Rousing Political Message Or Empty Rhetoric?

NEWS FROM THE MANNIN BRANCH CELTIC LEAGUE

Become a local councillor and ‘help shape your community’ that’s the message from DOI, its Minister and junior member responsible for Local Authorities (LA). Cynics might say yes, and then become a member of Tynwald and ‘destroy your local community’.

I’ve no axe to grind with Messrs Gawne and Thomas they are simply dishing out the message expected (here’s a link):

https://www.isleofman.com/…/…/77136/help-shape-your-community

However I don’t detect any renewed appetite for the Manx political scene especially after the manner in which this government is seeing out its dying days.

Just in to the New Year (6th January) I wrote:

“Envelopes are dropping through Manx letter boxes from the Electoral Registration Unit chasing people up to ensure that they are correctly registered ahead of local authority and House of Keys elections later this year.

The first test is the local authority (LA) contests in the spring but the chances are, going on recent performance, competition for seats will hardly be fierce and electoral turn out will not break records either.

Government are desperate to talk up the importance of voting but certainly in respect of the LAs even some the existing members are asserting they have no real power and Central Government does not listen.

When it comes to the General Election the current administration will have a job persuading the punters to turn out en masse given current feelings towards Manx politics and politicians generally.

The Chief Minister insists that talk of this being ‘the most unpopular administration ever’ is hyperbole and ‘that assertion is made about every administration’. All I can say is he needs to get out more as the antipathy towards politicians and government is more general whereas in the past it may have been focused from one section of society on particular personalities in an administration.

Between now and September the government will work hard to persuade people to vote it knows if the percentage of those eligible to vote across the Island falls below 50% then its democratic mandate is dodgy to say the least. Lets not forget that last time the turn out was hardly startling 34,000 punters out of approximately 60,000 eligible to vote hardly sounds like a ringing democratic endorsement.

The remaining MHKs (including the new boys) also have the legacy of those who departed in the Legco lifeboats to contend with.

The rather undignified manner in which sitting members just months from the election scrambled and fought to get through the door of Legislative Council has simply reinforced to voters the perception that the politics of Mann are based on ‘self’ service rather than ‘public’ service.

However I suppose that the biggest impediment for government is to in the last 9 months of a parliament, to tell the voters that ‘they matter’ and that ‘they can make a difference’ when they have spent the last four years totally ignoring public views.”

I still hold to that view. Government in the run up to the April and September elections will tell you that you and your views matter. But immediately a new local and central government is in place your views will count for nothing and your views will be ignored once again!

Of course to decry the opportunity to exercise your right to vote in either the local authority or House of Keys sham attracts opprobrium from the moral inquisition.

‘People fought so you would have the right to choose your government’ we are told. But what point is there in propping up a busted system via participation in this periodic sham democracy where the local authorities have no real power and a portion of the Tynwald including its President are unelected apparatchiks!

BERNARD MOFFATT

Issued by: The Mannin Branch Celtic League

08/03/16

THE CELTIC LEAGUE

The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries including our own Mannin branch. 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

The link for the main web pages is below:

https://celticleague.net

Mannin Branch Celtic League's photo.
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