Sunday, 21 September 2014


“Management” found a new game at her workplace on Friday – taunting exiled Scots who, if they had a chance, would have voted No anyway.
As she so aptly put it, “I hear Mel Gibson's making a modern sequel to Braveheart . It's going to be called Slaveheart.”
Ouch! But couldn't you just predict that, once finally given a chance, all those Presbyterian dullards would opt for an English Nanny over free choice and responsibility?
A fear of freedom perhaps? I blame John Knox myself. Once you've internalised the doctrine of Predetermination, maybe you can never think and act for yourself.
If you do have enough self-respect to get involved in a major contemporary political issue, get down to the Manx Legion Club in Douglas tomorrow night (Monday 22nd) for this (see ).
Gareth and Paul are two of my favourite Manx human rights activists. Since coming here just a year or two ago, Gareth has galvanised the whole local debate over disability and moved it on decades. As in the UK until the 1990's, it used to be dominated locally by patronising faith-led “charities” who would do anything to help the disabled except get off their backs and stop using them as an excuse for lifetime subsidised employment. Gareth, by comparison, has a practical grounding in the Disability Rights Movement, the kind of militant crips who, if you lay in a bath of baked beans to buy them a wheelchair, would quite rightly smack you in the mouth instead of thanking you.
Paul has been slogging away for as long as I can remember on equality issues. He was key to the abolition of the vacuous Section 38 (the Isle of Man's equivalent of UK section 28, which prevented schoolteachers assuring kids that there is nothing abnormal about homosexuality or gay relationships) and to various moves to abolish institutionalised Manx homophobia in the 21st century. More quietly, he was the sole advocate prepared to help two Muslim guys refused bail because they could and would not attend daily prayer meetings at the island's bail hostel, run by a Christian charity. The case was also important because the Manx government's answer to the first local request for asylum was going to be to quietly ship them back to the UK and pretend the applicants had never been here, thus ensuring a legal judgement would not be made and a legal precedent could not be set.
But while Paul and Gareth will raise valuable issues, this Equality Bill is a much bigger deal and we all need to be thinking about how it might affect us.
For example, luckily I was married in a civilised country, and if my daughter ever gets round to being married or entering a civil partnership I will want the same for her. As long as a superstitious cross-dresser, calling on his imaginary invisible friend as witness, is deemed to be a fit person to pronounce her legally married but a responsible and rational adult is not that ceremony is unlikely to take place on the Isle of Man. I will advise her to go to Scotland or the Irish Republic instead.
Similarly, we all have to pop our clogs sometime, and I would rather my friends do not suffer the indignity of seeing me off in a room dominated by the amanita muscarita-inspired ramblings of ancient Middle Eastern goat herders, thank you very much. Some will say that as I will be dead at the time it does not matter, but, honestly..... Yuk! I would not EVEN be seen dead in a drab dump where the furnishings are that tacky, P-U-L-L-E-E-A-S-E!!!!
Maybe we should all get serious...or maybe not. When even some of my loved ones' jokes bear more serious analysis than what passes for the serious contemplations of the average Manx politician it may only be necessary to be awake, laughing and active to make a difference.

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