GOVERNMENT POLICY REPORT EXAMINED
There are two things worth remembering when reading Government reports. Firstly, they have a vested interest in making their work look good. Secondly, no-one has the resources to effectively challenge it. The 1991 Government report paints a picture of paradise; nothing is wrong. Read on..
The document makes much use of averages, and carefully correlated statistics. Anyone reading the document without actually analysing what it is attempting to say cannot fail to be impressed.
But let's start start at the beginning, with Mr. Walker's seven policy points (or Walker's Seven Dwarves, as our Secretary Illiam Costain so aptly named them). To save space, the points aren't written here, just our answers to them.
1. Economic self-reliance has been thrown out the window. As far as individual self-reliance is concerned, the New Resident genre seem to be incapable of surviving without a host of services laid at their feet. If their money dries up, the whole lot collapses. Tolerance, equality, and rule of law: the crime rate speaks for itself, and Mr. Walker himself has denied us access to the European Court for a further term.
2. Uncontrolled immigration, the 'Rat Race; crime, artificial development and destruction of the National character are all detrimental to our quality of life. We've got the lot.
3. Environmental laws, where they exist, are un-enforced. Wholesale development, which is demonstrating itself to be unsustainable, and massive pollution increases are destroying our fragile environment.
4. A diversified economy ? We must be going to get another finance sector. (Don't laugh - look what's happening with captive insurance).
5: The traditional Manx supported themselves far centuries, with a population of less than 50,000, and managed to contribute £millions to the U.K.'s coffers as well. The structure, size and rate of growth of the population, has prejudiced the quality of life for the past four years.
6. We haven't even secured recognition for our interests in Europe, never mind internationally.
7. Traa dy liooar, Yisser. (Plenty of time, fellow)
Now into the 'bones' of the report. It boasts that unemployment is now only 3% and that average earnings are now £239 per week.
In real terms, unemployment now stands at the same level as it did in 1981. That year was the doorway to the rampant unemployment of the eighties. The current rate of increase of employment is the same as at that time, with all indications being that this is just the beginning. Never the less, the report goes an to claim this to be 'full employment'!
The average earnings figure is just that - all the earnings lumped together and divided by the number of earners. The earnings bracket into which the most people fall is £150 - £175, a mere £30 over the threshold far income supplement.
If we take an unemployment black spot in England, such as Consett, and then import the population of the Surrey 'stockbroker belt', average earnings rise dramatically and unemployment falls in percentage terms, but the people of Consett remain on low wages, with high unemployment. Furthermore, the cost of living rises as local retailers jack up the prices to get the best out of the affluent new customers.
This is exactly what the Manx government has done in the last five years and has the nerve to brag about it.
The Government is also giving the impression that in the course of every week, the average household earns £37 from Social Security benefits, £20 in private pensions, £14 from additional self employment, £42 in interest, and £5 from other sources. Maybe we should rename ourselves Fantasy Island.
Our cost of living is 2.6% lower than the U.K., it claims. This is down purely and simply to the U.K. Poll Tax. The method of arriving at the figure is interesting to say the least, in any case. Various items of expenditure are compared to U.K. figures, and noted on a plus or minus basis. Since this includes both essential and non-essential items and the cost is not related to percentage of average expenditure, the figure is actually meaningless. It is not 2.6% cheaper to live in the Isle of Man, unless you are living in a large house, earning a lot of money, driving a large car, and drinking lots of alcohol.
The report makes no mention of the acute difficulties faced in tourism, agriculture, fishing, and housing. Where it touches upon these subjects, it states only how much money has been invested in the areas, and how it believes that everything will be alriqht. In the section dealing with policing, there is no mention of the increasing crime rate and associated problems.
Finally, let's look at the now famous 58%. The 1986/7 Government receipts were £182 million and expenditure was £170, a net income of £12 million. The corresponding figures for 1991/2 are £307 million and £306 million respectively, a net income of £1 million. The Government claims this to represent "a real growth in services."
This situation, taken in
the unemployment trend, passenger arrivals, slow-down in growth and
collapses, is identical to the situation that heralded the depression
'82 - `86.
Walker "Absolutely hopeless" on Europe - Dr. Edgar Mann
The previous administration has been guilty of Ostrich syndrome, believing that Protocol Three will serve us for ever and a day. Infact, the agreement could come under pressure for considerable modification within the next five years. That was Dr. Edgar Mann's verdict after being asked by Mark Kermode.
It was in its actual dealings with Europe that Dr. Mann condemned the Walker administration as, "absolutely hopeless," going to the U.K. rather than directly to Brussels. He claims that when he chaired ExCo himself, Brussels was approached directly and found to be outwardly sympathetic. Although Protocol Three does not permit us direct access to the European Parliament, he believes that a liaison committee could be established in Brussels.
Mec Vannin's stance on Europe has
been the same and "Federalisation" is proof that we're right.
and the free market is the foundation of a political union that will
national identities and sovereignty and not, we believe, for the better.
