Saturday, 30 October 2010

Manx Christian tolerance... and flying pigs

Apparently: “The contribution Tynwald continues to make in its work to advance the cause of inclusivity in the Isle of Man has been recognised by the Island’s churches.”
We know this because Radio Cowshed said so today (see , though if you’d rather read what they were told to say and by which press officer from which church organisation you could have read it yesterday at ).
I was intrigued to know that: “ In making the presentation, Canon Alger, who was joined by representatives from other churches in the Island and who is soon to retire from his ministry at The Church of St Mary of the Isle, said the Covenant for Mission, in the spirit of Freedom to Flourish, reflected a desire of the Island’s churches to move forward, recognise differences and work collaboratively in mission. He added that the churches’ recognition of diversity was mirrored by that of Tynwald which similarly acknowledged the importance of shared awareness and mutual respect.”
Oh yes, and pigs just flew over the Tynwald building in a perfect V formation.
The thing is, even the reason both Brendan Alger and Robert Paterson have to appear in the presentation picture might be food for thought. One reason is that Mr Paterson is an unelected politician with our upper house of legislative layabouts, and was effectively chosen by his own management and Downing Street, not the Manx public or even church. Mr Alger may be nominally head of Churches Together In Mann at present, but the executive of that body is just four men (and it always is men) from the four largest church denominations, who can overrule any decision made by the working committees who advise them, and who in turn have continually voted to exclude certain denominations from membership.
The most embarrassing example of this was when local Quakers ran the only Manx charity to gain off-island recognition (rather than discreet investigations from Interpol) and in order to trade in on it, a Quaker had to be granted special observer status to a CTIM sub-committee set up in order that CTIM could present 'evidence' to Tynwald, which in turn claimed the charity as an example of local Christian endeavour when reporting back to some international bunfight (sorry, 'conference') which a couple of elected layabouts were using as an excuse for a foreign holiday at public expense.
And the other funny thing there is that for years there’s been a tradition where the Catholic and the ‘free churches’ representatives at either committee or executive level ring the chairman ahead of such meetings. If the other party is going to be present, they don’t turn up.
In fact, in previous years, some ‘free church’ representatives have been so sectarian they wouldn’t even attend the Tynwald ceremony if there was a guest from a Catholic country. And in general, the evangelicals prefer to do their government negotiations separately and in private (often via Noel Cringle as it happens), rather than risk the Bishop at the time relaying a CTIM message to government which reflects the broad church view, not evangelical economic interests.
And even leaving aside the continual in-fighting, sectarian hatred and editing out of all but the most powerful religious cult interests, it’s who and what the churches are deciding to collaborate against that should really worry us.
Because, in general, they are collaborating against the rest of us, against decency and honesty, against progress. In fact against anything that brings to an end their centuries of privilege, and their ability to hold us all back with their hate, their ignorance, and in particular their fear of democracy.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

What a waste

I had to laugh today at a Radio Cowshed headline which read: "MHK welcomes rubbish initiative".
Can anyone remember when one of the Wedding Cake's inmates welcomed anything that wasn't rubbish, and/or expensive, and/or involving free foreign holidays or brown envelopes full of used fivers?
Still, ever optimistic and expecting a rare piece of honest reporting, I went to for a closer look.
Sadly, it was just a political layabout trying to make something out of the astoundingly dull if sensible news that two villages will use the same dustcart.
The only remotely newsworthy aspect of all this is that an elected official from our Deep South actually had enough braincells to suggest it, and that others could be dragged away from the church or lodge meeting long enough to vote.
Still, if any MHK was that serious about waste, they could always jump on the cart, instead of the bandwagon.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Slack off, poke fun, smash oppression

