by the emotive issues of the case and adopted the attitude of, "The end justifies the means." The voices of those who we would have expected to adopt a liberal attitude were strangely silent. It was claimed that we were the only jurisdiction left in Europe without these powers. Does that mean it's right?

This is a curious contrast to the attitude adopted by the Government in relation to the privacy and liberties of finance sector companies. Section 32 of the 1991 Companies Act, which allowed intimate searches of company records when suspicious activities could be demonstrated, was immediately withdrawn when representatives of the F.S. claimed that it was "Draconian". We are probably one of the few European jurisdictions not to have such powers.

Similarly, European legislation that would curb debtors and fraudsters using the Island to protect their loot was also branded Draconian and anti-libertarian, and promptly scrapped.

A U.K. High Court Judge once said, "Secrecy is the hallmark of criminality." That our island is a haven for money laundering, tax-evasion and fraud is as good as proven. Below is a letter on the subject.

Dear Sir,

As an island that seems to pride itself upon its staunch stance against drugs, we seem to be suffering from a severe case of hypocrisy when you consider the volume of cash being laundered here from drug sales in other parts of the world. The profits from drugs sold on the Island, even during T.T. week, pale into insignificance by comparison. Surely the proceeds of drug sales should be more detectable than the drugs themselves?

Our own government encourages the finance industry to trade here using attractive incentives to use the Island as a business base. Our government have no way of guaranteeing that money laundering isn't taking place - how can they given the anonimity and lack of policing?

Wouldn't it be better if our police force were more concerned over the sources of the money which is passing through the finance sector here? It also strikes me that our government has a strange definition of a prosperous and caring society when so much of its revenue is derived from money earned from addiction, starvation, exploitation and deforestation.
(Bolivian farmers are forced to grow coca since coffee prices are to low to support them. No assistance is available to Bolivian farmers since the government is forced to pay £1,500 per second to international banks. This is also the reason for the wholesale deforestation of South America. This story is repeated in Third World countries around the Globe.) 

Ashooneyr Chymbyllagh

Back to Yn Pabyr Seyr Index
Back to Mec Vannin Homepage

manxman domain