• February 7, 2016


There is no getting away from it! Phillip Gawne certainly lobbed a giant stone into the COMIN pool and the ripples are still cascading outwards.

The Chief Minister was on Manx Radio today (where else) waxing indignant once again and also being allowed to project a slightly nuanced protestation that Phil Gawne has never raised the independence issue ‘in the Council of Ministers’.

That maybe so but as I indicated in the post yesterday Gawne had expressed quite forceful reservations about the relationship with the UK only three years ago. Not only was Bell’s office aware of this but it rebutted them only to have the Chief Minister himself stressing his bona fides as a nationalist (small n) some months later.

Let’s cut to the quick here, Both Allan Bell and Phillip Gawne come from separate though related eras in nationalism where militancy was the vogue. It seems Allan’s is so long ago distant he chooses to forget while Phillip Gawne’s is more recent so perhaps his powers of retentive memory of principles are sharper.

It seems this could get messy especially as Allan Bell now has as much disdain apparently for the I word (Independence) as he had last week about the H word (Haven).

In the interview I watched with Phillip Gawne and Moulton he wasn’t exactly suggesting we get the pikes down from the loft and sharpen them or suspend the Heysham ferry. He simply said that previous administrations and evolved the autonomy of the Island and that should go on and also suggested people with differing views who have the same ultimate agenda could cooperate. The paradox is that the Chief Minister would not hold the powers he does if there had not been that steady evolution of autonomy.

Also going back to that statement by Phillip Gawne three years ago he said:

“”Our closest neighbours have shown that when the chips are down we cannot rely on their support. It could be reasonably argued that the UK has demonstrated clear ambivalence if not outright hostility to our nation”.

He’s absolutely spot on and there’s no more recent example of this than the UK decision to consider Brexit without any thought for Mann or the other Dependencies.

To be blunt why should the UK not put its own interests first – any self respecting country does. In a nutshell that is what Gawne has said our government should put the Island’s interest and the interests of the Manx people first. If Allan Bell has a problem with that it is not Gawne that is the issue its Bell’s role as Chief Minister!


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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