Sunday, 30 May 2010

No rights, just fairytales, colonialism and tourism scams

I raised an ironic eyebrow the other day at the news that Manx National Heritage is seeking UN World Heritage Status for Tynwald Hill and the Laxey Wheel. You can find the orginal government press release (later creatively ‘reinterpreted’ by journalists) at
Other than noting some obvious myths (e.g. Laxey Wheel wasn’t a tourist attraction until the 1930’s – I know this as in 1989 I interviewed the local builder who bought and restored the wreck – and the myth of Tynwald Hill as a place where annual national gatherings have been held since the dawn of time only dates from the early 19th century. Various Edwardian histories of the island say a local landowner was quite impressed by Stonhenge, and redesigned what is now the walk from hill to St. John’s church in an attempt to replicate it), it all seemed a bit too sad to comment on.
Which is why I didn’t.
Even if I had, what is there to say apart from suggesting it would be more apt to twin Tynwald Hill with Culloden? Both are the site of national disasters where English colonialism trampled over Celtic dreams of nationhood.
The difference is, Culloden only happened once, while Tynwald Day replays the tragedy annually, complete with our ‘elected leaders’ fawning hopelessly around whichever drain on public resources the English monarchy deigns to send us. Even the fair field behind the ceremony – where by tradition all Manx people have the right to put up a stall – is only open to selected charities, as decided by application to a minion in the Chief Secretary’s office.
So it was a relief to see that at least Bernie Moffatt, our longest established thorn in the side of anti-democrats, militarists, royalist apologists and other Manx lowlife, was willing to point out some hypocrisy.
At you can find Moffie, in his role as information officer for the Celtic League, noting that the IOM Government’s ‘commitment’ to childrens rights is still as hollow as, say, the day a double murder happened in a badly run governmental secure unit for disturbed kids, or even the days when, for example, Moffie told European prison inspectors about kids being locked up in adult cells in the old Victoria Road jail, then also the last prison in the British Isles where prisoners slopped out.
When Moffie, more recently, pressed our misrulers over recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (calling for the involvement of NGOs in the reporting process), the Chief Secretary, Mary Williams, said in her written reply: “Notwithstanding the comments from the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2000, the Isle of Man Government does not consider that it is necessary to establish specific conduits of communication with NGOs for human rights reporting.”
Wary Mary also added that: “Whilst countries to which UN conventions, such as the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC), apply are obliged under international law to comply with the provisions of the convention, it is not uncommon for those countries to dispute or disagree with the comments from the Committee which monitors the convention.”
In other words, disregard all the horlicks you’ve read about the Education Department and their dimwit spookchasing allies trying hard to introduce policies and legislation to ‘protect’ children. The simple truth is, the Manx government will never introduce any safeguards for kids which meet basic UN Declaration of Human Rights standards.
Because the religious zealots guiding them would be the worst offenders against such legislation, and they know it.

