Manx People can't stand for Keys!
An election in November - will we have candidates?
The answer at the moment is that we simply can't
say. There are several
names "in the pot" but there are also a couple of problems in this
of contradictions. The first is the most well known - the oath of
to the English Monarch. We are republicans and duty bound to serve the
interests of the people of this country, not a foreign monarch.
The second problem is that Manx people are not
actually allowed to stand
for election to the House of Keys in our own country any more. Yes, you
read that correctly. Manx people are not allowed to stand for the House
A section was introduced at the last General
Election that required
candidates to declare their nationality.
The then Attorney General and now Deemster Michael
Kerruish ruled that
Manx was not an acceptable nationality. Manx nationality is clearly
under Protocol Three of the Act of Rome, yet Manx people can only stand
if they abandon their own nationality.
What sort of "National Government" is that?
How nice to see two members of the parasitic Windsor family have
to join us for a short stay.
Nobody, apparently, asked them to come but they
obviously must have
heard the Steam Packet's advert and decided to take a look for
Great if they were stopping at one of our local
hotels so badly hit
by the cancellation of the TT. Sadly, and typical of the habits of the
Lord of Mann's family, they are doing it on the cheap, with 5 star
provided by Government House at Manx tax payers expense.
Something good may come out of it all: Mr Bumble
might become a 'Sir'
just like his predecessor.
Housing Crisis Continues
We are constantly being reminded that there is a housing crisis, of
there is no doubt. It may be coincidental that developers and estate
seem to make more fuss about it than government.
A major contributory factor to our ludicrously
high housing costs is
that companies and cash rich individuals are deliberately buying up
estates for investment. The Isle of Man provides a very nice return
with the inflationary annual rise in value added to rental income, all
in all a tasty profit for no effort. Moreover, these monstrously high
returns can be achieved with no risk to capital whatsoever. It would
a very skilled stock exchange player indeed to achieve anything
the easy "bounce" available in the Manx property market.
As long as immigration and property speculation
are encouraged, housing
prices will continue to be beyond many ordinary Manx people and the
lies firmly in the hands of Tynwald.
As is usual these days in the Isle of Man the
already wealthy are achieving
even more off the backs of the ordinary people.
Foot and Mouth precautions "half-hearted"
Mec Vannin forcefully called for the Council of Ministers to stop
and cancel the TT races. The cancellation was not an easy decision to
but it had to be made and the procrastination (using the ACU's purely
deadline as THE deadline) caused unnecessary hardship for many involved
with the racing and tourism.
Having eventually managed to take the decision,
certain parties have
accused the government of cancelling the TT as a cosmetic gesture in
light of the "We're open for business" campaign that ensued. Given the
inconsistencies that have become obvious since, it is difficult to
There are substantiated reports of people jumping
mats without punishment. The public have been denied access to many
where animals may roam but farmers can trek in and out of fields and
main roads without being forced to take disinfectant measures.
Whereas tourists are being encouraged to come
trekking through infected
areas to our country with no more requirement than to walk over a
mat (and, of course, those in cars don't even have to do that), Manx
boat-owners have been actively discouraged from travelling. Why?
The same indecision loomed over the MGP but,
incredibly, the official
government advice was that it could run despite the disease still
in the UK! The "No Stopping" areas on roads through open pastures were
not enforced until many weeks after the UK outbreak.
The whole thing has been a half-hearted and
inconsistent from start
to finish and it is good luck as opposed to anything else that we have,
so far, escaped infection.
Ramsey Marina - Another White Elephant
Who wants it? No one can criticise the people of Ramsey for wanting
a bit of money spent usefully on their town and no-one can criticise a
degree of enthusiasm for the concept of a "marina".
That was before the facts became known by which
time our government,
displaying its usual ineptitude, had already signed an agreement with
would-be developers, Dean and Dyball, that will give them the "Peveril
Plot" to build 475 "mixed units" to swell their coffers. All the
has to do is throw in a few pontoons and a flap gate while they're at
A core of Ramsey Commissioners are all for it but,
the three-man committee with responsibility meet in secret and refuse
allow even other members of the Commissioners to see their minutes,
else knows just why they are all for it. There is, of course, a well
So, why isn't a "marina" a good idea?
Ramsey is a very tidal harbour, +/- 3 hrs on high
water. The proposal
will not alter this. Visiting yachts will still have to arrive either
the top half of the tide or anchor off in an unsheltered bay. Access
be further reduced by the stupid flap gate idea.
