Saturday, 25 February 2012

Nursery crimes

For the last week or so (see and for example) the pseudo-local press has been full of ‘stories’ about Manx government cutbacks in pre-school services.
Being a cynic, I am not surprised that all this ‘people’s press’ guff kicks off just at the point when the Manx government cut all the public notices which used to subsidise Johnston Press’s advertising rates to the offshore finance sector, which in turn was the only reason they set up shop here in the first place. And as I once worked for the last newspapers not owned by Johnston Press before they finally put us out of business, they could, in turn, fairly comment that I would say that, wouldn’t I?
But another thing; let us admit at once that ‘pre-school education facilities’ are not education facilities. They are government child-minding facilities, offered on the discreet understanding that as long as both parents need to work full time in order to pay taxes and buy private housing they cannot spend the day at home with small kids. No child actually gets educated at them.
And let us admit another thing. In practice they are not even that.
For one thing because of the unofficial racist screening of parents which ensures that such facilities are always ‘full’ whenever an obviously not local mum enquires about them, yet remarkably can always squeeze another one in when a relative or churchmate of the school secretary asks the next day.
For another, because there is a longer running class prejudice against people from council estates who have been failed by the Manx education system for generations.
The small town (and to be frank pig-ignorant) elite who perpetuate such bigotry ensured that a previous generation left school unemployable just as local work outside the finance sector was drying up. For a decade or more now, they have been branding the generation that followed as ‘unfit parents’ and building up a nice little racket in ‘social care’ and ‘parenting skills’. It always cracks me up that upper middle class halfwits get to run local childrens charities and organise highly pointless seminars and conferences to address the supposed problems of this ‘lost generation’. Meanwhile their own kids, deprived of any parental attention, are the key customers of the local drug dealers.
The end result of this is the farce we see played out every day outside my daughter’s primary school, and probably every other one on the island. My wife waves goodbye at the school gate, tries to avoid every other working mum speeding off to work, and waves to two women who run small private nurseries as they drop off some older kids before heading back to the nursery to take over from a part-time assistant who is minding the tinies. Meanwhile a clump of professional welfare mums drop their kids at the ‘pre-school’ class at the infant school, light up another fag and go home to watch Jeremy Kyle.
Not that I am blaming the welfare mums. Because this is what a lot of government policy and money has reduced them to. Educated out of the work force, now even judged unfit to be parents because of the very process which, first, saw them targetted for compulsory parenting classes run by semi-retired churchwives, and which in turn saw secretive files being drawn up on their unfitness to parent which, paradoxically, put their kids to the head of the list for pre-school education (because, being illiterate and innumerate, the testing revealed they would be unable to help their kids begin reading or counting).
Against all this, do I really care a jot if goods which were never as described or fit for purpose are no longer on offer?
Well, No, and Yes.
No because the future non-existence of something which was never there for me or any other working parent not born here is not a genuine problem. The day I arrived here I saw this place was, though of great natural beauty and with some residents of incredible charm and warmth, also a racist toilet with no social superstructure, so I never relied on anyone outside my family and close friends for anything and never will.
Yes, because of that odd little admission at the end of the first report, that: “Education and Children Minister Peter Karran MHK has previously said the government hopes to lease out the 11 sites for private and voluntary agencies to run.”
Who might those ‘private and voluntary agencies’ be?
Knowing that both Health and Social Care are now overseen by superstitious pro-life throwbacks with a track record for handing government contracts to their equally disreputable and bigoted friends, and knowing how many full time religious bigots are sniffing around for extra income to compensate for the total lack of public interest in their Sunday shenanigans, and knowing how ordinary members of evangelical churches who work in the public sector have been offered career advancement in return for spotting business opportunities for those churches…..
Well, frankly, knowing all that it is not hard to guess. What any decent parent or caring, reasonably educated Manx citizen really needs to work out is what to do to prevent the island becoming a place run by, and only fit for, parasitic village idiots.
Probably exactly the same as we did yesterday, but with even more determination and wit.