Of bigotry and fairy tales on the rates

Apparently the street preacher arrested for telling a gay copper that homosexuality is a sin is now suing both the officer and his chief constable for “unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and unlawful interference with his right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.”
To briefly summarise for those who didn’t read of the case (possibly they don’t regard the Daily Mail as a newspaper either), Dale Mcalpine was ‘witnessing’ in a Cumbrian street, and, to be fair, whatever else he railed about in his sermon it wasn’t homosexuality.
That came up when a couple of Police Community Support Officers tried to move him on. One happened to mention he was gay (perhaps as an example of the kind of folk who might take offence) and Mcalpine seems to have told him that was a sin. At which point he got his collar felt.
But the funniest thing about the original case is that the charge against Mcalpine wasn’t dropped because of outpourings of bile from Mail readers, or splenetic columnists like Malignant Phillips, or even homophobic professional godbotherers (though they, of course, still pretend they were influential). They were dropped when Peter Tatchell said that, on principle, if Mcalpine went to court he’d turn up and be a witness for the defence. Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, also weighed in, tongue-in-cheek, saying: "This was a ridiculously over-the-top reaction to someone exercising their right to freedom of speech. Mr Mcalpine has as much right to criticise homosexuals as I should have to call him a crank."
It won’t surprise anybody that the hypocrites underwriting this under the pretence of defending freedom of speech (see ) are the same godbothering, over-sensitive whingebags who get art exhibitions closed for having piccies that question their muppetry, or mount campaigns to stop Anne Summers shops nationwide wishing us a horny Christmas.
It wouldn’t, either, surprise Manx people who’ve noticed how many superstitiously challenged bigots hang out at the Department of Home Affairs that when some of our nastiest Christians then started skulking around the local Anne Summers shop, giving staff and customers ugly looks while muttering under their breath, the police did not act. Funny that, because if all else fails a section of the Mental Health Act allows a police officer to remove lunatics to a temporary place of safety if they judge either the lunatic or the public are in danger.
But there’s a more positive way to look at this too. Once upon a time this Cumbrian imbecile would have had no problem rounding up enough loons to fill a small building, and get them to pay enough for the dubious privilege of hearing his twaddle to earn a living. Now he has to practice in the street, and like others of his ‘profession’ increasingly relies on public funds to get by.
Is this court challenge, in effect, anything but another Christian trying to con a public payout because he’s offering a product no-one needs or wants? A bit like, say, cartwrights after the motor car was invented.
Which might also explain why local Anglicans are trying to reinvent their biggest, least useful or popular barns as ‘heritage sites’ and ‘community facilities’ in order to keep them open – if, as ever, empty – with us mugs paying for buildings we wouldn’t be seen dead in (or married in either, in the case of straight heathens), and where our kids will never learn anything except hate or hypocrisy.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Bennies throwing bennies

Even before anguished squeaks over Jagger’s suggestion that the Isle of Man should be used to test cannabis decriminalisation had died down, the Manx governed mental are whining again. Funnily enough, the guy who set them off was also commenting – more obliquely – from off-island on the same issue.
This time it was A.A. Gill, already the arch enemy of our dimmest, most inbred elements for previous snide comments when, while staying with Jeremy Clarkson, he had the misfortune to witness Castletown's World Tin Bath Championships.
To fill some space while standing in for Rod Liddle at the Times, he snapped of Jagger’s ‘helpful’ suggestion: “The denizens of Ile de l’Homme fall into two types. Hopeless, inbred mouth-breathers known as Bennies. And then retired, small-arms dealers and accountants who deal in rainforest futures. I have never been anywhere that would be more improved by a glut of class A substances. They believe in fairies and fascism. This was the last place in Britain to legalise homosexuality. The Isle of Man, twinned with Malawi. Bring on the crack.”
Read it all at if you want.
Obviously, this soon got picked up by the Manx papers at , and has led to an outpouring of self-pitying wank from various losers, including the Chief Benny himself, who today chuntered: “Although AA Gill is not a news journalist but a satirical columnist meant to entertain through his outrageous comments, I, like all Manx residents, find his remarks to be misleading, unfounded and insulting to every man, woman and child on our Island. Unfortunately, AA Gill has, for some reason, a personal dislike of the Island and its people, as is clear from his latest abusive comments.” (see for the rest - and grab a sickbag before you click on it).
And, by the way, far from all Manx residents feeling insulted, all the ones I speak to are roaring with laughter. Mind you, they also work for a living.
Now, of course, Gill’s attack will have nothing to do with a planning decision which prevents his chum Jeremy Clarkson from fencing off a path behind his holiday cottage which was chiefly being used by bobble-hatted loons to gawk at Motormouth’s family. (see for more). Nothing at all, honest, especially as they never, never pressed their noses against his window or let their scabby dogs off their strings, leading to a local farmer losing sheep over a cliff. Honest.
And another funny thing. The disgruntled locals claim not to know what a Benny is. Funny that, because when I worked next door to the disputed paths at Castletown Golf-Links Hotel in the mid-1980’s and also knew the family who lived in the lighthouse (now Clarkson’s cottage) ‘Benny’ was the term used by hotel staff, golfers and everyone else who lived or worked around there for the clueless gawks who were apparently too disorientated to stick to the paths to the coast, instead wandering across the course, and on at least one occasion into the hotel kitchen itself.
This all started when an ex-army chef, who’d served in the Falklands, said that the woolly-headed loons were remarkably like the Falklanders who marines nicknamed ‘Bennies’ after the simple-minded Crossroads character. Benny stuck as a label, and even developed into ‘Benny jokes’ told in the kitchen and after hours at the nearby flying club bar, where the term spread to local light aircraft pilots, and I’d take a good guess to Clarkson and the Top Gear team when they were over filming….and we can all guess where next.
And some other funny things.
No-one has mentioned the previous planning enquiry in the late 1980’s, when the then CGLH management wanted to extend the course over the same disputed area, or the fuss a century before when the forebears of the same landowner also tried to fence off the paths. This led to the restrictions Clarkson observed to protect various rare flutterybyes and flowers, when Manx National Heritage gave evidence at the aforementioned 1980’s enquiry.
No-one mentions the other party to the current enquiry, the current owner of CGLH and a man with ministerial friends and much advertising revenue to distribute, who might be keen on seeing the paths fenced off to revive the golf course extension idea. No-one mentions either that there is a lot of bad blood between him and Manx National Heritage (and their own partners in government) because of his previous claims for recompense in return for developing other sites of Manx historic interest.
And no-one is looking at MNH’s success a few years back at quietly putting through legislation which, in effect, puts all public Manx land under their stewardship, thus allowing them (if they wish) to put restrictions on all ramblers who might choose to wander around beauty spots that MNH see have commercial potential as ‘heritage sites’ (or as us commoners might say, ‘tourist traps’.).
And absolutely no-one mentions MNH’s track record of using their participation in planning committees to close down local businesses or even whole towns (e.g. Peel), or in quickly moving in to ‘rescue’ a beauty spot complete with a scenic café when, due to their insistence that the only nearby road could not be improved lest it destroy the natural ambience, the café owner (or maybe his bank manager) finally admitted defeat.
Yet aren’t they all coincidences so funny that, in comparison. anything A.A. Gill has to say about us seems quite dull?

