• December 20, 2015


Both the Isle of Man and Ireland have something in common. They both have a presidency, however straight away the two concepts of the Office start to digress.

Ireland has a popularly elected President, Michael D Higgins.

Physically he’s a small bookish looking character and although he comes from a political background, originally as a student a member of Fianna Fail, he eventually switched to the Labour Party and after several attempts was elected a TD. He wasn’t particularly a major player although he did a stint as Minister for Arts Culture and the Gaeltacht.

Eventually he was elected President of Ireland with over I million votes the largest mandate ever given to an Irish President.

Michael D (as he is affectionately) known moved into Áras an Uachtaráin (the Presidents residency in Dublin but if anyone thought this small bookish individual would settle quietly and without controversy into a round of ceremonial duties they were soon disavowed.

Michael D speaks out on everything, poverty, homelessness, education in fact it would be easier probably to list what he has not been outspoken on than what he has. Most importantly he does not mind if needs be getting right up the nose of the governing Party.

When elected he said;

“I will be a President for all the people, whether they voted for me or not, whether they are young or old and particularly for the Irish abroad. I’m looking forward to it and I think it will be exciting and wonderful.”

So far he’s lived up to that and exceeded it!

Now in Mann things are slightly (to put it mildly) different.

We have a President (of Tynwald) but it’s a sort of ‘non job’ in terms of being representative of the people. Neither constitutionally is the job ‘top of the tier’ because due to the Islands colonial status we still have a Lt Governor. Now I know they say his role is purely ceremonial but tell that to the last Chief Minister to be shown the door!

So our President is of to a bad start from the beginning. Second fiddle to the Lt Governor neither is she a popular choice of the people. Indeed the last time the people had a vote on her political future when she was MHK for Ayre they ‘turfed her out’ in fact that election had one of the largest turnouts so you could say the electorate turned out to throw her out!

Christian however comes from a political dynasty (the Kerruish’s) and before you could say ‘Legislative Council’ there she was back in Tynwald,

Eventually, when Noel Cringle the former President hung up his wig Claire was ‘the politician’s choice’ and assumed Office – around about the same time as Michael D (2011).

Now you will see I said ‘the politicians choice’ because whereas Michael D is the people’s choice Claire is the establishment choice so there’s no rocking the boat as far as she’s concerned. Indeed quite the opposite when called upon to steady the boat she obliges, as with the controversial question time decision last week.

There’s no chance either of Claire speaking out on homelessness, poverty or any of the other social ills that blight our Island. Her role is solely dedicated to maintaining the established order and in that regard the concerns of the ‘hoi polloi’ do not figure.

So there you have it – two Presidents.

Michael D Higgins ‘a President for all the people’

Claire Christian………………………………….?

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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