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Lawnmower

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Everything posted by Lawnmower

  1. Listened to his winding up of the "Special Place to Live" debate today by the Chief Minister - amateurish blustering very much to the fore. No dynamism, flourish, vision or commitment. Bell would have taken the chance to put in a show stopping performance - this was after all the plan for the future of the Island and this Government for five years. Speeches made by the new backbenchers were a much better listen.
  2. From the moment this idea was mooted, anyone with any knowledge of the TT and tourism knew this was a non-starter, and would go nowhere. And knew that in a couple of years DED and Skelly would be getting a grilling - yet again - from the Public Accounts Committee. It's likely now the grilling will be much earlier than that. It's amazing that Tynwald went along with the idea with little quibble. It was a another lame idea, like the fiasco of the World Series TT idea, (which cost £750,000.)
  3. Exactly. He has the gateway now to speak to the DOI as the Onchan politician and make representations. Privately. Getting himself outraged and quoted in the press makes the story all about him - when there is a family and friends in Onchan suffering from a huge and unexpected tragedy.
  4. Yes, in terms of new legislation. Every member, Legco or MHK should be scrutinising Tynwald business properly. But there were nearly always two Treasury members in Legco which helped give COMIN a guaranteed majority - that will disappear. If they line up with disaffected MHK's, they could make the COMIN role much more difficult.
  5. Having said that, it will still be better than having Quayle as Chief Minister.
  6. If Cannan or Beecroft get in this will give Legislative Council even more power. People don't think through the unintended consequences. Legco will end up on all the scrutiny committees and Public Accounts, able to hold COMIN to account and criticise as necessary and their life will revolve around being critics rather than supporters. They will have no loyalty to the Chief Minister or COMIN and could end up as a block vote of 8 who could stymie (delay) nearly every Government initiative. They could become in effect the Opposition and team up with the few MHKs who don't get Government jobs. Their ethos could switch from being supportive of the Government machine, to being the main critics. Does no-one analyse actions and consequences?
  7. Some might say that but he comes across as genuinely awful. I think he'd be a terrible choice for Treasury so early on. Bank managers don't know much about real economics. Especially if they've worked for the bankrupt, state bailed-out, RBS. The job of the Treasury (Minister) is not just to tighten the purse strings. There is a balance of making the economy buzz if possible by making sure money circulates in the economy; making sure policies and money help the vulnerable; use money to encourage people to move here; ditto to create jobs; increase VAT and tax take by encouraging spending. Just thinking the job is to tighten the screws and therefore that we need a banker/finance expert to do that is very short sighted. You want someone with vision who can stimulate the economy, sometimes by spending, and the overall aim of Government is to provide services - and ultimately make people happier and have a better quality of life. They manage it in Scandinavian countries - plenty of examples to follow.
  8. Those who know him expect his manifesto will be written in green ink.
  9. I see your point, interestingly my fear is often that the Douglas collective can outnumber a north or south issue It happened with a Queen's Pier vote a few years ago - a motion to renovate sensibly was lost by a single vote - and most of the eight Douglas MHK's who had no interest outside their town voted against it.
  10. This Kemp fellow seems on a par with lots of other numpties who don't know the difference between Parliament and Government. He has declared the he has decided to "stand for Government" No - he is not standing for Government - is is standing to be elected into our Parliament, the House of Keys. If a prospective candidate does not even know what system he is seeking to join, I doubt if there is much depth or knowledge underlying his ideas.
  11. If the UK leaves the EU and there is any downturn in the UK economy - an almost certain scenario, the Isle of Man will be hit in the finance sector. We are very dependent on how the London markets operate for our overall well being. And jobs - Ronaldsway Aircraft, Swagelock, Dowtys Triumph, and the manufactures down the Freeport all need unfettered access to sell parts into Europe. Once we lose access to Europe (through Protocol 3 with the UK) those companies would have no reason to stay here and can debunk to any of their factories in Europe and China. China has trade deals with the EU - once UK leaves Europe they will have to re-negotiate trade deals with ALL the countries of the world including places like China. Suddenly the UK would face tariffs from ALL the countries of the world. Those companies all had plans to leave a few years ago when there was serious discussion of the IOM going independent and leaving the UK customs union - it was their lobbying which stopped our Government progressing the idea.
  12. Four TT Riders and one pre-TT classic at Billown. Two visiting motorcyclists One death from collision between four wheeled vehicles, probably not TT related. Visitor deaths down, racing deaths up.
