WHEN a young boy attending Rushen Primary School in the early 1950s I admired the large portrait of Diogenes the Greek philosopher, lantern in hand, seeking honesty.
Manx Radio’s series of interviews with prospective Keys candidates shows them falling into two distinct groups – the retiring members, mostly ministers, describing themselves as a ‘safe pair of hands’, and the group extolling the virtues of having new blood installed to see us through the tough times ahead.
Tough they will be – it was prophetically forecast by the press leader of a few months ago that the days of ‘milk and honey’ are over.
The present government has presided over the biggest spending splurge in our history, money thrown away on Ramsey Pier, Richmond Hill and the film industry with £10 million write off being revealed after the facts were dragged out of the minister at Keys questions.
This government has always blamed the loss of VAT for its woes, but many believe that they knew they were doing pretty well out of the Labour Party formula for the sharing of VAT revenues, some postulating that the GNP off the island was inflated for this purpose.
The profligate spending has to stop – the government wage bill cut by at least one third and all their loss-making enterprises – meat plant, airport, Manx Radio, to name but a fraction of them sold off.
We need to stop any more giant public works – any person who looks them over rapidly comes to the conclusion that they are unsustainable, as the capital fund will be empty in two years’ time so there won’t be a cent left for maintaining all the follies they have built.
If Diogenes the philosopher was still looking for honesty today he would surely walk past the House of Keys, whose ministers seem to show an affinity with Harry Houdini the great escapologist.
They should also bear in mind that Houdini was sent off by a blow below the belt coming out of the blue just like the VAT bombshell from the UK.
Smugly they have staggered on obviously ignoring the fatal blow many of them will receive from the voters’ pens in September.