Thursday, 29 December 2011

Woody Allen Jesus

And talking about censorship and handing over Xmas to the fairy-fanciers -Dick Puddlecote drew my attention to another little gem.
It appears that ‘Jon o’ fun Woss’ had the excellent Tim Minchin on his Christmas shindig. All very nice, but there was a bit missing, thanks to management worries about offending the immoral minority. Probably didn’t want Christian Concern and other cross-wielding throwbacks clogging up the switchboard with crank calls, or the Daily Mail calling for Wossie to be disembowelled….summat like that.
The story is that Tim was asked to produce something funny and festive. His offering was a witty little ditty called Woody Allen Jesus, which the studio guests enjoyed, but the studio management had kittens over. So it wasn’t broadcast.
Luckily, you can still see it over t’internet. At! , for example.

Silent Write, who'lly shite

The local sock puppet media (though all Manx media has had either a government or corporate hand in the glove for over a decade now) brought us a sermon from Sentamu’s Apprentice at .
Oh dear, it didn’t get a good reception, did it?
When even the under-employed dimwits who haunt Johnston Press online forums have gone off a major source of urban myth and general misinformation it may be time to call it a day. Because, as Gary Otton of Scottish Media Monitor (a contrarian colleague of mine who knows that company’s publications better than most) says, only those who stay wilfully under-informed in order to confirm their knee-jerk prejudices haunt such dives in the first place.
Garry, by the way, has the dubious honour of having been banned, even under many pseudonyms, from pretty much every Johnston Press website there is. He has this annoying habit of pointing out the myths and factual inaccuracies in PR pieces from faith-based Scottish hate groups which lazy hacks run, uncut, as their own work. That never goes down well, and as for writing both Sexual Fascism and Badge of Shame (the two best, most damning books ever on the collaboration of the Scottish media in religious hate campaigns against gays, which led to both abominations like Section 28 and a massive increase in homophobic violence) – well, that was right out!
Incidentally, follow the link on the right to Scottish Media Monitor and you will really have your eyes opened about ‘responsible’ local media, church organisations and their friends in government. After a little of that you might just see similarities to the kind of things that vex me, and the reasons I bang on about them. Same media group, linked church groups, similar political scenario.
The odd thing is, I counted four recent stories which gave an excuse for Paterson to offer his dubious thoughts. It might just be because the Manx media is cutting and pasting more twaddle provided by the usual pressure group numpties than usual. Manx hacks so hate to leave the office and actually attend events or go and speak to the public at the best of times: having to leave home and actually go to the office over the Xmas break would probably be a grind too.
But even that is not the oddest thing to me. The oddest thing is that not only have we seen nothing in the Manx media about El Bish chairing the committee charged with producing the Anglican Church ‘pastoral statement’ on civil partnerships (see Big Story, curious silence for more on that), but that the local faithful do not know about it either, and not even the few full time professional clergy have been informed.
The possible exception to this would be the tiny clique of right wingers whose job it is to hand down to Manx Anglican plebs policy and wisdom which, in turn, has been relayed to Paterson from Sentamu’s private crew– a crew which, of course, ‘our’ Bish used to lead.
Their notorious lack of other contact with ordinary churchgoers - and the even bigger gap between them and anything which might be termed the real world - explains a lot. No wonder so many of them are retired civil servants.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Evangelicals steal Christmas from the poor - again