When Jesus saves everyone gets screwed over

I have to giggle and groan sympathetically at this (see ) for several reasons.
Firstly, because it nicely illustrates the difficulties faced by a non-religious person trying to do something right on the Isle of Man. All a self-congratulatory Christian chancer has to do to get branded a ‘good person’ is wave a cross about a bit and mention Jesus. Anyone else actually has to do good work, and without the obligatory nod to Jesus Freakery it never gets recognised as good anyway.
But also because it is a prime example of the dangers of government-run pseudo-charities, slave labour schemes and co-operating with evangelical bigots in order to get your message across.
Just to ‘deconstruct’ things and make it all a little clearer….
Muriel was one of the founder members of Isle of Man Freethinkers, so having to link the campaign to a smug religious orgy of ‘self-denial’ must make her grit her teeth. Though on the other hand, as ‘unfashionable’ class warriors point out, for all the worthiness and common sense behind them green campaigns and campaigners can also be fuelled by a smugness and tendency to perpetuate prejudices of class, (perhaps less consciously) race and the legacies of colonialism which have never gone away. Attitudes and prejudices whose most common exponents are evangelical Christians.
Then there is the problem of government run pseudo-charities. Having a dialogue with government is one thing, allowing your charity or community campaign to be used as a career springboard for chancers looking for a cosy government contract, or for civil servants to dictate your local policies in return for a seat at the table with them (which is way too common in a Manx ’Third Sector’ chiefly administrated by civil servants), or just allowing your charity to be used as ‘proof’ of the forward thinking of the Manx government in return for a government grant to your UK parent…?
Can any member of the public take your campaigns seriously if even you don’t?
Prison slave labour schemes – another bugbear of mine. See the Campaign Against Prison Slavery link to the right for a fuller picture, but the simple fact is this. The ‘punishment’ of a prisoner is to be deprived of liberty. End of.
Rehabilitation which involves work schemes – especially on the Isle of Man – is a sick joke. If you want to teach somebody to have some dignity by holding down a job and paying their way in society instead of robbing – fine. But the point is that employment is based on an exchange of ‘goods’, so if you ‘work’ you get paid.
Well informed prison charities (i.e. none that can operate on the Isle of Man) have suggested schemes whereby a prisoner works for a ‘proper’ company and is paid a reasonable wage. As it’s unhelpful or undesirable for them to have that much cash in prison, the money can then be banked in an account used to address practical problems when they get out – for example to set them up with accommodation. Alternatively, it could go straight to their family so the prisoner has the self-respect of knowing they are supporting them – legitimately – while inside.
Curiously, neither large companies nor the faith-based hypocritical wowsers who run ‘rehabilitation’ on the Isle of Man want to know about that. No short term profit for them, you see. Better, like Shoprite, to get a product (which only benefits you) made free (and even with public donations), then latch on to the publicity generated by a Department of Home Affairs which rather than preventing crime perpetuates it – even to the extent of nurturing the next generation of criminals.
Co-operating with evangelical bigots? St Thomas’s, by virtue of having the ‘right’ to appoint deluded loons (sorry ‘practicing Christians’) as staff which the current Diocesan representatives on the school board insist on exercising, has a head teacher who takes flat-earth superstition seriously. His predecessor was a decent middle-of-the-road Anglican, but when he retired no Anglican teacher wanted the job so rather than give it to a reputable professional the Diocese picked a Broadway Baptist punter, reputedly a creationist with equally startling views on most things. Given that some of that tribe are millenarians (a Christian subculture that thinks Armageddon is imminent and you should do nothing to stop it) he may even believe environmentalism is a distraction of the Devil.
Fair play to any non-religious person who wants a better island and world and engages with this cretinous, deep-rooted bigotry and nonsense to try and get it. Personally though, my nod to a ridiculous Christian tradition is to give up self-flagellation for Lent.
And after Easter? Well, long time until Saturnalia in December, but, with some effort, I am sure I can find ways to knock out my inner policeman and actually enjoy the process of bringing misanthropic vacuity to its knees – while simultaneously encouraging everyone else to get off them.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sermonising to the deluded is not 'keynote', 'public' or 'talk'

