Monday, 25 July 2011

They see him here, they see him there.....

Just when you think ‘the religulous’ cannnot get dumber, they prove you wrong again.
See for example - the latest in a stream of unlikely sightings for effigies of their poster boy.
As you’ll see from the other links on the pages, tracking such lunacy is itself booming as something of a niche industry. For example, Fortean Times (a magazine by and for those, like me, who love winding up fundamentalist rationalists as much as fundamentalist godbotherers) now has a page ('Simulacra Corner') where readers can send in their own photos of odd phenomena. This month’s includes the Virgin Mary as revealed in the rings of a cut down tree trunk and the folds of a record cleaning cloth in a CD rack, and Jesus on an onion and the surface of an old baking pan.
You just could not make it up, or as Poe’s Law states:
“Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.”

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Hallelujah, give us a handout/Revive us again

From this week’s local press (see ) it seems the largest local myth retailer wants more public cash to prop up a business selling produce hardly anyone has a use for.
I particularly liked the casual misdirection of:
“At St German’s Cathedral in Peel, the maintenance bill was £100,000 a year and urgent work to repair leadwork, gutters and downpipes, at an estimate cost of £80,000, needed to be carried out within the next year.
‘The big problem is that while congregations are holding reasonably well, the financial burden of maintaining ancient buildings is becoming too much,’ he said.”
This argument loses allure if you know that St. German’s, far from being ‘ancient’, is the charmless Edwardian equivalent of a Barrett Home, that it was extensively internally redesigned within the last two decades, and that a couple of years ago the Synod set up a new committee which – outwardly at least – includes business expertise and other denominations and whose sole task is to excuse massive government subsidy of parts of the building and grounds under the slim pretence of using it (or more accurately abusing vulnerable kids and adults) as an ‘educational resource’.
And just a thought, but, logically, should not at least economically minded Christians accept Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand of the market’ concept (which presumably in Christian form is attached to an invisible arm, somewhere beyond the knowable universe), and agree that what the market cannot support has passed its sell-by date and so it is time to restructure, scale down, and close unproductive retail operations?
Or am I just following the reductio ad absurdum which dogs all religious ‘thought’ through to its inevitably illogical conclusion again?
I also worry at:
“Bishop Paterson told the Manx Independent that Mr Brown was surprised the grants for ancient buildings were a one-off and had assumed that the £20,000 would be paid annually.
He promised to investigate the issue.”
Considering how many superstitious numpties advise him, I bet he will too.
And I would also bet that (unless forcefully prevented by a public outcry which I dare not bet will follow) at the same time as the Government is drastically reducing what little remains of public services, the Government will (under various pretences) drastically scale UP public outlay on buildings currently only used by two men and a dog on Sunday mornings (always providing it isn't raining).

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Legislation, Bansturbation and Nudging

I put up links to interesting sites here, but must admit I often forget to check them for alarming or hilarious updates.
For example, Dick Puddlecote has an excellent piece at on ‘nudging’, and an astonishing excerpt from a UK government consultation paper advocating behaviour modification policies which are not, and will not be, open for public scrutiny or consultation.
By the way, love that term ‘bansturbator’ - and we have far too many self-righteous tossers of that ilk over here to let the term go unused. Damn Charles Wesley and all his pious progeny!
Then Dick has another startling piece on the nonsense which happens when paranoid emotional illiterates and politicians desperate for another few years on public benefits combine their idiocies.
See for a startling bit of US legislation which could brand cheeky teenagers as ‘sex offenders’ for life, just for one ‘inappropriate’ image on a kid’s mobile.
This is sheer cretinism.
Which is exactly why I’m worried some Fool on the Hill or the bible-bashing buffoons they spend so much time in broom cupboards with might pick up on it.
For more on that startling UK government consultation paper, also see Rob Lyons at .

