Advocating Republican Independence for the Isle of Man since 1962
Mec Vannin Policy SummaryAIMS AND OBJECTIVES
To achieve national independence for Mann as a sovereign state, based on a republican form of government.
To further and safeguard the interests of Mann.
To protect the individual and collective rights of its people.
A written Constitution, protected from amendment except by referendum, is a necessity.
The national independence of Mann would require the restructuring of governmental responsibility and constitution. Tynwald would be retained, but headed by a President who is elected by direct universal suffrage. Whilst Tynwald may still comprise two houses, there would be no non elected members to these houses. Election to the Legislative Council would be by popular vote. As all "Crown" appointments are abolished, Tynwald and the President would take sole responsibility for National Government.
All Tynwald members would be required to publicly declare their financial interests and external affiliations.
The Manx Government would take direct responsibility for its international affairs and negotiate its own relationship with the E.U..
Local Authorities would be retained with full power to manage their own affairs.
Manx nationality must be defined by legislation and a Manx passport introduced, with Manx Nationality being first citizenship. Whilst all residents would be eligible for Manx citizenship upon the introduction of legislation, subsequent new residents could only become citizens after due process of naturalisation. Only Manx Citizens would be eligible to vote or to stand for representative public office.
In a small island nation such as ours, in default of policies to control the growth of the finance sector, policies to control the size of the population are essential for the achievement of economic, ecological and cultural sustainability. The rapid and unnatural population increase, due to an open door policy on immigration, has increased the burden on the island's infrastructure and environment whilst eroding the fabric of community life. As a result, Mec Vannin believes the immediate introduction of immigration controls to be a priority.
A careful balance between population, infrastructure and environment must be maintained to ensure the long term viability of the Island's economy, ecology and quality of life.
The independent government would establish a National Manx Bank.
Taxation Mec Vannin is not committed to a single taxation rate, but believes that there should be a sliding scale and a tax on speculative gains.
Customs Union The independent Manx Government would exercise the right to determine indirect taxation, including V.A.T. This necessitates the cessation of the Customs and Excise Agreement with the UK
Rates The system of Local Authority rating should be maintained with the opportunity for Grant Support from Central Government.
Protection of the environment should become a primary concern of the Manx Government, and all decisions should be made in the light of this concern. We must acknowledge that there is a finite limit to the economic, social and ecological demands that our environment can support. Mec Vannin proposes that our economic redevelopment should be based upon the principle of sustainable economic growth commensurate with our small size and natural population level.
Building development impacts heavily on our small envoronment and requires strict control. Green-field development must be an absolute last recourse.
Natural resources should only be exploited with greatest consideration to environmental impact, long term viability and primary benefit to the Manx people.
Specific measures that need to be taken include: Development of renewable energy sources to reduce dependence on dwindling fossil fuels. A speedy end to the discharge of raw sewage into the Irish Sea. The entire emphasis of waste management to be switched to recycling and the reduction of waste at source. The Government must be prepared to bear the cost of collecting and transporting recyclable waste off the Island where necessary. The introduction of clean air legislation to substantially reduce atmospheric discharges from all sources. Energy conservation to be given high priority and be built into planning legislation.
Mec Vannin remains fundamentally opposed to the presence of the international finance industry in Mann. We believe it to be morally dubious for both ourselves and for its effects upon the Third World.
From an economic standpoint, we do not believe that reliance upon this transient industry will secure our long-term future.
The independent government would pursue a National Policy as opposed to a regional policy on employment. Employment opportunities and post educational training would be geared towards providing opportunities for our native talent, within a diverse economy.
In support of this, Mec Vannin supports a stricter Work Permit legislation and enforcement.
Mec Vannin believes that there is an on-going need to democratise industry and conditions of employment. A tri-partite system between Government, Employers, and Trade Unions should be established for the formulation, application and enforcement of employment legislation.
Employment legislation in this case is to include:
Contracts of Employment, which should be developed by agreement between employers and employees. These contracts should be regularly reviewed to ensure compliance with legislation.
Unfair dismissal and redundancy measures, with clearly defined procedures laid out. Any employee with a grievance should have access to an Independent Appeals Court as an ultimate resort.
Health and Safety at Work Act, which should be strictly enforced.
Mec Vannin supports legislation to ensure equal pay and opportunity, rights of free association and a statutory minimum wage.
Mec Vannin would encourage industries that:
Supply the home market, thus stimulating the domestic economy. Make most efficient use of local resources. Do not require large volume transport to and from the Island, thus cultivating "high-tech" industries. Priority would also be given to the development of labour intensive light industries that provide employment opportunities for predominantly local workers. Assistance should be readily available for those who need to train off the Island.
Mec Vannin supports the aims of the Industrial Common Ownership Movement and would encourage the setting up of co-operatively run businesses in Mann through grant aid and advice services.