Ramsey Bay and the harbour entrance become
dangerous in easterly winds
and the proposal will not alter this.
Marinas in the north Irish Sea don't make money.
Ask the people of Whitehaven,
Maryport and Ardglass. They cost money. The operation of these marinas
is supported by both local and central government funding and their
depended upon central government and European funding. Their purpose is
to bring a few extra visitors into villages the same size as Port St.
and keep some of their struggling businesses from closure.
Even so, with a season which is four months at the
very longest, the
effect is minimal.
Why do yachtsmen heading for the north of Ireland
keep Ardglass as an
option? Because it can be entered on any tide and in nearly any
Why is Howth marina crowded? Because it can be
entered on any tide,
in any weather.
Why is Malahide marina, two miles away, half
empty? Because its approaches
are tidal and dangerous in certain weathers.
Why was the simple, cost effective pontoon
proposal of the DoT ignored?
Why did Donald Gelling refuse to let members of
Tynwald see the agreement
his cabinet had signed with Dean and Dyball?
Because they've made a massive blunder and know
it. The people of Ramsey
will end up paying the price.
Don't forget small businesses
Thankfully, so far, we have escaped the ravages of Foot and Mouth
disease and Mec Vannin strongly supports measures to keep this scourge
from our land
We must not forget however the victims of Foot and
Mouth disease, the
small businesses, that help service our ever shrinking holiday trade:
is they who have suffered most through the cancellation of TT. It seems
that the whole island is dependent on the suffocating omnipresence of
financial and property development industries; fortunately this
has not quite reached its full potential and there is still some
outside the finance industry. Due to this year's decimation of tourism,
many of these folk catering for tourists in the small private hotels,
guesthouses, country pubs, cafes and shops will be finding the coming
exceptionally hard. The TT makes a massive contribution to their annual
incomes and without it, many will be struggling.
If the unthinkable was to arise and Foot and Mouth
disease reached the
island, there would rightly be no question, or delay, in providing
compensation for the farming industry. The same concern must also be
for small businesses everywhere who, through no fault of their own, are
finding 2001 to be a very hard year indeed. Full and speedy
must be found for them, without the usual prevarication and delay at
our decision makers excel. We all love to head out for Sunday lunch in
a nice country pub; it is the TT which ensures that on the first fair
in January or February, when it so refreshing to head off into the
there is a country pub open for business and waiting to serve us.
Although hoteliers are receiving compensation,
there are many more who
It was with sadness that we received the news of Thelma Hawkins'
death last month after a fall at home. She had not been well for some
and had not been able to participate in activities as she once did.
not a member of Mec Vannin, she was a friend to many of us and could be
relied upon to give sound, intelligent advice on a range of subjects.
arguments were measured, reasoned and based upon an unshakeable sense
equality and tolerance.
She was a great moral and practical help to Yn
Troor when they were
imprisoned for their actions in opposing the government's betrayal of
Manx people. We have lost a friend, an advisor, a supporter and, of
yet another good Manx person.
We extend our sincere condolences to her family.
Yet again, and 20 years after it was first voted upon, the Civil
Jurisdiction Convention is before Tynwald. This important international
agreement permits victims of crime involving finances to reclaim their
money from crooks who salt it away in other jurisdictions.
The heavy dependency of the Isle of Man banking
industry on such hoards
led to calls from both inside and outside the Island for our adherence
to the convention and Tynwald voted to do so in 1981. Unfortunately, it
was decided to put it into the hands of a committee first.
The result was that more than ten years later, the
by Walter Gilbey) overturned the Will of Tynwald by recommending that
not sign up to the convention. The reason? The Isle of Man Law Society
and the Chamber of Commerce had whinged that their toes might get stood
on. Mr. Gilbey's committee took more notice of their vested interests
the matter than Attorney General William Caine's legal advice on the
and so, nearly another ten years later it's back again.
In the meantime, the Isle of Man's reputation as a
storehouse of crooked
money has grown and grown.
Data Protection Act
Those of you who read / listen to Manx news will be aware that a
few people are not too happy with the activities of the current Data
Registrar, Mrs. Lynn Keig. Each time that her activities have been
she has diverted the argument or objection by claiming that she "is
doing her job."
Avoiding any references to some fairly
high-profile trials in Nuremberg
last century, it must be stated categorically that she isn't.
If she was, she would engender the co-operation of
Data Users, not intimidate
them into coughing up money when they probably don't have to, or drive
their activities underground. Rather than slagging off her predecessor
for only prosecuting those who maliciously broke the law, she should
those who do so and leave those who attempt to comply alone.