According to a story at
“Over 4000 shoe boxes filled with gifts are on their way to disadvantaged children from the Isle of Man.”
If you believe that, I have some shares in a tapioca mine you might like to buy.
On the basis that Samaritan’s Purse demand £1 from anyone daft enough to give them a box, what we do know is that the con-artist behind this scam - Franklin Graham, the repugnant offspring of televangelist Billy Graham – is at least another £4,000 richer because of Manx people with more money than sense. I also wonder if it will get to him the same way funds from other offshore havens used to.
SP, having failed to find anyone dim enough to register and front a bogus Manx or Channel Isles ‘sister charity’, used to have a strange aversion to receiving the donations in a cheque. On at least one occasion, under the guise of a visit to a regional headquarters, a volunteer was instructed to get on a plane with the hard cash in a briefcase, so that it could be added to the donations from that area rather than being traceable to an offshore source.
This, by odd coincidence, would mean the parent charity in the US had no audit trail to a place the IRS takes a particular interest in. In the drug trade (so a helpful Agent Scully lookalike from the FBI once explained to me and others on an FSC money-laundering course) this is known as ‘smurfing’. Funnily enough, in times further back, it was also the favoured method by which rogue Irish politicians delivered their skim-offs and pay-offs to Manx and Jersey banks to hide it from the Irish tax authorities.
What we also know is that those trying to prevent religious conflict in some poorer countries have just got 4,000 new problems, courtesy of the same idiots. Because we also shouldn’t believe the statement that “Children in countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Liberia and Romania will benefit from the gifts.”
SP have a habit of switching the destination after the boxes leave the donors, but never telling them. For example, a few years back, having led everyone to believe they were going to Russian ‘orphanages’ which had been handily photographed during a flying visit in a previous year, the boxes were reloaded onto an SP owned plane flying to Pakistan with one of their US media crews. Once dropped in a Pakistani disaster zone, they were filmed by SP’s PR unit and paraded in front of the world’s press. The PR unit got back on the plane and flew back to their luxury Carolina media headquarters, where the film and photos were glossily repackaged for next year’s campaign literature.
The boxes? Who knows – but by that time they were unfit for use anyway, so probably dumped on the nearest rubbish tip.
As if Franklin Graham and his despicable cohorts would care about starving Muslims anyway. This is, after all, the guy who even Southern Baptists shunned after he suggested the US Army fly Bibles into Iraq along with the initial invasion force.
This is the outfit who would only allow victims of a Southern American disaster to use tents provided to SP by a US government agency if they formally renounced Catholicism first, and whose tame US Army chaplains told astonished refugees from bombing in Iraq that they could only use the refugee centre showers after attending prayer meetings and bible classes.
Every year I’m pleasantly surprised by the continued willingness of Manx people to help the less fortunate.
But I’m disgusted by the evangelical pondlife who take advantage, and line their pockets by stealing from the world’s poorest people.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Drink up, light up, keep calm and carry on

Well, another day, another bit of pointless legislation from the Manx government.
Last week, (see we became the laughing stock of Britain by outlawing a substance that wasn’t even found here until some numpty of a drug advisor, desperate for another year of public subsidy, downloaded a stock advice sheet from a similarly clueless or dishonest UK pseudo-charity.
The slim justification for this was selective misreading of a medical report on the death of a girl who may have (but more probably did not) acquire some from a much older man in between necking a lot of alcohol and we know not what else. As nobody involved in the inquest bothered to read the full medical report - so even the coroner does not know what other factors there were to the death (pre-existing medical conditions, social or psychological issues) - and the doctor who made it was not asked to look for any other evidence, the simple truth is we do not know why she died, and will never know, because it might be inconvenient.
Away from the pseudo-war on drugs, evidence this week of the real war by the Manx government on civil liberties at
As ever, it is dressed up with a lot of false concern for poor ikkle kiddie-widdies.
Oh, grow up!
Does anybody on this island know one car-driving family so impoverished the car doesn’t have windows that wind down? Or one parent so indolent or evil they don’t open them?
If such a creature existed, and was ever the pig-ignorant stereotype these twonks take as a bog-standard parent, isn’t it far more likely that they would damage their kids in a far nastier way, and already have lost them to social services?
Similarly, how many folk do you know so selfish they light up in a company vehicle which may be driven or used by others, rather than being provided for their sole use?
I know none…. Zilch…. nada. And over the years I have worked for plenty of companies which owned vehicles, and with some pretty unsavoury workmates.
And once those red herrings are smoked, we are left with the real question.
Why is the state butting in on one more of the few private spaces left to individuals to chill out?
Some do it by listening to the radio, some by chucking their car a bit too fast round the Mountain Road. Whatever!
The point is, the state has no business telling its employers and sole income source if we can light up in a private vehicle. No more than it had stopping people who, by common consent, wanted to smoke in a closed area of a pub or other public building. No more than it has rationing alcohol to over-25s in weekly allowances any grown adult would consider nearer to a quick lunchtime snifter.
Wake up and smell the coffee - before they ban that too!
A government, guided only by tabloid hysteria, junk science, bogus charities (which it alone underwrites and in many cases picks staff and committees for) and other know-nowt freeloaders and prodnoses, is whittling away at any small pleasure enjoyed by consenting adults.
Time to do something about it, even if that ‘doing’ is, like Spanish bar-owners and customers, to simply, daily and en masse ignore a fatuous law until it is taken back off the books because it is impossible and impractical to police.
In other words, carry on as normal with your lives. Do that long enough, ignore the noise pollution of (self-appointed) experts and bansturbators long enough, and, who knows, we might just get enough peace to enjoy a quiet fag and a pint.

