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Rob Callister

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2 hours ago, Rushen Spy said:

Looks like a massive waste of money to me. Surely the Isle of Man would be better off if the expenses were done away with and he'd had to use his own salary to buy things, like the rest of us do.

 

2 hours ago, Rushen Spy said:

Looks like a massive waste of money to me. Surely the Isle of Man would be better off if the expenses were done away with and he'd had to use his own salary to buy things, like the rest of us do.

Is this guy serious, 2 submissions for stamps and stationary,

jaunts to pool game, his own personal phone costs not MHK relevant

Charity donations with tax payers money?? Personal Not MHK relevant

  Professional fees, what part is needed for his job as MHK.   A couple of thousand to rant at public on his web site about fresh air.   Is this guy deluded or can he just get on with the job he is paid for. 

I despair, truly truly despair 

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9 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

But if your company pays for parking for you (and many don't, including IOMG for most employees), you have to pay tax on that benefit.  Rob isn't.  And professional fees are usually only paid if required as part of the job.  Rob's aren't.

I actually feel a little sorry for him here - it's the classic case of Oscar Wilde's saying that "No good deed ever goes unpunished".  Rather than taking the money and keeping quiet like the rest of his colleagues, he's tried to justify it.  And failed.

This year he's twigged that people aren't that impressed if you try to put your clothing down to expenses.  But some will be wondering why he can't update his own blog, most manage to; some will thinking that we are having to pay for his holidays (it's not that, but some will read it that way); some will be repulsed by him 'claiming' charity donations (that went down very badly in the Westminster expenses scandal); some will be picking up on other items (like the room hire) validly or not.  All the other Tynwald members must hate him for letting the cat out of the bag.

And that’s exactly why the rest of them don’t do it. They’ve seen the social media crowd in action. I too feel sorry for this man. As I’ve said before I’m certain that his actions are well meant but his lack of communication skills leave him wide open to attack every time. And he won’t be told. And that’s a dangerous thing for a member of a team. 

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10 hours ago, Rushen Spy said:

Why is there a fee for parking in the first place? Aren't the car parks owned by the Government? Isn't it just the Government paying itself? MHK total remuneration should be salary and pension only (and contributions to that need to increase), make the parking free, and then salary can be deducted by the total amount for parking fees.

Because a few years ago it was circulated that members didn’t pay for parking and everyone was swinging from the trees in indignation and so the charges were introduced. 

Edited by ecobob
Fingers
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5 minutes ago, ecobob said:

And that’s exactly why the rest of them don’t do it. They’ve seen the social media crowd in action. I too feel sorry for this man. As I’ve said before I’m certain that his actions are well meant but his lack of communication skills leave him wide open to attack every time. And he won’t be told. And that’s a dangerous thing for a member of a team. 

If you follow either Chris Thomas or Lawrie Hooper on Twitter that’s the best social media platform to use if you are intelligent and not afraid of a bit of friction on either side. As you say Callister sadly should just have his keyboard taken off him as he’s just a danger to himself as he obviously can’t cut it. If others have tried to convince him of that then good on them. But for a politician social media is not a one sided thing you use to try to make you look great. You have to be able to take criticism, provide substance, and push back intelligently when challenged which he seems completely incapable of doing. As for the blog it’s awful and should have been binned off after 3 months as an experiment gone wrong. I can’t believe that almost everyone who knows him must have told him that 10 times at least. It’s just unwanted sub-standard drivel. 

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11 hours ago, Rushen Spy said:

Looks like a massive waste of money to me. Surely the Isle of Man would be better off if the expenses were done away with and he'd had to use his own salary to buy things, like the rest of us do.

The thing is that’s effectively what’s happened. 

The “expenses” add on, which doesn’t require anything itemised like Rob’s done, is just paid to every member. They don’t need to spend it on anything work related.

Years ago it was just a way of getting a payrise through, and a nice tax free one at that. 

Rob deserves a bit of credit for attempting to spend it as it was nominally intended and sharing it. Of course as so often with Rob the intention is good; the execution less so. 

Edited by Declan
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11 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

But if your company pays for parking for you (and many don't, including IOMG for most employees), you have to pay tax on that benefit.  Rob isn't.  And professional fees are usually only paid if required as part of the job.  Rob's aren't.

I actually feel a little sorry for him here - it's the classic case of Oscar Wilde's saying that "No good deed ever goes unpunished".  Rather than taking the money and keeping quiet like the rest of his colleagues, he's tried to justify it.  And failed.

This year he's twigged that people aren't that impressed if you try to put your clothing down to expenses.  But some will be wondering why he can't update his own blog, most manage to; some will thinking that we are having to pay for his holidays (it's not that, but some will read it that way); some will be repulsed by him 'claiming' charity donations (that went down very badly in the Westminster expenses scandal); some will be picking up on other items (like the room hire) validly or not.  All the other Tynwald members must hate him for letting the cat out of the bag.

