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Another one bites the dust


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1 hour ago, Kopek said:

If the legal advice on sub judice was correct, it wouldn't or at least it shouldn't, matter who is delivering such?

It should open to scrutiny(1), I agree but there are plenty of minds who could do that. An MHK should be allowed an explanation too.

(1), has the Iraq war advise been revealed?

That is the point, legal advice is usually an opinion, based on law of course, but there are often different interpretations depending on who asks the question and what the question is. 

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What if legal interpretation by an AG and an SG led to a dispute, lawyers being what they are, it would take months to sort out, so Tynwald debate would be stopped anyway!!!

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11 minutes ago, Kopek said:

What if legal interpretation by an AG and an SG led to a dispute, lawyers being what they are, it would take months to sort out, so Tynwald debate would be stopped anyway!!!

That's possible, I suppose, but unlikely as each would be advising a different party.  So, eg,  the sub judice moratorium:  The AG would advise, say, DHSC* that the standing order can be used (not sure why, but just for illustrative purposes) but the SH would advise the President that the SO can be suspended. 

ETA * or CoMin/CM.

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That's not how Tynwald works though. Never has been. There's only one set of instructions. In practice there is little separation of powers, little real separation of executive and parliament. It's mostly consensus government right down the line; any dissenters bought off, sidelined or ignored and there's always more than one way to skin a cat. The AG and Chief Secretary give them the options; tell them what they're going to do and what's going to happen; there's a bit of ceremony; and then they vote for it and do it. It's government for show, while the unelected pull the strings. 

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20 minutes ago, Shake me up Judy said:

That's not how Tynwald works though. Never has been. There's only one set of instructions. In practice there is little separation of powers, little real separation of executive and parliament. It's mostly consensus government right down the line; any dissenters bought off, sidelined or ignored and there's always more than one way to skin a cat. The AG and Chief Secretary give them the options; tell them what they're going to do and what's going to happen; there's a bit of ceremony; and then they vote for it and do it. It's government for show, while the unelected pull the strings. 

I think that is Chris Robertshaw's point. 

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17 hours ago, Two-lane said:

My impression from watching these three videos is that the panellists are concerned that the IOMG may launch an appeal against the primary finding of the Tribunal - that Dr Ranson was unfairly dismissed. Any appeal would potentially deny all of the compensation that she justly deserves. Should the IOMG do this, then this decision would confirm that this government is prepared to go to any lengths to protect itself.

Often cover-ups are excused as being ‘valid’ desire to defend an organisation, because that way the greater good is served. They forget that in most cases at the heart of evil lies human greed. Senior and highly paid individuals are undoubtedly tempted to retain their privileges, pay and power. They might resort to using intimidation, bulling, harassment and even physical threats against anyone who attempt to challenge their positions. (Didn’t Dr Glover receive ‘visits’ to dissuade her from speaking out?) The only preventative mechanism to neutralize these actions is to have a robust effective system of checks and balances, and politically independent courts of law. IMHO, this is where the IOMG and IOM CS/PS seem to be deviating from sound public practice. The checks and balances that normally protect professional people like Dr Ranson were woefully inadequate. The unauthorised MUA loans are another example of people within the system that were allowed to get away with ‘bad behaviour’.

The public trust in our institutions, i.e., our government, police, judiciary, etc. is at its nadir, but could easily sink even deeper that it is today. That said, in modern times when democratically elected politicians and/or the bosses in public/ private sectors ‘behave badly’, the general public/we in the West do not call for a ‘revolution’. Instead, even the most passionate advocates for good governance and public accountability gradually accept abuses of power and become disillusioned and cynical. We are rapidly approaching the juncture at which the current disgraceful UK Govt would have enough justification to come over here and enforce “good governance”. I am too at a loss to understand why MHKs did not stand up more forcefully against the President when he prevented legitimate politcal debate by crying ‘sub judice’! Sadly, our MHKs failed to ask the basic questions.

