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 26 - July 2002

Housing Crisis Continues

As predicted by Mec Vannin, the government's response to the housing crisis has been completely ineffectual. House prices continue to rise and young Manx people continue to be forced out of their country because they can't afford to live here. A handful of sites not owned by Dandara / Heritage Homes have been identified where some houses can be built but, even on the off-chance that some of them actually end up being lived in by Manx people, it will do nothing to address the fundamental problem - encouraged immigration. And of course, if housing is made available to Manx people, it will reduce immigration. That is contrary to the government's objective.

Manx people are being openly and deliberately disadvantaged in housing by government employment deals: A Manx person in any given job will be paid a given wage. An imported employee may be given the same wage but will additionally receive payments to assist with housing and even regular trips "home"!

It is well known that placebo "starter homes", thrown into private developments as sweeteners to ease opposition, are being bought up by foreign landlords in order to milk the current market. They will rent to the highest bidder which automatically favours relatively wealthy immigrants.

The government in the Isle of Man does not want housing prices to fall: As long as they remain too high, Manx people will continue to be driven out to be replaced by wealthy immigrants. That is what the government wants - the policies of extreme greed cannot accommodate anyone but the wealthy. The only way that the zero income-tax rate for businesses can work is to eradicate all those who do not have a high personal income and spending profile. The most expedient way for the government to achieve this objective is to deny housing to those who cannot meet its economic objectives. It has been successful to date. 

Tax proposals unsupportable

Mec Vannin have repeatedly warned that the government in the Isle of Man would paint us into a corner with the tax-haven economy. These warnings, arrogantly and ignorantly dismissed by a succession of less than intellectually glowing administrations, have now ultimately materialised.

So dire is the situation that the phased reductions in standard rates of income tax proposed by Richard Corkill when Treasury Minister have now been hastily scrapped with the proposal to get rid of income tax for businesses all together. The government in the Isle of Man has encouraged total reliance upon the highly restrictive and ultimately damaging Customs and Excise agreement for generating income. The overwhelming majority of the billions of pounds (frequently linked to criminal activity) stashed in the Isle of Man doesn't earn a single penny for government coffers. The only justification for its being here is to generate employment and, since there aren't even enough immigrants to fill the job vacancies, it can't be deemed to be doing Manx people one jot of good.

Multi-billion pound companies must be laughing themselves senseless at the Manx people who have to pay huge amounts of VAT, income tax and National Insurance. These businesses will shortly be paying nothing. Remember that the overwhelming majority of VAT is reclaimed by businesses.

The Treasury claims that the proposals will not incur the wrath of the EU. This is the same Treasury that claimed, when Mec Vannin made the EU's intentions to shut down tax-havens public, that the EU could not interfere with the Isle of Man. The ostriches are now digging there heads even deeper in the sand, perhaps in the hope of finding some fantasy land underground.

After 3 years of uncontrolled boom in the late 80s and into 1990, the Isle of Man only escaped technical recession by the skin of its teeth - the rampant free-for- all provided no lasting benefit. The government in the Isle of Man only managed to fulfil its legal obligation to stay in the black by "creative accountancy".

It was lucky that the European economic down-turn was short lived and the money started flowing again.

The past six years have seen a runaway global economy that has lead the government in the Isle of Man, with its goldfish-like memory, to become complacent. The world has been teetering on the brink of down-turn for a year now. Al Q'aida now gets blamed for any and all ills since September  11th  2001 but anyone who keeps themselves in anyway informed knows full well that this was merely an exacerbating factor in a slow-down that was gaining momentum.

An economy that relies on spending rather than producing will be the first to suffer in an economic slow down. The only way the Isle of Man will survive is if there is a fundamental change in policy.

Mec Vannin AGM

Mec Vannin held its 39th AGM last week. Officers were elected as follows:

President - Bernard Moffatt
Chairman - Mark Kermode
Secretary - Verity Gorry
Treasurer - Cristl Jerry
Publicity - Mark Kermode
Editor Yn Pabyr Seyr - Alan Comaish
Campaigns Officer - Jonathan Sless
Cultural Officer - Phillip Gawne

The following Resolutions were adopted:

This AGM condemns the government in the Isle of Man for effectively debarring Manx people from participation in the House of Keys by forcing them to declare a false nationality.

