An Assembly That Means Business Doesn’t Have Wigs!

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

I don’t think many people would disagree when I say Scotland has a proud history and tradition every bit as rich as our own.

The Isle of Man was joined to the Kingdom of Scotland for a time and the linkage extended much longer when we were part of the Kingdom of Man and the Isles.

I also think anyone who knows any Scottish people would say that their pride in their country and traditions is every bit as passionate as ours.

It is strange then that when thankfully after almost 300 years they chose to establish a parliament that was practical, functional and businesslike. Even the shape of the chamber speaks to it being an inclusive forum. They eschewed wigs and some of the other paraphernalia of Westminster and most of the arcane mumbo-jumbo that goes with it.

Paradoxically over the past 150 years the Tynwald the Manx parliament has not evolved at all if anything they cling to the outdated and outmoded like a child clings to its ‘comforter’. They want to be different they want to be mysterious they want to be remote. They don’t so much want to serve as continue a pantomime that began a century ago.

Now I will probably infuriate the architectural purists amongst you but quite frankly I wouldn’t care if ‘the wedding cake’ fell down tomorrow. My main concern would be they would rebuild it and the Tynwald chamber behind in its previous image.

When you see the Scottish parliament in action and compare it to Westminister (for reasons of scale it’s a better comparator than Tynwald) you will see what I mean.

One means business and speaks to modern needs and desires the other is arcane and really just a club for the privileged.

Of course it’s important to retain and have pride in your traditions and indeed celebrate them but the business of government in a modern world is not served by maintaining a charade conceived in Victorian England.

They should scrap the ‘Hons’ and ‘RT hons’ (no one outside of Tynwald thinks they are ‘honourable’), burn the wigs and robes (or better still take them to MNH where they belong).

They should hang on to the Sword of State if only to remind us that if we don’t evolve and realise that the world out there has moved on we’ll end up in a ‘state’!

Photograph: Scottish Parliament chamber

BERNARD MOFFATT

Issued by: The Celtic News

16/01/16

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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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Mannin Branch Celtic League's photo.
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