• August 11, 2019

News from Mannin Branch Celtic League:

I don’t often do foreign news unless it has a Manx link but of course the situation in Yemen does because despite what common sense and common decency should dictate the Manx government still allows the RAF to utilise facilities here that by the British Ministry of Defences own admission are used to train Saudi pilots and their Gulf partners utilising an agreement at RAF Valley.

The Saudi ‘coalition’, as its called, is waging a vicious air campaign against the Houthi government in North Yemen. It’s a bit one sided as air wars go because the Houthis do not have an air force so they just get bombed. Thousands of men women and children have been killed and injured. However the Manx government look the other way because they say they have a defence obligation to the United Kingdom.

Try as I can I can’t find anything in the constitutional arrangement between the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom that says we have to participate in the slaughter of fellow human beings.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle, who my colleague the Mann Branch Secretary (Allen Moore) accused to his face of having blood on his hands, of course sees it differently. The Manx Chief Minister seems to think in acquiescing to the UK the Isle of Man is on the right side of the argument over this ‘far away place of which we know little’ (as Neville Chamberlain another arch appeaser would have put it).

In light of all this I found it more than a tad ironic that today I learned (BBC News) that the coalition has turned on itself and indeed now the Saudis and there ‘chums’ are not just bombing the Houthi government in the North but also erstwhile allies who have occupied Aden in the South. What was a tragic conflict is turning into a nightmare and of course Mann in its small way helped (helps) that process by assisting in the training of aircrew using the air weapons training program admitted by the RAF at Valley on Anglesey.

You really couldn’t make it up the Manx government is inept at home and even issues its inadvertently involved in overseas turn into disasters.

So far only one MHK (Claire Bettison) has had the humanity to query the arrangements that embroil without endorsement of Tynwald the Isle of Mans involvement in questionable training of foreign military aircrew..

Image: Ronaldsway (IOM) airport – inset RAF Valley on Anglesey

Bernard Moffatt (Submitted 11/08/2019)


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