Medium? No, that fat charlatan's at least an XXL

As we have a much higher than average percentage of gullible, superstitious numpties with money to burn, it is no surprise charlatans are queuing up at Liverpool’s Ayatollah Khomeini airport to fly over and fleece them. In fact, the Light of My Life reports there are so many Morons and Jehovah’s Dipsticks currently wandering Ramsey in pairs you need a stick to beat them off with.
And then there are the ‘mediums’ (by the way, do all these lardy pyschics offend against the Trades Descriptions Act by claiming to be ‘mediums’ when it’s patently obvious they’re at least XXLs) who play to full houses.
See for example.
Tell you what, the very thought of these table-tapping twonks is bringing on visions.
I see…..wait a minute, it’s coming, it’s coming…….seems to be a building…yes…yes….a large white building….and outside is….oh, it’s a sign…yes, it’s a sign….black words on a… that a fluorescent orange background? Can’t be, surely…..yes…yes, it is….black words on a bright orange background on the front door…’s coming closer…… I’m being drawn closer….and closer….and I think I can read it now….it says……it says……oh, yes…it says…….


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Child Safety 1, Bigotry -1

I wasn’t going to blog today, then I read this (see ), laughed at the pathetic lies in the intro and opening paragraphs and cheered.
For the record, Amnesty did not, as the poorly informed or dishonest tool who wrote it insists, “come out in favour of abortion” in 2007. Amnesty had (and still has after extensive , separate and independent debates in every national section), a neutral stance on the topic.
In fact, what happened was that the Vatican led an attempt to replace neutrality and allowing individuals and local groups to make up their own minds on individual cases with a blanket anti-abortion stance. If the theo-fascists had been successful anyone imprisoned for helping women procure abortions – or even just giving sex education which included contraception advice in a conservative country – could not have been adopted as an Amnesty ‘prisoner of conscience’.
Thankfully, common decency prevailed. The Catholics lost – badly - in every vote in every debate in every country where Amnesty has a national network, and so the international secretariat did not change the policy.
The Vatican (and conservative factions of the church in particular) reacted by causing Catholic churches, schools and buildings to withdraw any facility used by local Amnesty groups, to close Amnesty groups in Catholic schools and colleges, and not to allow Amnesty workers to talk to kids in citizenship lessons or Amnesty materials to be used in any relevant course.
In doing so they added to a situation where bogus ‘human rights groups’ and ‘religious charities’ have open access to British schools, but genuine human rights material is blocked on school computer networks and informed discussion of human rights cannot take place. A situation which, ironically, has always existed on the Isle of Man anyway, making it the last part of the British Isles where young people only gain a basic knowledge of human rights, social and political activism and democracy in general by emigrating.
As for a Catholic bishop wittering about the UN convention on the rights of the child while he knows his church used the Vatican’s diplomatic immunity to block all police attempts to investigate the widespread sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests…..
Sick, sick, sick!
Still, look on the bright side. One less over-privileged professional hypocrite to worry about.
A nation’s parents and children can sleep a little easier tonight.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Charitable hiatus