Empty political question, textbook non-answer

According to this prize piece of astroturf (see “Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw has given an insight into levels of child poverty in the Isle of Man.”
He has done no such thing, because like homelessness the government has no means of determining it. A swift glance at the irrelevant collection of statistics this chump produced as an ‘answer’ to a planted question by ‘Doors To Manual’ Hall shows that.
As with homelessness, if ever pressed or offered a suitable framework the government would simply set up a bogus ‘consultation process’ and civil servants would say it was ‘impractical’.
Or in plain English, any genuine consultation or framework would reveal how callous and incompetent politicians and government departments are, and that much of the worst effects of such poverty can be directly attributed to government functions which simply don’t work or aren’t available when they are most needed.
Anyway, ‘child poverty’ is a red herring: a misleading and emotive term which belongs in the dustbin of ideas.
It is not children who live in poverty. They are not wage-earners, not even benefit claimants, and they don’t pay bills or rent houses. It is their parents, families and guardians live in poverty, and neither the government nor the useless offspring of our most venal employers who run the Manx ‘third sector’ want to change that.
Apart from anything else, what would they do if a significant percentage of Manx society wasn’t too scared of losing any job to demand decent pay or conditions?
Children ARE powerless, but that is a different problem, and one which is true for most Manx people in a pseudo-democracy. We are more likely to see a squadron of pigs fly over Tynwald than a conference of the great and the good addressing that issue. Why would they, when they are the main cause and the main beneficiaries of our two tier society?

Friday, 16 December 2011

I'm planning fun, not a funeral, for a friend

I was sorry to hear of the death of one of my friends yesterday, though glad that at least in death he got some of the local recognition he richly deserved in life (see ).
At 93, Denys really was my oldest friend, and since I moved back here one of the dearest. I first met him at a party to launch Fermi’s Paradox, an extraordinary CD by the quite unique Sulby Phantom Band. Denys, even then over 80, was the narrator of an extended poem by his son(and essentially the Sulby Phantom Band), Roly, around which the CD was based. While most of the island’s self-described cutting edge thinkers were there to look cool and hang out with Roly, I was there at Roly’s suggestion specifically to meet Denys and chat about another matter.
Denys wanted to form a Manx group to mercilessly mock local religious hardliners until the Manx public stopped letting them get away with murder (or at least rape, fraud and propagation of general ignorance). Roly, knowing I had similar ambitions, thought his dad and I should talk and see what might be done.
We had a lively chat; I recognised a similar spirit and that night found a role model for my autumn years. Though nothing happened immediately, and neither of us can take credit for calling the meeting which lit the fire, a few months later Denys, Roly and I were amongst a small group of folk who became the Isle of Man Freethinkers. And the rest, as they say, is history.
What I shared with Denys was a belief that satire is the best – sometimes the only –weapon which can neutralise blind belief. If, like us, you chose to balance the joys of Manx life (the scenery, the laid back pace at which anything -or usually nothing- happens) with the mindbogglingly stupid antics of Manx politicians, civil servants and their religulous mates, you also need to be able to laugh.You will never stop the hardcore few who choose such belief, but in poking fun you might limit the damage done by the hypocrites whose wages they pay, and those who we all pay to produce the obscenities which become Manx government policy.
Denys (so I recently found out) had a longer record for top-flight relentless satire than most. He had served as a Royal Artillery officer in World War Two, so saw the savage stuff which fuelled the English post-war satire boom, from Pinter and Theatre of the Absurd at the high culture end to That Was The Week That Was and Monty Python at the lower end.
But arguably this boom was launched well before that by another ex-RA wit, Spike Milligan, with the Goon Show. And in researching some stuff about the Goons and the English Theatre of the Absurd a few weeks back I discovered something amazing. I’d always known Denys was once a plummy-voiced BBC announcer in the days when they wore evening dress to read the shipping forecast, but he was also the narrator of at least one series of the Goon Show.
I can’t claim to have done anything so grand with Denys, but we did launch the League Against Cruel Schmaltz ( a spoof campaign to get Manx radio to play less MOR muzak and find at least one point in the day when Denys’s frail wife, along with many similar housebound oldies, could enjoy some tunes they knew too).
We also harangued the military misfits who turn ‘national remembrance’ days into Bridge Over The River Kwai torture-fests. Pointless two hour prayer dirges, with six hymns, bible readings by dignitaries and a sermon from the Anglican Area Manager, rather than the beer, sandwiches, Vera Lynn and Glen Miller anybody, like Denys, who actually saw off Rommel really wanted.
Sadly, chinless ex-officers who, in their own careers, were too young to have seen a gun fired in anger at anyone but Belfast 10 year olds never listened, and now it’s too late. But we tried, and we definitely had fun, as we also did in the most unlikely campaigns on the most serious issues, such as the assisted dying campaign run by another founder Freethinker, the late Patrick Kneen.
At one point Denys and I had a bit of a private competition going as to who could get the most outrageous letter in the Manx press. When he moved away that stopped, but I would hate to finally win by default, so maybe I’ll take up that baton again just as a tribute to Denys.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Pass the bucket