All New For Ninety - Two! Mec
devised its own version of an internationally famous board game. Based
an Douglas street names, the objective is to buy as many blocks of
as possible, demolish them and turn them into "temporary" car parks.
GOT ANY INTERESTS? NUDGE-NUDGE, WINK - WINK!
Ex Treasury Minister thinks we should, "say no more..."
We gave Gregory Joughin our support at the November election, and many people seemed surprised that someone with a criminal conviction was allowed to stand. Others, more cynical than ourselves, suggested that the only difference between M.H.K.s and criminals was that criminals had been caught. Dear, dear!
The fact that Mr. Joughin had been imprisoned far arson is admittedly newsworthy, but many attached great importance to the legality of his standing. In the absence of any requirement to declare criminal convictions upon standing far the 'Keys, they overlooked the fact that there were other candidates, including sitting members, that had records. We believed that the attention directed towards Mr Joughin was somewhat unfair in view of this.
Consequently, Mec Vannin sent letters to all members of the new house, requesting their thoughts on the subject of declaring various interests and convictions. Half the house replied, with about half again of these being openly in favour to the proposals. The only really adverse reaction came from the increasingly bellicose David Cannan, who believed our letter was "full of innuendo." Careful examination of the letter revealed no innuendo that we could find, and we're at a complete lass to explain Mr: Cannan's response.
NATIONALISTS WARRANT 4 M.H.K.s
This is a suitable opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to Mr. Illiam Costain for standing on behalf of Mec Vannin at the General Election.
He polled 251 1st preference votes, or some 8%. The people who came in ahead of him were all established political names, whereas Illiam was previously virtually unknown to the majority of voters. Taken as a whole, his performance was considerably better than other 'first-timers', and even some established figures.
In Glenfaba, Greg managed 14%, despite some pretty 'anti' publicity in the press. Taking the similarity of the men's politics and performance, it is reasonable to extend this performance to other constituencies, which means that between 3,200 and 4,300 people would vote for a Nationalist 'newcomer' This is enough to elect at least three and possibly four M.H.K.s.
IN PLACE OF STRIFE
The Trades Union Council forwarded a copy of its "In Place of Strife" document to Mec Vannin for preview and comment. Unfortunately, the local press has already managed to work its journalistic wonders on the document, and what we were expecting was an incitement to riot.
Infact, the five page booklet opens by giving full credit to the Manx Government for leading by example where applicable recognised Labour Conventions are concerned. It claims, however, that many employers in the private sector have not taken up the example and, in the absence of supporting legislation, see no reason to do so.
The lack of any wage negotiation procedure in these instances is identified as a major problem, with employees relying on arbitrary wage settlements made by managers who may often see wage increases as being in direct conflict with their own interests. Consequently, the case for Free Collective Bargaining is put forward.
The paper identifies conflict as being counter productive for a11 concerned and contrary to the objectives of Trade Unions, yet in the absence of an environment where civilized negotiation is encouraged, it remains the only recourse available in many instances.
Manx Discriminated Against - By Law!
The work permit regulations, whose supposed purpose were to protect the Manx workforce, is forcing them into menial jobs on poverty wages. Mr. Walker steadfastly refuses to introduce so much as minimum pay guidelines, let alone statutes.
Any Manx person unfortunate enough to find themselves an the dole must apply to jobs forwarded to them or forfeit their claim. The work permit board, for its part in the matter, will not now issue work permits far menial jabs. The result is that employers are forced to offer these low paid jabs to the unemployed Manx people only, who must accept them or lose benefit.
Immigrant workers have no such worries. The work-permit board has the authority, which it does exercise, to require employers to pay a minimum wage to workers on permits. Consequently, they can continue to draw the dole until a suitable job arises, without losing benefit.
Finance Sector employers make sure that they don't employ too many Manx people in the better paying jobs by attaching very specific requirements to their jab advertisements. Far example, a computer operator's job may stipulate that applicants have experience of Lotus 123. This is rather like advertising far a van driver and saying that applicants must have specific experience of Mercedes 305s. This allows them to bring in the people they want, without being troubled with work permit problems.
The whole situation stinks. and Mr Walker's stance on minimum wages makes him an accomplice to it.
The Things That They Say .....
Here are a few classic lines to remember for anyone who thinks that Mec Vannin is unduly cynical.
The recession won't really
- Miles Walker and Donald Gelling
And questions whose answers we seem to have missed -
What was the outcome of the
ODDS AND SODS
Mec Vannin is holding meetings to make a submission on 'A Time Far Change' (local authorities) and to conduct a policy review. All members should have received details by now, but if you haven't, please contact our Secretary, Illiam Costain. Both these topics are very important, and all members should make an effort to make input to them. The Illiam Dhone Commemoration continues to grow in popularity, and this year's event enjoyed the added publicity that surrounded Mr Tony Brown M.H.K.'s call for official recognition of Illiam Dhone. What a shame Mr. Brown never made it to the ceremony itself, however.
'Yn Pabyr Seyr' is gaining an international reputation, with several requests for copies having came in from the U.K. and Continent. We are happy to respond but would appreciate a suitable donation to cover postage costs.
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