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 4 - September 1991


Miles Walker will be facing opposition from Nationalists on his home ground.

Illiam Costain, Mec Vannin's Secretary, has announced his intention to stand for Rushen in the forthcoming election. He will stand as a Mec Vannin candidate, although he will be free to exercise his own discretion where policies are concerned.


Mr. Costain is Manx, twenty-five years old, with two Degrees, a B.A. and M.A. in Politics and International Relations. This must surely make a mockery of those members of Tynwald (none of whom have any form of political qualifications) who dismiss Nationalist objectives is "naive".

His qualifications have led him to teaching and lecturing positions off the Island, but his concern for the Isle of Man has brought him back and, finding the concerns of Mec Vannin parallel to his own, has taken an active part in its business over the past eighteen months.


He sees our over-reliance on one sector of the economy as a major problem. Although there are jobs available, they
generally are in the finance environment. This means that we lose much of our young talent, who have no interest in this field, since they leave the Island for both higher education and work.

In parallel to providing diverse opportunities, he believes that we must have a university to provide the education. Many who leave the Island for education consequently find work and do not return.


The environment and ecology are vital to the Island's future. He believes long term strategies and strict planning are needed in development, population size and conservation. He says that the Island will be best served by a diverse economy, an open, responsible government that is responsible to the electorate and a protective framework of local government. 


Mr. Costain's policies cover:

Immigration control, employment legislation, pension levels, housing development, landscape conservation, speculation,
open government, Irish Sea pollution, the Tynwald constitution, dog controls, recycling, transport and traffic, economic diversification, fishing, farming, tourism, sports, culture and heritage.


The only thing that seems to get the Manx Nation of its behind is the subject of the behind itself. e.g. the birch, homosexuality, and dog defecate. We would be denying our own cultural background if we didn't join in with this predilection for the posterior.

Consequently, a team of Mec Vannin scientists have calculated that enough dog defecate is deposited on our pavements in one week to fill a first-time buyer's house. Looking at it another way, that's enough in just one day to build one.

And they all live in little ticky tacky boxes and they all look just the same....

The Carvill Group whose company logo is, very appropriately, a small featureless box, is about to embark upon the development of the Gooseneck in Douglas. Another "Quality Development."

Quality is, of course, both subjective and relative. When compared to a tent, a garden shed could be held to represent "quality accommodation and so ,in an attempt to introduce an objective aspect to quality, standards have been drawn up. The predominant standards in use in Britain are those of the British Standards Institute.

Our own building regulations are considerably less strict than in Britain, however, and many of the current architects and builders are taking the fullest advantage of this fact. Houses are built to pass the required standard, and no more.
As just one example, we can look at Carvill's Pollag Field development (or Pony Fields as it is advertised). The development ran into opposition from the outset: The Planning Committee rejected the original plan for 134 houses on the grounds that it was too dense, and the Minister for the D.L.G.E. is quoted as remarking upon "The inability of planners to develop the village concept."

A resubmission was approved however, and the matter went to review. By the time the D.L.G.E.'s rules on valid objectors had been applied (basically, unless vu live within 20 yards of a development, you have no say in the matter), four persons' objections were admitted. Their objections included the obvious visual impact, the extra. traffic, the apparently inexplicable change of attitude by the Planning Committee, the excessive density of the housing and a 15% (one sixth) increase in raw sewage discharge into Port Erin Bay through a system that is already showing signs of strain at a time when we are supposed to be improving beach quality.

In defence, the applicants stated their intention to provide "high quality, low cost housing" and so it was "Essential to build to a high density" in order to provide the necessary services. Market research indicated a "huge demand" in the area for such housing.

The D.L.G.E.'s reply also pointed to the need for housing in the area and commented on "The village concept" and claimed that it "Would provide an attractive residential development," The development had also been reduced from 134 to 129 houses, a massive 3.73% which the department considered to be significantly less dense.

In reply, we would say that when there are no decent homes available, people will live in whatever they can find. How far away are the caravan sites now so common in England? As, for an attractive development, well the D.L.G.E. clearly find small sickly coloured boxes attractive, and flies find piles of manure attractive.

