Mann: Tynwald Committees What Have They Ever Achieved?


It is back to the inanities that pass for normal business in Tynwald – the Manx parliament.

A press release from the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office reveals that next week:

“The Social Affairs Policy Review Committee, a Standing Committee of Tynwald, will be taking oral evidence next week from Minister for Education and Children, Hon Tim Crookall MLC. The Chief Executive of the Department, Professor Ronald Barr, will also participate. This will be a general oral evidence session covering a range of topics.”

Minister Crookall safe in the knowledge that he has outwitted his electorate by dodging into Legco (Legislative Council) before the next election and still hanging on to his Ministerial seat will no doubt settle back and let his CEO carry the load when this earth shattering engagement takes place.

But what exactly is ‘oral evidence..covering a range of topics’ well its double-speak for pretend politics.

It would be an interesting academic exercise to look back over the past decade and try and establish just exactly what ‘Standing Committees of Tynwald’ have achieved. I would wager the answer would be very little.

The outdated (almost archaic) Tynwald system is best epitomised by the shortcomings of these Tynwald quangos. They sit, pontificate and achieve nothing. There engagement with the public is virtually non-existent. For example you would think in a ‘country’ of our geographic limitations a ‘Social affairs Policy Review Committee’ would get out ‘on the stump’ and talk with the public about their concerns re social issues.

Instead these sententious bodies meet with their pretentious colleagues plus the occasional CEO or Officer to bring some brains to the proceedings.

Occasionally such committees do invite public input but strictly on their terms and within their constraints – in effect it’s not really wanted.

The media meanwhile report on these events as if they are newsworthy. They never really question – to lazy, inept or indifferent – take your pick!


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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