Roger Mexico

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Roger Mexico last won the day on May 11

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About Roger Mexico

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  1. No they're on the rise again according to a written answer in this week's Tynwald: So an increase of 94 (1.1%) - FTE 104.2 (1.4%).
  2. Yes, there's a pathological fear of causing offence that most MHKs seem to have. They think the best way to get re-elected (which seems to be the limit of their political ambitions) is to do and say nothing that might upset any portion of the electorate - no matter how small. It also means that they avoid any sort of confrontation, especially with the civil service, and so end up as rubber stamps for whatever they put forward. To be fair to Rob, he did mention his stance on abortion on his blog - though it is a little vague and 'something must be done'. As he doesn't say exactly what changes he would like to see. On the wider question, I think the problem that people are worried about here isn't so much about belief, but about affiliation. Churches are not just gatherings of like-minded believers, they are social groupings and people who associate in this way, may also support each other outside as well - rather as say Freemasons are accused of doing. This particularly applies with organisations such as Living Hope with its prosperity gospel approach.
  3. The statement is now on Hansard. It was from Thomas "as Chair of the Council of Ministers’ Social Policy and Children’s Committee" rather than from a DHSC minister: Watterson then asked for the Report to be published[1] and it became clear that it would be, but only after the 'action plan' was put together (I suspect this means that it will appear at the earliest in the papers for October Tynwald. Henderson then asked "[...] if, during the line of inquiry, the Department was found wanting in any particular way, to a high, medium or low-level degree; or in fact, did the allegations have any basis of foundation in the first place? [...] could give us some sort of an idea of what we are dealing with here" and Thomas then thanked him for his 'helpful' question, which he then didn't answer (at some length). It's worth saying why this procedure is such a bad idea - at least if your aim is producing good government services rather than merely protecting government workers who have misbehaved. Firstly it will not give Tynwald members or anyone else much time to consider the Report or the measures that are alleged to fix any faults that are found. It's basically just a corporate yell of "Lessons Have Been Learned" while not really allowing any examination as to whether they have. There's also a question of equity here. In the UK there is a process called Maxwellisation which is "the practice whereby a person who faces criticism in a public report is given an opportunity to respond to such criticism prior to publication of the report. This is done either by providing the person with the passages of the draft report containing the proposed criticism or by providing a summary or the gist of the proposed criticism"[2]. In this case those working for the Government will have had this privilege, but not the families who have put forward their complaints or others involved. It's also a bad idea simply from the point of view of producing the best outcome in terms of how to do things. Any report may have mistakes or weakness for a number of reasons (including a restricted remit). Publishing it before the action plan is put forward, allows outside criticisms and possible additional information to be considered and incorporated into the result. To refuse to do things in this way and dictate the preferred solution without letting others have their say, simply replicates the sort of arrogant attitudes that contributed to the problems in the first place. Of course that's not to say that some of the proposed 'actions' shouldn't be introduced already - you'd hope some of them would have been anyway. And maybe feedback on some of those could be incorporated into the process of reviewing the report. But the way this has been done suggests a determination to try to keep things as much as possible how they are. [1] He actually effectively asked for a redacted version with no identifiable personal details, but from subsequent discussion it's clear that these aren't in the Report anyway. [2] The definition is a quote from a recent Parliamentary Report on the process which considers faults in how this operates, particularly in how it results in wealthy people being able to slow down the publication of reports with legal actions or threats thereof. This may be behind the very slow appearance of the Chilcot Report (hi Tony!) and there were similar problems with the MEA Report here.
  4. Plastic glasses aren't mainly to stop fights getting bloodier, but because they are safer in the case of breakages. If people are complaining about the floor being sticky, think how much worse it would be covered in shards of glass. Plastic glasses are also a lot easier to deal with for those running the venue - lighter to move about and collect and to dispose of. There's no need to provide facilities to wash them, which might not be possible anyway. They cost more and people don't like them, but they don't have the choice. There's a reason why every beer tent is pretty much the same whatever the event, it's the only practical way to run it. The DED (or whatever it's called by then) may dream of the ultra-rich sipping champagne from crystal flutes, but the Hooded Ram's tent will be exactly the same as Bushy's. Except maybe emptier.
  5. CPOs in the Isle of Man were actually the subject of a Tynwald written question from Hooper today How many compulsory purchase orders have been used in the last five years and whether the Crichel Downs rules apply? Crichel Down Rules derive from a scandal in the 50s when the British government behaved in a highly dubious manner and a Minister resigned. So it's good to know that in a similar situation in the Isle of Man there would be no repercussions for bad behaviour.
  6. I'm afraid you've misread the Report. What it actually says is: (my bold) So it's not 10%, but 50%.
  7. Indeed and if there's one thing we know about the DoI it's how careful they are about spending money ...