No wonder they are so keen on here to stop him posting his blog. Wouldn't want it to catch on

 

Edited by the stinking enigma

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3 hours ago, Cheesy Wheezy said:

And why would anyone want a separate expensed mobile phone? What weird stuff does he do on his phone that he doesn’t want it billed through central IT? Most people have a work phone for work calls and a private phone that they pay for. 

This is one item that I have a lot of sympathy on.  I someone wants to contact their MHK on a confidential matter, they don't necessarily want the Government to know about it.  That's especially going to apply if someone is whistleblowing or passing on secret information, but there may be other personal matters where someone might not want people to know that they have been in contact with their MHK.  If they use their 'official' phone the record of such calls, to or from the politician, will be available to whatever part of government pays the bills and the phone itself will be the property of government and examinable by it.  Confidentiality may be there on paper, but it can be easily broken.

What this does illustrate though is just how dependent Tynwald members are upon the 'state apparatus'.  Normally an MP in the UK, say, will have employed their own staff, source their own phones and computers and so on.  Here everything is done for them and paid for directly.  The role of politicians isn't seen as being the representatives of the people who direct the government on their behalf.  Instead they are the representatives of government who act as semi-skilled PR people for it to the people.

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1 hour ago, Roger Mexico said:

What this does illustrate though is just how dependent Tynwald members are upon the 'state apparatus'.  Normally an MP in the UK, say, will have employed their own staff, source their own phones and computers and so on.  Here everything is done for them and paid for directly.  The role of politicians isn't seen as being the representatives of the people who direct the government on their behalf.  Instead they are the representatives of government who act as semi-skilled PR people for it to the people.

With that statement you raise quite a frightening prospect of an eavesdropping super state. Do you have any experience of this? 

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3 minutes ago, thesultanofsheight said:

With that statement you raise quite a frightening prospect of an eavesdropping super state. Do you have any experience of this? 

Oh no and I don't think it is done as a regular feature - there's no Manx GCHQ listening in to everyone's phone conversations.  But if an MHK's phone bills are being paid directly there will be some government department that will have access to a record of the calls[1].  Even if confidentiality is maintained, people may be put off contacting MHKs by the possibility of it being breached.

The dependency I referred to was more about the way it is expected (by both sides) that MHKs should have everything done for them and how this undermines their independence.  Of course a more serious example of this is how they are nearly all in receipt of extra money for government positions and the restrictions on their voting that this brings about.

 

[1]  Technically this should be Tynwald, which is not strictly speaking a part of government.  But it's possible that there is some form of central provision that puts control elsewhere.

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2 hours ago, the stinking enigma said:

No wonder they are so keen on here to stop him posting his blog. Wouldn't want it to catch on

I doubt people are keen to stop him per see to be honest but perhaps there are those keen to see him stop publicly embarrassing himself with such pitiful and irrelevant bullshit every week. Moorhouse occasionally does a blog that’s not too bad and which usually has some actual facts in it. Personally I’d love to see someone like Chris Thomas do a blog as it would probably be interesting and relevant (if also very long). But he’s probably far too busy actually doing stuff for the people who voted for him rather than continually wasting hours writing a thoroughly boring and crap blog about absolutely nothing to pander to his own ego. 

Edited by thesultanofsheight
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5 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

Oh no and I don't think it is done as a regular feature - there's no Manx GCHQ listening in to everyone's phone conversations.  But if an MHK's phone bills are being paid directly there will be some government department that will have access to a record of the calls[1].  Even if confidentiality is maintained, people may be put off contacting MHKs by the possibility of it being breached.

The dependency I referred to was more about the way it is expected (by both sides) that MHKs should have everything done for them and how this undermines their independence.  Of course a more serious example of this is how they are nearly all in receipt of extra money for government positions and the restrictions on their voting that this brings about.

 

[1]  Technically this should be Tynwald, which is not strictly speaking a part of government.  But it's possible that there is some form of central provision that puts control elsewhere.

Good call by RC then in having his own phone...

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57 minutes ago, Dave Hedgehog said:

Did anyone know he had a website before he mentioned the cost of having a website? 

We all knew about it because that's where his (in)famous blog appears (though it also goes up on Facebook).  We just didn't know it took £2,000 a year to maintain (I'd assumed last year's was set-up and design costs).

4 hours ago, thesultanofsheight said:

If you follow either Chris Thomas or Lawrie Hooper on Twitter that’s the best social media platform to use if you are intelligent and not afraid of a bit of friction on either side.

Twitter has its uses but it's not as popular as some other forms of social media and its demographic is a bit skewed (it's quite male for example).  I'm not a great fan of Facebook, but for a politician it's probably a better way to reach more people.  Even that has problems though, younger people tend to see it as being 'for grannies'.  There's no one all-encompassing platform - and if there was it would probably change over time.

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