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Offshore sauce with that?

There’s a piece on Spiked by Rob Lyons about what you might call the reblanding of tomato ketchup that, in turn, led me to an interesting idea.
Lyons (see ) notes how governmental pressure has led Heinz to ‘voluntarily’ reduce the salt content in all versions of the famous sauce, rather than just offer a reduced salt/sugar alternative. It’s only the latest ‘voluntary’ move by the retail industry, and as Lyons sums up nicely:
“Still, there’s something entirely appropriate about the way that our political leaders are trying to save us from ourselves. Because the food we’re being forced to eat is, like them, increasingly bland.”
Tucked away in the piece is a hilarious quote from another Spiked piece, where Mark Sparrow says:
“What was once the nation’s favourite biscuit has morphed into a rather pathetic, pale imitation of itself. The Digestive that sustained, nourished and comforted a generation through two world wars and played its part in keeping the home fires burning is no more. The callous tick of a ballpoint pen of some joyless Whitehall functionary has managed to finish off the biscuit that even Hitler failed to crush.”
Sparrow was fulminating furiously on the wrecking of another comfort food staple by the health and safety Gestapo, and you can read the original at .
The bit that really struck home for me was where Sparrow says:
"Actually, the truth is that these voluntary guidelines are anything but voluntary. The government’s standard practice in these situations is to introduce guidelines and then back it up with an ugly threat of legislation if the food/tobacco/alcohol (delete as appropriate) industry does not kowtow. It’s government by stealth, intimidation, coercion and bullying and does away with the need for all that tedious legislation and accountability."
Now, where have we seen that recently over here. Well at for a start.
By the way, an interesting joke here. A couple of years ago the key participants in this also organised a Fair Trade wine testing to which some of the island’s senior clergy and government ministers were invited, and which is rumoured to have ended with the police van giving night cover for the south of the island being commandeered to take guests home.
But what really got my attention was Sparrow’s tongue-in-cheek suggestion that:
"Perhaps the answer to all this nonsense is to take the production of all tasty and traditional foodstuffs that may offend the tofu brigade to an offshore location."
Because funnily enough, Mick Jagger has fired up a Manx debate with something on the same lines this week. See for an example, and for a local reaction which contradicts attempts by our drug and alcohol ‘therapy’ racketeers to give ‘Manx opinion’ in right wing rags (numerous attempts, for example, by someone who forgot to say she’s the Manx employee of a notorious pro-life cult – how sad, how pointless, try getting a job).
Maybe there’s something in this offshore comfort food lark. Centuries back we had ‘the running trade’ (smuggling), because UK drinkers didn’t want to pay outrageous taxes on European spirits, then the TT developed because the UK wouldn’t allow racing on public roads, as they had in Europe. Then we had offshore finance because, let’s face it, nobody likes paying more tax than they really have to.
All are, to fundamentalist morality, ‘bad things’, and to the rest of us just getting on and making the most of it without puritanical prats interfering.
Or think of it in business terms. There’s a recession, and in recessions people turn to things that remind them of childhood. Now, comfort foods are at one end of the scale, while at the other is religious fundamentalism, abandoning public services in favour of charities run by joyless preachers, and other stuff too horrible to think about.
Maybe a few Manx factories making and exporting ‘proper’ biscuits, cakes, full strength baked beans and other pleasures to the world (in response to miserable legislators in other countries who’ve, effectively, banned them) would be a steady earner. If nothing else, it couldn’t get Obama and other hypocrites on our back the way they are over ‘offshore finance’.
Which, of course, the politicians who criticise us loudest never, ever use to discreetly fund their expensive election campaigns or the ‘educational trusts’ which fund their retirement.

