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About joebean

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  1. Max Power, I think it is really a question of what the impact would be on the Hospitality sector and, from that, what the impact on the Island would be. If you were to remove the income from visitor spends during the big motorsport events (around £40m) it could be argued that as a percentage of GDP this is not particularly significant. However the impact on the Hospitality sector would be very significant and many of the businesses would not survive since a considerable proportion of their profits are generated during the TT and FoM fortnights. The impact of that is not purely economic as the loss of many hospitality businesses would make the Island a less attractive place to live. Most residents would continue to receive the same income but the opportunity to spend that income on leisure pursuits would be less. I would share your pessimism about the long-term viability of motorsport events, particularly where they cost a lot to put on. All racing on the TT Course is expensive, both in terms of the money it costs to make the races happen with the associated infrastructure and the disruption caused to business and the public. Without the same level of visitors, the return on the investment would quickly be negative. Motorsport, in the way we experience it now, has a time boundary. The answer must be to look to the future shape of motorsport and adapt events to fit with that (which is why the loss of TT Zero is worrying) and to continue to invest in the type of tourism products that will be attractive to future customers. The latter requirement makes the current insistence that we maintain horse trams and heritage transport generally as key attractions even more depressing and short-sighted. I see little evidence of any preparation for the future of IOM Tourism, just a year to year strategy to keep it all the same, but better. It won't work.
  2. "The DoI added: The department takes seriously its role as part of the tourism industry of the island, and the railways contribute significantly to the island’s GDP". It doesn't stop. In an effort to clarify the earlier misleading comment a further misleading comment is made. I understand that Tourism, in total makes up less than 3% of GDP. As this includes the major Motorsport events which account for a large proportion of the total visitor spend, I wonder what proportion of visitor spending contributing to GDP arises from the Horse Trams. Let us be generous and say that a 10th of all visitors come because we have horse trams and would not come if the horse trams were not operating. That would account for about 0.3% of GDP. DoI must have a different interpretation of the word significant than me. My dictionary says significant is "important or noticeable". Perhaps the DoI uses another dictionary where 0.3% might fit the word "significant". They ought to look up "Truth" as they do not appear to understand what it means. I suggest they use the Oxford English Dictionary rather than the one they currently refer to when writing press releases.
  3. Going back to the original subject of DoI being, at the very least, misleading, about the contractual obligation to run the trams, the merits of doing so; the implications of doing so and the detail of how and when they were run are not really the issue. The issue is far more fundamental. It is about the nature and responsibility of Government. If Government lies to, or misleads the public, is that acceptable? The answer, of course is that it is not. In a democracy the public should elect Government and expect the Government to act on their behalf, including being transparent and honest in response to questions about operational and policy matters. Of course, everyone knows that Government here and elsewhere, lies, spins, obfuscates and uses any other technique available to present the version of the truth that is most convenient to them. The question is, what happens when they get found out? The result should be that those who are responsible for misleading or deceiving should be removed from their responsibility without delay, either voluntarily or by force. In this case the Minister and Chief Executive should be gone by now. To accept anything less is to accept that the public have no right to the truth and that Government deceit is just part of the Game. It is not. Mr Harmer and Mr Black should now be seeking alternative occupations.
  4. joebean

    BBC IoM

    The whole Brexit saga has demonstrated that the BBC is not impartial and pursues its own liberal agendas. An issue as polarising as Brexit has pulled the Corporation's editorial policy out from the shadows and exposed it to many more viewers. It is not surprising that a liberal bias exists, since the vast majority of journalists new and old are products of the higher education system, which is itself dominated by liberal academics steeped in liberal academic theory. Controls of editorial impartiality are too weak and too self-regulating and, despite the apologies it is forced to make, the BBC continues to insist that it is impartial with indignation that this should even be questioned. The BBC is the national broadcaster with a remit to be impartial and accurate, unlike the commercial broadcasters who cannot share its moral high ground, or so the BBC would have us believe. The BBC's impartiality is part of a belief system that defies any evidence to the contrary. It is a self evident fact to the BBC insiders and those that share the faith. Questioning it is heresy and it is almost impossible to argue evidence with believers. Any evidence presented will be denied and in the same breath, more evidence will be demanded. The only problem is that fewer of us believe any more. The current licence funding structure is reaching the end of its time and a new funding structure will have to be found. In my view it is unlikely that the current reach of the BBC broadcasting empire will be maintained, particularly as the way news and creative content is accessed and consumed continues to change. Any thoughts that the BBC can sustainably fund or provide IOM radio broadcasting are based on out-dated thinking. A bit like funding a national broadcaster making radio programmes by tax-payer subsidy. An increasingly expensive provider offering services accessed by fewer and fewer of the people paying for it is not a sustainable option.
