Yn Pabyr Seyr 
Issue 22 

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. 

Education, Education, Education!

It is not sensible to adopt lock, stock and barrel, policies initiated by the UK government. Our politicians and their departments rarely use our small but significant measure of independence to develop our own policies for our own needs. Our political leaders are not content to observe the effects of changes in UK policy and adopt the good bits that will work for us.

A case in point is education, which has seen constant change for more than a decade. A Manx teacher was asked by a Belfast secondary school teacher as to whether we were implementing the then "New National Curriculum." He was most surprised, given our independent status on internal affairs, that we were not waiting to see if it worked in England and Wales, then taking the parts that did work.. This is what they, in Belfast, intended doing.

Since then, of course, there has been constant change not only in matters to do with the curriculum but fundamental changes in every area to do with education. This is not to say that there should be be no change, but no unnecessary change: Only change that improves education for our young people. There can be no teacher who would not wish this.

Most of the changes seem to have demoralised teachers. They are finding the burden of increasing workload, the stress of weeks leading up to an OFSTED inspection (which costs the tax-payer tens of thousands of pounds per school), prescriptive teaching and an ethos that denies their professionalism, flair and insults their intelligence. We are losing many of our most experienced teachers, who have grave doubts as to the value OFSTED audits and to the effectiveness of "literacy hour" for _all_ pupils.

There is certainly difficulty in recruiting sufficient teachers on the island to replace those leaving through stress or disillusionment . We predict that the introduction of performance related pay will only serve to deepen the crisis.

Greater use of the Manx Language

What happened regarding Government's ongoing support for Tynwald's recommendations contained in the document, "Report of the Select Committee on the Greater use of Manx Gaelic" dated 18.6.85, and specifically to Section 7.3 c stating, "Boards and Departments should use bi-lingual signs for offices, vehicles and on note-paper?"

There are, of course, some excellent examples of the use of Manx Gaelic within Government Departments, but there are also instances where these recommendations seem to have been ignored. Some specific examples are the removal of Manx from the MEA shop signs and the absence of Manx from both Tourist Board and The College of Further Education publications. In the case of the latter, it is believed that Manx used to be on their letterhead paper, but has since been dropped.

It may not be that Tynwald's recommendations are being deliberately ignored, but perhaps with staff changes, particularly where senior appointments are made from the UK, Government employees responsible for the design or authorization of documentation, logos, signs etc. are unaware of the Manx Government's objectives made 15 years ago.

Perhaps it is time for a reminder from Tynwald to all Government Departments and Agencies about their obligations as outlined in the 1985 report. At present the use of Manx by the Government depends to some extent upon the perseverance of individual employees working within Departments rather than enthusiastic support from the top.

Latest Crime Statistics

Is it just Police Incompetence?

Another depressing set of annual crime statistics? It really goes much deeper than that. For the past twenty years there has been a steady increase in the amount of money and resources poured into police services. The increased resources base has, unfortunately, been paralleled by a similar increase in levels of crime.

One would think that such a situation would provoke a serious debate within society about both law and order strategy and social policy. However, despairingly, this is not the case. After twenty years of a downward spiral the question has to be posed - are our police services competent? On present showing, the answer has got to be no.

Politicians, always sensitive not to upset their voter base, seem shy about asking some pointed questions about police resources and the manner in which they are deployed. 

Generally, in a democratic society, the counterbalance to inert politicians is of course a vibrant media. Look back to the editorials of twenty or thirty years ago in Manx newspapers and you would see that at that time the papers, when circumstances demanded, set the agenda posing the unpalatable questions the politicians chose to dodge. Today, the media seem to be engaged in some kind of "love in" with "the force" which has made them incapable of reasoned thought. 

Last years crime statistics showed a similar increase to the latest figures. Intriguingly, however, it was not the figures but the way they were delivered that indicated a deeper malaise. The outgoing Chief Constable, admitting the rise in his final report, delivered a condemnation not of criminals or standards in society but of his own force, alleging "disloyalty" within the ranks.

More men, more money, new buildings, more vehicles and additional resources had therefore, during the previous Chief Constable's period of Office, produced increased crime and a force that contained within it "disloyal" elements. 

The new Chief Constable came in on a roll and the changes flew quick and fast. Restructuring and anti-crime initiatives rolled out on an almost weekly basis, including the somewhat ironically named "Operation Safe". Twelve months later things are looking anything but "safe"!

J B Moffatt

President - Mec Vannin

Isle of Man Post Office

The Isle of Man Post Office under the administration of Mr. Bill Collister has shown what can only be described as childish obstinacy and incompetence in relation to "correct addressing" and postal codes.