Earnest zealots will probably say there are more important things to blog about, but the developing story that’s interested me most in recent days started when a US pilot had a bit of a ‘Rosa Parks moment’ last week.
On October 15th Michael Roberts was commuting to work through Memphis International Airport, when the sheer effing pointlessness of a ‘routine’ security check made him snap. You can read his account of it at , and a follow-up supporting article by another pilot at .
I’m sure there are other accounts of this matter by the kind of muesli-munching ‘civil liberties activists’ that kneejerk lefties approve of, but I quite like the cranky, downhome mix of libertarian headbanging you get from Lew Rockwell, so I’m going to stick with that.
For example, more recently a bod called Michael S. Rozeff goes a stage further.
As he says:
“Flyers now have the option enforced against them of either being scanned or groped. What a choice!”
Then he says something that really made me grin, when he suggests:
“What I wish is that all flyers would organize and boycott all flying, or organize sit-down strikes at all the airports on a given day and hour, or organize some sort of widespread protest action or actions at specific times so as to make known their true inner feelings.”
And he continues, quite reasonably:
“Groping and scanning are both searches. Both are equally vile. Both are unreasonable searches. Both need to be rejected.
Why should I submit to a search? What have I done to merit that? What criminal record have I accumulated in my 70 years? When have I uttered a threat against an airline? When have I encouraged anyone to blow up an airplane?
Where’s the probable cause? Where’s the reasonable basis to grope me, frisk me, x-ray me, or otherwise invade my person or property? There is none.
Where’s the warrant obtained from a judge? There is none.”
Because for 'the Septics', as Ian Dury memorably dubbed them (Septic Tank = Yank), this is covered in the Fourth Amendment, which demands that:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
And just the next day, there’s another joker going for it with an open letter to the Walt Disney Corporation at Read it and wet yourself.
Of course, this isn’t America, neither the Isle of Man nor the UK has a written constitution, and as most of my fellow Manxies are way too indolent or worried about what the neighbours might think to protest about anything (other than why Ramsey Pier hasn’t been restored or why some of us not only have to go to work but are actually expected to get off Facebook and do some when we get there) Martin Luther King wouldn’t make many converts here.
Then again, as King’s hero Ghandhi once slyly suggested, if sitting around doing nothing is the culture you live with, why not do as little as possible and pass it off as a campaign?
Yay! A campaign for social change that doesn’t involve anything but sitting at home and/or extracting the Michael out of dumb corporations who offer tastless tat in a country no sane person would bother travelling to. Bring it on.
If we get really worked up, we could even wander down to Ronaldsway Airport en masse and…well, sit around staring out the window for a few hours or something.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

More corporate greenwash from the community killers

Yet more nonsense from the corporate-led bogus ‘community’ lobby today.
According to a Radio Cowshed report (see ) the main parties behind the destruction of Douglas town centre, closure of small local businesses and the blocking of affordable consumer goods from efficient retailers want us to ‘Do your bit for carbon emissions’. Gullible members of the public were being asked by Douglas Development Partnership to give up their Sunday lie-in and lay the surface to a new cycle path into Douglas.
It all sounds very laudable, until you remember that it was DDP who got rid of all the small local shops from Strand Street in the first place, to make way for a new multi-storey car park and the same high street chain stores the greens hate so much, who have now pulled out in a recession leaving the place dead as a dodo most weeks.
It was also DDP who engaged companies who like to demonstrate caring, organic wholewheat credentials to redesign parts of Strand Street in such a way as to prevent homeless people hanging about too conspicuously. For example, benches which can be hosed down, but are also – deliberately – too thin to lie across overnight and so physically uncomfortable that people move on after resting for no more than 10 minutes.
And another thing is the way in which the once lively street culture on Strand Street has been…well, let’s just say disabled and misdirected towards the pointless.
In the 1980’s – before DDP destroyed Strand Street – it was the place to go if you were a local political campaigner. I have first hand knowledge of this, from protests on everything from nuclear weapons in the early 1980’s with the short lived Manx Peace Group to homelessness in the later 1980’s with a trade union led lobby group that wanted to start a Manx branch of Shelter.
There was always something of a gentleman’s agreement between the police and protesters on these things. You could hold a banner, ask for petition signatories and hand out your leaflets, but not block shop doorways and physically hinder people walking about or shopping. We didn’t apply for police ‘permission’, we just turned up, did our thing, and as long as we didn’t provoke an argument or harangue shoppers into signing stuff, and as long as we made some effort to clear up the inevitable thrown away leaflets, the bobby on the Strand Street beat stood back and let us get on with it.
Funnily enough, that ended when Tynwald went through the motions of setting up police liason committees. In practice, then and now, the only way people get onto those committees is because the business lobby chooses them. There is no way government, the Department of Home Affairs or the local business lobby is going to put up with a police force answerable to or even approachable by the general public.
So, inevitably, one of the results is the current tendency for dull as ditchwater ‘approved’ buskers who make your shopping experience (if possible) more painful than usual. Another is ‘political’ street campaigning only by groups which have sought police permission and have nominally green and ‘developing world’ goals decided and underwritten by government and elements of the local business community so right wing that even the offshore finance sector won’t touch them.
By comparison, when genuine ordinary members of the public have a grievance (see for example) a protest confined by DHA diktat to almost a single figure turnout is accompanied man for man by the police ‘in case of trouble’.
So, thanks, but no thanks, Chris. Maybe the general public can think about joining in your token community work when you and your fellow developers think about rejoining the community.