Supporters of the Council for Ex-Muslims received a sad e-mail from Maryam Namazie, the Council’s spokesperson, this week.
For those who don’t know what this group does, it supports anyone who has renounced the Islamic faith – thus rendering them ‘apostates’ in the eyes of devout Muslims and possible hate targets of the lunatic fringe of that faith. Check the ‘One Law for All’ link to the right of the page for more details.
In Maryam’s own words: “..breaking the taboo that comes with renouncing Islam and challenging a movement that sentences apostates to death – is considered ‘controversial’ to say the least and makes it almost impossible to get support from mainstream funders.”
This means the tiny group’s volunteers start off fighting thugs and prejudices with both hands tied behind their backs. But now there is an extra handicap, courtesy of the England and Wales Charity Commission, which has just refused charitable status.
In its refusal letter the Charity Commission says: “Under English law the advancement of religion is a recognised charitable purpose and charities are afforded certain fiscal privileges by the state. The prohibition of any such financial privilege as called for in the demand made in the Manifesto would require a change in law. Similarly a separation of religion from the state and legal and education system would appear to require both constitutional reform and change to the law.”
As Maryam aptly comments: “There is something fundamentally wrong when the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain can’t get charity status but the Sharia Council legislating misogyny in its sharia courts can. And how absurd that defending secularism is not a charitable object but advancing religion is, particularly in this day and age when we are living under an Islamic Inquisition.”
Time for decent folk to come to their aid, I suggest.
But if the England and Wales Charity Commission can sometimes be bollock-brained, and the Scottish and Northern Irish equivalents are not far behind, at least there are structures in place which allow responsible folk to check where the coins they throw in the bucket actually go, who runs the charities, how much they get paid, who pulls the strings externally and so on.
In the Isle of Man? Nothing but obfuscation and minimal public information by the government department charged with keeping tabs on bogus charities – or as I often suspect, preventing the public from noticing just how hand in glove some of the worst civil servants are with some of the island’s most bigoted pressure groups.
For example, to the casual reader this (see looks like common sense. However, once you track the way the Manx government sets up puppet charities for functions which are properly the business of social services (in order to meet most running costs with grants from UK charities), and if you regard the IOMCVO itself as little more than a government puppet (largely run by people whose first point of contact is government e-mail and phone numbers), then you might be cynical.
The new thresholds mean that key social service functions are run by organisations which, by being registered as ‘charities’, have no basic staff and management details on public record, whose policies cannot be scrutinised, whose accounts are not on public record, which in many cases also avoid any external verification of accounts (which, in practice, means the puppet committee depends on the word of the puppet treasurer that books are kept), and the largest of whom avoid audit by anyone who, in theory, is professionally obliged to offer an objective report of their findings.
And you thought the worst Manx joke this week was the ‘election’ of a President of Tynwald who has had no mandate from the electorate in almost two decades.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

When nether regions collide

What does a pensioned off ‘charity worker’ from the local branch of a right to life group do for amusement?
It is the kind of job someone only gets if unsuitable or already past their sell-by date for real employment anyway. And, unlike ‘proper’ clergy, it isn’t as if worn out para-parsons can go into a home run by the firm.
So there you would be, reduced to howling at the moon or arguing with your cats for want of anything else to lecture, or joining some lonely priest trying to finish off the communion wine after yet another single figure audience.
I ask because a spy tells me that someone we spotted last year regularly trying to plant false images of the Manx in the comments section of the UK blue-rinse press is back at her old tricks. Someone who, in addition to her former ‘day job’ remonstrating (on public funds) with parents who fail to live down to her employer’s standards for dysfunctional families also fell for Freedom to Fester hook, line and sinker. In fact, to the extent of trying to act like an ‘Island ambassador’ replying to UK media stories.
For those who don’t follow this blog regularly, I should explain that, some time back, when A.A. Gill and others were having fun at the expense of some of our slower thinking fellow citizens, an over-the-hill marketing guru saw job opportunities for his redundant chums. The result, a vacuous ‘public campaign’ named Freedom to Flourish, was presented to the local public as an attempt to’rebrand’ the island.
In fact what happened was a shady deal between the Manx government and some third division PR outfits whereby the latter helped the former with a spot of Manx social engineering. The ‘public’ being ‘re-educated’ was not the outer world about the Isle of Man, but the Manx about the absolute rightness of everything our glorious leaders do for ‘our’ benefit, and at our expense. If you check out the Spiked website entries on ‘nudging’ you will soon get the latest version of an old idea.
One of the scams was an FtF proposal, heavily publicised by a media partner, that ‘ordinary’ Manx people should act as ‘Manx ambassadors’ by replying to ‘negative’ UK press stories. In reality, what happens is that such replies are ghosted by PR hacks and attributed to local halfwits whose businesses are in terminal tailspin. I wouldn’t know if money changed hands for this, and if it was paid out to the hacks by government or private sector halfwits, but it fits an old, old pattern so this seems quite likely.
One of the gullible public who fell for this was the aforementioned right-to-lifer, whose ‘disgusted of Braddan’ diatribes in reply to Daily Mail regurgitation of items from other papers became a regular source of amusement to anyone who can trawl through the Mail’s website without being physically sick.
As this was happening during working hours, one assumes this was written off as ‘work’ – especially as there was little evidence of her doing more elsewhere (other than turning up for the odd government liaison committee to try and siphon off more public loot).
So, having been pensioned off when her former employers scaled their Manx operation down, it was a surprise to see the comments resurfacing again this year, most recently on an unlikely Daily Mail story about a Pippa Middleton likeness which prominently featured her buttocks, made out of 15,000 crumpets, jam & Marmite.
We know right-to-lifers are unbalanced, and we know Daily Mail readers are equally unhinged, but when the two meet…’s hilarious!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

