I know yesterday was April Fools Day, but some of the joke items on the Manx government news were pushing it.
Take the press release (see http://www.gov.im/lib/news/cso/seminarboostsreg.xml ) on a ‘regeneration seminar’ which was, so we’re told, “organised to support the work being undertaken to enhance Island communities and stimulate fresh economic growth.”
I particularly enjoyed:
“Andrew Davison of English Heritage and Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage, shared their thoughts on heritage-led regeneration, while members of the Douglas and Ramsey Regeneration Committees delivered an overview of the projects they are currently progressing.”
Douglas Regeneration Committee – that would be the gang of self-interested developers desperately trying to stop Tesco expanding and, in the process, providing goods at prices comparable to the UK, as opposed to an automatic 25% mark-up and a lemon-sucking yokel telling you to take it or leave it (in the rare instance that they even had it in the first place). Ramsey Regeneration Committee - that’s half a dozen well meaning evangelicals with brooms and black plastic bags, and much as I like one or two of them as people that really should be a Degeneration Committee, as all we’ll have left soon is a collapsing pier with the ruins of a town attached if they don’t stop nostalgia tripping.
And as for Manx Heritage….. this would be the government quango which blocked an efficient traffic scheme in Peel (once the island’s most self-sufficient and friendly traditional community) in order to deliver punters direct to their overpriced heritage attraction, which nobody went to and which didn’t even employ locals. This would be the government quango now trying to pass off that total destruction of a town as an excuse to further publically subsidise the main ghetto of a dying (but still over-privileged) Christian denomination.
Peel, these days, is such a dump that, compared to the squabbling, evangelical flat-earthers, even the drug dealers seem like paragons of virtue who only want to run an honest business (see, for example http://www.energyfm.net/cms/news_story_97250.html ).
Then there’s the equally hysterical report which claims our feckless SS oberfuhrers impressed a British-Irish Council meeting with their tales of Third Sector enterprise (see
http://www.gov.im/lib/news/dhss/manxministerrepr.xml if you dare, and collapse laughing).
In a depression, how can the Manx public pay a buffoon close to £150K per year to spout crap like:
“The Isle of Man found the turning point in the value of the joint work across BIC members was when jurisdictions showed not only their “flagship” projects but also those where participants were struggling to find solutions and sought experience and advice of international colleagues.
For example, when the Isle of Man facilitated a study visit focussing on partnership within the Third Sector and with Government, it led to a multi analysis of the critical factors required to develop such partnerships effectively and successfully. As well as gaining valuable lessons for the island’s benefit, it has been interesting to see the impression of the island from the large adjacent countries change as they have gained ideas from the innovations and partnership relationships we have developed with the Third Sector here. This is reflected in having more than our fair share, relative to our size, selected as good examples in the report.”
It’s also worrying that the junior political incompetent present says:
“We learnt (particularly from Scotland) of the potential of Third Sector organisation in business development, job and wealth creation and the expansion of enterprise. This has helped us adopt a more entrepreneurial approach to the development of commercial aspects of Third Sector Organisations and will help us to focus on supporting social enterprises.”
For those who don’t follow Garry Otton’s excellent Scottish Media Monitor (see links on right), it may be of interest to know that a few months back he dug up numerous cases of Scottish churches fiddling public grants, charity exemptions and misuse of planning permission. For example, letting out a development of luxury flats at humungous rents to wealthy young business types, but maintaining that the project (heavily subsidised through grants) was actually a charity providing reserved housing for church workers and not a business.
This even before we get to the increasingly obvious problems of the Scottish government cost-cutting by hiving off social work (youth, education, housing, foster care, etc. etc.) to homophobic, racist and sexist bigots, who then maintain they can’t act with the basic humanity expected of proper public servants because their invisible and imaginary friend wouldn’t like it.
The Isle of Man is fast turning into a community where things happen that would even embarrass Ugandans, so I have to suggest it is a mistake to further emulate Scottish policies born from a century of sectarian mistakes.
2 years ago