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
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
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
as to whether we were implementing the then "New National Curriculum."
He was most surprised, given our independent status on internal
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,
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
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
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
per school), prescriptive teaching and an ethos that denies their
flair and insults their intelligence. We are losing many of our most
teachers, who have grave doubts as to the value OFSTED audits and to
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
to deepen the crisis.
Greater use of the Manx Language
What happened regarding Government's ongoing support for Tynwald's
contained in the document, "Report of the Select Committee on the
use of Manx Gaelic" dated 18.6.85, and specifically to Section 7.3 c
"Boards and Departments should use bi-lingual signs for offices,
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
removal of Manx from the MEA shop signs and the absence of Manx from
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
paper, but has since been dropped.
It may not be that Tynwald's recommendations are
ignored, but perhaps with staff changes, particularly where senior
are made from the UK, Government employees responsible for the design
authorization of documentation, logos, signs etc. are unaware of the
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
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
increase in the amount of money and resources poured into police
The increased resources base has, unfortunately, been paralleled by a
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.
despairingly, this is not the case. After twenty years of a downward
the question has to be posed - are our police services competent? On
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
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
questions the politicians chose to dodge. Today, the media seem to be
in some kind of "love in" with "the force" which has made them
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
admitting the rise in his final report, delivered a condemnation not of
criminals or standards in society but of his own force, alleging
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
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
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
has shown what can only be described as childish obstinacy and
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,
administrative reasons, the sorting office rather than the real address
was used. Of course, nobody paid any attention to that and the mail
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"
than once and there are numerous examples of confusion, yet the Post
refuses to budge. Worse than that, some of the excuses tendered infer
Mr. Collister regards his own posties as too stupid to read an address.
Book Review: Mornin' Vica' (Author / Publisher -Vinty Kneale. Printed
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,
to witty and touching. There is something for everyone here. I, for
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
spineless runts within our government to toady to a colonial invader.
WWII ended differently, they would be just as anxious to prostate
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
witness with the presence of England's king in waiting. And who's
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
this. Most ordinary people pay more National Insurance than income tax
yet there has been no reduction in the rate of personal NI
since they started. The tax allowance system means that many people
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
ones. Our government has handed control of these over to the UK and,
for piecemeal concessions eventually wheedled out of the UK, we will
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
of both people and companies into our country in as short a time as
before the OECD and the EU clamp right down on us. Of course, the
are only that - he doesn't have to implement them. What clearly hasn't
been considered is, having attracted all this new business, what
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.
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
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
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
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