She should not claim she has powers she does not
posses and, most importantly,
she should adhere to the law the law herself.
Frighteningly, the government are now set to
bulldoze through legislation
to update the DPA to include ALL personal information, no matter in
form it is stored. No consultation is being undertaken. This
will be powerful and potentially affect everyone who has so much as an
address book. With an incumbent Registrar who has publicly stated her
that success is measured in terms of prosecutions, it's time to be
You could be next.
It is time for public debate without the threat of
legal action against
anyone who legitimately questions Mrs. Keig's motives.
It is time to ensure that Data Legislation is used
as it was intended
- to protect personal privacy rather than justify a position through
relating to technical infringements.
It is time to provide a mechanism of
accountability for the Registrar
that does not exist at the moment.
Do any of our politicians have the willpower?
Sex Discrimination given the all clear
Sex discrimination? Oh that doesn't happen here.....
It has been a long standing item on Tynwald's
agenda to initiate sexual
Predictably, after years of pushing it to the
back, Tynwald circumvented
the issue by instituting a Code of Practice. A Code of Practice is not
enforceable. The only recourse that those subject to sexual
will have is via the European Court. Will our name yet again need to be
dragged through an international Court before our spineless politicians
will grow up and act responsibly?
Minorities - Who cares?
Not the Manx government, it would seem, as it has requested that
the United Kingdom does not extend the Council of Europe Framework
for the protection of Minorities to the Isle of Man.
With many of the immigrant population now eager to
point out our minority
status, can it be assumed that the reasoning behind this is to ensure
the Manx people are rendered totally impotent?
The campaign to further minoritise Manx people in
the ongoing process
of creating a little England continues.
Patronage - Buy your own MHK?
Above all else Mec Vannin supports the Isle of Man. Unlike many,
involved with Manx politics, our loyalties do not remain with
running a business, corporate contacts or the freemasons and so on.
influences our policies other the ultimate best interests of our island
and the Manx nation.
Consider your sitting MHK; Ask yourself what
influences the way he/she
votes? What was the driving force behind that strange bill he/she
sponsor. Could it possibly be that personal commitments or patronage
taken priority over the electorate?
In politics today lobbying is a way of life, all
our politicians will
have been pressurised by it at one time or another. Will the character
standing on your doorstep, promising all, have the strength and courage
of his/her convictions to resist the pressure which will undoubtedly be
brought to bear on him/her. Or will the brutal venality of unfettered
as practised by Isle of Man PLC, be allowed to continue spreading its
and ever increasing influence
Is there Freedom of Information in Mannin? That's
In 1994, David Cretney MHK was successful in getting Tynwald to
investigate the need for Freedom of Information legislation in the Isle
of Man. After lengthy debate and submissions from various bodies, a
was prepared. What eventually emerged was a recommendation for a Code
Practice, which is about as meaningful as a set of traffic lights on
moon. Even that insulting gesture provoked a memorandum of dissent from
Walter Gilbey MHK.
Now more than ever, it is obvious why those in
government are so desperate
to maintain their activities secret. Not only would the unsavoury
be exposed, but the incompetence too.
Copies of Mec Vannin's submission to the committee
can be obtained from
the Secretary (address on back page).
Investment fund fraud
The Party has found out what it long suspected - how the Finance
Sector makes much of its money: by ripping-off investors. Many
service providers are engaging in "churning" transactions which lead to
countless small deals, for example in shares or foreign currency, being
needlessly generated. These "deals" have no real economic justification
but they do ensure a constant stream of commission is produced for both
the the investment management house who initiated them and the bank
This explains why one lesser known fund manager in
the south of the
Island has under-performed the FTSE 100 index by nearly 50% over the
five years. Still, since some of their money comes from people selling
yachts in the Caribbean and the like, perhaps these clients are less
in the funds' performance than simply "processing" the money.
If this were to happen in an ordinary retail
business, the Office of
Fair Trading would be likely to get involved and there could even be
These operations, however, come under the auspices of the Financial
Commission and that's a different matter. Everyone's taking a "skim"
ultimately, that includes the Treasury.
Since Mike Culverhouse took up the position as Chief Constable for
the Isle of Mann, Mec Vannin has noted with interest his progress: how
he has come down with a heavy hand on those allegedly involved with
substances; how there are appreciably more police officers out on the
now, and how his message to the motorist is firm and will be enforced
etc. It could be said that active policing are the watch words of Mr.