  13. Really? Just throwing out the usual catalogue of slurs, and his meaningless cliches. He has let himself down by not yet mentioning his Dolphin Certificate, but give him time. Nothing of substance at all - doesn't even know what an Auditor General is.
  14. Shame about Nationwide - I find their customer service and helpfulness head and shoulders above others, particularly the useless Santander.
  15. Agreed - great staff down there. I suspect the abuse they get is from 'builders' trying circumvent costs of dumping.
  16. A Roger Mexico said, on the evidence, carefully read, concluding that bullying and lying went on does stretch the evidence quite a bit. There is plenty of evidence to censure Houghton for his behaviour without stretching the conclusions that far. There is no doubt he is a bully. He would have been better employed forensically analysing the evidence, line by line rather than attacking all and sundry and blaming everyone else except himself. Basically from the report it seems that there has been a member of staff who has been a pain since at least 2010 who management have tried to sort out and MHKs have been intervening on her behalf and the problem has not gone away. So there is a failure of management, no doubt handicapped by procedures, to get rid of her, and a failure by Houghton and co to keep their noses out of what was none of their business. But worse came yesterday - firstly, unfortunately Houghton had a moral victory in that the majority of the Keys had doubts about the report and wanted it investigating independently. Reading the report it was an investigation which is full of holes and uncompleted lines of enquiry and re-examination of issues. And secondly the standard of debate was appalling. The incoherent ramblings, for and against Houghton from Karran, Henderson and Quirk in particular were dire, and the faux anger of Robertshaw was just a nasty gallery playing diatribe. If Lord Lisvane heard all of that I am surprised that the gunboats are not heading into the bay right now.
  17. In relation to which part? The calculation of the cost of ongoing benefits? That's not really where GUS went wrong and there's nothing to suggest that Hymans Robertson's estimate is flawed in any way. The estimated reduction in cost of ongoing benefits over time? That is in part down to the reforms initiated in 2008 and in part down to the current proposals before Tynwald; it would be a huge surprise if the reduction in benefits werent bringing the cost down! I'm not disputing a reduction in benefits brings down cost. But the measures need to much more than that. They need to make it sustainable and fair to the tax payer. For example bringing it down £10m a year is a reduction in cost. But it wouldnt be a satisfactory solution. And we have been here before. GUS had actuarial calculations done at the time and the reforms done then were meant to make it sustainable. The GUS scheme by Hymans Robertson? was accurate - at the time. But it didn't reckon on the number of public servants reducing by nearly 1000 since then. As Government has shrunk, so has the amount of contributions and their figures don't work any more. Hence the need for a new scheme.
  18. I have read the full report and all the annexes and evidence. It does appear that the conclusions reached, using the word 'lying' and some of the bullying accusations, are reached stretching the evidence beyond what it is. If Houghton had any sense (he hasn't) he would have forensically examined every part of the evidence and how it has been used to come to the damning conclusions of him, and he would have found that some of it was flimsy - and he should have concentrated on the possible lack of evidence on which the Committee came to their conclusions. If he had done that,perhaps with some expert legal assistance he may have had a good case to refute some, not all, the conclusions. Instead, he publicly berates each member of the Committee, with personal abuse, the Speaker and the Clerks of Tynwald, with personal abuse, and he has attacked the messengers rather than the message. - He should instead have concentrated on the facts of the report. There is no doubt that he has a bullying style - and that he caused great distress to all those involved and deserves censure. What he has revealed is a complete lack of self awareness and he has let his ego overrule any sensible decision making. I doubt, from his public reactions, if he has even read all the report,
  19. The stuff we had tonight definitely wasn't Marksies. I know my Marksies food, I get given it nearly every day. These two said they were from southern Italy, Naples and somewhere near the 'heel' and the food was so much better than the usual Italian over here. It was melt in the mouth stuff, and if they throw any of it away, I wouldn't mind raiding their bins....
  20. Just had a meal in Ciao, the Italian restaurant in Victoria Street - used to be Blakemores/Radio Rentals and more recently a bar/nightclub. This was real Italian food, much more tasty than anywhere else on the Island, and definitely a better meal and taste experience than some of the more trendy restaurants. And better value. Two genuine southern Italians seem to run the place, giving very attentive and personal service and it appears that all the food is home made and fresh. The menu was mostly Italian, but with some very unusual and interesting dishes which included lobster at a very reasonable price, steaks, home made ravioli and pasta, queenies and huge but light pizzas. The desserts were home made cake type desserts, much more interesting than normal restaurant desserts. But the main thing is the TASTE of everything - stunning for most dishes - even the coffee was great, and a bruschetta and kipper starter gave me the best tasting kippers I have ever had. They don't serve alcohol yet, but that is not important as the taste over-rides everything else. I had not heard of the place until today, but will definitely be going back - has anyone else been yet?
