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 2 - July 1991

 
Will this be the last Manx Tynwald?

The November election is probably the most important for this Island in over one hundred gears. It will decide whether or not the Manx nation survives, or ends up in its own museum.

If the present Government is re-elected largely unchanged, with the same constitution, the latter will be the case. You had better believe it. Already the influence of the Manx people on their own destiny is weak to say the least. This
situation has come about in the unbelievably short time of five years. Is that possible ? A people who have survived invasion and suppression for 1500 years snuffed out over-night? Look around you. Listen. You could be almost anywhere in England.

The blame fir this situation lies wholly with those who voted for a constitution with no political balance. Any system, mechanical, electrical, bio-chemical and, of course, political, which lacks this all important balance, or feed-back, will run out of control. It is a well understood and oft demonstrated fact.

Our constitution has been altered (from 24 independent members enjoying no special power, monitored by a representative of the English Crown), to one man pursuing his own objectives, with the aid of his own chosen ministers. At no stage in this process were the electorate consulted.

The situation we have now may war similar to that of England, where a leader is also chosen from within the House of Commons, and this person chooses their own cabinet. The all important difference is that in practice, the controlling party is popularly elected with the policies and intended Prime-Minister being the prime voting issue.

Here we have a situation whereby the majority of M.H.K.s were elected as independents, but have subsequently vested the true responsibility of policy making in someone whom 90% of the electorate no nothing about.

Is that democracy?

Finally, some M.H.K.s have realised the imbalance of power that has been created, and are making noises, but the proposals will not restore the choice of our future policy to the people. We need a major constitutional change before the next election, and there is only one way we will get it, That is if we, the people demand it.

Remember, the majority of M.H.K.s are in the game for the power and responsibility that the post carries, rather than an unstinting commitment to any policy or ideal. If their electorate make it clear that they will be out of a job at the next election, they will listen.

But what are the alternatives? What system would restore the balance of power whilst maintaining the independent nature of the M.H.K.s?. There are several:

1. Remove the Chief Minister's right to "hire and fire". This, combined with the necessity to gain a 2/3 majority rather than a simple majority, would ensure that opposition elements would be able to check the power of the Chief Minister.

2. Make the post of Chief Minister a popularly elected position, with the whole Island voting an whose policy should lead the Keys. Again, a two thirds majority of the electorate would be required to ensure that the successful candidate was genuinely wanted.

The above options have the flaw that a government could be hamstrung in the absence of a clear majority, and a form of vote transfer would be required to settle the matter. There is a third option: The ancient Roman system of the Triumvirate.

In this system, the three most popular candidates elected in an all Island poll share equal power, two votes being required to carry a motion, and the power of veto being vested in each member. The 24 Keys are still elected by constituencies, and each member argues his case to the triumvirate. The power of veto is exercised with restraint, since it would throw the issue back into to the hands of the whole House.

If any of these suggestions stem fanciful, or impractical, just remember the badly conceived constitutional changes that have been pushed through Tynwald in the past five gears. Something has to be done!



Company controls recommended.

The Council of Ministers is finally considering stricter company control NINE YEARS after the S.I.B. collapse.
The Manx people and Mec Vannin have been demanding these controls for over TWENTY.

The current government is inept - Get rid of it!



Homosexuality - Don't be Duped.

The 1976 election for those who remember it, was fought largely on the strength of the 'Birching Issue". Many of the successful candidates were those who proudly announced that they would fight to keep the birch.

Now, we don't have the birch, Manx people have no right of independent judgement when their own government walks all over them, and the Government has no right to defend itself when brought to task for its refusal to comply with the conditions of treaty that it signed. This election seems set to be fought on the 'Homosexuality Issue."

DON'T LET IT BE! The simple facts of the matter are as follows:

1. The Isle of Man signed a legally binding agreement and must observe its terms.
2. The U.K. does have the power to legislate for us.
3. The U.K. will legislate for us if we refuse to do so ourselves.
4. Our own government does not have the power to contest this.
5. U.K. legislation will be protected from interference from our own government.
6. U.K. legislation could well be considerably more liberal than our own, thus realising the worst fears of its very opponents.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!



INDEPENDENCE
Why Mec Vannin aren't pressing the current government to pursue one of our central aims.

