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James Hampton

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Everything posted by James Hampton

  1. According to FB the embryonic Working People’s Party are currently scrambling to get signatures for a candidate who’s volunteered to stand for them.
  2. I think you are probably somewhere close. Not very prescriptive, relatively small number of active members relative to voters for successful candidates (the representative will be inclined to be more responsive to the voter than the party), and lead from the front (membership submissive to leadership) I would guess are the main factors. I don’t have any current knowledge really of the internal mechanics but I would assume a similar scenario in all the local parties.
  3. You’re saying the majority of people are happy with the current output of our political system. On the one hand I see the logic in that there is not a lot of government opposing political activism relatively speaking, which leads in to the point you have made about people not forming political parties. On the other hand the government’s own social attitude surveys show relatively low (and falling) satisfaction with parliament & government in general. So why are people not more active? Is it because their dissatisfaction is still relatively low compared to their actual discomfort? Dissatisfied enough to whinge, not uncomfortable enough to get off your ass. Probably. More importantly anyone who would actually make the effort is faced with the reality of deciding how they’re going to do it. Anyone who wants to change anything and looks at the history of political parties (and our system of government in general) with basic logic will understand that forming a political party is not likely to help them achieve it. As already discussed, traditional independant candidates can perpetually avoid responsibility and know that they cannot actually deliver anything - so they can promise anything! Parties cannot match that. If it was a simple as you’ve made out (just gather a group of like minded people) it would have happened already. Personally I don’t think people are happy with the political system here, and I don’t think parties are the solution either. Not because of the practical problems of gathering and holding a group together, but because a party simply replicates the problem we already have - where people are forced to accept unnecessary political compromises in order to hold power. There is no logic to that either. All politics is compromise. But it makes no sense to accept compromise simply to maintain the hold on power of one group of people. That’s not logical. The perpetual conflict it generates is simply inefficient.
  4. I agree that the only way forward is to do something about it. I disagree that party politics is the solution. I don’t think people are opposed to the idea of parties per se. I think it hasn’t taken hold here because one side of the political spectrum has had the great fortune (I don't think it was established this way by design) of inheriting a system which means they don’t have to form a party in order to maintain a form of governance which at least in part suits the current majority. So if you like the way things are (more or less, aside from the irony of moaning about reduced services) you don’t have to do anything. The party system in the UK is maintained purely due to the grip the structures have over power - basically if you don’t pick a party you have virtually no chance of getting elected, and absolutely no chance of changing anything. The party structure then wields this power in order to maintain it. On the IOM the parties don’t have that power, which is why we see so many using the party ticket purely as a stepping stone. IOM politicians can drop their party with virtually no consequences. That’s not true in the UK. The system isn’t maintained that way in the UK because people like it, it’s maintained because it suits those really ‘in power’ behind those structures. Your imaginary scenario of a group of people who agree forming a party doesn’t exist in the UK, and it cannot emerge here because the parties don’t have the power to enforce agreement and compliance.
  5. No not at all, but the point is why would they? If you are happy with the status quo you don’t need to, if you’re not happy the evidence suggests forming a party isn’t going to be successful in changing anything.
  6. I’m not sure it’s an aversion to parties full stop, I would guess more that no party currently exists which offers the core of policies the majority would vote for (because they don’t have to for the reasons already discussed). At the same time I would guess there is a very low level of satisfaction with the current system (I think the Gov own data showed that didn’t it?) which would go against the ‘ain’t broke’ theory.
  7. And maybe we should assume the majority of the population now want conservative governance, the overall demographic profile might be that way inclined now? Very different from 30-60 years ago. The crux is what happens to the services we can assume those same people want. You can’t have both, but as Declan has pointed out the beauty of the current system is the independents can just shrug and pretend it’s not their fault.
  8. That is the genius of the current format. A system which produces consistent small c conservative governance because that is what a collective of independents is predisposed to do, but which cannot be easily challenged. You couldn’t design a better system if that’s the outcome you wanted. The problems with ‘a party’ response to this mean it can never be overcome that way, because the independents can always shape shift prior to election.
  9. You could if you were clear on your predetermined positions, and you didn’t take the uplift in salary.
  10. Greatest living Manxman is probably Hector Duff. A good friend served in the police with him, said he was a truly remarkable chap. Greatest historical Manxman is probably Goldie Taubman if we accept that great doesn’t always = good, and take it as great influence over human history. Creator of Nigeria.