I’ve already posted once (see The Die-in-Hell option )
to note that this (see is utter twaddle, but still the lies spew forth. Both from elected and unelected political figures who want this island to remain a place where superstitious peasants are frightened into compliance with a few ridiculous ghost stories while witchdoctors steal from the dying.
This is not a ‘keynote public talk’ and has nothing to do with either care for the dying or concern for human life. This is just another pathetic prayer meeting where people with closed minds can have their prejudices confirmed.
If you really care about the ‘right to life’, look at and sign up. It is a petition to the Saudi royals asking them to ensure a Saudi journalist is not killed for ‘blasphemy’. The very real threat to his life caused him to flee the country after the contents of a jokey Tweet reached hardcore Islamists. Even worse, Interpol actually aided his deportation from Malaysia (another country where ‘traditional’ Islam has great and undemocratic influence, in reality underwritten by overseas income generated by Malaysian investment in the entertainment industry) back to Saudi Arabia, where a kangaroo court to please Wahabi flat-earthers seems a foregone conclusion unless international opinion prevents it.
Ironically, for decades old school Manx financiers with right-to-life views saw no contradiction between their apparent Sunday concern for the sanctity of human life and their weekday business helping Middle Eastern despots hide overseas profiteering from some distinctly un-Islamic shenanigans. Thankfully, most are now too senile (or otherwise sidelined from contemporary business life) to do much more than help homegrown religious cranks with misleadingly labelled ‘charitable and ‘non-profit’ empire building. The tragic results are fit only for display in an offshore finance version of Cregneash Farm (a Manx agricultural museum), but the unfunny thing is that the Manx Government seems perfectly happy not only for the taxpayer to subsidise such museum pieces but to pass them off as cutting edge ‘social services’.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

More rantings from the madhouses

According to this (see ) the ringmaster at a notorious Manx freak show has confirmed the exhibits will continue talking to the fairies before the daily performance starts for real, the dogs jump through the hoops and the chimps throw excreta at each other.
So, no news there then.
Seems he was questioned after a well researched and executed campaign by the National Secular Society stopped the compulsory prayers which kick off council proceedings in England’s most deluded backwaters, which in turn has caused the most under-employed and ill-informed sections of the superstition industry to worry they might get culled.
How can you kill something if it is already brain dead?
The whole point of the ruling is that, as before, those who choose to can pray, but prayer cannot be a compulsory item on the council agenda. But the inability of Lords Spiritual to understand something which my 10 year old daughter grasped in seconds when she asked about it today is more evidence that they are unfit to be part of any serious political assembly. Not that the House of Lords could be described as a serious political assembly.
And talking of political assemblies which lack gravitas…
I have even less faith in Manx politicians than most of them have in the Imaginary Magical Friend they ask for help before another day spent trying to shaft the island.
But, thankfully, neither politicians nor civil servants have ever run the island anyway. Their task is merely to distract straw-sucking peasants by looking as dignified as anyone can while passing wind dressed in a bad suit. Meanwhile, those who actually make the decisions which determine whether or not we stay fed and housed for the foreseeable future do so, safe in the knowledge that they will not be chased by a pitchfork-wielding mob who would view the ability to use a calculator as evidence of witchcraft.

I want a refund

“What we have seen in Britain over the last fifteen years is a politicisation of 'civil society' and the rise of state-funded astro-turfing. Under the leadership of Suzi Leather, the Charities Commission has actively encouraged NGOs to campaign while the government has encouraged them to take statutory funding. It should be no surprise that this subverts and undermines democracy. That was surely the intention. When businesses do this, we call them what they are: front groups.”
So says Chris Snowdon, who could almost be talking about the Isle of Man, except that we don’t have a Charities Commission - or indeed any recognisable professional or governmental oversight of the island’s biggest licence to subsidise incompetence with public funds, spread superstition and peddle extremist claptrap.
For a glimpse of the model for taxpayer funded behavioural change that we are increasingly seeing over here too, see which deals with the admission that the UK government is, after all, underwriting a bogus anti-smoking ’charity’ and using it as a means to push through behavioural change that taxpayers have not signed up to.
And there’s more on a similar theme at, where the links between various local authorities, the NHS and a ‘grassroots’ website, asking people to sign up to a campaign to introduce a minimum alcohol pricing law, are clearly outlined.
“Why”, asks Snowdon “…. is the government—which has supposedly not made its mind up about minimum pricing—allowing taxpayers' money to be spent on an astro-turfing project designed to get people to sign up to a "movement"?
Happens all the time in the Isle of Man, Chris, except here they’re called ‘government consultations’, and run by people who just happen to be employed by the bogus health charities which benefit most, having been chosen to do so by people who just happen to be paid-up members of extreme pro-life groups in their spare time (some would say in our time, and certainly with our money, which makes us unwilling sponsors of such faith-led fascism too).
Snowdon concludes: ”Regular readers will be familiar with fake charities and state-funded NGOs masquerading as 'civil society'. It might take a little homework to find out that ASH, Alcohol Concern, Friends of the Earth, Brake, Sustain et al. are largely dependent on statutory funding for their existence, but it can be done. This website is not unusual in using government money to lobby for policy, but it is unusual in that it is doing so anonymously and without disclosing the source of the campaign. If this is not against the rules then the rules are worthless.”
In the Isle of Man it is worse. Here the rules are made by the worthless.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Worried? Me?

