Isle of Man Examiner letters, October 27, 2015

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Coverage was hysterical

As you are probably aware, I did argue against these changes [to government staff parking] being brought in primarily on the basis that they were inequitable.

Mr Gawne’s (and your newspaper’s) socialist arguments ‘that MHKs need to know what it feels like to find a parking space’ are ridiculous in the extreme and furthermore in the interests of fairness I could not vote for one group of civil/public servants (ie those being based only in Douglas) being singled out in this manner against others.

In my opinion the policy document we were presented with was unfair and unworkable and you failed to properly represent that view in your hysterical report in the Manx Independent (October 22).

I have made no secret of the fact that we need to balance our books but we need to do so in a manner and in way that demonstrates a reasonable balance of fairness.

Above all the whole public need to understand that the government is delivering a proper, understandable plan - not piecemeal attacks on one section of society after another as is happening at present.

The other point that I want to make clear is that I am not and never will be an employee of government and should not be regarded as thus.

I have no employment contract save that my responsibility and accountability is to my constituents, who I try to serve as best as possible with as much dignity as possible.

In that regard I am often working outside Douglas meeting constituents, meeting businesses, fulfilling my island duties as chairman of the Manx Utilities Authority and Department of Economic Development member with responsibility for manufacturing and e-commerce.

I have never once claimed any mileage entitlements or claimed for any other expenses which I am entitled to do and I have absolutely ensured I have made the required pension contributions which although voluntary is only right and proper.

In taking home therefore £5,000 less per annum than I envisaged when commencing the role I am absolutely comfortable that I conduct my role with respectability and dignity as far as my financial conduct goes in these difficult times and I absolutely refuse to seek votes based on gimmick politics that are solving nothing.

It is a matter of regret to me that Tynwald is now seemingly devoid of leadership and dignity spurred on by hysterical media reporting.

I can only hope therefore that the public are given a choice of credible candidates at the next election willing to deliver a serious and workable plan to sort out the rising £75m shortfall in public expenditure before it’s too late.

In the meantime, I have an ongoing job to do and I believe that it is in my constituents’ interests that they provide me with a parking space in Douglas in order for me to conduct that role as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Alfred Cannan, MHK for Michael


Treat them all the same

What makes the MHKs and civil servants special?

Their wages and expenses are paid by the Manx people, so in my view they should be treated the same way as everyone else, especially when most of the civil servants’ pay is higher than those working in private enterprise.

Daphne MacOwan, Ballajora


Party politics is bad alternative

So, the incomparable Ms Beecroft (who strangely seems to have stopped asking questions since accepting a post in government) criticises ‘collective responsibility’ – which allows board members to stand down if they don’t agree with board policy, a good thing in my book – and maintains that party politics is a good alternative.

Just how stupid does she think we are?

Can she confirm that, were party politics introduced, and, Lord help us, Lib Vannin gained a small majority, she would allow LV MHKs to vote (a) with their consciences; (b) in accordance with their constituents wishes; or (c) in accordance with the party line?

I cannot believe it would be anything other than (c); perhaps she could explain just exactly what is the difference between that and ‘collective responsibility’?

Whilst I agree that the present system is not perfect (where in the world is any perfect political system? –the nearest I can see is Switzerland) – one has only to read daily newspapers to see what a mess party politics is across the water, with governments lurching from right to left and back again, each party trying desperately to stay in power regardless of the success or failure of their policies.

Let’s be careful what we (well some of us) wish for!

Democrat, Name and address supplied


Argument is over-simplistic

I find Mr Robert Muir’s letter (Letters, Examiner, October 20) somewhat over-simplistic.

Perhaps our armies shouldn’t have stayed so long, and yes, it now seems that Saddam (as with other ‘tyrants’ in the region) have their place in keeping their respective countries under control in the Middle East.

However, let’s remember that the Gulf War (1) and the allied ‘invasion’ started as a result of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and its threat to spread over the borders into Saudi and Bahrain.

I can tell you, as an expat of 26 years at that time, along with many others in a similar position, were very relieved to hear of the US and UK allies landing in Saudi to protect us!

J Hewson, Onchan


Manx Gas want us to burn more

After reading the comments of WH Coates, (Manx Independent, October 22) I find myself adding to what he said about the price rise by Manx Gas.

We hear every day that it is our duty to reduce consumption of all fuels in order to reduce global warming etc, but this does not seem to apply to Manx Gas as they are encouraging all its customers to burn more and it’s obvious they care not about preserving present stocks for our children,

As to them keeping within the price rise limit set by the Office of Fair Trading, surely this figure should have been for the production and supply of gas, not just to the price of gas alone.

N K Taylor, Malew Street, Castletown

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