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Roger Mexico

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Everything posted by Roger Mexico

  1. Roger Mexico

    Doing It On Your Doorstep

    Well quite. Which is why I put the link in mine. I'm surprised you could even find a privacy policy - I could see anything on their website. Given how everyone has been having kittens about GDPR over the last year, you would have thought they would have not just covered it but made it a selling point on how compliant they were and how potential sellers wouldn't have to worry.
  2. Roger Mexico

    Doing It On Your Doorstep

    So does google: https://www.visitisleofman.com/whats-on/on-your-doorstep There's actually surprisingly little there and most of it is stuff that would be happening anyway. I suppose it's a good idea to promote local businesses, but most of the effort seems to be from the private sector.
  3. Roger Mexico

    CoMin Cosset Civil Service

    Well I agree they should at least try to make some sort of case as to why something is bad, but that's a long way from demanding that they should be able to produce a fully-costed alternative before any complaints should be taken seriously. Which is quite often the sort of response that any sort of criticism gets. Usually from parts of the government machinery trying to push through a plan that would barely cover the back of an envelope, based mainly on wishful thinking and bullshit. I think you also underestimate the amount of time that it should take to research even a single oral question[1] , if you are doing it properly and want to ask follow-ups. And there is an awful lot that the Manx government does and needs covering. It actually involves more areas that you get at Westminster, because it is also responsible for areas that are covered by local authorities (local schools, social services and housing for example) or by private companies (water, electric, post office) in the UK. It's only foreign affairs and defence that Tynwald doesn't have that Westminster does. But unlike the opposition in London with its dozens of frontbenchers and their staffs of paid researchers, all the handful of Tynwald members who are prepared to criticise have is themselves. In the end there's only a limited number of hours in the day and the opposition usually tend to be ones who will do the Tynwald and Keys work they should do (read the order papers and legislation and so on), rather than nodding everything through and hope they get re-elected because everyone thinks they are a nice fella. [1] Written questions tend to be used separately to elicit information that is not known publicly - or at least that's how it should work.
  4. Roger Mexico

    Manx Radio

    I wondered if it had been photoshopped as well, because it was almost too good to be true, especially the sign directing the marchers to Cuckooland. But the Manx flag has appeared consistently in photos of the march throughout the last few days (it's certainly been sighted a lot more than Nigel Farage). I think the photo on the Manx Radio piece comes from the Twitter of a group called Led by Donkeys. Who are basically shadowing the march, sticking up embarrassing tweets from various Brexit leaders on billboards that the marchers are walking past or following them round with a mobile billboard pasted up with similar quotes from Boris, Davis, Grayling etc how easy Brexit was going to be and so on. It's basically epic trolling, which seems to have been crowd-funded and is now providing endless amusement to the social media and indignation in the more Leave-supporting London press. A quick scroll should provide at least a few smiles for the less ideologically committed. And lots of sightings of that Manx flag. Clearly seen here for example, or looking particularly damp here. And here is a very clear shot, presumably next to its carrier while he rests with some of his fellow marchers sitting on ...the edge of the mobile billboard carrying the words of Boris Johnson saying "Brexit means Brexit and we're going to make a titanic success of it". Accompanied by a drawing of an ocean liner. Sinking. I suppose they could have all been photoshopped in, but it seems a lot of work for something that most people wouldn't even recognise. And of course, like most things Brexit-related, the flag is a massive self-own. Because not only is the Island not in the EU to leave in the first place, but it reminds people and indeed journalists of the Manx companies that Aaron Banks channelled the mysterious millions that helped pay for the Leave campaign with.
  5. Roger Mexico