Kermit is risen. Hallelujah!

Me and ‘her indoors’ have just finished laughing at an inane Pentecost special on BBC 1. We’d turned on expecting our usual Sunday morning gigglefest at The Big Question, but this was even better. Classic tripe – and the Beeb’s religious programming unit really don’t know how much joy they (unintentionally) give to us heathens at times like these. Christians, by comparison, must be squirming in embarrassment.
In case anyone’s wondering, no, the nipper wasn’t watching. She’d spotted more sophisticated fare on a kiddie channel. Anyway, even her voluntary enjoyment of religious TV would constitute child abuse in our book, and swivel-eyed loons in pastel hued 100% polyester clothing so isn’t a role model for any infant.
The tragedy unfolded from some waste of a potential carpet warehouse in Peckham, and was led by the startlingly monikered Rev. Frog Orr-Ewing, backing music courtesy of a bunch of shoegazers who look and sound like U2 might if they couldn’t afford effects pedals and a light show.
As if the name wasn’t bad enough, Orr-Ewing had us wondering if Posh Boy Cameron has relatives born wrong side of the blanket. The facial features were identical (apart from a weird birthmark suggesting he’d wandered into a door with his eyes closed while praying), as were the mannerisms and oratorial style. Quite disturbing. Someone really should look into this.
On a more serious note, we probably ought to ask why the Beeb gave a Sunday morning spot to an atrocity exhibition which included (I kid not) two rhythmically challenged teens doing a creationist rap and numerous blatant adverts for the Alpha Course – the last commercially orientated bastion of homophobia in the UK, coming to an empty church near you if you’re not careful.
Various background pieces on the participants (inserted to break up the monotony of white care in the community types shuffling and waving their arms about to dirges they didn’t know the words to while token black folk looked on in horror) suggest there is serious money in this racket too. Frog and his ersatz Muppets were seen ‘ministering’ in a sink estate playground, and dropped numerous hints that they (and numerous others) will be funded to pester the public during the London Olympics.
So, do you know where YOUR council funds are going these days?
And another thing.
I see the programme, while based in Peckham, was produced by BBC Manchester. Now I remember from college days that this is where the Beeb’s religious team hang out, and these days the employees to my certain knowledge include an advisor on media strategy to the Catholic church and an Evangelical Alliance stooge. The latter also not only sits on the Beeb’s main ‘independent’ religious advisory bodies but is elsewhere employed as a TV producer by the Beeb, runs a website for an offshoot of the Evangelical Alliance and also does the PR for a ghastly megachurch in the Manchester area.
So, do you know where YOUR licence fee is going these days, and are you going to protest about it being used to publicise homophobic, anti-scientific, Christofascist scams which leech off the public purse and screw up the lives of the dispossessed?
Alternatively, like me, you could just draw attention to them, and take the piss relentlessly until the Church of Kermit is too much of a laughing stock to do serious harm.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Anglican Mainstream or Anglican Millwall?