Of masturbation, the BBC and religious tossers

The sound of my wife laughing her head off alerted me to some BBC lunacy this morning.
She was watching their Sunday morning 10 AM (unintentional) comedy show.
This is supposed to be a quasi-religious chat show about modern morality, where people in funny headgear and back to front collars mingle with ‘plain speaking’ media commentators (i.e. twattish motormouths from right wing rags) and a token person with a three figure IQ. The predecessor had a live audience, but that seems to have abandoned because even the Beeb and their religious advisors must have noticed how dim the churchgoing public are when allowed to rant freestyle to a camera.
There are now three 20 minute ‘questions’ and the viewers are supposed to text or e-mail 'Yes' or 'No' to instant polls. That way, the respondents are just as dim, but at least the Beeb recoups their dosh from the phone companies. I say this confidently, because, in all honesty, who but a superstitious numpty would bother paying for the privilege of registering their worthless opinion on a publically subsidised TV show?
My wife was laughing because Peter Tatchell was the token literate guest, and the first question was prompted by Hungary’s decision to lower the age of consent to 14. Peter was there to say it made sense, because 14 year old kids often have some sort of sex life anyway so why not help them through the messy adolescent years instead of dragging them through the courts.
More precisely, my wife wasn’t laughing at Peter, but because a Hungarian lawyer being interviewed via Skype was shut off rapidly. His ‘crime’ was to point out that a century ago religious zealots were so horrified by the idea of teenagers masturbating that even that was, technically, illegal. He was probably about to say, "haven’t we moved on", but the presenter, the vicar and the right wing hack were all so startled by the word ‘masturbation’ that they nearly fainted and the presenter ended the interview right there by saying it was inappropriate for that time in the morning.
The other reason my wife was laughing was that the presenter (young, female) had a blouse on that displayed her cleavage like melons on a market stall, and the camera angle on cutaway shots was so low that the view up her short skirt bordered on the gynaecological.
The lesson, I guess, is that uptight churchfolk can safely have a sly one off the wrist over an attractive TV presenter while, in theory, considering the moral mess our society has got itself into, but using a medically accurate term to describe the practice before the watershed is right out.
Incidentally, the poll showed only 16% supported Peter’s decriminalisation argument. This was taken by the vicar, the hack and the godly media tart as ‘evidence’ that the moral majority had spoken.
No, what it actually means (though Peter was far too polite to be this blunt) is that even 16% of the kind of lardarsed Daily Mail reader who’s too lazy to go to church so watches religious TV instead thought the vicar and her chums were talking bollocks. In fairness, this may have only been because it was a black lady vicar, and religiously handicapped Daily Mail readers probably hate them even more than outspoken gay men.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Faith, Hope and (maybe) some Clarity