This AGM condemns the government in the Isle of Man for debarring true representation of the people of Mannin by forcing duly elected candidates in House of Keys elections to take an oath to a foreign monarchy.

This AGM re-states its belief in our own published organs as the best method of information dissemination and, to this end, resolves to increase production of Yn Pabyr Seyr.

This AGM calls for the Tynwald Members Register of Interests to be a compulsory, complete and readily available document, maintained to a standard of completeness and openness to at least the same standard as any other such register in the Western World.

This AGM re-iterates the Party's long-standing opposition to an encouraged demographic shift resulting from a failure to adequately provide tertiary education to our own, whilst importing non-Manx expertise on an "off the shelf basis."

This AGM calls for a public inquiry:

a) to establish the true cost to the public of the Nunnery Business school and refurbishment,

b) to establish its beneficial ownership for the public

c) to establish why such a large amount of capital was directed away from the development of existing business educational facilities and bodies

This AGM re-iterates its belief that current policies relating to higher education, employment, fostering and adoption contravene the UN genocide conventions.

This AGM regards the position of Mr Steven Rodan,  Minister for Education, as untenable in the wake of his behaviour in attempting to have Mr John Cain's promotion barred and his publicly declared dissatisfaction with his position as Education Minister.

This AGM views plans to review work permit legislation with extreme concern when viewed in conjunction with the new Residency Act.

This AGM:

a) re-iterates Mec Vannin's long-standing policy of creating a Manx Citizenship

b) does not regard the Residency Act as providing any protection to the increasingly marginalised Manx Nation.

In addition, the following two Emergency Resolutions were adopted.

This AGM calls for the establishment of an independent Public Inquiry into the regulation of certain professional fields including the Legal Profession, Civil Engineering, Pharmaceutical practices and others.

In light of the revelations about the Chief Constable's intentions in regard to the employment of Manx people and other events in recent time, this AGM unreservedly condemns the anti-Manx discriminatory practice to be found in both public and private bodies.

Time to replace the Chief Constable

All other arguments aside, it is now obvious that "Scouse Mick" Culverhouse is not suitable to be a Chief Constable in the Isle of Man. Mec Vannin expressed its view at the outset that someone who had chosen to abandon policing as a career was unsuitable but his plans to discriminate against Manx recruits is completely unsupportable. If the Department of Home Affairs is not actively seeking his replacement, it is equally guilty of anti-Manx discrimination. 

Government increasingly evasive

Mr. Peter Karran, one of the MHKs for Onchan, keeps on asking straight forward questions about government spending. How much is being spent and who is receiving it? That shouldn't be too difficult but, in common with Mec Vannin's experience, rather than give simple answers, the Departments involved cite "commercial confidentiality" as a reason for not answering.

Mr. Richard Corkill has now bizarrely accused Mr. Karran of undermining the government in the Isle of Man with these questions. As long as the government refuses to answer simple questions and offers lame excuses instead, Mec Vannin and many others are confident that Mr. Corkill's government is deliberately withholding facts of prime importance to the Manx people. What does it have to hide?

Fly- ash disposal problem remains unanswered.

While the debate continues over the DLGE's intention to dispose of bottom ash from the very much unwanted incinerator at Archalligan, the question of the disposal of the highly toxic "fly" ash has been swept under the carpet, so to speak. Let's uncover it again!

Before being emptied by the electorate, Walter Gilbey (then DLGE minister) proclaimed that it was "unthinkable" that the UK would not accept this material for disposal. Mec Vannin regarded it as perfectly "thinkable" and wrote to the UK government to seek the true position, which is as follows:

The UK is legally bound not to accept dangerous material for disposal except when the originating jurisdiction does not have and cannot develop suitable technology for its proper disposal. Disposal of toxic waste by the UK on the behalf of the Isle of Man was covered by an agreement that expired on the 31st December 2000 and has not been renewed.

(UK Lord Chamberlain's Office)

Government continues secretive approach to consultancy

Mec Vannin, via Campaigns Officer Jonathan Sless, has been trying for some time now to ascertain the degree to which government policy is affected by the use of consultancy. The standard technique employed for refusing to answer simple questions relating to the use of consultants was "commercial confidentiality." That is unmitigated nonsense. Only two departments offered any form of co-operation whatsoever.

