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Roger Mexico

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Everything posted by Roger Mexico

  1. Looking at the figures I quoted in my previous post, I begin to understand something that puzzled me about the suggestions from the last Tynwald Committee on Manx Radio (which like all other suggestions for reform got ignored or voted down). They wanted Manx Radio to drop the commercial content and become purely taxpayer-funded - which looked very odd when everything is supposed to be commercially-minded. But if most of the earnings from advertising and sponsorship are being used to pay for the sales team and associated costs and expenses, plus the cost of making the ads, then most listeners might prefer paying very little if anything more and getting rid of the ads. If the BBC are saying that they could produce a similar (presumably non-ad) station for about £1.5 million pa, then the £ 0.5 million extra that MR spend must be because of commercial side plus excess management (not that the BBC is known for being lean and hungry). There looks like a big gap between the £ 875k subvention and £1.5 million, but once you take all the other hidden subsidies into account, the gap narrows by a lot and paying for a reformed, ad-free Manx Radio looks a lot more doable. The only downside is that it would make Juan Turner and Ron Berry very happy.
  2. Does this mean you can now complete a demanding obstacle course in 2 minutes, running up a wall and climbing Mount Midoriyama on the way? Or does it just mean that you have attained broadcasting perfection? Nah - he's just reviving his Black Ops Squad. Richard Murphy and the rest of us need to be very careful or we'll be found murdered with nunchucks.
  3. But people on Manx Forums have been pointing out how Manx Radio is lagging behind on using and promoting other media channels for as long as I can remember. Podcasts are hardly a niche activity that only the most tech-savvy, hip young things are indulging in. Radio 4's In Our Time has been doing one since 1998 and their audience is probably even older on average that MR's. Even now integration across the channels is poor - more interviews could go up on the Portal/YouTube and linked from website news stories (which themselves continue to be very formulaic). No one's complaining that moves are finally happening, just that it is so belated and not as well done as it could be. It's clearly nonsense that the costs of running a radio station is the same irrespective of its audience size. Radio 4 costs more than hospital radio. It's is true however that Myers was complementary about many parts of Manx Radio's output, but less so about the managerial superstructure: We do however have an idea of what a BBC Radio Isle of Man would cost because someone from the BBC told Tynwald last year: And Myers also makes the point that there were other hidden subsidies to Manx Radio: We know many of these continue and have increased since 2013, even though the underlying subvention hasn't gone up. It also ignores the costs of any capital works that have been done for Manx Radio and which would normally come out of the station's budget over a number of years. Allowing for this and inflation does make you think that the actual cost to the Manx government of Manx Radio isn't much different from what it would cost for the BBC to run the station. Which makes you wonder where all the commercial revenue goes to.
  4. Um ... you do realise that those security staff are the part that has already been privatised? So consider yourself lucky - you're already getting what you asked for.
  5. But the question isn't whether Manx Radio needs someone in charge, it's whether there should be so many people in management and whether they are paid too much. Manx Radio has a small potential listenership of around 85,000 of whom less than half ever listen to it. It has a total turnover of £2 million (£875k of which is subvention). But one person earns between £75k and £99k (and it's never been denied it's near the top of that range) and another two between £50k and £75k. I suspect there are others just below the £50k mark. Even in terms of roles it's top-heavy with Directors of what are only very small teams[1] being paid as if they are the heads of large numbers of people. Normally for a radio station covering so few you would expect a station manager who also did a bit of broadcasting and a very slim-lime admin side of things. You need people to do commercial sales - but given how much of the business is repeat and the comparatively small number of potential advertisers, it can't be the most onerous of tasks. These aren't new criticisms and have been made by many for many years, including in documents like the Myers Report. But nothing has ever changed, even when change has been recommended by Tynwald committees, because the problems with Manx Radio are all too typical of those in wider government here and it's all too comfortable for too many. Actually they do if you're talking about percentages. If Manx Radio's share of those listening has dropped. that's caused by those who have switched to other stations, not because they have stopped listening to the radio. And if there has been a growth in other platforms, it's because Manx Radio has been so slow to adopt such things that any growth is on a low base. Some of this is stuff that other stations have been using 20 plus years. It's welcome that website stories and clips are now more than 20 seconds extent, but it could have been done long ago. [1] Manx Radio's staffing structure is even more opaque than their accounts (and much more so than it used to be).
  6. Actually one of the problems was that with seven candidates, six of whom got fairly substantial votes,, most people didn't vote for them at all. Only 30% of those voting supported Cregeen and only 33% Moorhouse. And of course with a turnout of only 60%, the percentages of constituents would have been even smaller. You do wonder if Cregeen in particular would have been elected if the STV system was still going.
  7. It's not really that it's too big, it's that it's made itself too big. It's massively over-managed and has to justify that by inventing new projects or massively inflating those that need to be done. Which means they hire more managers[1] who then need something to keep them busy and so on. Bigger budgets mean pay increases for those at the top and so on. It also means that ordinary maintenance gets downgraded as not as exciting as capital projects and of course if you let things slide you may have a better excuse for the next big reconstruction. And of course if you get rid of your manual workers, you often lose the knowledge that kept things going. These aren't problems unique to the Island, though we have them in a particularly extreme form; however our small size ought to make things easier to correct. On paper, Harmer ought to be the person to do it - a degree from Cambridge in Engineering ought to imply some intellectual capacity and enough background knowledge not to be bamboozled and the confidence to challenge those trying to do so. But like many of those who go into politics with a business background he seems to see the job of a Minister as being that of a rather negligent Chairman of a slightly dodgy company: sign all the papers, smile in the photos, talk about nothing in important tones. And of course take the 'emoluments'. [1] I think in that Manx Radio interview the Director of Highways proudly announced that their immediate reaction to the Prom cock-ups was to hire four more design engineers.
  8. But it worked so well when we tried it with the MEA! Luckily the current management of the Airport have absolutely no record of capital projects that go massively over budget, are years late in delivery and were completely unnecessary in the first place.
  9. What is the justification behind this scheme? Besides making pencil-heads look busy that is.... You should know by now that anything at the airport that needs overpriced and completely unnecessary building work never requires any justification.
  10. The trouble is that a lot of what people think of as parcels often come in the letter post - but may still be too big to fit through most letter boxes. And of course a lot of items need to be signed for in any case, no matter what the size.
  11. Roger Mexico

