Tynwald: Theatre of Absurdity or Just a Good Day Out


Tynwald Day the Manx National celebration consisting of an open air sitting of the Manx `parliament’ at the ancient Tynwald site at St Johns passed of on Friday without incident.

The daubing of slogans at Government House in the weeks prior to the Tynwald had led police to enhance security measures around the Hill but in the event the day which seemed to draw numbers slightly down (a continuing trend) on previous years was uneventful (see link):


A few Nationalist voices were allowed air time in the media to balance out the `loyal’ coverage of the event which was most markedly sycophantic on the quasi-government radio station, Manx Radio (MR).

MR famously likened by its own Chairman, David North, to `Radio Syria’ seems determined to live up to his nickname for the station.

Some rumours have circulated that the police presence at the Hill was augmented by outside officers but this seems unlikely, such a presence is generally only warranted when royalty is present. In any case the IOM constabulary, via their media mouthpiece, are not shy these days about broadcasting such things and they have been curiously quiet.

To a certain extent Tynwald Day seems to suffer of late because of the constitutional split personality of the Manx government.

Previously the official part of the day was a purely colonial occasion, over with fairly quickly enabling the local populace to give the event its true meaning as a social gathering.

However as the Manx government has inched towards greater self determination with the Lt Governor role stripped politically the requirement to turn up once a year to sit `beneath him’ is bizarre. In addition the military presence, again a hang on from colonial times adds to the theatre of absurdity that the day has become!

Media links here;



J B Moffatt (Mr)
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