As a result of Mec Vannin's efforts, however, the government in the Isle of Man has undertaken to review its usage of consultants and (would you believe it) a consultancy exercise took place. No views were sought from the community, however. Initially, a nebulous advisory group consisting of accountants, lawyers and other "professionals" were called on to give evidence in what was advertised as a public meeting. When Dr. Sless tried to attend, however, he was informed that the meeting would take place in camera. Further hearings taking oral evidence in support of previously submitted evidence from selected individuals were held but the evidence that matters remains secret.

The government in the Isle of Man is wilfully preventing the public from knowing how much consultancy is steering government policy and spending. That is deplorable.

How should this country be run

The first responsibility of any government is to its own people in their own country. Governments in the Isle of Man have never been exactly strong on this point but the governments from the time that Miles Walker became Chief Minister to date have quite overtly acted against us.

To provide a diversity of opportunity and career choice, an incentive and opportunity for our children to stay here and build for a Manx future, we must reverse the shift away from self sufficiency in all areas. That does not mean subsistence or isolation; it means protecting and promoting all facets of self-sufficiency so that as much money as possible is retained in the economy. We used to do things for ourselves but failure of governments in the Isle of Man to protect the Manx economy has resulted in a broad-based depletion of home-based businesses and skills. The result is that the myth of dependency has become a reality.

The only way we can achieve true independence is if we have full control of our customs and trade agreements on the international stage, provide full training to our own using exchange schemes if necessary and accept that the current level of economic activity cannot be sustained.

Unless there is a fundamental change of personnel and ethos in Tynwald and the Civil Service, this will not happen.

Proposed financial crimes legislation a mere sop

Mec Vannin submitted a substantial document to the Department of Home Affairs in relation to a draft Bill for anti money laundering and terrorist funding.

The Bill is ostensibly a response to a UN convention but, since the convention was ratified over two years ago and the proposed Bill was produced in extraordinary haste in the wake of the embarrassing revelations about the Isle of Man's involvement with Osama bin Laden associated companies, it is obviously a knee-jerk response to give the impression of regulation to the outside world. And, surprise, surprise, it is based on similarly hurried UK legislation.

The Mec Vannin document may be viewed on the internet at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mec_vannin/message/2

The basis of the Mec Vannin submission is as follows:

If the financial crime legislation in the Isle of Man even approached previous claims, the new legislation would be superfluous.

Huge amounts of the Bill provide duplicate powers of arrest and detention of individuals as several existing Acts without need to demonstrate reasonable cause.

The legislation, already an extension of English centralist political ideology, gives powers to the Lieutenant Governor to further implement English political objectives in a definitely partial fashion.

The primary subject of the UN convention, the finance industry, is largely exempted from the provisions of the Bill. As such, the Bill is nothing more than a sop to the UN convention whilst providing a dangerous tool to authorities in the Isle of Man to abuse the individual rights of those employed outside the finance industry, most particularly in relation to the burden of proof. In this aspect, it is doubtful whether certain provisions of the Bill could withstand a challenge under international laws.

The proposed use of a UK list of prescribed individuals and organisations confirms that this legislation is a political rather than a judicial tool and the UK's list has already been proven to be wrong.

Work-permits need re-inforced

The recent attempt by the Department of Trade and Industry to effectively scrap work permit regulations was predicted by Mec Vannin and made subject of an AGM Resolution (see resolutions) well before it reached the House of Keys. Mec Vannin expressed  its position  in a letter to the Department (which can be read at groups.yahoo.com/group/mec_vannin) and as a result, the Department have promised to consult. Why weren't we (or anyone else) consulted beforehand? Simply because the Department was attempting to represent the shallow, short term commercial interests of largely foreign businesses rather than the interests of the Manx people. Situation normal.

Mec Vannin's position is absolutely clear. We need Manx Citizenship and work permits should be strictly temporary and rigorously enforced.

Isle of Man Newstraitors

The foreign owned (and largely staffed) Isle of Man Newspapers, the only printed newspaper surviving on the Island, has never been much of a friend to the Manx people. Particularly in the area of work-permits and imported job applicants, the desire of the editorship to see the scant protection afforded to Manx people scrapped has never been particularly disguised. In the case of Steve Rodan's attempt to install a personal acquaintance from England in favour of a perfectly competent Manx person as Director of Education, the editorship chose to throw itself fully behind the woman's crudely manipulative bleatings.