I'll tell you what you want, what you really, really want

Poor old Hugh Davidson. If the last real advertising campaign you worked on was probably the Playtex Cross Your Heart bra, how do you hold your head up in later years?
His 'official' profession wrote off such monochrome stuff in the 1980’s. As the publishing world, even then, was awash with pulped ‘memoirs’ from advertising’s golden era, he gamely reinvented his as ‘marketing manuals’ to try to cash in on the business guru/self-help boom of that hideous, shoulder-padded era. In turn his grateful publishers (I always suspect just to stop him hanging out in reception and scaring off newer clients) arranged a largely honorary ‘professorship’ at a ‘business college’ no truly ambitious teenage Sugar clone went near - being far too busy and successful knocking out dodgy videos from a barrow if we are to believe the hype.
When the wheels fell off vanity publishing and pedagogy, other geriatric marketing gurus were reduced to flogging their dubious talents to third rate offshore tax havens. It didn’t work out for any of them, because when the governments of such backwaters did their sums they found the rate at which custom was ebbing away was exceeded only by the ludicrous sums such chumps demanded for the alzheimer-induced ravings they passed off as ‘consultancy’.
Not to mention the tightening up of regulatory regimes, the OECD, etc., etc., which had the effect of getting the serious offshore world to engage with the real business community and the rest to go to the wall.
Except in the Isle of Man of course, where, as the finance sector and a few Treasury bods just got on with business, Uncle Hugh was talking to the swivel-eyed loons who run the rest of government. Entranced, like so many six year olds with learning difficulties, by his shiny baubles and fancy words, they sanctioned ‘Freedom to Fester’ – surely the daftest concept since…..well, the Cross Your Heart bra (which only MLCs are old enough to remember -and media trainspotters like me mad enough to trawl through old videos for in search of stone age advertising methodology).
Now the Alzheimers Army are at it again. See for details of a ‘political poll’ which, reading between the lines, cannot even be flogged to the cash-strapped Fools on the Hill, hence Hugh’s kind funding.
To save you some trouble, I will explain something simple.
In genuine academic research involving public consultation, the academics choose an interesting question to answer, then find a way to structure the enquiry such that (a) the public get to say what they really think, know and do without helpful ‘prompts’ from interested parties (b) a reasonable cross-section of the public get to be involved and (c) ways to make sure unexpected findings, rather than preferred ones, are kept in (and all attempts by lobby groups and other interested parties to skew the evidence in their favour can be kept out) are sought rigorously.
As a result, however strongly they suspect certain findings will follow, the academics can never be sure what they will get, and whatever they do get will be fully written up along with the methods of getting them so that other academics can check for unintended bias or plain wrongheadness.
By comparison, a’marketing survey’ works the other way round. First the surveyors ascertain what the client wants the result to be. Then they plan the survey so that there can be no other.
The questions are loaded so that only the preferred answers will be given by a significant majority, with a few random ‘wrong’ ones from a predetermined minority of deviants. The sampling survey is rigorously chosen to ensure only suitable participants are included – this can include pre-surveying applicants, choosing only a certain geographic or economic demographic, a preferred ‘psychographic’ (e.g. conservative, suspicious, low in self-esteem) etc. etc. Added to this (and having enough friends at college who did this for pin-money I know for certain) the surveyors get bored, lie, make up answers and fictitious participants, while the public get even more bored and (as genuine researchers know) also have a tendency to try and guess the ‘right’ answer. Result – a ‘survey’ whose findings should not be trusted as far as anyone can throw them.
The only interesting question might be why, apart from boredom or egotism, anyone wants this survey enough to put up their own money to facilitate it? We may get the answer when the results are in and their sponsor tells what we want next.

