Well, the Manx election is over, and now the dust has settled we see that although a few different arseholes got elected all we can expect is the same old shite as before.
My experience as a Ramsey voter was fairly typical of most working people outside the capital.
As there are few jobs in the town, most of the working population commute 15 miles each way to Douglas and back, which should have meant a rush to the polls after 6 PM. Nope, just the election supervisors, the candidates and their blue-rinsed back-up teams when I got there.
Only exception was the campaign workers for Laurie Hooper, at 24 the youngest candidate and one of only two brave enough to say that, if elected, he’d push for scrutiny of government spending and policy-making procedures. Neither he nor the other guy making that promise (a junior civil servant, as it happens) got in. Thankfully neither did the truly scary woman from Liberal Vannin – a party with a campaign run by Robert Kilroy-Silk’s former campaign manager, so more UKIP-lite than liberal in values.
Various crinkly folk tell me that all the top four polling candidates visited them, but no working people recall seeing more than one candidate on the doorstep – and he was a working guy himself who could only make the rounds over evenings and weekends.
In fact, one neighbour, a sprightly ex-schoolteacher, deliberately went on holiday to Italy during the election week. She correctly forecast that (1) almost all of the votes in Ramsey would be cast by retired people, as commuting workers won’t be able to get to the poll in time and the unemployable don’t vote, being too illiterate to read candidate names (2) knowing this, career con-artists always make a point of touring retirement complexes and known homes of retired people and (3) if elected they never keep their promises.
Therefore, rather than becoming so irate she clocked one of the lying sods (which would be undignified for a genteel lady of advancing years) she would sit in the sun until the lying stopped and the toads most able to get frightened, superstitious half-blind biddies to leave the house, daytime TV and the Daily Mail long enough to put an X in roughly the right spot were declared the winners. At that point the highest paid civil servants can continue cutting deals with the skankiest local employers and the rest of us can carry on as normal.
Incidentally, as a lapsed member of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (I participated during the Wild Willi Beckett years, when a combination of inspired lunacy and more serious campaigns on homelessness and sleaze actually got us York and Bradford council seats) I will be informing the party hierarchy of a Manx politician canvassing under false pretences. In this story (see http://www.isleofman.com/News/article.aspx?article=39810), Leonard Singer is clearly sporting an OMRLP rosette with the centrepiece altered. Ironic really, as the original said: “VOTE FOR INSANITY. You know it makes sense” .
Come to think of it, the Isle of Man may be one of the few places outside Washington DC or Tehran where, rather than restrict the voting rights of the clinically insane, we just employ them as politicians to keep them off the streets.
3 years ago