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code99 last won the day on August 21

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  1. Unfortunately, our current political system encourages ‘JFK’ in reverse i.e. ask not what you (MHKs) can do for this Island, but ask what this Island can do for you and your family. ETA - I am not talking about anyone in particular, it applies to all of them, IMHO.
  2. When ‘people in power’ commit ‘indiscretions’, and then try to keep it all hush-hush, things can easily become more than just facile tittle tattle. Potentially, these people could become vulnerable to blackmail (admittedly on the IOM the cat normally gets out of the proverbial bag pretty quickly). The trouble with the argument that ‘they are human beings and are entitled to their privacy’ is that if ‘politically powerful’ do wish to hide the truth about their private lives, they are usually able to exercise their (sometimes) enormous influence to the detriment of others. Under some circumstances this could lead to tarnished decision-making, outright corruption, other nefarious actions being taken, or they could be taking risks that they do not fully understand (you only need to think about the concept of ‘politically exposed persons’ …the higher people are, the further they have to fall). It seems to me that if prominent public figures find themselves under personal scrutiny, they should come clean before things (could) get very messy.
  3. This island is awash with 'nasty evil landlords' who only care about 'profit'. As a tenant, you have no rights in practical terms.
  4. The massive increase in the wholesale price of natural gas could result in IOM consumers paying much higher gas bills than the current proposal of a 27.5% increase, or the IOMG potentially having to bail out the owners of Manx Gas. Conveniently, the issue of higher gas prices on the Island was not debated during the election. Vulnerable consumers should be top priority - will we also see a similar increase in the price of electricity? One thing that bothers me about Manx Gas is who owns them i.e., the owner may be best described as a hedge fund. A UK registered private company ‘Ancala Partners LLP’ have owned Manx Gas since 2016. Ancala trades under the name ‘Islands Energy Group’ and is also the parent company of Guernsey Gas and Jersey Gas. I am not at all enthused that such a critical piece of the IOMs utility infrastructure is in opaque private hands. It seems to me that, no matter what happens to the cost of gas, the IOMG cannot let Ancala go broke because the IOMG must ensure that Island’s gas supply keeps flowing. Is it morally and politically right that the IOM should be in a situation where it might have to bail out a UK based hedge fund? Why wasn’t Manx Gas owned by the IOMG in the first place?
  5. I think because neither of these two candidates (Allinson and Cannan) has a popular mandate to be Chief Minister, the whole election process is a bit of a hypocritical farce. During the election campaign many of the candidates went out of their way to declare that the previous administration was a "do nothing failure", etc - the same administration in which these two were both major players! It seems ironic to me that the members of the House of Keys now have to choose between the two candidates whom neither ‘scored’ outstandingly well when they were elected as MHKs. IMHO, the way to fix this unfair system is to radically change the process by which the CM is chosen. The only sensible and representative way to do this is for the public to directly elect the next CM via a public vote. Under this method, anyone could stand for CM and that vote would be held at the same time the House of Keys is elected.
  6. I suspect SP will not moderate/ modernize his views, unfortunately. But can Alf Garnett get along with Alan from Rising Damp? I hope the answer is Yes, for the good of the Island; otherwise, what is the point of being an MHK.
  7. MHKs are a lot like public servants, while they are in office, they are there to represent and serve us, their public. I take your point, but I don’t think good candidates should be solely discounted on the basis of their public/ private sector backgrounds. Otherwise, the Island might as well stop running general elections and hand the reins of power to technocrats. For every public sector employee who is supposedly getting on a ‘Tynwald gravy train’ there is surely a businessperson out there who we could level the same ‘scepticism’ at. Not all businesspeople who wish to become MHKs will be doing it out of the goodness of their hearts or out of a sense that the Island needs their experience and leadership.
  8. I am glad that the AFD will be effectively powerless no matter which government is formed. Most likely the final make-up of the next German government will not be known for months. Either the SPD or the CDU will be the lead party in a 3-party coalition. Due to its electoral success today, the Green party will have a huge say in policies of the next government, and the Green party will become the powerbroker who decides the fate of the Chancellor. I would definitely prefer Scholz over Laschet!
