• January 5, 2016


“With the economy still growing, unemployment low, our international reputation heightened and public finances on track to be rebalanced, the island is in a better position than Allan Bell envisaged when he first became Chief Minister.”
So it all seems fine then our growing economy must have made us better of. Yet most people you meet say they are or feel worse of!

Our public finances are so healthy that the government have decided to draw £50 million out of reserves to stimulate growth. Why if the economy is ‘still growing’ are we taking this foolish step? It seems senseless to give money away (remember a percentage as high 30% could be lost). It seems illogical – and it is!

Despite the opening lines of the IOM Today news interview you soon get the message that as before there are going to be winners and losers over the next year and last few months of this governments.

The Chief Ministers says at the conclusion of the item:

“If we take the foot off the pedal of change the problems faced by the next few administrations will be considerably worse,”

You will be familiar with that ‘foot’. Metaphorically speaking it’s the one the Manx government has had on your throat for the past four years.

Despite what Allan says about the pedal of change he’s increasingly pedalling an argument that few find credible. One minute it speaks of great progress and than within a few para’s the gloom is back.

There is also the oft repeated mantra that it’s us the great unwashed who don’t get it we’re are out of step we don’t see the bigger picture like this quote:

‘We’ve made good progress and achieved a lot in the last four years. But maybe that has not always been recognised.’

The article goes on to say:

 “He admitted it was demoralising to hear comments about this being the ‘worst ever government’ – a criticism that appears to have been levelled at every previous administration.”

You see it’s us we don’t recognise ‘the progress’ made his ‘foot’ is on the pedal our ‘foot’ is out of step.

But he’s wrong people do say this is the ‘worst ever government’ and this is not something that was levelled at all administrations prior to this. However a more telling indicator of the criticism is that it now comes from virtually every area of society whereas in the past government criticism was more sector distinct.

The CM talks about the positive things he wants to finally achieve in this term like introducing the Discrimination Act, and the launch of the island’s first mental health strategy and the introduction of Sex Marriage legislation and the Equality Bill.

They are all laudable objectives that few would disagree with. However for most people the most important things are the basic such as reasonable income, ability to meet energy costs, just generally getting by without further crippling state levies, charges and taxes.

People want control of monopolies like Manx Gas and Telecoms and a functioning infrastructure I mean this government can’t even keep the drains clear these days!

It’s all well and good to talk about keeping your ‘foot’ on the pedal but increasingly the public don’t have any confidence in the driver whose foot it is. That’s not personal to the CM it probably also applies to his increasingly dysfunctional Council of Ministers.


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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