  11. As Declan has pointed out, if he’d stated somewhere that this was all a performance that would entirely undermine what he’s doing. People who create fictional characters in order to perform don’t usually explain it before hand, especially if its a joke - that’s kind of the whole point. I don’t recall seeing a disclaimer on film or TV or play that it was fictional or otherwise, unless of course the statement is part of the performance. If HM is madder than a box of frogs in reality (I doubt it), that doesn’t preclude him from being an artist or comedian (almost mandatory some would say), or indeed a politician. Most of the people widely considered ‘great’ in human history, in almost any field, were a long long way from what anyone would call normal. Take it for what it is, a show, within a show. In the context of the process he’s about to go through with the field of people currently running it is nothing if not entertaining. As I assume he would be if elected. What else do we get from our MHKs right? CS run everything according to these pages, MHKs are just there to keep us distracted right?
  12. I’ve never met HM Sole, or spoken to him. Don’t really know anything about him other than what’s been in the media. I don’t consider myself particularly cultured, but I am surprised so many people seem to miss the fact that he is an artist, and even I can see that this is a ‘performance’. It’s art as political commentary, and in that regard it’s very clever. He is presenting himself as detached absolute royalty with ludicrously overblown and aggrandising ideas BEFORE he’s elected, rather than becoming that after the vote. You don’t have to look very far here to find people referring to our current leaders as HRH, and complaining about pointless vanity projects while essential services are crippled. He is perfectly presenting the sheer lunacy of our system by inverting it. He’s taking the piss, because the statement he’s making is so accurate. It would be fascinating to see what he’d do if elected. Not much chance to cause real damage in 12 months, and he would more than likely be held at arms length (with full hazmat), but it would be great to see them try to handle something so unconventional.
  13. That joke was probably a bit too subtle for MF
  14. Thanks Derek. That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said about me round here. i do feel slightly usurped as the ‘most alternative’ vote, but there’s still time to improve for 2021.
  15. And what a fine parade they make, a few busts in there too. Even Charlie got one, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the link! So now I wonder more things... Who started the tradition? And how many have ever refused?
  16. We approve their greatness don’t we? Only fitting that we should pay to have it immortalised. I assume there is a basic formula with the provision of a Tynwald portrait, rather than a committee or individual who decides if you’re ‘great’ enough? Altogether more civilized as you’d expect.
  17. Now that is the sort or thing I can agree with. Excellent.
  18. Was it the same lot of Cowens as Tossy Cowens shop in the street?
  19. It was a hypothetical question. The same hypothetical scenario would apply if say there were a statue of Jimmy Savile as others have noted. Should it stay - hypothetically?
  20. I posted the photo of the Ronaldo bust because it’s a well known example of a piece that was considered to be a poor likeness - funny for that reason. However it does raise another good point. Ronaldo is well known for his philanthropy, but was accused of rape a few years ago wasn’t he? Would / should the bust have remained in place (in an Airport I think) if he had been found guilty? It’s effectively a present day version of the slave trader question. Does philanthropy and or great skill in a particular field erase what we would presently consider morally questionable actions (if they had been proven)?
  21. My guess would be that anyone who really did want to make a positive impact would be horrified at the thought of wasting resources on something so pointless, but that’s just my thoughts. If Ramsey town ever commission one of you I will be lobbying hard to have them use the guy who did this...
  22. I think that’s pretty much exactly my thoughts. Good to know I’m not the only numpity numpty. To me statues (and portraits hanging in Tynwald if you like) are a clear representation of the divide that exists within society - and probably always will. Those who want to be lead, who want to glorify leadership or ‘personal greatness’ and those who don’t - those who understand that there is no such thing as ‘personal greatness’ in almost any case - nobody acts alone to achieve their supposed great feats. That is how they are portrayed because that is how the people who want to glorify them wish to see it. This isn’t an issue most of the time, because outside periods of political stress they are almost entirely ignored or forgotten - because most people understand it’s not worth worrying about and are happy enough if some people wish to idolize a historical figure, in the same way most people are happy for people to practice whatever religion they like (statues are pretty close to religious artifacts in that sense) so long as it doesn’t interfere with the rest of us. Their simplicity of purpose or message (just ‘greatness’ rather than a monument to what this person and the people they relied upon actually did), is what allows them to become totemic - and so antagonistic. Should they be removed, probably not, for the same reason we wouldn’t remove a religious symbol. The problem would seem to be a political system which promotes antagonism. A political system based on the individual of course. :-)
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