    TT 2018

    Apart from the 2 spectators at the 26th milestone , the female Marshall who crossed the road in front of a rider and both died. As usual Wiki has the information, though it is spread over too many categories. On closed road, as well as PC Harmer's death in 1976, there was a marshal killed in 1980. But then nothing until 2005 (so gattafa was slightly out in guessing the date) when as well as the April Bolster incident you referred to there was a bystander killed during the MGP and then the two spectators at the 26th Milestone in 2007. There was also a marshal death during open roads at the 2006 MGP and that cluster of accidents suggests there was a sloppy attitude to safety around the Course at that time. The fact it took three years of such accidents before things got back to the previous low level suggest that the authorities were pretty slow to put things right. I'm not convinced there much quicker now, but worried that they are still only being reactive rather than proactive and still concerned their main motivation is still protecting reputation.
  12. Keep up at the back! We discussed this last December. I'm surprised it's going out on ITV1 to be honest, though it is August. I'm puzzled by the embargo warning by the way: Surely if you're putting it up on t'internet it is in the public domain now anyway?
  13. and will anyone notice? Someone clearly has because all five were on their website earlier today and now only two remain. And Manx Radio has now reported that the Breretons have resigned as well as Pilling (they said he had only resigned as Chair, but presumably meant from the Commissioners as well). Which means they will be inquorate and can't make any decisions without fresh election or co-option. Though as usual you read it here first.
  14. Can't be TJ - to avoid deportation, he'd be demanding that the guy's grandfathers had been born on the Island. All ten of them.
  15. Roger Mexico

    TT 2018

    Yes and no. Litigants can apply to have a case heard in a different jurisdiction, no matter what the original contract says or where it was made. If Mercer and most of the witnesses are in England and the ACU is based there, Mercer's lawyers could argue that it was onerous and unreasonable to expect everyone to go over to the Island. Courts can over-rule contract terms as to jurisdiction if they are thought to be unreasonable.
  16. Roger Mexico

    TT 2018

    I think your longer post actually shows what is so wrong about the way the TT is run as exemplified here. If even a new marshal can see that training might be a good idea, why not do it? Why wait for somebody to die? Rather than actively looking to improve safety (and indeed the experience of the racing) there seems to be this passive, fatalistic attitude that changes should only be made where they are forced.
  17. They haven't even factored in that cruise ships provide very little economic benefit to the places they visit, so they're not very likely to consider anything longer term.
  18. Indeed there's nothing to say that he wasn't born here - the article says his father is here after all. And deporting him would probably lead to a greater drain on the state given that he's presumably paying maintenance for his kids and is employing people.
  19. Everyone was consulted - there was a formal consultation and a public enquiry. And Port Erin seem to have started the process to extend the boundary back in 2015 at least. And that letter mentions that discussions were going on when planning permission was being sought, so none of this should come as a surprise to anyone. After all the part of the estate built first was in Port Erin. It's just that the DoI has been so slow get the thing processed that the new residents have been able to move in and pay cheaper rates. That said the boundaries are a bit odd around Four Roads, because the ancient rivalry between Port Erin and Port St Mary means they have always scrapped over who gets what. Both the School and the Southern Group Practice are actually in Rushen (though the SGP car park and School playing fields are in PSM). Presumably as a compromise.
  20. A widely held misconception. But a misconception none the less.
  21. Don't give them ideas. Think of the awful garbage they came up with when trying to justify the fairy houses. In actual fact the danger is that Boris will have put everyone off ordering kippers by post ever again, as they will think they now each come attached to its own melting iceberg. That assumes that there are actual people who believes anything he says mind, but someone must do or he wouldn't be favorite to be PM.
  22. Roger Mexico

