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 http://www.gov.im/lib/news/mnh/isleofmanbidforw.xml.
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 http://www.agencebretagnepresse.com/fetch.php?id=18436 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.

1 comment:

cg4 said...

It does seem a bit bizarre to want to make Tynwald Hill at St. Johns a National Heritage site when there are older versions of it around. Here, for example:
http://gcoupe.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!1pfnKMM_BORf8-PhonbrwGoA!1107.entry