• March 22, 2016


This weeks my personal OUTSIDE LEFT column in the Manx Independent entitled THE AGE OF STUPID looks at some of the zany things that government spin to us and pretend are normal and rational. The sad thing is they even believe it themselves.

This government has the most minimal grip on reality that I can recall in any Manx administration.

The column also attracts the regular ‘fan following’ of comments including one so far from an individual who, going by their wittering, isn’t living on an Island where there’s fuel poverty and a food bank!


The ‘Age of Stupid’ is a film about a man living in a devastated world who looks back and contemplates why nothing was done to stop the rot.

You could well ask whether in fact we live in the ‘Age of Stupid’ now but on a more base level because of the contempt with which government treats the public and the stupid things that go on around us and which are portrayed as normal.

The issue that triggered this thought for me was an old chestnut which invariably irritates me the Lt Governor. I heard that some people in Castletown were apparently upset because he won’t be sworn in there in the old Castle Court Room. Personally I couldn’t care if he was sworn in on the Chickens Rock. Anyway ‘the burghers’ of Castletown get a consolation prize because theirs is the first place he will visit. How stupid is that?

Then there’s the Chief Minister on the radio all the time with Manx Radio steadfastly ignoring the fact that everybody thinks this appears to be an almost daily government propaganda slot. It gets so bad that Eddie Teare had to remark in Tynwald recently that Manx Radio is not a ‘government mouthpiece’. How stupid is that?

Then Allan Bell says that Brexit is really important. Indeed it could be a ‘game changer’ for the Isle of Man and we need to be prepared and make sure we have contacts in Westminster at the highest level. Then he goes of to meet three MPs who scarcely rate the third division let alone the first. How stupid is that?

Eddie Teare blandly stands in the House of Keys and denies that disability assessments being undertaken on a piece-work basis by the bizarrely named Dependability are about saving money. Despite a barrage of questions he maintains the stance but then says well actually we’ll tot it up the savings when the job is done. How stupid is that?

The police Road Traffic Unit launch an ‘offensive’ against motorists. Yes you heard that right! I know this is the Isle of Man not Helmand Province, Afghanistan, but that was the word used. Shortly after they change tack and say ‘send us your ideas of priorities’ via Facebook. How stupid is that?

No one cares about elections least of all local government ones because most vacancies are filled without contest. With politicians and politics enjoying about as much popularity as swamp fever Phillip Gawne sets out to energise the process urging us to ‘help shape’ our communities. This at a time when House of Keys elections invariably return governments that seem bent on destroying our communities. How stupid is that?

Laurence Skelly tells us that giving away £50 million pound of our money, about a third of which might just as well be burned, is going to save the economy. How stupid is that?

We have a parliament the upper tier of which is not elected by popular mandate indeed it might be suggested that some of them have jumped into the ‘Legco lifeboat’ because they’re unelectable. There has been promise after political promise to reform this to no avail. How stupid is that?

We move a mountain of contaminated sludge from Peel two miles inland and now we don’t know what to do with it. How stupid is that?

We have a President of Tynwald that is not elected by the people and a Chief Minister elected by his peers and yet we call ourselves a democracy. How stupid is that?

We have some of the highest gas prices in Europe. The OFT say they’ve struck a good deal with Manx Gas – but a government fuel poverty report says all is not well! How stupid is that?

We are an island of just over 80,000 people and yet our judiciary are some of the best paid in the world. How stupid is that?

We are a tax haven that constantly denies being a tax haven. How stupid is that?

We have a newspaper that engages a ‘washed-up’ Trade Unionist as a columnist. Now that is stupid!”



Issued by: The Mannin Branch 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:


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