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James Hampton

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Posts posted by James Hampton

  1. 12 hours ago, John Wright said:


    @James Hampton I think you’re over analysing what’s being said. It started with someone saying that stress now was worse than ever, and others responding that every generation has its own stressors. Not sure anyone has tried to rank them.

    My observation wasn’t limited to this thread or even this forum, it appears to be a common reaction to discussions of current stress related issues - to compare them with historical ones, which are generally portrayed as being ‘more’ stressful. The implication I assume from such a response is that current stressors are therefore somehow ‘less’ impactful, and presumably can therefore be remedied simply by the knowledge that things have been ‘worse’. More, less, worse all being forms of ranking no?

    The Sultan provided a pertinent example of exactly this - though noted the point on downplaying current issues. 

    The point was simply that I don’t really understand why such issues often seem to generate comparisons in reaction. Is it because stress is something often presented through communication rather than a physical injury which can be manifest without any discussion? 

    When I cut the top of my finger off the lads I was working with didn’t react by telling me about how their grandad had his legs amputated, they laughed at my request for a plaster, told me to stop being a dick and get in the van so someone could drive me to A&E. See the difference? 

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  2. 15 hours ago, thesultanofsheight said:

    Not sure. I’ve never stood in a 6ft trench wearing a tin helmet whilst someone blasts machine gun fire 4” above my head for 4 years. I imagine it’s more stressful than a lockdown situation. But that’s not doing down how stressful lockdown has been for many. 

    Thank you for clarifying my point.

    A) Does discussing a different type of stress or context denigrate others? If not, as you state, why mention them?

    B) Does grading stressors (i.e. one thing is ‘more’ stressful than another) assist anyone in dealing with either? The insinuation I perceive is that because some people have endured great stress others should not, which seems a bit illogical to me. John has stated an alternative purpose - to learn - but that never seems to be included in the comparisons I see. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone say... “many people endured great stress during historical periods of violence, and they were treated using these methods, or this method didn’t work... so we should try this...”

    C) We know many people made great sacrifices. Could it be that guilt over what society has done with the freedoms hard won plays in to a reaction - that nobody should complain because of a skewed perception of degrading efforts? This aligns with the concept of freedom bringing its own stresses. 


  3. Is it just me, or is the apparently reasonably common desire to compare the stressors / challenges of different periods in time not only completely pointless but probably actively damaging society for everyone, including those who want to illustrate how much tougher things used to be in the past? 

    It’s a very odd logic isn’t it? 

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  4. 4 hours ago, Rhumsaa said:

    That's actually something that's a bit weird for LibVan - with the exception of the members that left in dispute there's not been any example I can think of where a LibVan member has had to come out and explain that they acted a certain way due to party policy first.

    Well, apart from the CM elections where they all block voted for Beecroft.

    Is that because LibVan don't have prescriptive policies, that they've never clashed with members views or that they all keep quiet about it so you have a hidden compromise within a hidden compromise. I suppose it's natural for it to only be spoken about if the decision or action is called into question by dissatisfied folk?

    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. 

  5. 7 hours ago, woolley said:

    People have regularly formed parties in the UK, but the FPTP system means it is really hard to translate support into seats, UKIP and the Brexit Party being recent examples, so then they lose their initial momentum. If you can reach a tipping point though, it works heavily in your favour, as with the SNP. Looking at recent Scottish representation in Westminster, one could be forgiven for thinking that Scotland was overwhelmingly behind the SNP and its separatist pro-EU agenda, yet over a million Scots voted Leave in the Brexit referendum in 2016 and less than a million voted for the SNP in the general election the following year. They did put on 20% more in 2019.

    I see no difference here regarding agreement and compliance to what happens in the UK. There are plenty of instances there of people crossing the floor and joining a different party and whole breakaway groups like the "gang of four" who formed the SDP in the 80s and more recently the Soubry/Umunnah crew that formed Change. So there really isn't any power to enforce agreement and compliance in the UK either.