    Manx students go on strike

    Actually there's no evidence that there's any link between ethnic group and family size. People from one ethnic group who move to a country which is predominantly inhabited by another tend to adjust their family sizes to that of the locals, usually by the next generation[1]. This is because family size is dictated by practicalities: availability of contraception and abortion; provision of suitable housing; the possibility of childcare so women can work outside the home. It's true that there are certain religious sects that tend to encourage large families (Hassidic Jews, Mormons, some US Evangelicals) but they tend to be minorities within their countries. In fact fertility rates have halved worldwide since 1960, though this has not been the same in all countries. It has fallen more in East Asia (especially of course China), in South America (especially Brazil) and most of the larger Islamic countries (Indonesia, Iran, Bangladesh). It's gone down less in Europe where family size was already comparatively low. But the decline in Africa has been disappointing, which is what I think you are referring to. The reasons for this are complex, but I think relate to the way that health care is delivered there. Much of it has been traditionally religious-based, originating in the activity of missionaries. For many of these contraception and especially abortion are seen as forbidden, even when contraception is allowed it tends to be seen as ungodly or at least not to be a high priority. What secular and state-provided alternatives have existed have been hit hard over the last three or four decades by demands from lending institutions, such as the IMF, that such facilities should be cut back, charged for or privatised. So things such as free contraception tend either to be out of reach or unaffordable[2]. And where money is short and health care has to be paid for, treating what ailments you already have tends to take priority over preventative measures. And aid organisations tend to concentrate on things that save children's lives (vaccination, clean water, anti-malaria) rather than stopping more being born. Partly because they see that as the most urgent thing, but they will also be scared of offending powerful donors[3]. So it may well be true that 'political correctness' is stopping certain things being discussed with regard to population growth, but it is right-wing political correctness, driven by the sensitivities of capitalist investors and powerful religious groups. But you won't find out about it in the papers[4] who want instead to blame it on people for being black or Muslim or whatever. [1] This may work both ways - it would be interesting to say if those moving to a country with a higher birthrate (such as the UK) from say Poland increase their average family side. [2] If you think about the resistance that there was to the recent abortion bill from the health bureaucrats, you can see the mindset that stops these things being provided for free. [3] Trump of course has completely stopped funding to any aid organisation that has any links to abortion, but there were a lot of restrictions on such work already, going back to Reagan and before. [4] Strange isn't how the people who complain that "You can't talk about X, nowadays" usually do so in mass-circulation newspapers?
  6. Roger Mexico

    CoMin Cosset Civil Service

    I don't really think you do need to. After all you can tell if your car isn't working properly without actually knowing what the fault is or how to correct it. If the mechanic started complaining because you could diagnose exactly what was wrong and say what the solution was, you'd think they weren't much good at their job, not you. And of course in the case of Tynwald, the government has got all the information and lots of experts who are supposed to know what to do - and lots of ways to stop those outside government knowing what the situation is. And in practice, opposition politicians also haven't got much time to develop alternatives on any particular topic, given how few there are of them[1] and how many areas there are to be covered. Research and seeking out and assessing alternatives takes time and persistence. So for a lot of things they may be aware of no more than that things don't seem right, but can't offer a solution. It doesn't mean that they should keep quiet about things that are going wrong. [1] I mean the 'backbenchers' who actually oppose, ask questions and so on, rather than sit back and take the money.
  7. Roger Mexico

    Manx Radio

    Oh I agree. There's nothing more tedious that the way in which any topic even remotely connected to Callister or Onchan can degenerate into attacking/defending him along predictable lines from predictable posters, irrespective of the actual facts of the issue or whether it relates to him at all. You just have to ignore it. In this case my point was that Callister was 'given the opportunity' to 'correct' his mistake, not because he was getting special treatment but because Manx Radio was giving itself special treatment - so again it's not really about him. Of course if they had just let it be, we wouldn't now all be examining the way in which Manx Radio is getting these hidden subventions, so they'd have been wise not to make a fuss.
  8. Roger Mexico

    Manx Radio

    Thanks for that information Rob. Manx Radio's accounts are unhelpful even by standards of the IOMG and a (nominally) 'arms-length' publicly-owned organisation ought to be more transparent, not less. So it's not surprising, though still shocking, that something as important and recent as the way that TT/FOM coverage was supported before 2012 (Radio TT 365 - which I assume you mean - ran from TT 2012 to March 2013) should be a matter of dispute rather than public record. Though it is a matter of some amusement that two of the most management-heavy organisations in the Island (if not the universe) seem unable to provide reliable management information. For what it's worth, the ultra-minimal P&L from the Manx Radio Accounts for 2012-13 show a drop of £77,000 in the subvention, but whether there is extra government money hidden in 'Turnover - continuing operations' is not really possible to discern. The attached Report also contains some references to what was clearly a big spat between Manx Radio and the (then) DED over the period and there was of course (yet another) Tynwald enquiry into Public Service Broadcasting which commissioned the informative Myers Report all of which (yet again) resulted in nothing changing.
  9. Roger Mexico

    Manx Radio

    I think you're not really identifying the core of this though. What was important here is not who was being invited to 'correct' what they said, it's what it was about - the finances of Manx Radio. You suspect that if Rob had been inaccurate about any other topic, nothing would have been said, but anyone else, politician or not, who said the same thing would have been jumped on. What we actually have here is a broadcaster getting an MHK to change what they said because it revealed something (true or not) about their finances. In most countries politicians try to censor the media, not the other way around.
  10. Roger Mexico

    Timely decision

    So what should be done in those places which no longer have a bank branch? Do you tell those businesses that they have to close down or spend an hour a day driving into Douglas to hand in their banking? And presumably the sub-post offices get paid something for handling it - and they're also a business which is handing out a lot of cash as well in any case.
  11. Roger Mexico