  5. I read the rubbish you talk about the TT and MGP and keep thinking the same thing; that if your opinions had any currency in the way the events were run the coffin would already be fully secured and sitting in the hole.
  6. The "moratorium" for TT Zero reflects a lack of enthusiasm for the race and a consequential lack of thought and foresight about the way forward. Like all motor sport, the TT has to be innovative and be prepared to take some risk in order to build interest and competitiveness in "sustainable" energy machinery. Failure to do so will lead to the event becoming a heritage machine event with an even smaller niche market. Maybe the 2 year break is giving the Organisers and Promoters time to think more innovatively and, if this is the case, the announcement about the break ought to have been accompanied with some ideas and/or consultation effort about how the races might be developed. The fundamental problem is that motor sport fans tend to be a fairly conservative bunch with, usually, long associations with petrol-powered machinery. Who knows what the future of 4 and 2 wheeled transport (and with it, racing) holds, but the most certain thing is that it is unlikely to be oil-powered, for reasons of cost/supply and environment. The future is also certain not to involve the current TT fan-base, due to the ageing demographic of it. As a result, the only way to make the TT sustainable, even for the period representing the return on investment for Skelly's new Grandstand, is to concentrate on new technology and sustainable energy. I worry that the 2 year moratorium will just be a 2 year break, after which it will be difficult to generate fresh enthusiasm for zero emission racing and the status of the TT being at the forefront of this technology will have been lost. It is a poor decision and reflects the fact that, to get to this position, insufficient thought and inadequate strategy has led to the TT falling behind the curve. There is a preoccupation with speed and records. That is fine, to a point, but reflects limited thinking and a one-year to the next thought process. It's not good enough in changing times.
  7. As someone who owns a property (not here but in the UK), which was bought with the sole intention of renting it out in order to give extra income, I am a bit confused about Rushen Spy's interest and opinion on this matter. I rent the property to a young couple at the market rate; I maintain it for my tenants and respond immediately to organise replacement or repairs when the tenants bring these matters to my attention; I have not sought to increase the rent during the period of their tenancy (3 years) and I allow the tenants to enjoy their home (which I happen to own) without hindrance. If I were prevented from buying a property on a buy-to-let basis, where would my tenants have rented a home of their choice on a private estate from? A local authority with whom they would not have qualified for a public sector tenancy? From a Housing Association in an area remote from their places of work and child's school? From another private landlord from a smaller pot of private landlords who happen to have been able to build or inherited their second home? Under such circumstances the number of rental properties would be smaller and the rents would be higher, as a result. Rushen Spy is living in a typical socialist utopia where the practical impacts of his policy suggestions never have any social consequences. It is not the means of ownership that it is the issue; it is the terms of the rental. The answer is not to place irrelevant controls on the ownership of rental property but to ensure that tenants have adequate and balanced rights and that sufficient quantities of rental properties are available from a variety sources to make rents competitive.
  8. I am not at all sure that Thomas' proposals can be described as "Rates Reform". The word "Reform" suggests that a change is made in order to improve and make things that are wrong, right. I cannot see how replacing the current flawed system of setting "Rates" based on property valuation with one that sets the rate according to an assessment of property size is an improvement. Neither can I agree, as Thomas suggests, that that assessing rates on property size is fair, modern and practical. It simply replaces one flawed method of assessment with another. It is not, therefore, Reform but merely Change. My understanding of the purpose of "Rates" is that they are a local charge for local services. The only fair method of assessing this is an assessment of the level of service actually supplied in each locality, coupled with an assessment of the use of those services. However this is difficult. The last time such an assessment was attempted, this resulted in the Community Charge in the UK. This generated huge opposition, largely from the service users who had previously not been service payers. Most of these, but not all of them, under the Community Charge system would either start paying for services or pay more than they had been accustomed to. The opposition to this system and the subsequent repeal of it proved that politics is not always about fairness but about popularity and the avoidance of difficulty. Those of us who are politically long in the tooth will view any politician, including Thomas, with a degree of suspicion when the use the Fair word. It cannot be fair to charge someone who lives in a larger house more than the person next door, when the person in the larger house may have one income and one or two service users, when the house next door has more than one income and more service users. You might assume that a property with a larger footprint is inhabited by people who have more income and access more services, but that is just an assumption. It is not fair to make assumptions about the ability to pay when sending out Rate demands. Fairness demands a higher level of effort than