The recent announcement on the Manx government website of a ‘working group’ chaired by the Education Minister, Anne ‘parson’s pal’ Craine, to ‘develop and enhance children and young people’s facilities within the community’ (see http://www.gov.im/lib/news/cso/newinitiativeonf.xml) is bad news for several reasons.
Bad news firstly because it is under Craine’s regime that evangelicals have been allowed to use schools for depraved gatherings on Sundays – for which several sources suggest they don’t even pay.
Bad news because when it says they will consult churches, in practice it is even worse. There are only three churches likely to be on this bandwagon, and none of them are places where your child would be safe.
The last time one of them ran such a project it was closed, as far as I can tell finally because nearby residents objected regularly to the police about the number of kids sitting outside, purely because it was a handy meeting place (although the church tried to claim them as ‘members’ in funding bids). However, even before that there was the matter of a cleric, finally imprisoned for offences involving an underage girl, but before that families of others were ‘advised’ against alleging that he’d known them biblically on youth club nights .
Then there was the curious affair of the vanishing sound system. Originally this was highly publicised as an example of the kind of misguided youth the project dealt with, only for investigations to stop when another suspect to emerge was a volunteer who, on closer analysis, had never quite severed past links with loyalist thugs.
The last time another of them planned such a project, back in the early 1980’s, it didn’t even open! That didn’t prevent a six-figure legacy being spent and a building meant to entice kids away from strong drink being sold to a brewery and turned into a nightclub.
Then there is the more recent planning application by Southern rednecks to turn a former country pub in the middle of nowhere into a ‘youth social centre’. I’ve speculated on that before (see Youth facility? Don't bet on it!).
It also worries me that at least two local developers have stooges on the management committees of these churches, curiously always well briefed enough to guide the churches towards likely public funds at times when the sale of property they own would secure said developers key spots for future developments.
There used to be a TV advert which asked ‘Do you know where your kids are tonight?’
I tell you bluntly, if yours are ever at a ‘youth facility’ run by these chancers you need to be very worried, for their physical safety and their sanity.
3 years ago