    Year Of Our Island

    Because you need a Government and Ministers and at a minimum that will take up 7-9 people. But you then need at least as many backbenchers/opposition to keep a check on them (or they just override everything) plus officials like the Speaker, Committee Chairs and so on and just allowing for some of those elected to be completely unfit. 30 is a minimum really and probably 40 would be better. It's also worth saying that members of Tynwald individually aren't that expensive, because the cost of running it will be dominated by fixed overheads. So reducing the number of Tynwald members doesn't save that much and the lack of scrutiny that then happens may mean that you lose a lot more elsewhere. Of course this means that those who wish to run the government without any democratic control will do their best to claim reducing the numbers is a good thing, rather than looking at other ways of saving.
  12. Roger Mexico

    Timely decision

    The trouble is that too many people (you saw it on here) blindly accept the "Look we're saving money" message without bothering to actually examine the situation and see whether the claim was plausible or just (at best) creative accountancy. It's particularly ridiculous in this situation because the delivery of the post from ERS would still all actually be done by IOM Post - the bags probably went from their processing centre to the Island without the Royal Mail doing anything but sticking them in a van. But they got the income and IOM Post the cost.
  13. Roger Mexico

    Year Of Our Island

    Technically that's not quite right because the rules wouldn't have allowed the Keys to vote again before LegCo did. What he could have done is suggest to LegCo that they all spoil their papers and then have the Keys vote again. Of course if Beecroft's three votes had then transferred to Cannan there would still have been no solution, but it would have looked less dodgy given that they had sort of promised that LegCo wouldn't swing the result. Of course the best way to fix it would be have LegCo popularly elected, so they have the same legitimacy as Keys members, but that's one thing that seems inconceivable to the current lot.
  14. Roger Mexico

    Year Of Our Island

    I think it was a bit of both as well. No doubt a lot of muttering about "a safe pair of hands" in the right ears and promises of ministerial office. And of course the unanimous vote of LegCo for Quayle was organised to put him over the line. As to Fremdschamen it should of course appear on every other headstone in the cemetery as the dead cringe in their graves at their new neighbour.
  15. Roger Mexico

    Year Of Our Island

    Brown always gave the impression that he couldn't quite believe his luck that he had managed to end up where he did, whereas Quayle seems completely convinced that he is fully entitled to be where he is and is coping absolutely magnificently. And whatever you could say about Brown, although he wasn't clever he had a sort of basic cunning that enabled him to survive in post (look at the manoeuvring he went through to become CM). The same thing applied to Gelling and to Bell, who wasn't as clever as he thought he was but could still put on a reasonably competent show. But Quayle is simply there because he was seen as the most malleable of the possible candidates by the civil service, the one who would change as little as possible. The only problem they have with him is that his complete lack of self-awareness means that he sometimes tries to do things himself, convinced by his own genius, which means that it turns out even more embarrassing[1] than it would have been if he'd followed the script. Mercifully his innate laziness means this doesn't happen more often than it does. [1] We all know what schadenfreude means, but there's an equally useful German word Fremdschämen, which means embarrassment at someone else's behaviour. We should have been using it a lot over the last few years.
  16. Roger Mexico

    Beneficial Register MPs visiting IOM

    Well you could say the same about newspapers - and they're certainly public.. But it's clear that the EU is moving on to public registers according to the HoC Library Briefing: It also says "Member states must ensure that legal entities incorporated within their territory (for example, companies) obtain and hold adequate, accurate and current information on their beneficial ownership".
  17. Roger Mexico

    I am very perverted, apparently!

    Of course the one delightful aspect of this is that anyone attempting to purchase bitcoin in the next few days will be met with some very knowing looks. Expect the price to plummet. Though you'd expect anyone tech-savvy enough to purchase bitcoin would be able to see through this (or hear about it fairly quickly). But I suppose you only need a very small percentage to fall for it if you send out enough e-mails.
  18. Roger Mexico

    Year Of Our Island

    On the contrary - it's exactly what a skilled politician would do. Saving the Chief Minister's pet project is going to get you brownie points and if it goes wrong you can always plausibly blame Skelly and his minions for creating the mess through their inactivity. And compared to most of the terrible ideas that come out of Prospect Hill it was quite cheap - mainly because it consisted of pointing to stuff that other people were doing and claiming credit. Denouncing everything as complete bullshit isn't going to make you any friends - especially if it happens to be true.
  19. Roger Mexico

    Island’s most expensive house for sale

    That's what puzzles me as well. It's very much built for a particular person - and it's not been completed that long. It's unlikely anyone else would have the same tastes. And the price is crazy - it would make sense if it was in Central London, but not Santon. Lorne House looks a bit overpriced at £4 million and this is more than seven times that.
  20. Roger Mexico

    Steam Packet to be sold

    One of the interesting things about the press release about the Steam Packet plans is that it says: So the Heysham terminal with be refurbished, but it will be paid for by the SP (rather than its owner) while the taxpayer pays directly for work at the Sea Terminal. It will be interesting if we see more of these hidden subsidies.
  21. Roger Mexico

