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joebean last won the day on December 15 2021

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  1. I look forward to next year’s Chief Constable’s Annual Report. It’s likely to be more interesting.
  2. So, anybody without children still eligible for family allowance or earning just enough not to be claiming social security payments will just have to suck it up. It’s the typical lazy allocation of relief which penalises those that already receive nothing and pay for everything.
  3. Bushy’s ale is just drinkable but I always think it smells a bit shitty. I don’t drink lager generally but the Norseman I tried was awful and I couldn’t finish the pint. Good luck to them.
  4. Ministers are not there to have operational involvement, but to provide policy direction. This is why having a CEO who is not operationally experienced is foolish. Too much at the top without the technical or operational experience to provide meaningful guidance or oversight. Too many bullshitters, pole climbers and accountants to effectively lead their functions. Chief Officers Group is not a club for chief administrators but a group of functional heads and leaders who can provide advice to CoMIN and take political decisions and transfer these to a strategic plan for implementation.
  5. Another thing that needs to be addressed in the Civil Service is the lack of respect for those with technical and operational experience and expertise. Often, this has been devalued in favour of more general, administrative experience and the belief that a qualification in accounting is a guarantee of suitability. As I was once told, an accountant is someone who understands the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Recent experience appears to demonstrate this. Without technical and operational experience of the area you are managing it is much more difficult to make reasoned decisions and check the accuracy of what you are being told. A CEO needs to be competent in his/her area of operation. Many are not.
  6. Yes, I have similar experience, again in a previous life. Much depends on the quality of the CEO and the quality of the CEO is determined by the recruitment process and then, the quality of management and the culture that the CEO works within. Here, that was lacking and the CEOs and CS operated as a powerful group who determined the way they worked and the environment they worked in. Weak CMs over a number of administrations failed to set the standard or exert power over the Executive. Any CEO who was not part of the Club would find life difficult and some chose to go rather than work in that environment. I look forward to some proper investigation into the evidence submitted to the recent Tribunal and, maybe some thought about the stories that were spun to past Committees and to Tynwald, but I doubt our politicians really have the stomach for it.
  7. Ministers depend on the advice they are given and the statements they read out in Tynwald are the work of their civil servants. It used to be a convention within the Civil Service (here and in the UK) that the Minister was never given inaccurate or misleading information to disclose in parliament. Doing so would lead to the sacking of the Minister and disciplinary action against the official or officials involved. Great care was taken to word any answer in such a way that it contained no lies but was merely economical with the amount of truth disclosed. What we have seen over the last 10 or so years is the slow creep of dishonesty and a lack of respect for proper standards in senior public office. This has been facilitated by politicians who are weak or naive. I had occasion to tell a particular politician, privately, that he had been lied to but the response was to ignore the possibility and merely profess his “disappointment” if that had been the case. He went on to become a Minister and his continuing naivety and lack of challenge of what he was being told was, eventually his downfall. When the CM says that culture needs to change, it needs to start with the reintroduction of honesty as an absolute principle. He has made a start by clearing some desks but the culture might be more difficult to address in the short term, at least.
  8. I don’t know much about her. Maybe. It’s worth trying someone new, rather than dragging out old failures.
  9. What DfE actually needs is a Minister with some intellect, with some experience of the private sector and wealth generation and the ability to listen to everyone else but themselves first. The list of candidates is very short and Ashford would not be on it.
  10. Typical “authority” stuff on the Island, thinking that everything has to be in their control and resenting the success of private initiative and enterprise. They’ll have the stuff removed that people currently use snd enjoy and replace it with something from the public purse that hardly anybody will use or appreciate. I wonder what consultation or research informed this nonsense? I signed, as a customer, happily.
  11. I assume he was up late the night before reading Capital Project Management for Dummies. it is strange how this man who achieved very little before getting into politics has become an instant expert on everything. He has more front than Harrods; either that or he truly is the remarkable person he would like us to think he is.
  12. I get all that. However those MHKs who want to modernise and increase the relevance of politics to the electorate should be organising themselves and challenging this nonsense during the year. On the day, you are stuck with it but we will all be stuck with this crap forever unless some MHKs are willing to stand up and be counted. What proportion of the population attend Tynwald Day? You might be surprised at the support there would be for a challenge to the pomp.
  13. One day, real democrats will realise that democracy is about representing the people and being representative of the people and dressing up in silly fancy dress and indulging in fabricated ceremony does nothing for democratic principle or making politics relevant. If you want to see a parade of pomp and ego that’s fine, but this is 2022 and politics should be about our time and our issues. Having some deference to heritage is good but imitating the past is pointless and silly. I suspect that if it were possible to bring some Victorians into the present time they would be shocked that a passing fashion of their era was being worn for a day and would laugh at those doing so. Skelly and Watterson are both ridiculous in everyday life so looking a bit more ridiculous on Tynwald day is no big issue. But the rest of the MHKs; get a grip.
  14. Maybe, but it was 20 or more years ago. Things are different now.
  15. As a friend of mine said, without any intention of humour “I don’t care if someone is gay, I just don’t want it rammed down my throat”. Times have changed and whilst some prejudices still exist, the vast majority of us couldn’t care less if someone is gay, lesbian, bisexual or whatever. It’s irrelevant to our relationship with them in a personal or professional context. We are turning full circle again and reaching a point where sexuality and sexual preference is being seen as a defining characteristic. It isn’t and it shouldn’t be. A simple name on a badge is all we need to know. Pronouns are entirely irrelevant. I saw a photograph of someone at a Pride march wearing a multi-coloured costume with many penises attached to it. It occurred to me that humans are complex and supposedly intelligent creatures capable of fantastic creativity and innovation; capable of developing intense and loving relationships; exercising great care and compassion, as well as great evil. But there was a man parading himself in public and happy at reducing himself to a representation of an erect cock. It’s sadly pathetic and indicative of an identification based on only a passing and trivial aspect of existence. In an age where trivia, presentation and gesture are more important than substance, badges and cheese packaging take on additional “meaning”. It doesn’t really matter to me and I’m sorry it does to others.
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