Great minds……?

 Prof. Hugh Davidson and Liberal Vannin are presently conducting surveys to gain an insight into the electorate’s views on a number of topics. This is a new angle and it is important to find out what islanders think about our present situation and how they view our future. Has anyone ever asked us before? It’s also a good move for Liberal Vannin who can steer their manifesto in a vote-winning direction. There is nothing wrong with addressing concerns and representing the people. That would really make a change. It’s also pleasing to hear that both Hugh Davidson and Liberal Vannin are co-operating and sharing data and it will be interesting to hear the results at some point. Representing the people is what it’s all about and I have no gripes about that.

However, my prime concern is that if our MHKs continue to adopt unnecessary and controlling UK legislation at the present rate we may have little scope to paddle our own canoe in any case. To put it plainly: Legislation and draft legislation that we have been exposed or subjected to over the last five years seems to have been almost totally UK based. It is frequently unsuited to our needs as well as being overly-controlling and usually contains additional and more stringent clauses than were contained in the original. And if the legislation doesn’t slip through then it seems the working practices can do just that. We have just seen how new working practices (requested by whom?) have cost us half a million. These practices appear to be based on the Every Child Matters philosophy. This was rejected by the public but no probs – call it “New working practices” and slip it in the side door – without public consultation. We just pay for it!

This situation can’t be ignored any longer. What on earth is going on? We know about the secret meetings between the UK Department of Justice and “counterparts” from the IOM Government and we have been told of the introduction of draft legislation which follows. We also know that our MHKs are inundated with legislation and that there is often a looming deadline making it difficult to thoroughly scrutinise bills. It seems that there is an effort from someone, somewhere to impose restrictive, Orwellian-style statutes on the people of the Isle of Man. We also know that the legislation is “copied and pasted” from UK legislation. So who wants us to adopt it and why? Furthermore, who inserts the additional, more restrictive clauses and why? This cannot be coincidencal when these actions are constantly being repeated. There is something we need to get to the bottom of and that is surely of utmost importance. If legislation is being adopted in haste who knows what might slip through? Before we can achieve our aims to improve our situation we must get our house in order and find out what exactly is going on. If we are not requesting the legislation and if there is no obvious necessity for it why in is it being introduced? The above procedures not only place us at risk of losing our freedoms – without our knowledge – they also cost money, as we have recently discovered.

New statutes require administrators, paperwork etc etc. How much could we save if we removed unnecessary statutes in place and ensured that the introduction of any new laws is restricted to those essential to our needs? Since the introduction of the Lisbon Treaty EU law overrides Westminster. I can understand that the UK would prefer us to adopt the same legislation. However, we have been told that we are not members of the EU and that Protocol 3 allows us to trade without becoming further involved with EU matters. Did someone forget to inform us of a change in our situation? This is really a matter of major importance and it demands an answer.

Mr Andrew Newington-Bridges, a candidate for Ayre, highlights some of the above in his letter to the electorate:  It is difficult to understand why MHKs who have been confronted with this situation for the last five years have not raised the issues. As far as I’m aware Chris Robertshaw MHK is the only member to have raised the point. (If that statement should be incorrect then please leave a comment). As a member of the electorate I find that perplexing. Can’t anyone else see what’s going on? Our first move has to be taking steps to ensure we gain control of our legal processes. I would suggest that our priority is to sort out what is happening and ensure that the present situation changes because if we are not in control (and can anyone honestly claim that we are?) then we have few options.


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