If you need evidence that ordinary Christians aren’t as dim or bigoted as that faith’s most belligerent ‘spokesmen’, try this. Advance ticket sales for Greenbelt have gone up 15%, and the surge came after Anglican Mainstream urged people to boycott it for being too gay-friendly.
For those unfamiliar with the factions within Anglicanism, Greenbelt is a sort of Christian Glastonbury – or maybe think WOMAD with prayers thrown in. Anglican Mainstream is, frankly, a ragbag collection of swivel-eyed Christofascist throwbacks who’d like to lead that church, led by failed candidates for senior church positions (with dodgy far right friends) and former senior clerics who had to be chosen by politicians, as even their own peers don’t take them seriously. Far from being the ‘mainstream’ of the Anglican family they’re more like the mad relatives no-one talks about who you’d find locked in an attic in some Victorian melodrama.
Last year ‘AM’ kicked off because Greenbelt invited Gene Robinson, the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire, as a speaker in a workshop event. This year Peter Tatchell is speaking, which has made them even more annoyed.
You can find a report from Ekklesia, the ever reasonable voice of Christianity, at .
But if you want a cheap laugh at the expense of some sad-acts with delusions of sanity (and, some days, we need one), just have a giggle at .

Flapjacks for Jesus

If you’re rational but a bit of a health food fan or, from choice or necessity, on a special diet, you might want to know that a health food company called Goodness Direct is owned by the Jesus Army.
Folk of my vintage or with similar leisure interests will know this bunch of bampots. They became well known in the 1980’s for tailending free festivals and other ‘alternative’ events. In fact, they’d turn up anywhere rootless folk convened in order to try and round up the weakest as slave labour.
Still do too. It's my suspicion that they're more of a menace to teenage runaways and the homeless than crack dealers, serial killers and Russian mafia sex racketeers combined.
I don’t say that lightly either, as they’re one of those despicable cults which, under the pretence of ‘equality’ and 'community', typically require that members confess their ‘sins’ (thus making them vulnerable to blackmail) hand over all personal possessions (thus making it impossible to leave) and then, if they’re really unlucky, spend the rest of their lives as wage, domestic and sex slaves to the leadership.
As their reputation grows, or police forces and the Charity Commission catch up with their latest scams, they tend to run more of their fund-earning activity through subsidiaries but this ( ) is the current public identity they go under.
Amusingly, there used to be organisations, such as the Cult Information Centre, which kept tabs on such creeps. But if you go to the current Cult Information Centre website (see ) you’ll find something hilarious.
The original upfront sponsors used to include the C of E, the Baptist Union and the Evangelical Alliance, which was ironic enough.
Now, check back against the Jesus Army website and look to the bottom right. Yup – Jesus Army is now a signed up partner of the Evangelical Alliance, which is no longer openly associated with the Cult Information Centre, which is no longer naming and shaming the cults, just giving vague and woolly ‘warning signs’ as to what constitutes a cult.
Pretty pathetic, no? But if you think that’s sad (if hilarious) consider this. A couple of years ago it was revealed that the US website and organisation which was the model for the Cult Information Centre in the UK, and even gave them all their current guidelines as to what is, or isn’t, a cult, had been run by the Scientologists!
You can read all about ‘healthy’ flapjacks flogged by decidedly unhealthy cults at .
(Hat-tip to Feorag at Pagan Prattle for spotting it)