The restoration of public trust in public institutions will require more than cosmetic improvements, and/ or by placing new people in old chairs. There needs to be deep and far-reaching changes; FWIW, Hooper should resign from the CoMin and join the backbenchers so that he/ they can start demanding transparency and holding the government to account in accordance with their collective manifestos.

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15 hours ago, Ghost Ship said:

[...] I'd have to say I was very surprised about the comments about the AG's role too.  But I was surprised that the AG has ANY role in advising Tynwald on the application of its procedures at all!

I watched that sitting of Tynwald and it seemed quite clear to me that the President, Skelly, was acting on the advice of the person sitting on his left.  I had assumed that that person was the Clerk to Tynwald, as I assumed that that officer would be the only person competent to advise the President (and Speaker) on the correct application of the procedural rules that apply to proceedings in Tynwald.  Was I wrong, and was that person in fact the AG?

If it was the AG then I'd agree wholeheartedly with Chris Robertshaw that the AG's role is to advise government, and that they should have no role at all in advising what can and cannot be discussed in Tynwald.  Surely it's a clear conflict of interest that the officer responsible for providing legal advice to the government should also be responsible for advising Tynwald on what may or may not be sub judice.

When I worked briefly for the government in the early 1980s Robert Quayle was Clerk to Tynwald and I would have thought that he - rather than the AG (T W Cain?) - would have been responsible for advising on procedural matters in Tynwald.  Isn't that the point of the role of Clerk to Tynwald?  If not, why are they there?  (Didn't the previous Clerk have experience working in the House of Commons as a Clerk?)

I'm pretty certain the Speaker of the House of Commons acts on procedural advice from the Clerk to the House and not from the AG.  Ironically, one of the former Clerks to the House of Commons is Lord Lisvane.  Did his report have anything to say on this anomaly in Tynwald?

And as I've said in another post elsewhere - I don't understand why no MHK put forward a motion to temporarily suspend the standing order relating to no discussion of sub judice matters.  It would have been interesting to see what the response to that would have been...

I'd always assumed that the main provider of advice would be the Clerk of Tynwald and his titles include  Secretary to the House of Keys and Counsel to the Speaker.  But while that is true in the Keys (and would have to be as the AG is member of LegCo which tends to meet at the same time) it isn't in Tynwald.  The reason for this is historic I think.  Until 1990 Tynwald was presided over by the Governor and his legal advisor was the AG as historically part of his government (which is what LegCo once represented).  When the President took over the advisor remained the same, though clearly it shouldn't now be.

It's confused because the Clerk's role isn't even necessarily a legal one. The current Clerk's background is as a musicologist.  Though he also has a LLB from the Open University and worked in legal fields at the Home Office, he isn't an English solicitor or barrister or a Manx advocate.  Clearly he has built up tremendous legal and procedural expertise in his filed, but he isn't actually a practicing lawyer and the same is true of his Deputy whose background is accountancy.  That doesn't that they won't know more about procedure and legislation than your average advocate, but they haven't got the memberships.  It may explain why the AG is still used, though the Clerks may be more knowledgeable.

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17 hours ago, Ghost Ship said:

Also on that part 1 of the Moulton video on the fallout from the Dr Ranson Tribunal decision.

At about 17 minutes Sam Turton(?) mentions what he describes as the Knotfield (?spelling?) sentencing, and criticism from Deemster Richmond(?) concerning the actions of Tynwald, the AG and the Chief Constable.  Mt Turton appears to be suggesting that that criticism might have made Tynwald wary of discussing anything controversial - whether truly sub judice or not.

What was that all about?

I don't know and of course in the past we've had criticisms from the bench about this sort of thing that turned out to be unfounded. I can't see anything in Gef's coverage of the verdict, but understandably that focused on the crimes.   Unfortunately, yet again, an important judgment has not been published that should have been.  Rather than whether something contains important points in law or things on which future guidance is needed (as this would have been), the main criterion appears to be: don't publish if anyone working for government is criticised.

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2 hours ago, Banker said:

Someone just tweeted about the excessive growth in cabinet office, unbelievable increases, what do they all do? This is a s before Lewin arrival on c£120k


These salaries are just astonishing when you look at what actually is being achieved

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