    To me, it seems that if there is such a groundswell of Manx public opinion that is sick to the back teeth of the way our politics operates, there should be very little difficulty in gathering a group of say 20 people who could formulate and articulate a way forward that could emerge from an election with at least the 13 seats needed for a majority. Far easier and less expensive to mount such a challenge for power here than in the UK, where you need to organise many hundreds across a huge country to even have a crack at it. The fact that it doesn't happen says to me that it isn't wanted by enough people here. Quite right too, in my view.

    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.  

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  6. 1 hour ago, woolley said:

    But if you're not happy then the only way forward is to do something about it. If there is such enthusiasm for party politics here, then how hard can it be to find 24 like-minded individuals and get at least 13 of them elected to take power? The fact that it doesn't happen means that there are not enough people who favour this system to give it a go, or those so inclined believe that the majority disagree with them. That's democracy.


    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. 


  7. 5 minutes ago, woolley said:

    But nothing to stop any group forming a party if they are convinced of this.  

    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. 

  8. 12 minutes ago, woolley said:

    My response to Declan was that if people actually wanted party politics here and the electorate wanted to vote for that, it would be the easiest thing to set up. My reading is that people here look at the confrontational politics elsewhere and simply want no part of a system like that. 

    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. 

  9. 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. 

  10. On 7/24/2020 at 6:45 PM, Declan said:

    You are probably right, a new party could be set up. But it's an uphill battle because there already IS a very powerful party - one that's held power for centuries, a secret, ad hoc party that only exists between elections, the Party of Manx Unity formed by so-called Independents after each election. That Party doesn't want to stand on it's record in government or form the opposition or be accountable to the electorate for it's actions so it dissolves every election and they all stand as proud independents. Only to reform with most of the old faces immediately afterwards.

    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.  



  11. 2 hours ago, Donald Trumps said:

    I'm not sure you can provide good scrutiny whilst committing yourself to cabinet collective rsponsibility

    You could if you were clear on your predetermined positions, and you didn’t take the uplift in salary. 

  12. 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. 

  13. 1 hour ago, b4mbi said:

     At what point in the last 4/5 years has he claimed to be a performance artist doing a satirical piece on the state of Manx Politics?

    Perhaps you're over thinking it and really, despite coming across as seeming pleasant, well meaning, intelligent individual, he is a delusional fantasist who is madder than Mad Jack McMad, the winner of last year's "Mr. Madman" competition?


    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?

    • Like 1
  14. 5 hours ago, Derek Flint said:

    Is the Egg actually a metaphor for the Isle of Man?

    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. 


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  15. 3 hours ago, dilligaf said:

    A bit OTT you say.? He wanted to raise something like hundreds of billions of pounds to build some sort of floating world. Anyone who even considers voting for him needs to seriously think again. 
    We thought Scampy was whacky . Jesus H


    3 hours ago, Derek Flint said:

    He’s an underfunded visionary.

    not a bad bloke. Immensely creative and could well be the breath of fresh air the house needs. 

    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. 

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  16. 8 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

    Basically it's restricted to Speakers and (more recently) Presidents going back to the first popular elections in 1867, though there are a couple of gaps and there's also some other things that I suspect were gifts.  It's pretty similar to what most organisations do, who do that sort of thing.

    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?


  17. 3 hours ago, Andy Onchan said:

    Just out of interest and it's a rhetorical question as I think I know the answer but do Tynwald members themselves personally pay for any portraits done or do we taxpayers pick up the bill?

    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. 

  18. 1 hour ago, The Dog's Dangly Bits said:

    Well morally I suppose it a weak argument and needs to revert to law.

    What i find morally unacceptable you might find perfectly morally acceptable. We can argue about any given subject from a morality view all we like but the defining point is that of law.

    So I suppose in your Ronaldo case - he was accused of sexually assaulting someone.  It would appear he won't be facing any convictions.     

    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? 

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