Some days you start to think Ireland may finally be over Dark Age superstitions.
And other days you read garbage like in what is, supposedly, the shiny modern end of the Irish media.
And Irish people complain because the world jokes about their intellect!
Of course, the biggest joke is that if Chilean Catholicism’s favourite son, Pinochet, had still been alive and in charge he’d have demonstrated his ‘faith’ by shutting the mine, engineering a media blackout (not that the current media frenzy in reality amounts to objective journalism), leaving it for God to sort out & opening another bottle of shampoo with whichever cardinal he was collaborating with to move local money out of the country and into a Swiss bank account.
Then again, Ireland doesn’t have a mining industry, so what would this pillock know about mining communities and their legendary ability to pull together against adversity and injustice? As a far more on the ball Liverpool fan put it the other day, for instance, can you imagine Thatcher’s rage knowing the only news stories in town on her 85th birthday involved miners and Scousers?
Because the UK also had a mining industry – once, before Thatcher – and UK mining communities also know all about the tragedy of underground disasters, the bravery of work colleagues and solidarity of families, friends and neighbours. Especially in the face of government neglect, or government spin merchants trying to steer the media away from the mismanagement of nationalised industries, a total disinterest in safety measures or the destruction of whole communities.
And I also suspect that, if only anyone in the media can see past the spin, there’ll be more stories like , which gives a far better picture of the true relationship between mineworkers and ‘management experts’, and a far warmer picture of the true nature of workplace solidarity. Very similar, in fact, to many of the tales I heard from those in the mining and steelworking community where I grew up.
And interestingly, I can also recall a far more positive image of a mines safety engineer, and how his faith shaped his work, his relationships with the local community and in particular his determination to do his best for other miners.
This engineer was a man called Jack Smith – an almost cartoonish stereotype of a miner. Face streaked with coal dust, rode everywhere on an old Raleigh bike and wore a donkey jacket every day of the week except Sunday, when he wore his Salvation Army uniform and played in the band with my Dad and Granddad.
You’d never have guessed from Jack’s broad Derbyshire accent, modest dress and house, or the lack of a car, that he had a B.Sc. and was one of the key safety advisors in the local mine. He got his degree the hard way, mostly through night school, only studied because it was the best way he knew how to look after his fellow miners, never left the same street as his former shiftmates. He was the man who persuaded my Dad (who’d left grammar school at 15 because his teacher said kids from council estates didn’t go to uni) and also me (same story but 16 in my case) that being ‘educated’ didn’t mean being middle class, didn’t mean walking away from your community. In fact, if you were determined enough, it could mean you could contribute more to it.
Jack had some disappointment later in his life. Joyce, his daughter, threw away a good education to marry some drunken waster of a Scouse actor. A total chancer whose family, even after this loser supposedly divorced her, managed to keep Jack’s daughter, and later his grand-daughter, away from Jack’s positive influence.
Thankfully, Jack was long gone by the time his grand-daughter, another bright girl, had married a similar chancer (this time a former public schoolboy) who went into politics. In fact, if Jack ever knew how Tony and Cherie Blair went on to betray absolutely every value he held dear, even Jack might have lost his faith.
That’s right. Despite Cherie Booth/Blair’s famous commitment to Catholicism, her real intellect and drive came from a side of the family and a tradition that has been edited out of history. A Derbyshire miner, a Salvationist, a pillar of his community and lifelong Labour supporter of the sort Thatcher crippled when she shut the mines, and New Labour finally killed off.
Jack would have understood the solidarity and faith of the Chilean miners, would have been first down the mine to help them out if necessary, but (it is far more likely) would have fought tooth and nail to ensure they were never exposed in the first place to such criminal working conditions and destruction of community. Crimes which the Chilean government, burying all analysis of the true nature of mining community solidarity with all those fairy tales about religious faith, is trying hard to ensure we never hear about.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani - fascist rug-butting scum get even nastier