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Noddy goes to Tesco

The latest example of blatant Manx government human rights violation can be found at, where you find that all island retailers have now – voluntarily – signed up to a ‘code’ on alcohol sales that makes it impossible for anyone under 25 to buy alcohol in a shop, and herds adults through the wine and spirits aisle like special needs kids at Disneyland.
Sad, stupid and sickening.
People who know me might be puzzled. Why would someone who has little or no interest in alcohol, and did enough of the rock-and-roll lifestyle to ‘retire’ here before the age at which I could now buy alcohol in the local Tesco, even care about this stuff?
To them, I can only suggest this. Instead of reading it with religious morality blinkers on, look at it like a responsible adult who, at some time in their life, has read something about the UNCHR and, preferably, some John Stuart Mill.
I know. Isle of Man, so fat chance when anyone arrogant enough to think they should have a hand in government cannot spell their own name.
But I don’t know why our misgovernors can’t just go the whole hog. Hand control over every aspect of our private lives to the Isle of Man Methodist Circuit and employ bounty killers to shoot anyone under the age of 30.
Because they really should be honest about this. The superstitious misanthropes who impose this nonsense on the rest of us don’t just despise people who enjoy life. They absolutely, absolutely live in terror of the idea that anyone not yet middle-aged should develop a taste for it.
And another thing. People who are unfit to legislate the way we buy a bottle of wine for the weekend are absolutely unfit to legislate for more serious aspects of our lives. For example, work, health and education.
On the other hand, by now I would hope that most Manx people know that too.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Frankly, we're not grateful

According to Manx Radio, there’s a ‘Thanksgiving Service’ today at St. German’s Cathedral for the island’s contributions to past and contemporary bigotry.
That isn’t how the organisers see it, of course. And as Manx Radio’s own link doesn’t work (nothing new there then), you need to look at another site’s mirroring of the item (see ) to read about it.
But as the Anne Frank exhibition they’re ‘celebrating’ was organised by the island’s most bigoted and overprivileged minority, as a sly way of excusing public subsidy of their biggest, least useful faith ghetto, it is exactly how I see it.
In the last fortnight my family has again been the target of racism, and every week without fail I get reports of friends affected by local racism, sexism or homophobia – generally faith-based. Every week without fail I also get reports of a community somewhere else in the world directly or indirectly damaged as a result of some braindead Manx evangelical sponging off our clueless ‘overseas aid’ policies.
So let us be frank (if you’ll excuse the pun).
We have nothing to be thankful for. We are still the victims of bigotry perpetuated by those who organised this self-congratulatory, morally questionable sham of a call for tolerance. We will not feel in the least grateful to them, or their intolerant friends and fellow freeloaders, unless they voluntarily go out of business.

Headless Chicken Syndrome

If you know me personally you may also know why I’m not blogging much at present. For the benefit of anyone else, can’t go into that here or now, but hopefully things will be back to normal in another week or two.
But I just had to draw your attention to a snippet on our new, pointless and totally, totally clueless emergency ‘legal high’ legislation tucked away in the Council of Ministers proceedings for January. It typifies the problem with local drug & alcohol policy, and absolutely illustrates how we are being misgoverned by headless chickens.
And, yes, that’s January, and not because I only just discovered it, but because it took until now for them to put the minutes on the record.
Take a peek at and go to item 3.
Bear in mind that the ‘advice’ came, not from doctors or even scientists (none are involved in the D &A strategy group), but ultimately from faith-based amateur ‘therapists’ who have conned their way into DHA, Education and Social Services advisory groups because no-one there is a qualified professional either.
Note also that “no public consultation exercise should be conducted to allow for the Bill to be progressed urgently, in the public interest”.
Let’s get this quite clear. Our government, having been startled by shouty, illiterate MHKs misreading tabloid headlines, has introduced new and restrictive legislation based on absolutely no evidence, and without consulting the public, who it considers too thick to have an opinion. So when we need an opinion it will be given to us by lame-brained superstitious throwbacks, who will be given public money to spout nonsense regurgitated from particularly poor sermons.
When added to the problems being imposed on responsible parents by the new, faith-bigoted Kinderstasi now running the SS, this really should be worrying us. Maybe we should just erect ‘Welcome to the Third World’ signs at the airport and ferry terminal, and have done with all the pretence.
Sometimes these muppets wonder why we hold them in absolute contempt, and wouldn’t trust them to go to the shops for a Mars bar and come back with the right change – never mind run the country.
I couldn’t possibly tell them; at least, not in words that would be short enough for them to understand.