Sarah's bores

You have to laugh at this story (see on the latest in a halfwitted campaign to introduce ‘Sarah’s Law’ to the island.
“Over 20" campaigners?
So that’s a maximum of 10 once you take away the police, the media and the only MHK desperate enough to back you. Or less, if (as I suspect of anyone dim enough to want it) you cannot count higher than your fingers.
And considering the core audience for this nonsense, the organisers really should have worked out that the very worst time of day for such a ‘protest’ is when Jeremy Kyle is on.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Man talks sense on Isle of Man via YouTube

I cannot get over the fact that Brian Cox not only came to the Isle of Man and spoke to local sixth formers, but that he actually made the front page of a local paper during Tynwald Week.
I also cannot get over the fact that the 'scientist' (actually just a philosopher of science and mathematician) wheeled out by Manx Creationists to back up their nonsense did not even get a mention in local print, audio or electronic media.
Two-Nil to common sense.
Matty has been in contact to say that the Villa Marina conference involving Brian Cox and NASA astronauts is now on YouTube. Just go to and enjoy.
Three-Nil to common sense then.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Christian convictions

I cannot help poking fun at the annual attempts of evangelical wowsers to organize a ‘Christian rock festival’. Despite a decade of disasters which include, for example, regularly calling the emergency services out to rescue godbothering dimwits on midnight sea-swims, outwardly they have faith that, maybe, this year - at last - all will be well, some kids might turn up and all the finances will not be outgoings.
But I had to laugh, then shake my head, yet again when in their latest missive (see, poker-faced, the organisers claim that:
“Because it is a youth event run by the local churches, all of the artists are asked to sign up to a code of conduct which includes respecting the festival's no alcohol or drugs policy by showing up sober, avoiding inappropriate language or subjects and trying to provide a good role model for the youth.”
I laugh because since the festival first began the volunteers, over the years, seem to have included some fairly unsavoury characters – thankfully mostly long gone, though only twice due to actual criminal convictions here or elsewhere that I know of.
For example, at an early festival one ‘artist’ was a convicted Loyalist paramilitary, also with a separate string of firearms offences, who gained early release by ‘finding God’ and going into the business, with considerable help from the government grants then available to anyone purporting to run a ‘bridge building’ scheme in Northern Ireland.
He later founded an extreme ‘right to life’ group, aping the tactics of US Christian militia, which made a series of serious threats to UK nurses and doctors. That in turn led to more convictions for supporters of the group.
At the time of his Manx appearance, this ‘artist’ was officially bound not to leave Northern Ireland by the terms of his early release order. Knowing of such court orders from my time in Northern Ireland, I happened to ask various police officers not long after how he had been allowed to visit.
I could get no explanation of this obvious omission, despite prior advertising of his appearance and a system of Special Branch checks at the time under the Prevention of Terrorism Act which meant names of any convicted terrorists showed up as soon as their air or ferry tickets were booked. At the time Coleraine police were also investigating an attempt to burn down a family planning clinic, which deed the ‘militant’ wing of his organisation had openly boasted it was involved in.
And things get even more bizarre, because one of his other ‘good deeds’ was an ‘anti-drug’ lecture to Victoria Road Prison inmates. Back then several prison officers would have been former H Block guards who ‘relocated’ to the island as part of a deal between the Manx Department of Home Affairs and the Northern Ireland equivalent, saving the former a fortune training local prison officers and the latter an even bigger fortune in security arrangements which, at the time, were expected to be necessary for not just the serving years but the lifetimes of any police or prison officer.
Not, in short, a gentleman one would choose as a role model for any child, and not one whose government hosts could have failed to know his true character.
I hope recent and current guests and volunteers have less criminal tendencies, but can no longer be bothered to check each year. The only mystery to me is that the annual farce is repeated, but I cannot be bothered to solve that either, only to point, laugh, and be somewhere else when it is perpetuated.