simply assuming. And how will the size of a property actually be assessed? What are the detailed methods of doing this? Is a one story building with a footprint larger than a three storey house actually larger? Or is the largeness defined by the number of bedrooms? When is a bedroom a bedroom? When it could be used as such or is being used as such? Who holds this data and makes the assessment? Are we really going to be a using satellite imagery and drones to assess the size of properties? Will council house tenants in large properties because they have large numbers of children actually be charged more rates, added to their rents? If not why not? Why should only owner occupiers face this increase? There are many questions to be answered and many justifications needed for the proposed assessments. I truly doubt whether the application of the assessment can ever be fair; it is as arbitrary as valuation. I do recognise that the proposed changes are a practical method of conducting a review of the Rates currently being paid. I would ask; for what purpose? My suspicion is that, following such a review, the revenue generated will increase significantly. It is revenue generation in the guise of Reform. It is a real pity that we do not have politicians, particularly occupying positions in Government with the words "Policy" and "Reform" in the title, of sufficient backbone and calibre to identify real reform in Government that reduces costs, streamlines services and service delivery and makes a proper and thorough assessment of services that are directly managed and delivered. Instead we get faux consultation and "reform" designed to generate more revenue for an increasingly profligate administration.
  9. The Department needs only a relatively small amount and of management from the CEO as he/she has very little responsibility or authority regarding operational issues in a largely operational range of functions. What it does need from the CEO is good judgement and a helicopter view about the impact of policies on the Criminal Justice System and the public. Unfortunately there is little evidence that he has that judgement. The Minister should also have the political awareness to recognise what is and what isn’t a good idea politically. No evidence of that either. As for the Prison Governor, he should have the operational nous and loyalty to his staff to protect the professional reputation of the Service. Not apparent either. The overall rating of their performance must be Fail; Fail; Fail. At least they got the opportunity to broadcast their rather pathetic and incredible assessment/excuses on Manx Radio. That failed too.
  10. If that is what the Governor, Malarkey and Davies really think, they are totally deluded wankers. Perhaps they should stop thinking about what they think and consider what the public, who pay their salaries think. But they won't of course, because they are totally deluded wankers. Not one of them is fit for the position they hold.
  11. That is one of the good things about Manx Forums. In between all the critique, rants and insults, someone takes the time to write something really amusing. Well done!
  12. Thankfully, I don't buy the local paper and as I live out of town, nobody bothers to deliver the Courier either. I don't feel that my life is impacted by this lack of exposure to their "journalism" in any negative sense...
  13. As I have said before, the Business Case for the investment in a new Grandstand ought to be available for public scrutiny and expert comment, not just discussed amongst politicians who have little idea about investment, the future of motorsport or any solution other than one involving large quantities of taxpayer's money. I am particularly interested in the time parameters for the return on the investment. How long will the TT continue as an event attracting the number of visitors it currently does?; what assumptions are being made about growth or contraction, and on what basis?; what strategies are proposed for extracting more revenue per visitor to increase or maintain economic benefit?; how can risk continue to be managed in an increasingly risk-averse environment?; what assumptions are being made about the the costs of promoting and organising the event, including insurance and litigation expenses? These are just a few questions that immediately spring to mind that would feature in a properly researched Business Case. It would make fascinating and illuminating reading.
  14. Yes that is all true, but not why I am appalled at the decision to allow this televised drivel to be aired. The impact off-Island might fade quickly but I suspect the damage this programme has done to the credibility of the Criminal Justice System amongst the population here will last a lot longer. Apparently, it was not important to provide reassurance to victims that offenders suffered real consequences for their actions. Neither was it particularly important to reinforce to the population that imprisonment is a serious business and an experience that should be avoided. It wasn't important to maintain the credibility of prison staff, who may be regarded as professional and capable of running a disciplined and controlled regime. What appears to be have been more important is getting in a few shots of the scenery to attract some tourists (maybe) and the opportunity for ITV viewers to spend 6 weeks being amused by the antics and opinions of our criminals. The real scandal is that this damaging tripe was sanctioned, presumably, by Prison Management and DHA, who are supposed to be the guardians of our Prison Service and agents of Criminal Justice.
  15. As usual, this will be pushed into the fuck-up archives as soon as possible and everyone will get on with their salaries. The idiots that allowed this should be named and pushed aside, in favour of people who can exercise a bit of decent judgement.
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