After the November election, the new members of the Keys will face the awesome task of having to deal with all the problems created by the present government and, of course will also face a number of new problems. That is their burden. We, the electorate, face the awesome task of trying to elect (against all odds) responsible members of government who are capable of dealing with these problems. That is our burden. The point is, however, that this next government could face the most important decision of a Manx government this century if, as Dr. Mann has suggested, it may well face the possibility of full independence from Britain. In addition to his "prediction" concerning the offer, Dr. Mann was reported to have said that it is "essential that Government should be prepared for such an eventuality."

Needless to say, full independence for the Isle of Man is are of the central aims of Mec Vannin, but it must be achieved under the correct circumstances. Independence is not simply a matter of achieving sovereign political power (i.e. the elected government is the highest authority in the Island). Any independent Manx government must be able to fulfil its international responsibilities as well as ensure the rights and liberties of the people of Mann. Given the current circumstances, the Island would be ill equipped to accept the offer, However, probably the most fundamental factor to consider, other than political responsibility, is our economic suitability.

To achieve political independence whilst attempting to maintain an economy in which we are so dependent upon the finance sector, which is largely controlled by and for interests outside of the Island would be foolish and potentially disastrous. How politically independent could a Manx government remain from the powerful finance sector?

For Mec Vannin, if the Isle of Man is to achieve full political independence, whereby we have full control of all due political processes, we must also obtain full independence from the finance sector. An independent Isle of Man must be commensurate with an independent Manx economy.



Finance Sector - Four Objections.

Since our re-emergence in the 1980s, Mec Vannin has focussed opposition to the Government policies concerning the finance sector (F.S.). It is by no means our only concern, but it must be acknowledged that the F.S is the key issue in many of Mann's current problems. This is reflected in Mec Vannin's broad based opposition, which has economic, social, political and moral elements.

Economically, the Government's F.S. policy represents an over-reliance upon an unpredictable element of the international economy, over which the Government has no influence. The F.S. is alien to the Manx people and culture, but because of Government policy, the Manx economy is now dependent on it, despite previous Government assurances that this would not be allowed to be become the case. The FS. is not, however dependent an the Manx economy. This imbalance in the relationship, plus the lack of domestic interest (the F.S. is almost exclusively owned and and controlled by interests that have nothing to do with Mann), make us extremely vulnerable. It could pack up and leave at any tine.

This is becoming a real possibility with the approach of 1992 (for which the Manx Government is totally unprepared, the Chamber of Commerce tells us), with Dublin rapidly becoming a more attractive alternative to the Island, having low tax incentives, and full E.E.C. membership. Furthermore, there is now a very real possibility of a Labour government in Britain, who would almost certainly attempt to remove our 'tax-haven" status.

Socially, the sudden and unnatural population increase required to "feed" the F.S. has not only led to a housing crisis and the overburdening of the Island's infrastructure, but has also placed a telling demand on our limited environment; from the problems caused by increased pollution to the rape of our countryside by mindless development.

The nature of this population increase, coupled with the Government's neglect (both passive and active) of traditional elements of the economy, has led to social and cultural tensions, as the Manx become a minority in their own land, the people anglicised, the heritage bastardised and real independence consumed by a reliance on consumerism.

Politically, the Government has effectively abdicated itself of its responsibilities: Serious questions must be asked of a government that ignores its domestic responsibilities to the extent that allowed the disastrous S.I.B. affair, and which ignores its international responsibilities to the extent that it left an open door to those breaking sanctions against both South Africa and Iraq. This leads us to question the degree of political influence that is enjoyed by the F.S.; a sector of the economy that has no interest in the well-being of the Manx people.

On moral grounds, Mec Vannin oppose the F.S. because of its very lack of morality. It is the product of an international economy that has let capitalism run unchecked. Most people immediately think of drugs profits when the moral question is raised and, although these undoubtedly do find their way here, they only account for a small part of the dirty money we "launder". Pure capitalism means maximum profits by any means and this is responsible not only for the decimation of our rain-forests, the depletion of the world's natural resources and global pollution, but also for native peoples being dispossessed of their lands, culture, and even murdered for standing in the way of this "progress".

Because of the F.S., we are becoming culturally impoverished and if the Government's economic policy is allowed to continue, we will become morally impoverished. We cannot allow our homeland to continue to be used as a dumping ground for profits made from destruction, oppression and murder. Criticism alone is not the function of Mec Vannin. We are a forward-thinking party and serve to provide viable policy options on local, national and international issues. Economically, we propose a revitalisation of traditional industries, and diversification into the previously neglected economic potentials of agriculture, horticulture, mariculture and alternative energy sources. We further propose the establishment of a Manx University which, in itself, would act as a valuable "growth pole".

