Sunday, 7 March 2010

Looters gather in a dying town

You can guarantee that when a community starts dying three groups of parasites move in to offer ‘help’ – smack dealers, fascists and evangelical cults.
You gauge the extent to which the community is in trouble by whether all three are dug in and bleeding the dispossessed dry. When it gets to the extent that they’re not only present, but that one or more of those three elements are fighting turf wars with others of their kind then things are going downhill fast.
Which brings me to another item about faith-based antisocial elements not to make it online this week. This one concerns Living Hell (that’s ‘The Living Hope Community Church’ to those who don’t follow this blog regularly) and their efforts to further destabilise the community in Peel.
Curiously, another item about Ramsey’s ‘Faith in Action’ crew made it not only into Tuesday’s Examiner but online (see, so it isn’t that the regional news pages haven’t been updated.
So could it be that there’s now some kind of quota on the amount of drivel from the lunatic fringe of the zombie-worshipping community IOM Newspapers is prepared to admit it prints? Or is it just the editors accept that nobody except the diminishing and increasingly senile churchoing community reads this guff any more.
As you can’t read it, I can only tell you that it’s a puff piece to tell us that Living Hell are running some of those embarrassing pop orientated church services in a community centre. I suspect because even the Dept of Education have wised up to these scam artists and refused them use of a local school.
It is, more seriously, a snapshot of the way the war between our evangelical Crips and Bloods is going in another community. Broadway Baptists don’t have a presence in Peel. They left the territory to an ally, Grace Baptists, who ran a few ‘charitable’ moneyspinners such as an Indian ‘street mission’ (which is, technically, illegal in India, by the way) but were losing ground even before their godfather, Matthew Else, popped his clogs last year.
Sadly, Peel has been going downhill fast since the happy times in the late 1980’s when it even had a town newspaper and I worked on it. Then it was a poor but respectable community where folk looked after each other. Now….it’s a mess.
The rot set in when the House of Manannan, a heritage museum, was built there in the early 1990’s, supposedly to ‘revive’ the town but having the effect of killing it. This happened because Manx Heritage sit on planning committees, so when plans for improving the Peel roads and transport links came up MNH blocked them until the one way system took cars outside and around the main street, diverting buses, coaches and tourist cars straight to the door of House of Manannan and then out of town again to Stepford Central (Tynwald Mills Shopping Centre). Small business and shops closed, and by the time the main shopping street was pedestrianised there were no shops left.
I’m sorry to see things going so badly, and the ‘help’ of self-interested churches is no help at all, just a shameless pitch for public money which will inevitably prop up institutions for the deluded while further keeping resources away from the real community.
I can’t help noticing, for example, that the ‘business interests’ in developing the Cathedral as an ‘educational’ and ‘heritage’ facility are exactly those which benefited most when the new traffic system killed off the retail trade and the social superstructure it kept intact in the first place.

No comments: