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VinnieK

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About VinnieK

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    I'se got the Ize.

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Still Going Wild in the Aisles.
  • Interests
    Living the life of a shameless bourgeois parasite
  1. That's what Bell needed to shout down the phone to the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the VAT renegotiations. We'd have half those mugs' GDP by now if he had.
  2. I propose that Manxforums from now on be rebranded as Those Muggy Cunts. I'll even pay for an announcement in the Courier. We could even change our status bars: MF Regular = CUNTY SIMPLETON MF Subscriber = MUGGY CUNT MF Moderator = WILL END UR ABILITY
  3. Indeed, it's not like previous hansards have omitted an entire passage in which an MLC, talking about having trespassed on airport land as a boy, banged out the comment: "I do not think I was wearing a towel over my head or looking Middle Eastern at the time" As Roger says, it was probably due to the late finish, and the above was perhaps the result of a cock-up, but it can't be disputed that it doesn't help create the best impression when these things happen at times that look convenient for Tynwald.
  4. With respect to retail, I'd be interested to know what the effect (if any) of factors other than population is. For instance, how much more viable would businesses be were commercial rents lower. I ask about rents in particular because I was surprised to find the ground floor of the old Isle of Man Bank building on Prospect Terrace going for £20,000 p/a and the news agents on Michael Street in Peel going for £10,400 p/a, for a comparison I found two similar commercial lets in the middle of Brighton going for between £10,000 and £16,000 and a couple in the centre of Norwich in the £15,000 to £20,000 range. It's not a scientific survey at all, I know, but it made me wonder: if costs, like commercial rents, on the Island are relatively high (given the population size and logistical costs of operating on the Island); how much this contributes to businesses struggling (in the case of retail, both by eating into profits and hitting demand by pushing up prices); what can be done to alleviate this. Similarly, how much of an effect do housing costs, rental and sale, have on retail through the pressure they put on consumers' disposable income, as well as having a further effect on salaries and/or recruitment? Also, thinking of the wider economy, how much commercial property is owned outside of the Island---that is to say, how much of the income generated by local businesses ends up leaving the Island for good in the form of rents? Assuming one hasn't already been made, what might be needed is a comprehensive study of the Island's economy covering its different aspects (like rents, property prices, etc., and things like, as you mention staff recruitment) and how they interact with one another, with a view to determining what we can reasonably expect from the economy as is and what can be done to help out both the populace and business (I fear that there sometimes seems to be too much emphasis on the latter, under the assumption that's what's good for business is automatically good for the populace). Perhaps such an exercise could even prompt and help us to decide on what kind of Island we actually want. It's seems to me, perhaps unfairly, that ever since the first VAT renegotiation, there's been only a piecemeal strategy of keeping things ticking over with as little threat to the status quo as possible---build a little less here, increase charges there, ease up on this regulation, boost population or dip in reserves to fill that shortfall. Such a strategy is fine when part of a managed transition to a different status quo, or when riding out a temporary slump, but it only works for so long if there's no definite end-situation in mind.
  5. Juan Turner's slow but steady quest to annoy the publicity and complaints departments of every company on the face of the Earth is more fun, even if he doesn't post as much these days
  6. Wooley, I suspect also that there are still cost cutting measures that the Government could implement which could actually result in a net benefit (or at least minimal social cost) if handled properly; e.g. in education there are at least two possibilities: merging the majority of sixth forms on the Island into one sixth form college working under or in cooperation with the existing college would probably save money while also allowing more courses to be offered and removing some of the strain on schools' administration and resources; implementing Jersey/UK style on the job training for local prospective teachers would open the career up to the local populace, offer schools a wider pool from which to recruit, and has to be more cost effective than, as we currently do, employing a recruitment firm from across (Hays) and offering teachers from the UK relocation expenses, a £4,000 golden hello and £2,400 p/a housing allowance. While such measures across all departments probably won't by themselves dig us out of our hole, they stand a good chance of at least helping, and with minimum impact on the local populace.
  7. I was thinking a softer version of Al Capone, but Hammer Horror Vampire beats that idea!
  8. The tendency to view population growth as an indicator of or means to achieving economic growth and/or stability is a bit worrying though. The issues and potential consequences of population growth (and decline) are so complex and variable that it's a very crude measure, and any strategy to encourage such growth is going to be vulnerable to a whole mess of potential unintended consequences. What matters isn't so much the population figure as the net economic benefit or cost of those leaving or those arriving, over both the short term and the long term, including wider economics effects such as on house prices, the upkeep of infrastructure, services, consumer demand, and so on, all of which is incredibly difficult or even impossible to tease out of the statistics with any kind of certainty or reliability. For instance, one person coming to the Island, working for five or six years, then leaving (perhaps training up a local member of staff to replace them) is probably great for the economy, another who brings one or more kids with them or goes on to have a couple of kids and then takes the whole family back across after they've received ten years of schooling is less so. Moreover, the impact of such growth is especially hard to determine when we're talking about an extra 20,000 or people in a place as small as the Island. Rather than chasing the holy grail a population of 100,000 is sometimes imagined to represent, it would be preferable to see more talk about making the most of the population we have at the moment---by increasing skills and training of people already on the Island, encouraging employers further, if need be, to take on and train more local staff, cutting government costs, increasing consumer spending, etc.---with the population being allowed to grow or decline more or less naturally in response to the state of the economy once we've got our house in order. The desire to boost the population just seems like a short-term and possibly not-terribly-well-thought-through plan based on: that's what it would notionally take, according to some crude calculation, to plug a shortfall in income tax receipts; and Jersey has a population of around 100,000, and those fellas seem to be on the ball.
  9. There's also often too great a readiness to (uncritically) report on the reaction a post on twitter/facebook provokes. For instance, the Manx Radio page has It's been branded as 'misogynistic' and 'offensive' by viewers online which might be fine if the majority of the comments on Kate Beecroft's post were branding her as such and there was some kind of political storm brewing as a consequence, but that isn't the case---hell, even one of the three comments other than Beecroft's own that are quoted on the Manx Radio story is supportive of her. The story here (if there is one) is, as Glady's pointed out, the post itself, and not that a handful of people have decided that, by the Rules of Social Media, Beecroft is now a misogynist. To illustrate the point, the same comment stream could be used as the basis for the headlines Minister declared a good laugh after post, or Some people offended by Minister's post which some others found a bit funny, opinion of majority remains unknown----each is equally as true as the actual headline.
  10. You're more than likely right (though I'm not convinced by Cregeen's answers that he knew one way or the other!). I'd love to see how a push to get kids excused from attending classes delivered by outside religious groups would go down One other thing that struck me when reading the Hansard was this comment: "opportunities for young people to explore key concepts around positive relationships and well-being, as well as other aspects of relationship and sexual health education, are included in PSHE programmes and RE lessons [my emphasis]" Surely it's obvious that RE lessons aren't the best place for this, and that this isn't what RE lessons should be for anyway. RE is (or should be) for allowing pupils to learn about religion and religious thought around the world and throughout history. While that may well include covering various religious views on relationships and "well-being", to consider it an actual part of relationships and sex education is pretty muddled thinking since the emphasis there is on the religious perspective rather than the nature of relationships.
  11. The Batman label I get, seeing as Superman's last few films have been such pish---I'd start masquerading as Batman as well if I were him. But since when did Superman have to carry a gun? The world really must be a much more dangerous place these days. And I don't even want to think about what that thing to the left of him is for.
  12. The answers certainly didn't do much to inspire confidence! In response to Jason Moorhouse raising the issue of teachers having to deliver sex and relationship classes with little to no training, Cregeen responded: "I think in some areas students will respond better to staff that they know rather than having somebody coming in and not having the confidence in that person. I think we have to have a balanced area where you have some of the staff that the students know and those from outside with specific knowledge." As far as avoiding the question goes, this isn't a great effort: it makes him sound like he thinks having staff that students respond to well is enough, training and up-to-date facts be damned; it does nothing to address the issue, already hinted at in Moorhouse's question, of why those members of staff aren't receiving training if they're expected to deliver these classes; and it begs the questions of who these people from outside are, who chooses or invites them, what criteria is used to select them, what qualifications they have, and what 'specific knowledge' they have to offer---the last four being of particular interest as far as the Scripture Union is concerned. Going by the answer given, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the department doesn't really know what kind of standards exist for ensuring the quality of such classes or what the concerns are, or even have full details regarding current provision. In fact, the only precision in the department's contribution to the discussion was when Cregeen rattled off the curriculum at the beginning. It's a bit disheartening, to say the least, especially when it's not like this topic was launched on him without warning. As for the Scripture Union's involvement, does anyone know if they're providing compulsory classes or voluntary ones? In either case, it has that feel about it of a ropey makeshift solution to an issue in lieu of a proper strategy: some group rolls up on the department's doorstep offering to give classes in an area no one's really spending that much time thinking about and are heartily told to crack on, with whoever's responsible giving themselves a quick pat on the back for another job well done before ticking the appropriate box and forgetting all about it.
  13. Because that wouldn't stand the same chance of provoking a bit of piss-awful flat earth argie bargie?
  14. Do you mean ghooiney? That just means 'man', 'fella', etc., as far as I'm aware.
  15. I think you're being a bit unfair there Gladys. It's well known that sophmoric nonsense based on a cursory understanding of Chomsky is the one thing that the establishment truly fears, and the levels of nonsense TJ could achieve in a single post made him a formidable foe indeed. In fact, there are even rumours among defence circles that the Manx government recently pressured the Americans into dropping the 'Mother of All Bombs' in Afghanistan as a test run to see if it could take out the abandoned shed he lives in, should he start posting again.
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