I’ve now read two reports of the recent overblown and underpowered ‘conference’ which was supposed to find out if we have poverty and neglect here on Moaner’s Isle.
Facts and truth are as remarkable for their absence as they would be anywhere else except a collection of government-run puppet charities and their klingons. As I said last month when it was first publicised (see Poverty of Theory, Neglect by Government ) : “If these overpaid parasites have to ask they are more useless than we already knew, and we really need to ask in return why they have claimed so much public money for decades.”
Because, make no mistake, all that is going on – as ever – is the usual suspects whipping up more moral panic over inequality THEY perpetuate, in order to beg more public funds, in order to carry on whipping up moral panics, in order to beg more public funds, in order to perpetuate their useless existence. Maybe they have to, because nobody with an ounce of common sense would employ them for a real job.
The first version of several impartial reports (handily written by a Children’s Centre PR dogsbody then copied slavishly by ‘proper’ hacks) appeared at , where it was noted that: “It was organised by The Children's Centre whose chief executive John Knight hopes it will now lead to united efforts to tackle the issue."
It won’t.
For some clues as to why not, you could pick up the story as it eventually appeared in a newspaper now not only owned and controlled off-island but soon to be printed elsewhere too. See for a few clues as to who got paid just to turn up, who got paid to not only turn up but pose as ‘experts’, and who got paid to do both and then had the cheek to beg for more cash.
The non-academic with no peer-reviewed research on the topic to his name (from the Sunday kick-around league non-university with no track record in social sciences) must have felt right at home.
I also noted a social services bigwig who once spent an hour arguing that collecting accurate information on the precise numbers of and circumstances for women needing places of local refuge from violence was counter-productive, because she already ‘knew’ instinctively and didn’t think either the government or the public needed hard facts. Their role was just to hand her a blank cheque every time she demanded one.
She got her way because, as a highly overpaid and under-qualified Home Affairs executive pointed out at the same inter-departmental pow-wow, it was so much easier to blame all Manx social problems on people with dark skin, and also costs nothing in time, resources or research.
Then there’s the public sector key worker who, a decade ago, spent two hours listening to clueless Ulster godbotherers give a lecture on ‘drug education’ in which they couldn’t list (never mind actually give the correct chemical name of) several widely available illegal substances of the era, or the signs of their abuse, or cite one academic source which had identified either a medical danger or a social cause for concern for the drugs (no longer in circulation) of two decades before which their talk actually centred on. After this highly professional presentation both they and the faith barn they proposed to work from were also offered public money.
Or the authority on youth work whose bogus ‘youth club’ closed after no more public money was wasted on it: because as passing police officers kept reporting, the kids outside were just standing there, not members. Because they would rather stand in the winter street than enter a premises where staff, after nicking the sound equipment, had tried to frame innocent kids for it, not to mention assaults on girls under the age of consent who were ‘advised’ by police that allegations against ‘decent’ church leaders by anyone with a petty crime record would not reach court. Which they did not.
So, nothing to see, nothing to report. Just more begging bowl business from the usual recidivists.
Ho hum.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Big story, curious silence