The result of the review, predictably, was that the appeals be dismissed and the decision of the committee upheld. Now to wrap up what we started with - Quality. The design of these houses complies with the legal requirements. In the case of semi-detached houses, the party wall, the one that separates one house from another, is timber frame and plasterboard sandwiching insulating material. This construction, when carried out correctly, passes the minimum one hour fire stopping requirement, and sound insulation regulations.

Whether or not it represents quality, is up to yourself to decide. We do not know how many other companies employ this method of construction, this is the only example we have found so far.


An August edition of the "Manx Independent"' re-iterated Issue Two's criticism of the constitution in its Comment Column. Mr. Walker carries no mandate from the people, No one can tell exactly who will be in the next House of Keys, so how can we ask candidates "Who will you vote for Chief Minister ?"

This situation is unacceptable to the democratic development of our government. We must make it a priority issue to have a change in constitution before the the next Chief Minister establishes a cabinet. Lobby your candidates. Lobby your M.H.K.s. This is the only time in five years they will take any notice.


In this environmentally conscious age, one may think that school-children would be encouraged to use bicycles rather than have parents ferry them back and forward. Not so at Ballakermeen however, where bikes are not permitted. The school gives theft as as the reason, but in reality, there is simply nowhere to put them.


We gave Glenfaba's nationalist candidate the opportunity to answer questions without them being "creatively edited."

The results of Greg Joughin's questionnaire left him in no doubt as to his next course of action: Stand far the "Keys"!
Basically, the questionnaire re-affirmed that which the Government-commissioned "Quality of Life" survey revealed i.e. an all round dissatisfaction with Government policies. Some two thirds of the papers that were handed out were returned, many with detailed additional comment. One of the most damning condemnations of the "Prosperous and Caring Society" was the question concerning wages. The best wage increase recorded still left the respondent some 10%. poorer in real terms than in 1988!

What qualities s do you think make you suitable for an M.H.K.?

"That I feel for the Island and its people. Looking at what has happened in the past, much of which I feel unhappy about, I feel that I can lend my views and ideas for a better future."

Do you feel that you an change those aspects of Island society you feel unhappy about?

"Yes. Everything evolves, and I can lend influence to the manner in which it evolves."

Do you think that your conviction for arson will adversely affect voters' attitude towards you?

"Possibly yes, but I would hope that voters would ultimately give as much credence to what I am doing and saying now far the future of the Island, as to what I have done in the past"

Would you ever be tempted to use illegal methods to pursue your objectives again?

"No, but if, in the future, the situation becomes such as to threaten the stability of any area of Island life, then it is reasonable to presume that others may resort to illegal actions."

Is your "Enough is Enough campaign still active?

"No. Since deciding to stand for the "Keys," all F.S.F.O. campaigning has been abandoned. This approach has run its course."

What do feel you can offer over and above other candidates?

"As far as I can see, every other candidate has gone along with basic Government policies with only minor changes or difference. My aim is to shift Government's central aim away from pure economic growth to embrace social, cultural, environmental, ecological and spiritual well-being of people."

Are you saying that we would be happy without money?

"No. As a self employed person with two daughters, I am fully aware of the necessity of money, but it certainly isn't everything."

You're strongly anti-Finance Sector. In its absence, do you see a necessity to replace it with another source of income?

We rely on the Finance Sector for one third of our income, we're told. In the short term, we have to accept that it is here, and possibly to stay, hut I wouldn't like to see us rely an it to any greater extent. I would suggest "capping" the growth of the Finance Sector by the simple expedient of limiting the issue of licences for Finance Sector operations, and shifting the Government's faith towards small businesses owned and run within the Island"

So you advocate greater individual self-reliance?

"Yes. The Government tells us that the Finance Sector must grow to survive. This is a red herring. There are those within the Finance Sector who have said there is instability within the industry because of a lack of employee loyalty due to surplus opportunities."


The most memorable achievement of Mr. Robert Quayle, one of Mr. Joughin's opponents for the seat, is his organisation of the Millennium Tynwald.

