• February 17, 2016


‘I will make a confident prediction. In ten years time there will be more chance of finding life on Mars than in local authorities!’

Former wannabee ‘Cameronian Thatcherite’, now born again offshore colonialist politician, Geoffrey Boot knows what’s good for other people with political ambition.

Boot whose first sortie in the Keys was ‘the great Foxdale plant pot saga’ is showing he’s not a ‘plant’ when it comes to deciding who and who not should get a turn at the political money box.

Waxing lyrical on the increasingly ‘waxworks’ like Sunday Opinion/Mannin Line Boot advanced that the answer to the dearth of Local Authority candidates is not to pay people (err…like Geoffrey gets paid) but encourage people to stand and tell them there are rewards for standing.

For once perhaps me and Geoff are on the same page perhaps the way we will get some additional quality in the Keys is not to pay people so much and certainly not encourage them to discard their principles for the additional percentages they get for becoming ‘bag-men’ for Ministers.

Perhaps as an example to local authorities Geoff should introduce a motion to reduce MHK/MLCs pay. Perhaps not it would go down like a lead balloon it did last time it had an airing.

I seem to recall Bill Henderson MLC who is currently adopting a ‘slash and burn’ policy to benefits in his incarnation as Treasury Minister Teare’s ‘bag-man’ some years ago seemed to almost have kittens at the thought of a cut in his own ‘benefits’.

Reacting to a suggestion from Phil Gawne that members should take a lead and cut their pay he accused Gawne of ‘grandstanding’ and ‘slurring’ MHKs who he claimed offered ‘value for money’ and could not afford to take such a pay cut.

Henderson said:

‘This is grossly unfair. I’m astonished with Mr Gawne’s behaviour. It’s grandstanding on public opinion. It’s a slur on Tynwald members by giving the impression that we are all on the take.

‘MHKs have already been doing their bit. I’m working flat out in the DHSS to try to make efficiency savings.’

What we didn’t realise was what Bill meant was the savings were to come from the most vulnerable in society.

Anyway back to Boot and his pontificating he may well be right that it’s a non runner to pay local authority politicians and indeed some will (and do) believe that the rewards of public service are enough in themselves. I certainly do not decry those who currently fill such posts – contested elections or not!

However I feel as more and more people contemplate the sleazy world of Tynwald politics with the hand of the business community in the shape of the ‘Chamber of Conmen’ up Ministers backs ‘working the controls’ the attractions of selfless devotion to your community will erode.

Indeed I will make a confident prediction. In ten years time there will be more chance of finding political life on Mars than in local authorities!

Photo: Glenfaba Martian Das Boot – in another life.


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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