The ongoing saga of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman facing death by means which may or may not now involve stoning, has taken yet another nasty turn.
Her son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, and lawyer, Houtan Kian, were arrested along with a German journalist and photographer in Tabriz on 10 October 2010 at 1900 hours local time.
The security forces raided the lawyer’s office where an interview was taking place and arrested all four, and the four have not returned home or to their hotels since. Their whereabouts are currently unknown and no news has been received of their situation since the arrests.
While the Islamic regime has now confirmed the arrest of the two journalists, it continues to remain silent about her lawyer and son. But we can be sure four people were snatched as, ironically, one of the journalists was on the phone speaking with Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of ICAS ( International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution) when the Iranian plod burst into the lawyer’s office.
To sign a petition protesting this latest atrocity by rug-butting fascist scum, go to , sign with your name and then add your profession, organisation name (if signing on behalf of a group) and location in the comments section.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Freethinking not allowed

I hear reports that, despite my spelling things out in such a simple manner that even an unelected political layabout ought to be able to follow, local members of the Deluded Herd insist on trying to represent this blog as the work and opinions of the Isle of Man Freethinkers. This on the slight premise that my profile until now described me as a libertarian and freethinker.
I am probably wasting my time trying to accomodate people who appear to be braindead and cannot even spell honesty, never mind define it or practice it. But for the sake of all local humanists, atheists and agnostics with infinitely more patience than me, who attempt to press their arguments for a sane and rational island in an unfailingly polite manner which should offend no reasonable person, let us try once again.
(sighs, grits teeth, counts to ten.......)
From this point onwards I shall follow the excellent example of Chris Hitchens and describe my position on religion (and indeed all forms of blind, unquestioning belief) as 'contrarian'.
I argue about these things for the hell (and very heaven) of it. I do not seek or claim to represent anyone else.
As I have always said, and repeat once more, I deliberately set out to wind up fundamentalists of all stripes (atheists included) until they explode. And I do this merely because it amuses me, and those as bored with any type of kneejerking conformism as me.
I have no agenda, seek no position or reward, and don't even care if I am widely read. If what I write gives some comfort to anyone else who has to put up with similar nonsense in any other place where just waking up in the morning and daring to think is regarded as a heinous crime, cool.
Is this clear enough?
Can we move on?

Friday, 8 October 2010

Make Sunday Special

The local bunny huggers are having one of their mutual backslapping sessions on Sunday. One of those pseudo-spontaneous community events it takes large sums of public money and the help of useless government departments to put on.
Sod that. If the Manx government was serious about saving energy they’d close Manx Heritage and their other MONGOs.
If you'd rather get involved in something far more beneficial to humanity instead take a look at International Committee against Stoning’s latest at ( .
Because Sunday is also World Day against the Death Penalty, but when you’re dealing with cyber-attacks on your campaign website from theocratic fascist states, death threats in the country where you’ve sought asylum, problems with your visa because your continued presence in that country gets in the way of secretive business deals between unscrupulous politicos…..and so on and so on… it can be a mite difficult to let the world know about that.
Thankfully my good mates at ICAS have their site up again (see links to the right). If you’d like to join them and many other hardworking genuine human rights workers without cosy government subsidies in a resolution to stop state-sanctioned barbaric (almost inevitably faith-led) killing of the innocent and oppressed go to and sign up.
Could be the best thing you do all weekend.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Never mind Christmas, even Easter 2011 is early