Prior to 1979, the fair took place, rather logically, on The Fair Field. The fair and ceremony were an intergral event, as they had been, for hundreds of years. Now we have two separate events: The Tynwald Ceremony and The Fair; which now takes place out of sight of the Ceremony on the "Memorial Field". This was to make life easier for the organisers of the pre-emptive Millennium Tynwald Ceremony.

In the course of this reorganisation, 35 mature trees and a dry-stone wall surrounding a War Memorial were removed (Ref Carn Issue 26). Vociferous opposition from locals halted the work but failed to prevent it going ahead. Hundreds of years of history thrown out the window in year that was supposed to celebrate that history.

Thankyou Mr. Quayle!


The advertising of the "Planning far the Future" was itself out of line with proposals contained therein, since despite it being available far some three months, the D.L.G.E. did not advertise its existence until two weeks before the closing date for submissions. This ensured sufficiently inadequate time far many to make informed submissions on a document that contains many references to other quite comprehensive statutes and orders.

Our submission was three pages long, and so we will cover just a few of the major points. We have proposed the following:

An increase in the size of the Planning Committee to five and that the Chairman be independent. Our future Planning is far too important to be left to just three people, the Chairman of whom could very well be under instructions from superiors to bias a decision.

That the listed buildings register be increased to cover all buildings over 100 years old. This does not mean that people will not be able to demolish / alter these buildings, simply that they will be assessed before permission is given.

That there be no areas of planning exemption, as is suggested, since this makes a mockery of laws in other areas.

That a petition signed by one thousand people (this figure being more than have voted far most M.H.K.s in office) or a certain percentage of "local" signatures be given legal significance.

That there should be an absolute development plan for the Island, rather than regularly updated plans that can make a nonsense of earlier decisions.

That Public Enquiries be held at times when the general public can attend.

That a system of "on-site" notification be adopted in addition to existing methods.

That the review stage remains as part of the planning procedure. That all developments in areas of Special Scientific Interest (S.S.I.s) be subject to public enquiry, since the term "significant" is impossible to define.

That in instances where the Department has jurisdiction, tree planting schemes should use indigenous species.

That, in keeping with the findings of a Select Committee of Tynwald, the Department should promote and encourage the use of Gaelic names for developments. We must add here, that Local Authorities have the power to enforce this, if necessary, but have never done so.

As a general comment, the over-all "feel" of the paper tends to make a presumption for development rather than conservation, and that like so many other Government documents, it's only words.


From an article by Colin Jerry.

There has been quite a growth in Hallowe'en functions of one sort or another, encouraged by incomers from England and elsewhere. The old term "Hollantide" has all but disappeared along with the fairings which appeared in the bakers' shops. Hop-tu-Naa, Hollantide, and Hogmanay all derive from the celebration of the Celtic New Year, Sauin in Manks and Samhain in Irish. This is all bound up with the division of the Celtic year into quarters, not All Hallows, which is Anglo-Saxon in origin. The Manks for November is Mee Houney - the month of Sauin.

A further pressure has emerged from the Church, which has chosen to make a target out of Hallowe'en because of fears of innocent people, and particularly children, being drawn into Satanism. The fact that Satanists and other cults with magical leanings have been associated with Hallowe'en, may have originally been a deliberate act by the Church in times past, or there mm have been a connection in any case, that I cannot say.

What I can say, is that Devil and Witch costumes have been encouraged in Hop-tu-Naa where they do not belong. I don't see any reference to Turnip lanterns in the accounts written prior to the turn of the century. None the less, competitions for the best turnip lantern used to encourage what had become a very sophisticated Folk-Art form. I can see no virtue in holding competitions for costumes which assist the confusion with Hallowe'en and bringing down the wrath of the church on a custom which has no connection whatever with Satanism.

Things were bad last year. There were fewer children going the rounds in Peel. Even the turnips in the shops were not prepared as they used to be with a stalk to hold it by, incidentally resembling the cabbage stalks of 100 years and more ago with which the children used to beat on the doors. We must consider how best to restore this custom to its former status, or watch it go the way of so many other valuable links with the traditional life of the past.

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