List of 2,000 child health problems

This (see must be a worry to any responsible parent.
2,000 ill informed bigots on the island, and once the last edition of News of the World hits the dustbin tomorrow nothing left to distract them.
The first local witterings of this appeared in the press a month or so ago. From conversations with workmates it quickly became apparent that the campaign was driven, not by concerned parents, but a loose network of welfare dependants messing about on Facebook at 3 AM while the plant food wears off.
Now, as a principled libertarian, it is simply not my concern if these dullards get off their faces every night. And anyone who has worked with such wasters probably prefers it if they stay on benefits and away from work environments, where their inability to concentrate while operating machinery or office equipment could take an innocent life - or at the very least inconvenience it while the clerical error is corrected.
Ordinary, self-disciplined people in a small community do not need to check with the police if a potential father (or a temporary sex partner and potential passport to more years on benefits) might be a sex offender. Because they would know him from schooldays, work or leisure interests, or at least have talked to the man long enough to know something of his history.
In fact, anyone who has even tried to bring a genuine sex offender (or even a parent who needs some support) to the attention of the relevant Manx authority knows how child abuse is covered up when the offender disguises it as 'church work' (and almost every Manx sex offender I know of has), while parenting problems which reflect on the failure of social services to do anything except keep two 'executive' parasites in their £100K+ jobs will simply be ignored.
To be blunt, most local parenting problems are not rooted in the wilful neglect of individual parents, but in the failure of public services, the superstition and bigotry of the ‘third sector’ which is being talked up as a stand-in, or just the callousness of many local employers towards parents working to provide what their child needs most.
The other night we were joking that perhaps we need to petition to know who has petitioned to introduce Sarah’s Law. With these loons presenting their petition, I suppose at least we can now note the signatories, and their desperate political sponsors, then keep such sad and silly folk well away from our nearest and dearest.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

National Lunacy Day

We’re just back from Tynwald Day. Not the colonial clown show itself, which only the mentally defective bother with nowadays, but the fair on the Tynwald Field behind it.
In theory, this is where all Manx human life is to be found on our national day - folk dancing, selling female relatives to over-subsidised farmers, ritually thrashing each other with wet rhubarb or whatever else wildly inaccurate guides to Manx custom written by senile Edwardian vicars (and recycled by Manx National Heritage) have to say on the subject.
In practice, it is where local charities and odd social reform groups lay out their stalls amongst burger vans and a few chancers taking a day off from E-Bay, but still a handy way to take the national pulse.
Which is pretty weak, judging from this year’s atrocity exhibition.
Balloons featuring cartoon characters were more in evidence than national flags, and burgers and crisps far outsold either heavily hyped (and largely inedible) ‘organic farm produce’ or just old fashioned traditional fare like bonnag cakes. And the quality of second hand tat on rabid right church group stalls was so poor that it wasn’t even worth playing ‘reverse shoplifting’ – an anarchist sport where you get points for the most unlikely and startling tape, CD or DVD you can slip into a case originally holding devotional product.
Not that traditional religious values were much in evidence either.
As far as I could tell, Christian evangelicals were heavily outnumbered by new age nuts. This was even reflected in the live radio coverage, broadcast over a big screen and watched by almost nobody, when an item in which the Bishop explained the deep symbolic significance of an old stick he was carrying was followed by a much longer item, in which the interviewer got a live tarot reading from an over-excited gentleman who appeared to have overdone his happy pills.
Frankly though, as long as legal privilege (never mind public subsidy) for the new charlatans does not follow and they stick to fleecing the clueless rich, who cares?
I must also point out the poor state of the modern military. Judging from numerous obese, khaki-clad adolescents with severe acne who were wandering around, the UK armed forces can still happily take our least employable youth as cannon fodder, but only by skipping medical tests, PT and anything resembling a balanced diet.
There was also an RAF band playing, which brings me to more evidence of military madness.
After all the penguin suited politicos and any associated freeloaders had been herded into St. Johns Chapel by an obliging Border collie, it was safe for normal people to look round the main field. Within 30 seconds my daughter had picked up a handful of band uniform buttons, and I was amused to discover these are now shoddy plastic efforts, not proper brass. If this is the standard of components on a Number One Dress uniform, no wonder they feel outgunned by Talibanimals armed with AKs salvaged from Russian scrapyards.
I also spotted a renowned nationalist pushing a life size dalek around the field. Intrigued, I took a closer look, expecting it to be a wry piece of political street theatre, with the dalek being named after, say, an MLC or overpaid public servant. Turned out he was just letting kids play at being daleks while he pushed them about: I asked around, but even his fellow nationalists had no idea why.
It was just that kind of a day. You had to be there, but believe me, you might be glad if you were not.

