At last! They (CoMin) really are going to hold open question and answer sessions, it seems: Mr Bell is quoted as saying that he doesn’t believe the last government communicated well enough with the public and so we are to be given the chance to take part in question and answer sessions in an effort to make things more open. The idea has to be applauded.

However, will they really give us the answers we dearly need or will it all become waffle and wind? Just supposing someone asked questions about how UK legislation enters the Isle of Man system and queried the rôle of advisors, who they are and what their backgrounds are, what training courses they have taken part in, what financial interests they might have etc.? Would these questions receive a perfectly clear answer? We also need to know to what extent ministers are under pressure to accept advice because they fear litigation if they don’t. There are so many, many questions we need to ask.

So we mustn’t get too bogged down in education cuts or closing of residential homes (important though these questions are). We need to know how things really work and to what extent ministers are free to swim against the flow. Otherwise it’s simply hot air and things will not change to any great extent because we are unable to discover how things run.

Worse still – is it a PR exercise to try to ensure we accept what we are told? For the greater good?


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