  8. Before getting too excited about the failure or otherwise to catch crooks, it's probably worth looking at the actual figures for the past few years: 2013-14: 46 + 48 = 94 2014-15: 144 + 67 = 211 2015-16: 67 + 30 = 97 2016-17: 47 + 31 = 78 The first figure is the one for Burglary Dwelling, second for Burglary Other Than Dwelling and then the total. In both categories the figure is the second lowest ever, the combined total (the Report is a bit ambiguous here) "the lowest number of such offences recorded since the modern offence of burglary was created by the Theft Act 1981". The combined detection rate (14% - 11 crimes out of 78) is indeed lower than in the past, but the trouble when numbers are so low, is that even arresting or not a single person can make a big difference to the rates. Even if you do arrest them, they may not confess to all their past offences (depending on how out of it they were at the time, they may not even remember them). So it's all a bit random and it's wise not to make too much of what look like dramatic changes when you just look at the percentages. Of course equally if the detection rate soars next year, it doesn't mean the Police have got amazingly more competent either. It just means they have got lucky - it's what happens to detection rates when the number of crimes is so low. And that is the most striking thing about these figures - how low crime rates are in historic terms. The spate of burglaries in 2014-15 (especially early 2015) aside, numbers have been going down considerably over the last two decades. These burglary figures are less than half even what we saw as recently as 2008-09 or 2009-10. I've pointed out before that this is a widespread phenomenon in a lot of the Western World. Despite all the moaning from older generations, the crime rate is actually far less than it was in the 'good old days'.
  9. Nope. The contact had been outsourced - allegedly with the approval of the AG's Office (this is disputed) - and would have been written and signed without any more than nominal input from them. This does happen occasionally in other cases, but only usually when specialist legal input is required. In this case the main speciality seems to have been 'being a mate of Vision Nine'. Of course even if the contract had been produced by the AG's Office, as Boo Gay'n points out, there's guarantee that it would have either been correct or produced on time. But it's certainly true that the one that The Sports Consultancy wrote was not just badly drafted (referring to laws that had been superseded or didn't apply on the Island) but completely failed in its main purpose of defining who was responsible for what and who had the power to do various things concerning the TT.
  10. I'm not really sure that it counts as the 'free' press if its main purpose is to promote the commercial interests of a few wealthy people. (Mind you, you could argue that's a pretty good definition of much of the London media as well). But in Sark it's more like what the situation would have been if Buster was putting out a free newspaper promoting his employers in his Dandara days, and viciously attacking anyone who dared oppose him and them. And like much of the more 'reputable' press, the nastier it is to other people, the louder it screams when people respond in kind. None of which means that Kniveton did a good job in Sark of course. From memory I think he proposed some ludicrously large and expensive civil service as the solution to all their problems (the population is about 600). But not doing the Barclay's bidding in every detail would have been enough to incur the wrath of the Sark Newspaper.
  11. You need some context with that report though. The Sark Newspaper is a front for the Barclay Brothers (owners of the Telegraph among other things) who are trying to take over Sark for their own business purposes. As you might expect the locals are not so keen on the idea and the Sark Newspaper and its website tends to attack those who try to stand up to the Barclays. Readers of Private Eye will have been following the story for some years. So the Sark Newspaper is not the most neutral of news sources.
  12. Incidentally the identity of Mr 5% doesn't seem to much of a secret as I pointed out in a previous thread. Those giving evidence on Wednesday were also very critical of this, in particular pointing out how the 5% was based on extra revenue without any consideration of whether extra costs would also be incurred against the revenue. They didn't have much detail on the deal however as these financial details had been redacted from the copies of the contract they were given.
  13. We actually do know who drafted the contract because it was mentioned in the evidence There's no Hansard as yet but the hour-long listen file is available, though with rather poor sound quality (malfunctioning mike?). The contract was drawn up by The Sports Consultancy, who were also the people who set up the process for Vision Nine to become the promoters of the event. You may remember that there was already criticism that the two companies were too closely associated before the bidding process for TSC to be seen as impartial and that would presumably apply even more strongly if one was drawing up a contract for the other. It was claimed by the DED that this outsourcing had the agreement of the AG's Office (as would normally be required) but whether this was true and how much was known seems a little disputed. There was certainly a lot of criticism of the resultant document at the Committee hearing, both in detail and in outline. Couch (who was there as much as an experienced civil servant with used to dealing with contracts as with his DHSC hat on) was very critical on technical grounds and all of them felt that the powers that Vision Nine would or wouldn't have (our old friend vires was much mentioned) were undefined and indeed unconsidered.
  14. But in a rapidly changing world, tying yourself to a deal for 25 years isn't exactly the wisest thing to do. And it may not even be safe. The IOM Government will certainly be committed for the period, but a limited company can be collapsed at any time when it no longer suits its owners.
  15. But the UK isn't the same country as the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man has its own laws and judicial system which is the UN definition of a country (not a sovereign state which something different). It can use those laws to exclude someone who has no real connections with the place. Given that the wannabe pirate's entire connection appeared to be a Steam Packet ticket, it's OK to exclude him. It's the guy's father I feel sorry for (the son is 50, so he must be at least in 70s) having to perpetually bail out his misbehaving child at his age.