NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
It seems at the moment the Manx government and politicians believe there is some mileage in sucking up to UK political parties. However Manx politicians once had a bit more spine – read on:
Our colleagues over on the Mec Vannin Facebook pages are carrying a brief piece on ‘Tory Boy’, Geoffrey Boot’s, utterances about getting up close and personal with his erstwhile chums in the UK Conservative Party. A link to the item is here;
The article touches on the strategic position of other colonies and speculates that unlike Mann they probably do not pay for Defence.
It reminded me of the meetings in the late 1960s between the UK and the Isle of Man when constitutional arrangements were in flux and the UK very much wanted to ‘shake-down; the Manx people for more money not least for Defence.
The five strong Manx delegation were led by Speaker of the House of Keys, Charles Kerruish (later Sir Charles), and J B Bolton. Neither man was well regarded by nationalists certainly in later years but they did have honed negotiating skills, let’s say you wouldn’t have wanted to find yourself in a darkened room with them!
Unlike recent Government forays down to Whitehall where the Manx government have ‘rolled over’ in the face of UK threats (most recently on VAT). However Bolton and Kerruish made it clear that ‘strong arming the Manx government on Defence payments and access would not work.
Here is their rebuttal to the UK argument which is taken from the:
‘REPORT OF THE JOINT WORKING PARTY ON THE CONSITUTIONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ISLE OF MAN AND THE UNITED KINGDOM’ (Page 130)
“a) Is it proposed to consult the Isle of Man Government on the level of Defence Expenditure?
b) Is it suggested that it is necessary to defend the Isle of Man for its own sake or for the security of the United Kingdom?
c) Is it possible that if the Island were not in such close proximity to the United Kingdom and lay perhaps 2000 miles away it might well be considered expendable?
d) If the United Kingdom were unwilling to continue to defend the Isle of Man , is it not conceivable that another member of the N.A.T.O. alliance might be willing to undertake that defence in return for the opportunity (which the United Kingdom now has) of using the Island as a base? Alternatively, might not an independent Isle of Man declare itself permanently neutral and might not either of these events be of greater concern to the United Kingdom than of consequence to the Manx people?”
Bear in mind at the time the United Kingdom wanted to increase the payment (or levy on the Island) for Defence by over ten times the level at the time. They didn’t succeed.
Perhaps next time the UK decide they may wish to ‘put the arm’ on the island Allan Bell, the current Chief Minister, and Eddie Teare his Treasury lieutenant should take a leaf out of the Kerruish/Bolton book and consider giving Putin a call!
Issued by: The Celtic News
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