Now here’s an odd thing.
Since December 1st I’ve been fielding queries from two ‘specialist’ areas of the press who know me of old. Both, from differing perspectives, are researching stories on an important development in their ‘specialisms’ in which a leading Manx resident will play a major part. Mainly, it must be said, because they’ve never heard of him. Yet the island media appear to know nothing about it.
Many current Manx journalists wouldn’t know a story if it crept up and hit them with a baseball bat, so nothing new or odd there.
What is odder is that powerful friends of the leading Manx resident haven’t spoonfed the story to a grateful hack either. Usually every vapid word he utters while going about his pointless and privileged job is not only relayed to the media, but followed by angry phonecalls and threats about the withdrawal of advertising if not immediately, and prominently, used.
So why not now?
Perhaps you can judge for yourselves.
The queries began when, on 1st December, the Church of England Media Centre issued a press release (see in which it was announced that:
“The House of Bishops has announced the membership of a Group established to advise it on reviewing its Pastoral Statement issued prior to the introduction of civil partnerships in December 2005. The Group will be chaired by the Bishop of Sodor and Man, the Rt Rev Robert Paterson. The other two members of the Group are the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, and the Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Rev Colin Fletcher. The Group will start work in December and report to the House in time for the House to reach conclusions during 2012.”
The statement goes on to explain that:
“The preparation of the pastoral statement was the last occasion when the House of Bishops devoted substantial time to the issue of same sex relationships. The House undertook to keep that Pastoral Statement under review and announced in July, this year, , that the time had come for a review to take place.
The House of Bishops also announced in July further work on the Church of England's approach to human sexuality more generally. The expectation is that the membership of that Group, whose work will be considered by the House during 2013, will be announced in the next few weeks.”
The C of E is looking to make their most important policy statement since Civil Partnerships became a reality, and Sentamu’s Apprentice is in charge of the process?
How big a Manx story is that?
What’s fast emerging is that even their fellow Anglicans hardly know these guys either, never mind the world at large. Which may be deliberate, or just because there are too many church factions with an interest (and form for sulking and taking their ball home) for any of the ‘regulars’ to get picked.
It’s known that Colin Fletcher is a former tutor at Wycliffe Hall and former chaplain to Archbishop George Carey. So he would have been picked by Anglican Mainstream. Don’t let the name fool you. They’re the ultra-orthodox freaks who keep threatening to break away and take some of the oldest, most valuable, church property with them. In reality, a tiny but powerful bunch of cranks, the C of E’s equivalent to a mad relative in the attic.
Less is known about Foster, other than that he studied economics at Durham, then lectured in it before being ordained, since when he’s worked his way up through the ranks in various roles, apparently with a particular interest in church mission, which I thought was just every vicar’s basic job.
But if Sentamu’s Apprentice was chosen because he was a dark horse and therefore gay and liberal Anglicans couldn’t object, it isn’t going to work.
True, the AM nutters don’t know or claim him, but they’ve approved him anyway because they see him as a fellow evangelical; if a bit of a wimp because any apparent antipathy for humanity doesn’t extend to lady vicars or women and everyone else in general except sad old white blokes in frocks.
But on websites such as the influential liberal Thinking Anglican (see ) comments like this are starting to appear:
“Robert Patterson (sic) was vicar of a parish adjoining mine and is wholly unsympathetic. He sacked a celibate gay curate, and most recently [...] he was one of only two C of E bishops in General Synod to vote AGAINST extending the pension rights of civilly partnered clerics.
I contacted some gay couples I know who live in Robert's former parishes - Robert would not be their choice for this post! I wonder if there is a single civilly partnered person in the whole of England who would support his appointment.”
Well, we’ve seen his grumpy, charmless comments after the Civil Partnership Bill passed, toeing an old Christian Institute line which portrays gays trying to put their relationships on an official basis and ensure pension and other basic rights as little more than economic opportunism, rather than ‘proper’ marriages like Christians pretend to have.
And I’ve noted here his successful attempt to make sure criminal civil servants won’t do time for leaking highly personal and confidential information about transgendered people to vicars, who also won’t do time for receiving it, or have to explain how they got it or why they won’t conduct a marriage ceremony.
So, we already know he has a bit of a problem with gays. In fact, his reported comments are alarmingly close to those swivel-eyed Manx political lunatics whose rabid views on the (then only proposed) partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1991 caused all decent people in Britain to write us off as a third world backwater. A view of us which meant most trade union and business groups took their conference business elsewhere for the next 20 years for fear of being branded homophobic knuckledraggers.
When Patterson and his chums eventually reveal their ‘new, improved’ Anglican policy towards gays we can have little doubt that, however sincerely meant, many will laugh and some will even feel sick. No point putting lipstick on a pitbull.
The problem is, if that view seems influenced by someone who is also an unelected politician in the Manx upper house, and could be portrayed as some sort of moral leader on the island, then we are right back to 1991 in the eyes of the rest of the world. And with a world recession on those are basics none of us want to go back to.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

