It is a sad indictment of the Manx National (Tynwald) Day that many people on the Island (if a recent poll is anything to go by) seem to see its main significance as a day off!
The poll in the Isle of Man Examiner posed a series of questions about attitudes to Tynwald and a staggering 74% said that `having the day off to stay at home’ was what they enjoyed best. Only 10% cited the Tynwald ceremonial as a draw and even the social events around Tynwald Hill polled low with just 6%.
These polls of course are unscientific. However in the past they have been reasonably accurate in reflecting public moods and attitudes.
Not surprisingly both the establishment and media on the Island have failed to comment on the poll report because the `accepted wisdom’ on the Isle of Man is that the local population are enthralled by the neo-colonial pageant complete with military accoutrements including marching bands.
It is clear nationalist suggestions that over the years the changes, including greater control and choreography of the Tynwald ceremony, have traduced its significance may be more accurate than their detractors believe.
Perhaps the Tynwald arrangements committee will have to go back to the drawing board and the Manx media will have to be less gullible!
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information