However, there is one area of law enforcement
where he appears uncharacteristically
inactive, that is of criminal activity in the finance industry.
We hear from our politicians how well our finance
industry is regulated.
Surely if these regulations are not actively policed, then they may as
well not exist. Our finance industry is infested with criminal
Major financial scandals have been uncovered, but only via
In June, last year Mec Vannin wrote to Mr.
Culverhouse asking him to
explain his stance on 'the active policing of the finance industry'. We
also suggested to him that, in the past, the finance industry on the
has been poorly policed.
In his reply, Mr. Culverhouse included some
on the general role of the Financial Crime Unit (F.C.U.) and its
re. criminal activity in the finance industry. Mr Culverhouse also went
on to give some details of the findings of a Government Working Party
was set up to investigate (a) the roles and responsibilities of the
and (b) the Andrew Edwards Review of Financial Regulations in the Crown
Dependencies. Amongst a list of proposals presented by the working
and subsequently adopted by the FCU, was this recommendation :-
Extra resources, namely, a dedicated Advocate, a
financial analyst to
assist the Unit's accountant, five extra police officers, and
support staff, should be put into the unit, in order that it can take a
more pro-active role in the fight against financial crime and money
We have to admit that we were impressed.
Mec Vannin went on to ask Mr. Culverhouse how he
interpreted a more
pro-active role? Also, given the considerable increase in size of the
with its attendant costs to the tax payer, what might the Manx Public
to see when these recommendations are fully implemented?
Mr. Culverhouse concluded :- "The Financial Crime
Unit, hitherto, has
undertaken only a reactive role in financial crime matters. The Unit,
it has increased in strength, will not just investigate reported
crime, but will target specific areas, which have already been
but which I cannot discuss for operational reasons...... I am currently
working on a launch of the new Financial Crime Unit with the new
Head, when my personal commitment to tackling this critical issue will
be plain for you and everyone else to see''
Well, a full year on, and we are still waiting.
Perhaps we missed the
launch, perhaps it has not happened yet? Either way, there still has
no high profile pro-active investigation into financial crime on the
Meanwhile, The Mannin Money Laundry Plc is open
for business, the fat
cats sit back, and purr, and Mr. Culverhouse continues his high profile
campaign to clamp down on the Island's petty criminals.
Can't see the wood for the Keys
By Vinty Kneale
Weren't they all good down at the wood,
all the lil' children like saplin's all stood,
Hearts full o' hope an' hands full o' trees,
Heads filled with wonders an' eyes full o' please,
Plantin' their presence in oak.
Set in a wood that would last.
The innocent missin' the joke
by the hill buried deep in their past.
Oh weren't they all good down in the mud,
all the keys members like Hitlers all stood,
Hearts full o' joy at the shakin' of hands,
Heads full o' schemin' an' eyes full o' plans,
Plantin' their seeds of deceit,
Set in a wood that will last.
The innocent fall at the feet,
of the boots buried deep in the past.
Oh weren't they good, to all that young blood
all the young children that passed like a flood.
Hearts filled with hope for a hand full o' years,
Heads full o' promises endin' in tears.
As the government says with a smile,
"Still! we managed to cadge a Blue Peter badge"
an' by god we done in style.
Vinty has published a book of his poetry
entitled "Mornin' Vica'"
which should be available from bookshops. If not, try asking in the
Glen Hotel. Best bring hard cash in small denomination used notes.
The dangers of consultancy
In recent years, many key functions of the Government have been
turned over to consultancy firms. This action is not only costly, but
allows the Government to disclaim responsibility for projects that go
or have problems. It also means both a collapse in Civil Service morale
and the losing of core management and technical skills: As older Civil
Servants retire, new ones will simply lack the ability to undertake
This all pales into insignificance when compared
with the most important
danger: Consultancy firms are advising the Isle of Man Government to
in a number of major infrastructure projects. Many of these may not be
really suitable for a small Island with limited means. Given a possible
decline of the Finance Sector, a disaster whereby capital commitment
capital assets may yet happen. This has serious implications for a
that is legally bound to stay "in the black."
Mec Vannin is urgently seeking material from the
Isle of Man Government
to produce a report on this issue so that it can assess the threat that
this activity poses. Unfortunately, the ongoing lack of any Freedom of
Information rights in the Isle of Man mean that many Departments are
our attempts to gain information.
Mec Vannin - The Manx Nationalist Party