    TT 2018

    The danger is that the situation is likely to slip into the old routine of "Lessons have been learned ... going forward ...nothing to see here". Especially now if liability has been admitted (though the exact wording will be interesting) there really shouldn't be any reason not publish the full report so that lessons can actually be learned and changes in procedure validated. Otherwise there's a risk that people slip back into the old ways of doing things because they don't have the information to link the mistakes with the consequences.
  23. I'm as guilty as anyone of letting my sentences degenerate into a drawn-out tangle of clauses. But it's always a good rule that if you find yourself gasping for air halfway through, you really ought to split it into two sentences and forget about trying to sound elegant. And it gets round the problem that no one is quite sure when to use 'whom' by getting rid of it, starting a new sentence with 'In' and sticking 'he' before 'defied'.
  24. The BBC has now done a fact check on it, suggesting that whoever responsible for this nonsense was getting confused between the regulations for transporting fresh fish (which of course you'd never mail[1]) and processed fish. This seems rather too kind - obviously for a potential Prime Minister or a newspaper editor to make such a simple error would suggest that you shouldn't send them out for chips[2], never mind put them in a position of responsibility. It's also interesting that no one seems to have found the complaining kipperer - it would hardly be difficult to ring round the potential suspects. But the joke isn't on them but on the public. in a normal country in normal times such made up stories would lead to one or both being sacked, as indeed Boris was sacked for making up stories early in his career as a journalist. Now it doesn't seem to matter - providing it works as propaganda for the 'right' people, then there are no consequences - in fact it's all seen as a jolly lark. And if it is journalists who are doing the fabricating, none of their colleagues will call them out on it. For all sorts of social and financial reasons, the omerta of the London press is even tighter than that of the Manx Civil Service. They will simply never criticise each other in print - or allow anyone else to[3]. At most you might get a few bitchy remarks in Private Eye's Street of Shame. And when members of the public dare to expose something that is of public interest, but not what the journalists want known, it is them who will be attacked for effectively do reporters' jobs for them. Think of the way the papers went after the people who reported Boris's domestic fights. What has happened is that the British media have awarded themselves perpetual immunity from the need to do what should be their job. There's been a lot of hand-wringing recently about the failure of British politics, but in the real failing is among those who are supposed to be keeping them honest. And it's not a coincidence that so many of the more venal politicians - Boris and Gove for starters - are originally journalists. [1] Unless you really hated someone. And their postie. [2] And certainly not for anything to go with them. [3] There was an interesting Twitter thread and linked Medium article last month from someone who had produced a requested article about a topic (I suspect for the Guardian) and it was never printed because he refused to remove truthful criticism of other journalists, even though those journalists were right-wingers. The clannishness of the Press is more important to them than reporting the truth or the political views they claim to support.
  25. Well Boris claims that he was told about this by a newspaper editor. Which I'm sure we all agree makes it even more reliable, if that were possible. The EU has of course wearily pointed out that it is nothing to do with them - but blaming British originated red-tape on the EU has been the standard diversion tactic for the last 40 years. Usually followed by complaints that "The French wouldn't stand for it" as if they should also follow whatever nonsense a British civil servant has dreamt up. Responsibility seems to be a thing the British ruling class don't do any more - and Boris is probably the most perfect example of this. But of course it doesn't matter if it is true. It has got in all the newspapers and the ones that support Boris won't bother to correct it. Indeed no one will probably to find out what the particular regulation is, whether it is EU, UK or even Manx. Or indeed whether it exists at all. This story has been around since last night, but no seems to have found the offending regulation or the advice to use these strange-sounding plastic-ice-whatevers or indeed the aggrieved kipper-smokers (it's not like there's a lot of them). The media just gormlessly take whatever they are fed and regurgitate it with the appropriate spin.
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