There I was waiting for the first sad press release in which zombie worshippers try to complain that Christmas is too ‘commercial’, but this year they’ve really jumped the gun. They’re already whingeing about next Easter!
And as if it isn’t bad enough that the Christians stole Saturnalia. Now the cheeky sods want to copyright Spring too.
Apparently the Anglican Area Manager has “welcomed the launch of The Real Easter Egg, the UK’s first and only Easter egg to mention Jesus on the box.”
Well, he would, wouldn’t he?
It seems his firm and other voodoo merchants have teamed up with the misleadingly named ‘Fairtrade’ mafia and other do-gooders to try and guilt-trip us into buying dodgy chocolate. This so they can continue screwing over Africans the way they used to screw over everybody else, I suppose. You can read more at if you want a good laugh.
I particularly loved:
“ …there will be educational resources available in January 2011 with The Real Easter Eggs being delivered early in 2011. It is hoped that staff will use the arrival of the eggs to teach about citizenship, the meaning of Easter, the role of Fairtrade and the place of charitable giving. The supply of eggs can then be given as rewards for students who have worked particularly hard in exploring these themes.”
Christians as good citizens? That’s about as unlikely as condom machines in the Vatican, I’d have thought.
And don’t even mention Traidcraft in this house.
The local Fairtrade group would like to claim that they work in a non-discriminatory way with the local community. Unfortunately they can’t because that would be such a whopping fib that people would laugh aloud, even more than they do already.
I still remember when they handed out free tea and coffee to local churches, but not other faiths or community organisations. The irony was, many if not most of the groups they snubbed were practicing fair trade well before the godbotherers.
As Traidcraft’s head office just blanked those who pointed out not only this, but that some of the recipients have the worst Manx record on racism, sexism and homophobia, we decided that maybe they knew what they were doing, and were just getting churches on board the only way they're ever made to pay attention to the real world. When they get something for nothing.
As for giving money to a UK charity for natal care – why? Don’t the Brits have governments to provide adequate health services? If their natal care isn’t good enough, let them lobby their politicians.
It’s not so long ago that they were trying to stop Manx resident pensioners from getting emergency treatment if they got ill while visiting English relatives. And that included pensioners who’d paid into the English NHS all their working lives before retiring here for a slower pace of life.
In short, there’s about as much chance as the BNP flogging me Easter eggs as this bunch of chancers. Because at least the BNP are upfront about their prejudices and policies, instead of trying to pass them off as ‘charity’.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Norman Wisdom, comic genius, gent, all round nice guy

I woke up yesterday to the news that Norman Wisdom had died peacefully during the previous night.
This might seem a bit ‘off-topic’ for me, and there are tributes everywhere, but you have to realise that Norman was this town’s best known resident before being confined to a nursing home ‘down south’. He was also a genuinely nice guy who spoke to everyone on Parliament Street, and indeed who was on first name terms with many older locals. The bi-polar opposite to every stereotypical, tight-arsed, arrogant tax-dodging nonentity who arrived on the island after him, in fact.
And, speaking as someone who knows the hard way (from street-performing) about physical comedy, Norman was the most accomplished comic craftsman since Stan Laurel. Michael Crawford in his heyday, or maybe Jackie Chan, are the only ones who could pull off similar stunts. But their film stunts are the 99th take, while Norman could do it, live, every time.
Take my fondest memory of him, in Ramsey, in a tiny room in front of 50 pensioners.
I was there to report for the local paper on teenagers putting on a panto for pensioners at Quayle’s Hall (now, sadly, lost to the heritage racket). Norman turned up to cheer them on and something went wrong backstage. As the kids panicked, he stood up and, without missing a beat, turned as if to say something to the old dear behind then fell flat on his face with a huge crash.
Then he shot back up like a rocket, and for the next 20 minutes chairs and small objects flew about and people shrieked with laughter as he stumbled, rolled and bounced around the room like a human disaster zone. If I’d attempted the same, costumed up in my clowning prime, I’d have been black and blue, breathless, and probably sued by someone in the room for damages when a trick misfired. Norman was then 74, wearing his normal street clothes, and had gone into the entire routine unrehearsed at a second’s notice.
As the stage curtain finally parted he brushed his hair back, sat down and watched the ‘real’ show like very other pensioner in the room. Except they were fighting for breath and he wasn’t. Then afterwards, as he left, he collared me and with a wink said: “Don’t tell anyone I was here son, just give the kids a good write-up."
A comedy masterclass, for free, from a real gent. Because making folk laugh was what Norman did. Period.
Via my Dad, who’s also a real gent, I also have a report of a more recent performance. A sadder one, but it still deserves to be mentioned.
Dad, who’s been a professional musician all his life, ”forgot” to tell me he’s been lugging his accordion around the island’s retirement homes a couple of afternoons each week for the last few years to play for free. And he totally neglected to tell anyone that one of them is the one where Norman was moved by his family in 2008. Up until a few months ago the highlight of the gig, every three months or so, was Norm, increasingly disorientated but always responding to a well known cue, getting up to sing Don’t laugh at me, ‘cos I’m a fool.
Dad probably has the dubious honour of being the last person to perform with Norman, and some of his last audience probably thought they were watching him on the TV, or dreaming. But Norman always looked like he was enjoying it, and his audience certainly were.
He was making people happy all his life, almost until the day he died. What better way could you live?