  21. Actually, the opposite is true. Chris Thomas says he put a resolution in Tynwald for a review and the PARLIAMENT (Tynwald) approved it. Nothing to do with Government. It seems a lot of people don't appreciate the difference between Tynwald and Government. So the post above about UK being behind this is also wrong. Our Parliament started this. Whether is goes anywhere or not is nothing to do with the Government or the UK Government, is is a matter for our 'Parliament'.
  22. Guarantee that in two or three years time the Tynwald Public Accounts Committee will be ripping this deal to shreds and trying to find out who to blame for the fiasco which will inevitably follow.
  23. I think you are trying to make something out of nothing. The bottom line is that the information is all there and perfectly available. If I want to know anything about a company I can find it. I know, because I did exactly that recently. Also, I don't think it should be simple for people to access a persons data just because they are fucking nosey. Whereas now it's like finding a needle in a haystack. And yet it allows the likes of Bell and Teare et al to say, as you did: "...the information is all there and perfectly available". i think you are intentionally missing the point about this whole subject. The Isle of Man is even more of a secrecy jurisdiction than it was 10 years ago. (But hey, it's just to stop nosey people) Does anyone have a right to privacy any longer, or does everything have to be open and transparent to anyone who cares to look? Article 8 of the Human Rights Act states that "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence". So if I'm in business and own shares in a legitimate company, why should anyone (other than tax and law enforcement) be able to look at what shares in that company I might own? What business is it of anyone else, any more than the balance of my bank account. It is no-one's business. And privacy is not always about tax evasion. Is the King of Saudi Arabia really avoiding tax by using a BVI company? Stretching the analogy, what if I am a business person in the fictional country of Volgaria and I have earned / saved a modest pension nest-egg, denominated in that safe and secure currency the British Pound, on which tax has been paid in Volgaria, and which is earning a nice rate of interest at the Bank of Volgaria. Now lets say that the Volgarian government decides to seize all British Pounds in the country and replace them with Volgarian Pesos at an exchange rate of its choosing. Or worse, I am accused of being a Bolshevik, profiteering from my hard working comrades by disloyally holding onto a foreign currency, and I am rounded up for compulsory re-education at a far away work camp. So being aware of these risks, rather than invest my hard earned Pounds in the Bank of Volgaria, I set up a company in the sunny Virgin Islands and put my Pounds into a bank account in the Isle of Man. My retirement fund will be safe, I think. Until the day arrives that information on my Volgarian residency becomes freely available to anyone with an itchy nose, or the Volgarians and Manx governments enter into a tax information sharing agreement, or until information is leaked by those clever newspaper people, putting my business in Volgaria - perhaps even my life, at risk. Far fetched? Couldn't happen? Perhaps not today, but look at your history and who knows about a few years hence by when our freedoms and privacy will have been eroded by successive governments, beyond redemption . As Karellen states - this does happen. I know of people who work in potentially unstable countries who pay ALL their proper taxes in that country. The personal money they have left is banked here, via Corporate Service Providers - because they have genuine fears that the regime could find ways of stealing it from them. Genuine fears of doors being burst open at night, genuine fears of corrupt leaders being aware of their wealth and finding ways of putting it in their pockets. Some of these people are not multi millionaires, just people concerned that the corruption in their country could take away what they have saved.
  24. Ditto, have known him for years and he has done this sort of thing before. He is harmless and would not have carried out the threats, but the Teares were not to know that and it would have been very distressing for Mrs Teare for all those months until it was found out who he was. He will not receive custody, neither should he. He mostly needs someone to talk to - and he doesn't often get that much nowadays, so things build up in him. If you know Jackie, take time to have a chat with him, don't walk on by.
  25. It's about priorities. Have ridden my bike in recent weeks up the Sloc, and on the Creg Ny Baa back road. Several miles of beautiful recently built surfaces, a joy to ride on. They must have a couple of dozen vehicles a day using them, maybe even a hundred. But according to the Promenade planning report there are about 14,000 vehicle journeys a day on the Douglas Promenade. Priorities.
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