That sinking feeling

Part way through a Saturday shopping expedition that, for other reasons, had all of us falling about laughing we tried to park in Ramsey market place. This was only possible after some complicated manoeuvres around a bunch of crinklies and dignitaries who were, as one, staring glumly into the harbour.
The reason, as we suspected, was not a community suicide pact but this (see ), yet another grief-fest on the rates. No surprise that Ramsey’s best known political carbuncle was in on it either. This collective celebration of the sinking of a ferry over a century ago just set us off in more gales of laughter.
Sorry if that offends the patriots and heritage buffs. Not!
But then, we’re offended that you’ll be gathering for yet another jamboree on the rates tonight , and that half-baked culture dullsters can just take over a building which was a genuine community resource until it was handed over to the heritage racket. The difference is we just laugh at you, don’t waste our time by attending such farces and prefer to contribute to real community initiatives instead of ersatz ones trying to perpetuate historical myths.
But the bigger reason we were laughing, even before encountering the municipal sad-acts in the market place, was to do with this (see ).
For off-island readers, the joke is that for the last week the island has been cut off from the real world because the clapped out former US military craft which passes for a national ferry service (a national ferry service not owned by the nation in decades and now, in theory, owned by the banks of another clapped out country) cannot run in bad weather. Yes, a boat considered fit for 21st century military activity in this age of postmodern warfare is slightly less capable of setting out on the Irish Sea than, say, a 40 year old cabin cruiser with an outboard motor.
This has led to empty supermarket shelves, which in turn illustrate effectively just how little the over-subsidised Manx agricultural sector actually produces. It also illustrated, as some have long suspected, that even some fruit and veg labelled as local is actually shipped in from Ireland and repackaged.
Nothing new there. It used to happen years ago with ‘Manx’ meat, and even ‘Manx’ kippers.
And the other reason we were laughing as we surveyed the empty shelves is that it revives memories of when friends and relatives from Central Europe come to visit, and go away startled at our low standard of living, even as they roar with laughter at local newspaper stories which print, unchecked, stories about the fictitious exploits of evangelical Manx ‘charities’ in places like Romania or the Ukraine. One relative was so worried at the apparent inability of the Manx to feed themselves that she took to sending ‘Red Cross parcels’ of proper food for us to pass around the neighbours, or even feed ourselves if it came to the crunch.
When normal service is resumed, my guess is there will be queues of sobbing cultural elitists in Tesco. They will probably be heavily wrapped in balaclavas, scarves and hoods. Not because of the weather, but in case anyone normal notices them and laughs.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but many of us here have been doing that for years anyway. Maybe if you didn't have your heads rammed so far up your backsides you would have noticed.

Freaks and zombie-lovers go back to school

Way back in March (see Foul-mouthed pervs strike in Manx schools) I mentioned that the Department for Miseducation and Child Abuse was allowing Christian fundies more opportunities to tell silly stories to small children. This on the dubious premise that so few tinies reach adolescence having read a Bible or even knowing the major stories.
Why this is a problem, I don’t know. Why there isn’t similar concern that not enough small kids are familiar with, say, Aesop’s Fables or the Brothers Grimm I also don’t know.
Actually, the first thing I did on hearing this nonsense was to seek out The Penguin Book of Classical Myths and give it to my daughter. It’s a university classics course textbook, she was then nine, and she loved it. Beat that, zombie carpenter acolytes!
The whole pointless exercise was masterminded by the Scripture Union Ministries Trust, having been sanctioned by the Education Department’s Religious Education Advisory Committee, which is, by law, chaired by the Bishop of Sodor and Man, and whose membership is entirely selected from and by the major Christian sects. No other faith or belief group is represented, or is ever likely to be. In fact, at the time of the last reform of this committee likely to happen in our lifetimes, just under a decade ago, a senior Anglican informed the government that no other faith or interest needed to be represented, as they did not exist.
This barefaced lie this was told because Churches Together in Mann, the government’s only official point of reference on religious matters, was approached in 1999 by people of other faiths about setting up some sort of Manx Interfaith Council. They then wet themselves at the thought of having to share their publically funded toy box with other childlike simpletons.
I also mentioned in March that: “So far only two teams of SUMT yawn-troopers are being let loose in three schools. But apparently, later this year, our clueless government will allow four gangs to practice their potty-mouthed antics in between four and eight more primary schools.”
I heard evidence this week that not only is this now happening, but that it is being used as a Trojan Horse for the distribution of creationist literature through Manx infant schools. The creationist tracts in question were produced by a Northern Irish evangelical organisation. Incidentally, the Education Department, only a few months, ago assured parents Creationism is not and will not be taught in Manx schools
In addition, I hear credible reports that the parents of small children in at least one school say their kids are having nightmares from some of the lurid Old Testament codswallop being read to them.
Aren’t you glad your children are in such safe, professional and attentive hands?