Saturday, 2 October 2010

At home with the deranged

There’s more evidence today that the Deluded Herd are working with equally clueless and morally challenged elements of Manx government. Their intent (at least as far as I can see) is to throw more public money away and destroy the last remnants of Manx community. Not only that, but they’re boasting about it to surrounding countries.
This is explained in some depth in a barefaced lie posted on behalf of the (badly misnamed) Department of Social Care entitled Island Hosts British Irish Council Meeting On Community Development at . Thanks to Manxnet’s policy of not allowing unattributed ‘news reports’ you can even go to and find who wrote it. More public money wasted on a Freedom to Fester spin merchant then. Why do these simpletons bother?
The excuse for this nonsense was a visit of the British Irish Council. I can only suggest that if the visitors believed any of this twaddle then they’re as unfit to be living off taxpayer money as their hosts. I’m tempted to say ‘bring on the public sector cuts’, but you just know that when they come more genuine public servants will be out of a job while these buffoons will not only be left chuntering to each other but given a payrise.
Amongst the horror stories we learn that:
“During its visit to the Island, the group met with representatives from the Red Cross, Crossroads Caring for Carers, Age Concern and the Manx Befriending Network to hear about opportunities for voluntary organisations to work together to provide support to older, disabled and ill people at home.”
If they’d have knocked on the door of any random household containing such a disadvantaged person they could have found out the real situation. There aren’t any, just a semi-retired civil servant who sits in on most of the above groups, where he swaps idle banter with gin-swigging socialites and other layabouts who’ve never had to work for a living, then slips them another government cheque or invites them to sit on yet another MONGO (that’s 'Methodist Orientated Non-Governmental Organisation' for those who aren’t in on the joke.)
And it gets worse, because the Festering Freeloader then goes on to inform us that:
“The group then met with Rev Cannon Nigel Godfrey, the Cathedral Business Advisory Group, Faith in Action and Scripture Union to hear about the significant contribution of faith organisations in mobilising volunteers, providing services and rejuvenating communities.”
(Falls off chair laughing, climbs back up, considers the afore-quoted as serious evidence of government policy, holds head in hands and groans)
It may be of interest to those who can no longer be bothered to track the incestuous antics of the faithful to know that Canon Godfrey, working under the close supervision of the Archdeacon, set up the CBAG – mostly as a means to ensure his faith factory, the Cathedral, is branded as a heritage site (even though it’s the Edwardian equivalent of a Barrett Home) and a public asset, rather than having some civil servant accidentally uncover the extensive government survey of island churches produced a few years back (co-funded and ‘guided’ by church and heritage interest) which, since it decided that the Cathedral (along with around 50% of island churches) is a white elephant and totally unfit for purpose, was promptly buried in Tynwald Library without even the required afterword by a former bishop which was a condition of church cooperation in the survey.
The Archdeacon also has a minion who is tasked to keep Faith in Action under surveillance for signs of any worrying liberalism, inter-faith influence or general signs that it might get public support and/or interest. And he effectively decides SU policy, projects and staffing because without Anglican underwriting and the Bishop’s legally compulsory dictatorship of the Education Department’s Religious Education Advisory Committee SU would be defunct. As it is, we’ll just have to rely on the good sense of most schoolkids, who quite rightly dismiss SU as a lunchtime club for lonely losers with learning difficulties.
In short then, business as usual amongst the island’s great and good.