The elephant in the room

We import unrequested, undesirable, unsuitable alien legislation which takes up a large amount of Tynwald time – especially as it is often presented in large bills instead of being broken down into smaller more manageable parts.

The UK is harmonising its legislation with the EU and it appears that we are harmonising our legislation with the newly EU-harmonised UK legislation. In other words we are adopting lengthy EU legislation by the back door.

We are told that EU legislation is based on Napoleonic law – guilty until proven innocent. Why is our Common Law being ignored, especially as the government website tells us that our system is based on Common Law?

Why are we doing this? Who suggested adopting these laws in the first place? It seems a simple question yet it also seems impossible to obtain an answer.

The issue in brief:

  • We have long Bills addressing issues that we were unaware of
  • The imported Bills are very time-consuming
  • The Bills seem to override our own Common Law-based system in some cases (who authorises this and why?)
  • How much do the Acts cost to implement?
  • Who decides to introduce them?
  • Why can’t anyone explain what is going on?

It seems to me that the above strikes at the very heart of our democracy. The least we could expect is an explanation. Why is no answer forthcoming?

While our candidates gave us their take on how they would solve the local effects of the global financial crisis, few seemed to question  – or better still explain – why we are so preoccupied with foreign legislation. We heard about reducing expenditure here or there, improving this or that etc yet few referred to the above situation and only one candidate, Leslie Hanson, actually stated quite plainly that he was going to find out who controls the Isle of Man Government.  How can we go about changing anything when it seems that no-one can tell us how the system works!

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