    Beneficial Register MPs visiting IOM

    A couple of MPs can't on their own, but if most of the opposition Parties and some influential government backbenchers support something when the government doesn't have a majority, then the arithmetic means that it might happen and it's very difficult to get something through if such a coalition oppose it. As the Brexit shenanigans of the last few months tell us. The City of London isn't sovereign and Parliament does have to legislate for it, but the City Remembrancer does have all sort of ways to influence laws and he is not only a lawyer but has a team of six to help him. Add to that the lobbying might of the City and its businesses and all those part-time jobs for MPs and full-time ones held by politicians' spouses, children, parents, friends etc, then collectively it's a very powerful operation and has been since Tudor times[1]. As to how the Island could get in a similar position - well stick around for 800 years, just a couple of miles down the road from Parliament and have lots of money. Tynwald manages the history, but not the geography or the finance. [1] Presumably before then Parliament and the Commons in particular weren't really powerful enough to be worth a permanent presence (though the City always had MPs) and the effort went to lobbying the monarch directly.
  22. Roger Mexico

    Man (Child?) to face rape charges!

    Well googling his name produces a number of previous convictions and charges, including for burglary and assault (and swearing at a policeman out of a window). But no explicit sex offences. Of course he might be on remand for such charges, but in this case this ridiculous prosecution would give any competent defence advocate the excuse to claim that his client's reputation had been so tarnished by the publicity - with much pointing to the Facebook pitchforks - that a fair trial would be impossible.
  23. Roger Mexico

    Beneficial Register MPs visiting IOM

    Basically delegation (which I presume is what is happening here) is an administrative matter and can only take place within the bounds set by legislation. So if the legislation changes the powers which have been delegated are affected as well. And even these sort of agreements are carried out under the Crown and I assume have to signed by the Governor or whoever. Beneficial ownerships and the registers that list them are a matter of agreement between countries and so, in the end, a matter over which Westminster is fully entitled to intervene. But in any case they have the ultimate sanction of imposing even local legislation is they feel like it - it's just that Tynwald usually does as it's told before things get to that point. As we tend to have seen recently, the Manx Government seem to be handling the associated PR rather badly. Quayle getting all indignant and spluttering "How very dare you!" may play well with the less perceptive inhabitants of Athol Street, but it's not going to look good among MPs or wider in the world. They would be better emphasising the need for all jurisdictions to move together and continuing to point out the uselessness of moving to open registers if they are as notoriously inaccurate as the UK one.
  24. Roger Mexico

    Beneficial Register MPs visiting IOM

    That's a bit unfair on Christian Aid, which has always seemed more concerned about the aid than the Christianity. Possibly because there are lot of different sorts of Christians involved and they'd be rowing about which particular brand line to push. And in any case the sort of people who use these techniques to conceal their dosh are probably more guilty than guilt-ridden and so unlikely to be moved by appeals to their better instincts on the grounds they don't have any. The BBC piece is only about 3 minutes long (from 18:20) and doesn't tell us anything new (is it just a cut-down of a longer piece broadcast earlier?). But it was still full of fantasies of independence. But Tynwald-passed law will not over-ride Westminster ones, if there is a clash it will because the UK will have explicitly extended an Act to the Island and it will take precedence. And of course the executive functions of the law - the Police and the Courts - owe their allegiance to the Crown and so to the UK. The Island has been lucky in that previous UK governments have been happy to restrict themselves to making pious noises while politicians exploited the opportunities offered for their Parties or themselves. Why do you think Cameron exempted trusts from offshore disclosure rules? But such protection may not continue and Brexit may make the UK more vulnerable to pressure in any case.
  25. Roger Mexico

    Man (Child?) to face rape charges!

    There's also an immediately post-court piece on 3FM, from Jason Roberts repeating the statement made in Court, that confuses the issues even more. It says that Collis was 13 at the time of the alleged attack in Malta (presumably in Summer 2010) and that the age of criminal responsibility was 10 then[1] as he would have to be prosecuted under Maltese Law in the Manx Courts. The decision to prosecute just gets weirder and weirder. It's like they decided to take all the possible factors that make it difficult to get a successful prosecution and decided to combine them into one case. Maybe there's some sort of international competition for the most stupid prosecution decision. They should run away with it. (It's also worth pointing to how, yet again, the Courts are releasing and the media reporting enough information about a sexual offences case that people are able to make guesses about the identity of the alleged victim - which is what I presume Dilligaf's comment was about). [1] As above I'm fairly certain it wasn't. In the Maltese system younger children can be brought before the Courts but not prosecuted, though presumably Court orders can be made for protection etc, which would be irrelevant here with an adult defendant.
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