I wasn’t going to blog this week, mainly because I was told to get out of the way and read a book while Management and Junior Management did something important.
Problem was, a joke about busybodies in the book connected with some things I read this week, one story about a completely bonkers fundraising initiative involving a charity known to my friends and relatives as ‘Hangman’s Rope’ (because every time the public give them further licence to act, something else innocent dies), and another an ‘advisory’ evening on a health matter where, on the face of it, yet another bunch of rich, superstitious new-agers want parents to disregard good medical advice because of something they heard from a friend of a friend who read it on the back of a Tofu wrapper. Both the head-scratchingly inane ‘fundraiser’ and the new age unhealth warning demonstrate the continued persistence of that irritating phenomena, the Manx busybody of independent means.
Funnily enough, many such press releases enter cyberspace due to a once very strait-laced hack whose idea of ‘edgy’ used to be wearing a pink Argyle pattern sweater to play golf. Then, some years back, he got it into his head to try hallucinogenic mushrooms, which led to such a bout of soul-searching that he signed up for life with an evangelical cult. This, I humbly submit, may explain a lot of things.
But this is the problem now that Britain no longer has an empire. Once upon a time village idiots (especially interfering, pathological do-gooders who engage in charity work), could, after adolescence, be dispatched to the colonies to boss around natives until they either got killed by beri-beri or lead poisoning (courtesy of a bullet or two from an exasperated native employee or spouse).
True, those who miraculously survived sometimes retired here and could even bring the empire’s problems home by going into politics.
I can think of one who was so dull-witted he was unemployable here, even by the church which gave steady employment to his relatives, and was dispatched in utter desperation by his family to Kenya. There he failed dismally to make his mark or even get into white mischief, then came home once there were no older relatives to stop him and eventually drifted into a career as a political deformer from which he was only recently and forcibly retired, and where his weekly questions were so pointless and his blustering speeches so grey they made even his father’s sermons seem inspiring.
Another, similarly dispatched in his youth further East, rose to the top of what Interpol used to consider the most corrupt police force in the former British Empire – apparently not just without a stain on his character but without even noticing that his real employers were the Triads. No surprise, then, that he also went into Manx politics upon retirement, where he was highly respected for his work on issues of morality, law and order.
But that was in another era, when there were still far-off countries where a pompous (if semi-literate) buffoon could be safely absorbed into some minor regional bureaucracy. These days the only market for such chumps is Eastern Europe, because a century or more of colonial mistakes have made Africa, India and the Far East immune to even the most virulent forms of British idiocy, and as US tele-evangelists pump far more dirty money into such countries than puny Brit godbotherers, even ‘charity work’ with demented evangelical outfits is drying up.
But always remember the Romanians saw off Ceacescu. In fact, from my relatives I know of a long history going all the way back to Vlad The Impaler of unwanted interlopers being disposed of in colourful ways, and greedy illiterates with political ambitions ending up in unmarked graves then being quickly forgotten by their former near neighbours and collaborators. So even siphoning off EU aid to build substandard cow shacks passed off as ‘sheltered housing’ and ‘schools’ in the hope the roof stays on long enough for the tourist trade to pick up and the site to be sold on for ‘redevelopment’ no longer seems like a safe career option.
The real difficulty will be when the latest generation of demented ‘social reformers’ come home for good.
Their colonial era predecessors left in times of Manx economic hardship and retired to an island of full employment where the economy was bolstered by a growing offshore finance industry. The new generation were unemployable here even in such good times, which was precisely why they were packed off in the first place.
If they return to an island where employment and the economy are both far less certain, then even their superstitious relatives and chums in the public sector will never find paid employment for all of them. And as they are demonstrably dumber than any ‘at risk’ subculture they might be let loose ‘advising’ to, one struggles to think of any career choice other than living off the state at an even lower level of subsistence than, say, an evangelical minister with a franchise from a US parent church.
I might worry a lot if I could stop laughing long enough.
You are welcome to try both, possibly even at once.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Lies are never a match for elegant truths

According to a press release put out by what is passed off as the Manx Health and Social Services (see

“Self Management is an integral part of daily life and is all about individuals taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, with support from the people involved in their care and in conjunction with care received from health and social care professionals.”