Monopolies should be discouraged by legislation and, where they are unavoidable, subject to independent regulatory bodies.
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHING
Farming and horticulture. We must increase our self sufficiency with improved land utilisation and co-ordination between the Government and the industry. Particular consideration should be given to increasing the effectiveness of the marketing societies in respect of promotion and long term planning for the industry. There should be greater opportunities for youth to enter the industry and stricter controls on the conversion of agricultural land to "palatial gardens" and "Gentleman's estates".
As such, the Party opposes the "Care in the Countryside" policy
Forestry A long-term policy of reforestation, using native broadleaf species, for certain uplands would be adopted, improving the environment and, when managed correctly, returning a valuable commodity to the lsland's economy.
Fishing Fishing is still a viable part of the economy, provided that our fishing grounds are adequately protected. This will entail securing full control over the twelve mile limit in the short term and the eventual extension of our territorial waters to the median line.
Strictly enforced conservation measures combined with measures to ensure that all fish caught in Manx waters are landed at Manx ports would encourage investment in fish processing businesses within the Island. This would secure the long-term viability of the fishing industry.
Mec Vannin believes that this ailing industry can and must be revitalised, though it is necessary to be realistic and acknowledge the economic and social reasons for its decline. The relative costs of travel to and from Mann and new trends in the tourist industry suggest a move towards "specialist holidays". Mec Vannin proposes that by presenting and promoting the unique characteristics of Mann - our history language culture, archaeology, ecology and scenery - and developing facilities for "theme holidays", tourism can be re-established as a consistent element of the Manx economy.
The historically proven concept of comprehensive, small scale and community based education is considered by Mec Vannin to be the most effective form of education for the Island. Mec Vannin is also committed to the principal of free education for all age groups.
In keeping with these principles, our policies include : The provision of government funded pre-school nurseries. Small sized classes in schools which allow for greater individual attention. The provision of an extensive careers advisory service throughout education. The establishment of a Manx University catering for both Manx students and fee paying students from elsewhere. Village schools should be preserved and their role as centres of community life developed.
In keeping with our policies on language and culture, Mec Vannin considers it vital to facilitate the provision of a comprehensive Manx Studies course in primary, secondary and further education.
LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
A distinct linguistic and cultural heritage confers upon a people its sense of nationhood and identity. The Manx language and culture must be actively supported and developed both in education and every-day life by the government.
There should be a single, free health service for all citizens, provided according to need. Community nursing and health care facilities should be maintained and developed as a necessary element of the Manx National Health Service. Mec Vannin is further committed to the provision of our own nurse training centre. We propose rationalisation of the health service by reducing the burden of bureaucracy upon the medical staff and reducing material costs by encouraging the use of generic rather than "brand name" drugs and consumables.
People being deprived of a decent standard of living for themselves and their families leads to disaffection and desperation which a truly caring society should be looking to alleviate before increased social problems and disharmony occur. It is the responsibility of Government to provide a wide range of benefits in order to relieve the pressures on those who, through no fault of their own, cannot achieve an agreed minimum income.
Civil Liberties. Mec Vannin supports the individual's right of to petition the European Court regarding human rights, and further to this, a Manx Bill of Rights should be introduced. The Prevention of Terrorism Act and Criminal Justice Acts have gone too far in eroding civil rights and liberties
We propose the introduction of a Freedom of Information Act, and that the activities of the police should be monitored by an independent body. Members of sectarian organisations should be excluded from the police force and judiciary. Judicial procedures should be speeded up to minimise delays for remand prisoners and we support the Rehabilitation of Offenders legislation.
The housing market should be regulated to protect the right of Manx people to acquire housing in their own country, to stabilise the housing market and protect private home-owners from negative equity.
Mec Vannin supports the concept of voluntary euthenasia under a strictly controlled legal structure.
We support the concept of civil partnerships.
There should be an increased investment in public transport with the introduction of a cheap fares policy and more frequent services, coupled with the positive discouragement of the superfluous use of private motor vehicles in order to save energy, reduce pollution and traffic congestion. We further propose the establishment of a National Policy to protect the Manx Rail System (steam, electric and horse tram) as a vital element of our transport and tourist industries. It must also become a matter of government policy to regain a controlling share in the I.O.M.S.P.C.O. and to either gain a controlling interest in an existing air-passenger service operator or establish a state-backed operation.
Our society's perception of itself and its current affairs are in the hands of the media. Consequently a healthy independent media will ensure a healthy perception of the society. An independent commission should be established to issue and monitor a code of practice.
With specific reference to radio, it must be seen that this has come to provide an indispensable service to the community, and should be licensed with certain terms and conditions that must be met by the licensee, such as news coverage, and cultural support.