We’re just back from the Tynwald Fair, and, as I suspected, it was another washout.
As we never bother with the colonial clown show on the hill anyway, I couldn’t even tell you which royal inbreed (if any) was guest of honour. Instead, it was straight to what I think is now officially designated the charities field.
Originally, this was a fairly open space for any community group that wanted to come along – you just lined up with everyone else at a government office, put your name down and had a spot allocated according to how early you got there.
Then, the year Madge herself was booked and there was an excuse to change the security arrangements, this changed and (mysteriously) groups with a slight political edge (e.g. Amnesty International) found their pitch uprooted overnight and moved out of sight of either royalty or roving TV cameras, then subsequent years found their application was simply ‘overlooked’.
So, the only serious community political activity at this year’s fair was Mec Vannin, the Positive Action Group and….well, sadly that was it. There really isn’t any other evidence of any Manx group who are even half-awake and taking a serious interest in Manx affairs from the presence on the Tynwald Field. The other stalls on the field – a random selection of British paramilitary organisations, right wing ‘heritage’ groups, cuddly bunny charities and braindead evangelical outfits – could safely all collapse tomorrow and there wouldn’t be the slightest damage to Manx life. If anything, it might improve considerably.
If this is the sum total of ‘community’ activity on the island, we’re dead already. And if the organisations able to set up on the fair field are the sum total of political interest, we’re a nonsensical colony stuck in the middle of the Irish Sea, run from somewhere else.
Oh, I forgot. We are anyway. It’s just our colonial Quislings run a pathetic sideshow with a lot of flag-waving, singing of an absolutely vacuous ‘national anthem’, folk-dancing and loons in homemade costumes proclaiming twaddle in a language nobody actually uses for any practical, everyday purpose to try and distract the peasants.
Which works depressingly well, by the looks of things.
One brighter note, as it is most years, was the Tynwald Day edition of Yn Pabyr Seyr ('The Free Paper) by Mec Vannin. To see this little gem, go to http://www.mecvannin.im/pabyr/yps45.pdf and download the whole paper.
It is always guaranteed to show the whole island hasn’t quite gone to sleep, and always takes a few pops at government incompetence. Some past editions are collectors items. If they aren't stored in the Manx Museum's library (and I suspect they are not) then there is no national record of the only significant political literature on the island in the last couple of decades.
This year the piece that caught my eye was Mec Vannin’s objections to the truly obnoxious 'Armed Forces Day' and the inevitable show of British military incompetence at Tynwald Day itself. In addition, there’s the matter of inviting these colonial enforcers into Manx schools – under the pretence of running ‘physical fitness’ sessions which are curiously combined with crude recruiting films. As Mec Vannin say, instead of renaming our Department of (mis)Education the Department of Education and Children they could be honest and call it the Department of Indoctrination and Recruitment.
Considering my own worries over the once insidious, now quite blatant, entry of borderline fascist Christian organisations into schools (and as someone who has actually studied the phenomena academically, I do mean fascist) it appears things are going from bad to worse at the Department of Education. Thankfully, it also appears I am not the only one remarking on it.
3 years ago