Well…no, actually it is not.
What it is really about is government not providing services to the weak and vulnerable which used to be seen as a minimum in a civilised society. It is about two-faced lying hypocrites (some of whom are on £100K+ salaries, so will never need worry about health service cutbacks) taking away from those on the breadline the difference between getting by and dying slowly and painfully, then trying to pass off that closure of basic public services as a carefully considered independent decision not to use them by poor sods who never even had a chance to give an opinion - never mind decline.
This has to rank as the nastiest, most cynical piece of marketing ever done at public expense in recent years on the Isle of Man by thieves whose salaries are actually paid by the people they steal most from.
The sickest joke is that the Manx government (and certainly the NHS) does not let responsible adults take decisions over their lives anyway. It simply does not think they are capable.
Take the nanny-statist ‘public health’ twaddle spouted about cigarettes, alcohol and any pharmaceutical product those close to government cannot get an easy kickback from.
Take the laughable attempts at drug and alcohol ‘education’ from self-perpetuating quasi-governmental agencies who know less about the topic than the average teenager.
Having already proscribed alcohol to the extent it is harder for a respectable adult to buy it than, say, crack cocaine or heroin, take the attempts we will no doubt see in the near future to ensure cigarette smokers can only obtain their simple pleasures in the sordid sort of ways blokes used to buy fairly innocuous girlie mags back in the 1960s.
Take the far more serious attempt to close down debate over assisted suicide, such that intelligent people who have simply decided (like the elderly relative at a lively party) that enough is enough, thank you very much, and now they’d like to be on their way just cannot make a dignified exit.
Is this all really because of concerns over ‘public health’, and the drain on the taxpayers, or worries that the old and disabled will feel under pressure to pop their clogs from pushy relatives and neighbours?
Or is it just because it wouldn’t generate enough income for the godbothering, incapable chums of the legislators.
You know, all those faith-led ‘advisory agencies’ and ‘therapists’. All those places where the terminally ill are ‘helped’ to extend their death as long as possible, while purveyors of pointless ‘alternative therapies’ try and flog lotions and candles from Tesco at Harrods prices, and priests hover around the soon-to-be-bereaved in the hope Great Aunt Maude will remember their ‘kindness’ in her will before she turns her toes up.
To all of them, may I quote a letter by David Hockney, published recently in the Guardian in response to some tiresome Aussie who has caused further inconvenience to the public in that once free-spirited, live-and-let-live country. Change the context from tobacco to almost any other free choice made by intelligent adults (and endangered by the antics of superstitious prohibitionists) and it is still just as powerful and elegant an argument against toytown barbarism from one of the last of an endangered species – a civilised adult who knows his own mind.

"Why doesn't Mr Chapman debate with a good and satisfied customer of the tobacco companies (Plain packs will make smoking history, 25 January)? Someone who has seen what will replace it as a smoothing, calming contemplative helper. Someone whose friends died of alcohol consumption, not tobacco. Someone who has smoked for nearly as long as he has lived. Someone who knows about the fanatical attitude of haters of tobacco. Someone who is not so naive about advertising and packaging.

Someone who has almost outlived a fanatical anti-smoking father. Someone who is fed up to the teeth with people who think they really know what health is. Someone who is not afraid of the cowardly, crooked politicians who stifle the debate about pleasure in the now. Someone who knows that time is elastic. Someone who knows how easy it is to lie with statistics. Someone who is not a professional agitator, who knows there is no such thing as a professional smoker but knows there are hundreds of dreary, professional, highly paid anti-smokers.

Someone who thinks laughter is good for you as it drains fear from the body. Someone who has something better to do than to try and control the quiet lives of others. Someone who knows we are all a bit different and is fed up with the growing regimentation of people. Someone who knows that smokers can live perfectly average-length lives but heavy drinkers rarely. Someone who is shocked by the growing conformity among people, and what that might mean for a reasonable free society. Someone who prefers the centre of Bohemia to Australian suburbia. Someone who knows we have to die.

David Hockney
East Yorkshire"

(hat tip to Chris Snowdon at Velvet Glove, Iron Fist for the David Hockney letter)