Do we expect the Manx Inquisition?

Now here’s something, which one hopes is sheer coincidence rather than evidence of a church policy.
The Anglicans have made two recent announcements (see
and of new clergy coming to the island.
See a pattern in the former professions of two out of the three new clerics?
The two former police officers will join at least one retiree from the local force that I know of now serving as a hobby vicar. And other retirees from the local force are increasingly joining previous retirees from other forces who settled here in full time work with other churches.
This is no surprise if you know that only a decade ago there were enough church-going cops here to keep TWO Christian police organisations going, and two decades ago these organisations were instrumental in the resettlement of a number of RUC and H Block prison officers to the island. In the case of the younger ones officially to ‘save costs’ in training local staff (and benefit financially from substantial ‘resettlement packages’ from the security services), while the older ones invested their even more substantial retirement packages in local businesses far away from disgruntled former clientele.
The ‘church police’, when added to the number of recently retired senior civil servants donning dog collars as a weekend hobby, do suggest a worrying trend. Just at the point when those who screwed up our public services (while our police force only existed to serve a bigoted few) are finally put out to grass they go to work for the very institutions whose superstition, immorality and (at times) sheer pig-headed ignorance held back the island in the first place.
The more the decent elements in Manx society try to drag us towards civilisation, the more the worst elements in society take refuge in religious institutions, having now even been binned by the least civilised institution of all, the Manx government.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Things have only got better -again

This morning local creationists are gathering to hear some Oxford butthead posing as a scientist excuse their folly, and paying through the nose for this dubious privilege. At least in theory.
In fact they had problems selling any tickets, doubly inconvenienced by the necessity of having a show of force from local faith leaders and political deadbeats to make it look like an ‘important national event’, and the reluctance of such folk to get up for even a three course breakfast in a posh hotel unless it is (a) free and (b) they can still put in a claim for travelling expenses to some public body.
Still, at least this means that when the local press run a fact-free, unedited ‘report’ on the event next week we will have a handy list of (mostly unelected) politicians and government advisors who favour fairy tales over science. Not only that, but they do their worst to inflict such nonsense on the general public and also charge us for not just the nonsense but their ‘professional services’ in inflicting it.
Read, note the names, and remember when they spout off cluelessly about other topics (and get an easy ride from a local media built on the income from government advertising).
Here, by contrast (see ), is a great little achievement by a Manx rationalist, and for everyone else a chance to see one of our heroes, Professor Brian Cox, in action on the Isle of Man.
One of Matty’s other achievements is to be the first Manxman to talk to someone in outer space, which wouldn’t surprise anyone who knows him, as I have since he left school, and since we both marked time working at the Castletown Golflinks Hotel.
We’d both been blacklisted from useful local employment for crimes of free speech via the local press. In my case, amongst many other sins, for modestly suggesting the Isle of Man joined the late 20th century and decriminalised homosexuality. In Matty’s, for offering a short history lesson on the true significance of the bhollan bane ( a flower traditionally worn by Manx dignitaries on Tynwald Day) to the godbothering throwback then posing as Chief Constable who refused to put a ‘pagan’ emblem in his buttonhole.
By the way, and further to that topic, am I the only local person who finds it ironic that a notoriously homophobic cop was recently awarded the Queens Police Medal?
Tune in on Wednesday, and enjoy the rare sight of an intelligent adult being allowed to talk to young Manx people.