Heroin takes away pain quickly and effectively but without further measures to remove the source of pain, the patient becomes drug dependent. The F.S. eased an economic problem in the same fashion and our economy is now F.S. dependent. Any government with a sense of vision or even responsibility would have followed a course of economic development that is not only controllable and sustainable, but is also relevant to the Manx people and protects our birthrights for perpetuity.

This is the policy of Mec Vannin



Competition

Here's one for all you anagram enthusiasts. Can you identify the well known (Chief) Minister?

RAW ELK SLIME

First prize is a free invitation to leave in a manner that Tynwald has just voted to keep illegal.



ONCHAN TO MERGE WITH PEEL?
Member's letter

A poor Memory, or selective amnesia has tong been one of the basic features of many of our members of government, but I am beginning to fear that Mr. Walker, our beloved Chief Minister, has got (in what is an ironic reflection of our current economic strategy) more than a fair share. Not only has he forgotten the fishing industry; forgotten the lessons of the S.I.B. affair; forgot to apply sanctions against Iraq until after the war started; and completely forgotten about sanctions against South Africa; Mr Walker has now forgotten where he lives.

This unfortunate condition was revealed in a number of articles intended to promote the new "Ponyfield" estate in Port Erin. According to one one article, "Port Erin as a place to live has many things to recommend it."

One of these things is, of course, Miles Walker, who is quoted as saying, "It is a community I've lived in all my life - it is a super place to live." Excellent stuff, except for the fact that, as many people are aware (with the obvious exception of himself Mr. Walker actually lives at Magher Feailley, Main Road, Colby. Likewise, his family farm - Belle Abbey Dairy Farm - has always been, to the best of my knowledge, in Colby (not in Port Erin) Never mind, with any luck Mr. Walker will also forget to stand for election this coming November.

I.C.



COMMENT

The above letter highlights Mr. Walker's predilection far endorsing private enterprises. On a number of occasions, he has performed, not simply attended, the launching ceremony of a new business venture in the Island. In this case, it is a private, thoroughly money-making venture by (yet another) Irish development company. It would not be construed as out of place for an Industry Minister to attend the launching of an industry, or a Health Minister to attend, or even perform the opening opening a community hospital.

Mr. Walker's presence at these launches, while apparently in the same vein, has a disturbing undertone, however. As plain old M. R. Walker, M.H.K. for Rushen, he is probably free to endorse what he likes, but at these events he is appearing in his capacity as Chief Minister, thereby inferring Governmental endorsement of these private enterprises. Would he have performed the opening ceremony of the S.I.B. if he had been Chief Minister at the time? He and the Government would now look even more inept than ever (if that's possible). Why should certain businesses enjoy such overtly Governmental approval, while other businesses offering exactly the same services to (probably) the same standard, be overlooked?

STOP PRESS! Since this article was written, he's been at it again!



THE PLEAS FOR CONTROL FALL ON DEAF EARS

As part of their campaign, the "Enough is Enough" group have written to all members of Tynwald to seek their opinions.

To date, about one quarter have replied and, to be fair, most of these take the issue seriously. Gregory Joughin, who has dealt with the correspondence, can only surmise that those who have not replied have not done so because they are either afraid to speak their minds or cannot formulate a coherent argument against the suggestions of the campaigners.

One thing that seems to be common to all the letters (with the exception of Walter Gilbey's) is the "we sympathise but..." message. Here are ~ some of their comments.

"The Government is just as concerned as everyone else to preserve all that is good on this Island but I am sure you recognise that the finance sector has been responsible for new progress in  addressing problems such as opportunities for our young people."

Ron Cretney (Onchan).

"I agree with you that it is essential to diversify the economy as far as possible to become less depended on the Financial Sector, .... The Financial Sector is what pays the enormous cost of government at present and we could not do without it."

Norman Butler (Ramsey).

"We all want peace and quiet, and a safe environment, beautiful countryside and a slower pace of life, .... I would however suggest that right now your cause is in good hands.."

Don Gelling (Malew and Santon)

"I accept that you are entitled to hold the views that you obviously have, .... I do not believe that the present Government's policy is out of step with the wishes of the Manx people."

Arnold Callin - Non elected member.

So far only Walter Gilbey (Glenfaba) seems to have recognised the difference between the Government's "Caring Prosperous Society" policy document and reality.

REMEMBER! Mec Vannin produce the Pabyr Seyr on extremely limited resources. Anything you can do to help its distribution is greatly appreciated. If  you can got it copied, please do so, and let the Island know that there IS a free voice still.
 

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