Prior to the introduction of the codes, which was allegedly to accommodate the wishes of the UK Post Office, the IoM Post Office insisted that, for administrative reasons, the sorting office rather than the real address was used. Of course, nobody paid any attention to that and the mail invariably went where it was meant to.

With the introduction of post-codes, meant to improve sorting and reduce errors and delays, it was necessary to produce a listing of post codes. Several addresses occur in the Post Office's conception of "Douglas" more than once and there are numerous examples of confusion, yet the Post Office refuses to budge. Worse than that, some of the excuses tendered infer that Mr. Collister regards his own posties as too stupid to read an address.

Mark Kermode

Mornin' Vica'

Book Review: Mornin' Vica' (Author / Publisher -Vinty Kneale. Printed by Ramsey Press)

The well received first collection of poems by Vinty carries on the front cover a "Government Health Warning" - "This book contains Strong Language and may Seriously Broaden your Mind."

This is an invitation in itself to dip into the pages containing more than 60 poems that range from serious, thought provoking, irreverent, hilarious to witty and touching. There is something for everyone here. I, for one, hope that this is just the first of a series.


The following poem is printed here with kind permission of the author.


By Vinty Kneale

Clean, yet leaving cleaner stains,
Money moves through and within financial gains.
Like a digital suppository it is inserted,
Virus free down loaded and converted.
Cleaned and filtered and moved around the net,
Deposited fictitiously so no one can detect.
Undetected but committed they'll cover up their tracks,
Happily supported by a government tax.
Their heads held high, smug with self esteem,
Sun-tanned suited pillars, praised and squeaky clean.
No crimes committed we've nothing to declare,
Just registered addresses with no one living there.
No funny money here, it's all in Spud's report,
Just some poor old farmers, in a well heeled ex-resort.
Perfect to the last degree, this pleasant Mona's Isle,
Governed independently in a Euro-friendly style.
Open up a company in the company of many,
Let the worker pay the taxes, for the rich they don't have any.
Build a better future, for the poor can only gain.
Data based protection, by leaving out your name.
Join us on the internet, on W Dot Con Manx
And deposit all your money in our virtual offshore banks.

What's it all about?

Yet another "royal" Tynwald. Yet another opportunity for the grovelling, spineless runts within our government to toady to a colonial invader. Had WWII ended differently, they would be just as anxious to prostate themselves and, by association us, before a German ruler.

Only in the Isle of Man could a government _by it's own choice_ defile its nation on its National Day with the stomach turning nonsense we will witness with the presence of England's king in waiting. And who's footing the bill?

Tax cuts - desperation sets in.

That has been a great deal made out of Treasury Minister Richard Corkill's intended tax reforms, but let's introduce some common sense into this. Most ordinary people pay more National Insurance than income tax yet there has been no reduction in the rate of personal NI contributions since they started. The tax allowance system means that many people simply don't earn enough to pay any tax and so they benefit nothing from these changes. For most ordinary people, the taxes that matter are the indirect ones. Our government has handed control of these over to the UK and, except for piecemeal concessions eventually wheedled out of the UK, we will pay UK tax on most of our necessary spending for the foreseeable future.

The tax reforms proposed by Mr. Corkill are not a reflection of our prosperity, but an act of desperation. He is hoping attract as much immigration of both people and companies into our country in as short a time as possible before the OECD and the EU clamp right down on us. Of course, the proposals are only that - he doesn't have to implement them. What clearly hasn't been considered is, having attracted all this new business, what happens when:

a) the current boom slumps
b) the clamp-down occurs
c) he can't deliver the tax-cuts

At the same time, any appearance of further harming European tax regimes will bring even greater pressure upon us to accept external regulation.

Mec Vannin have said from the outset that creating an economy based on tax-dodging would paint us into a corner. That prediction is getting closer to fulfilment all the time.

Mark Kermode

What did he do wrong?

Jack Corrin thought he had done all the right things in his career and couldn't be passed over on his application for the post of lieutenant governor. There are two huge big dirty blots in his copy book, however, that can never be expunged.

First and foremost, he is Manx. The English administer us as they always have - a colony - and everyone knows that you don't put a native in charge of a colony.

Secondly, he clapped in the abbey (you know, when they buried the Princess of Essex). People who want to work for Bizzy Lizzy shouldn't applaud politically charged challenges to her authority.

He may have committed treason in the eyes of the English crown, but at least by not getting the job he will not be called upon to act as a traitor to his own people.

Mec Vannin - The Manx Nationalist Party

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