Isle of Man Newspapers has now plumbed new depths with the reporting of "Scouse Mick" Culverhouse's covert plan to discriminate against Manx people for employment in our police force. Thankfully, a person of integrity blew the whistle on Culverhouse's disgusting plans but, far from praising the act of putting country and people before any shallower allegiances, Isle of Man Newspapers branded the person a traitor. Though predictably "miffed" at being exposed, Scouse Mick limited himself to branding the person as "disloyal."

Isle of Man Newspapers, under its "Manx Independent" title (a misnomer - neither Manx nor independent) chose to accuse the whistle-blower as committing "treachery" - that is a is a far more serious and, in this case, disgustingly inappropriate charge. Compare this with the tirade the editorship launched against Mec Vannin's Chairman, Mark Kermode, for his carefully aimed 2001 Illiam Dhone Day speech. IoM Newspapers' sensitivity to Mr. Kermode's speech is obvious and there is now no disguising the reason: A guilty conscience!

In a less than cunning attempt to further undermine the position of Manx people in their own country, Isle of Man Newstraitors ran one of those completely meaningless straw polls on the internet. The options were carefully worded to ensure that "Manx" and "inferior" were implicitly linked.

Until such time as the Isle of Man Newstraitor monopoly is broken up, the Manx people are without a credible printed newspaper.

They wouldn't do that here, would they?

Enron, WorldCom and so on, and news of the collapse of yet another corporate giant is coming out of the US almost on a daily basis just now.

As these icons hit the dust under the weight of their own deceit it is impossible not to question the authority of all statements emanating from business. Claims that recent scandals are rare have the same ring of confidence as an Arthur Andersen balance sheet.

Since Enron rocked the US business world, admissions of fraudulent accounting, dishonest number crunching and illegal tax dodging have reached epidemic proportions.

What has all this got to do with Mannin?  Well, if the sharp US authorities can be fooled what chance do we have with the dullards on spam hill?  Though this will come as no surprise to some, Mr Corkill and gang will no doubt be amazed that their corporate masters may have the capacity for deceit. It is now quite clear that we are not talking about the odd rogue individual, Nick Leeson for example, but an entire culture rooted in dubious practices, moral dislocation and systemic corruption. Compliant governments in the late 80's and 90's have bred a generation of businesses whose excess knows no fiscal, not to mention moral or environmental, boundaries.

The prosletysers urging for Isle of Man PLC, deliberately set out to make unseemly profit from tax dodging and development paramount. Meantime the rest of us and our island are left to pick up the bill. Money may well make the world go round but greed will kill it, if intelligent governments are being conned by business, it is frightening to speculate what could be going on here.

Mec Vannin's position on elections

Mec Vannin is a properly constituted political party and is willing to contest elections at all levels. The credibility of Mec Vannin candidates in recent years has been demonstrated but obstacles have been placed to keep out republican nationalists of principle. Manx people are forced to declare a false nationality if they stand for the House of Keys. Anyone who is successfully elected in a General Election must take an oath of betrayal to the Manx people or have their election declared void. Successful candidates in Local Authorities are inexplicably required to swear the UK's Official Secrets Act.

To a degree, this is a conscience matter and the Party has not issued any instructions to members but, over the past five years, none of the Party's members have been willing to accept these preconditions. Democracy and representation of the Manx people is the ultimate victim which is probably why the government in the Isle of Man refuses to remove the obstacles. Consequently, the matter has been made a subject of AGM resolutions.

Can you help?

Mec Vannin has been fighting for the Manx nation for 40 years. We continue to prick what little conscience there is left in government but as long as insurmountable obstacles are placed in the way of our direct participation in government, we are fighting a rearguard action. It takes time and money to campaign, especially when you are dealing with a government that arrogantly ignores the questions of elected members.

If you wish to help Mec Vannin, you can lobby your MHK to have the oath of betrayal and the false nationality declaration removed from the election process.

You can make a donation.

If you believe in an independent republican democracy serving the Manx people, you can apply to join Mec Vannin.

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