  9. Gutted for Gareth. Personally, I am not at all enamoured with the idea that a small Island with a population of 85,000 should have local businesspeople dominating government. Sure, to have survived and prospered in the private sector they will have had to experienced tough ‘real-life’ situations, but they will also have had an innate desire to make money - for themselves. The Island will only safely benefit from their expertise if we have tangible accountability and transparency/controls, which prevent conflicts of interest arising. IMHO, the best option for the Island is to have a balanced Tynwald with representatives coming from all sorts of different walks of life.
  10. Not a great surprise if the current DOI senior management want a minister who they probably consider to be a patsy and who would enable them to live comfortably in their perennial dither rather than actioning fundamental reforms. A sad indictment of our political structure is that far too often the peoples’ elected representatives to the highest office in the land have few skills and abilities besides ‘scooping up litter’. However, with so many newbies in the HoKs, the second-termers like him might have to step up to the plate and assume national responsibilities – that would be a real test of his mettle. Good luck from me.
  11. As a group they give the impression of being a formidable team, who are ready to take on the Boys Club. Good on them!
  12. Great posts everyone. I jotted down some of the fundamental questions that seem to have emerged from this discussion so far, as I understand them. Apologies if they do not reflect other MF members’ perspectives. Is the CM role just a figure head, because all of the critical decisions made in Westminster? What is the best approach for electing the CM? E.g., by popular public vote in a separate election in parallel to the GE, by the MHKs, by Tynwald, etc? Should there be specific criteria/ restrictions applied to the prospective candidates for the CM role? E.g., must they top the poll in their own constituencies, must they have MHK experience at being a minister? Would being an MLC be sufficient? Are gender equality/ preferences important too? Should the CM have limited power or almost ‘absolute power’ e.g., be able to ‘hire and fire’ ministers? Or should MHKs be given power to appoint and sack individual ministers? What would be the main responsibility/ accountability by which to assess the CM’s performance? E.g., the successful implementation of the ‘Programme for Government’, etc? Should the ‘Programme for Government’ supersede individual manifestos, including the CM’s, and should this document be put to a public vote, the collective of MHKs for a vote, etc? In the absence of a formal party-based political structure, should there be ‘official opposition committees’ to scrutinise the performance of the CM and the ministers, and what actual powers would these ‘opposition’ members have? What would constitute a sufficiently serious ‘failure’ to have the CM removed (and also individual ministers) and what would be the process for removing and electing a new CM? E.g., by simple majority in the HoK, by public vote, etc? The social media is a microcosm where the diversity of opinions in the wider community are discussed. If members of MF can’t agree on what the best options and solutions should be, then clearly the general public is just as divided. Over the years there have been clumsy attempts to foster reforms, but there has never been any real momentum to make any significant changes. IMHO, the reason is that whilst some of the Island’s inhabitants want ‘change’, others are happy with the ‘status quo’. The Island has very old political traditions and I believe everyone respects that, but perhaps there is also a willingness to bring our political system into the 21C, as some of these ‘traditions’ are becoming obsolete/ retrograde and need to be given less importance. I think that at some point the IOM will have to grasp the nettle and hold a comprehensive ‘once in a lifetime’ referendum to find consensus answers to some of these questions. The huge challenge of course is to make sure that this referendum will not degenerate into a bitter dispute that would polarise people like Brexit or the Scottish Independence did and continue to do.
  13. I guess that is Middle for you...
  14. Gutted for Keiran Hannifin. Going forward, I am expecting Stu Peters to engage in a bit of theatrical politics in the HoKs, but to have very little impact on government policies (hopefully).
  15. Sorry, are we still talking about Robert Howard Quayle CBE? My view is that there are no clear leading contenders at this point, but certainly not 'Letter-shredder' DA with his track record in government.
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