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IOM government conference


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16 hours ago, BriT said:

All I have come out of the conference with is a sense that we’re totally fucked. We’re this and we’re that and actually we’re absolutely nothing of any substance. Hollow strategies delivered by load of guaranteed salary bell ends telling everyone else that they should be entrepreneurial to grow the economy while supporting a system that completely strangles everything you try to do in red tape. Next year they should offer attendees some crystal meth to take before they go in so that we’re all on the same wavelength. 

Very succinct and sadly very accurate summary, IMHO.

Although the IOMG’ s objective for the conference was to ‘sell’ the future goals/ targets/ aspirations (i.e.; £10b GDP, 15,000 additional residents, £200m additional Government revenue, 5,000 new jobs, £1b capital investment over 15 years), most questions from the floor were about the problems people personally face today. The most difficult of these questions were either ducted by the panellists, or given mumbling non-direct incoherent or conflicting answers. E.g.;

  • On one hand, according to Dr Alex, the Treasury is a custodian of taxpayers’ money, but on the other hand, unlike the previous approach, where Treasury had the primary responsibility for setting the budget for individual departments, this year, this responsibility appears to be being pushed out to individual departments (it seems to me that by making this strategic change Treasury has ceded their role as the ‘overall custodian of taxpayers money’).
  • Dr Alex also said that the absence of party politics on the Island enables ‘continuity/ stability’ of government policy across consecutive governments. Meanwhile, another member said that the absence of party politics makes the government’s decision-making process a lot harder and a lot longer.
  • My personal ‘favourites’ were the four talking heads from the DfE who were trying to explain to the audience why the 4-year-old agency-based structure of the DfE was more effective and efficient than the previous non-agency-based structure. I came away still not understanding why the ‘agency model’ was needed and what they all actually do.
  • A good question came from Dr Taylor (who is currently developing some kind of hydrogen-based energy technology), who asked the panel as to why they thought it was a good idea to become dependent on the private UK energy suppliers if in 18 months there could be a change in the UK government (a Labor Government was implied), which may have a different political view on ‘tax havens’. I did not hear a good answer.

Whether people were concerned with individual issues relating to the DfE, or health, or housing, or education, or climate change, my overall vibe was that this government did not want to give specific and clear answers. This evasiveness made the IOMG look as if they were out of touch and also a bit too smug. It is unfortunate that the conference was held prior to today’s ‘emergency sitting’ and the UK tomorrow’s mini budget (one civil servant was describing how his wife needs ‘off Island retail therapy’ every few days when they go off shore - clearly, he is not terribly personally concerned about rising gas prices and is also not making the choice between heating his home and feeding his family). The IOMG’s grand plans will not be worth paper they are written on if our retail and hospitality businesses go under and the current residents start to leave the Island. Should this happen, persuading people to stay here is likely to be at least as big of a challenge as attracting new people to settle here, IMHO.  

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11 minutes ago, Banker said:

Think it’s c£70m but needed as the existing one is nearing end of use in 7/8 years I think 

Sounds right. That's for 2 new and separate interconnectors. I believe they run at a higher voltage than the old one. The old one being outdated technology , life expired and close to capacity. 

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1 hour ago, Steady Eddie said:

I was there and the situation over the questions at the economic strategy presentation was laughable. There was even a polling system in the App that allowed people to like a question to push it to the top of the ask list and even questions with 7 or 8 likes were being ignored when participants clearly wanted these questions asked. You were just left with the impression that they really didn’t want to answer any of those questions. 

If this was the case with an ‘app’ what’s the likelihood that any suggestions from attendees (normal attendees as opposed to chums, flunkies and politicos) would be recorded and considered. Civil Servants and Politicos will do whatever they want to do irrespective of views, outcomes or opinions. In many cases the decision has been made, this is merely lip service or PR stunts. 

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I have noticed lots of IOMG propaganda and dickwaving on Facebook as to each of the sessions at the conference. Other groups are also adding their two pennerth, for example at the Tourism talk, the experts are already trying to interfere in the running of the Steam Packet, the New Manxman and what it should be used for. Very good and pipe dreaming but these big wigs and civil servants never use the boat to go off island so they aren’t paying the increased charges. 

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1 hour ago, 2112 said:

I have noticed lots of IOMG propaganda and dickwaving on Facebook as to each of the sessions at the conference. Other groups are also adding their two pennerth, for example at the Tourism talk, the experts are already trying to interfere in the running of the Steam Packet, the New Manxman and what it should be used for. Very good and pipe dreaming but these big wigs and civil servants never use the boat to go off island so they aren’t paying the increased charges. 

For most UK conferences I’ve been to Eventbrite has its own rating system if you bought a ticket through Eventbrite so they normally mail everyone who attended and ask them to independently rate the conference and provide feedback. Those stats might be interesting. 

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5 hours ago, Newsdesk said:

Apparently they’re now thinking about sending written answers to the questions not asked out to everyone who bought tickets as enough people kicked off. But it just further perpetuates the belief that it isn’t a platform for interaction with the public at all. It’s just a vanity showcase for government and its hangers on. 

They should publish the questions and answers in the Courier so every resident can become informed, not just those who could manage to attend. 

I wasn't able to attend, so a big thank you to those who could and took the time to report back here.

 

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5 hours ago, Newsdesk said:

On the issue of transparency I heard there were a lot of problems with questions yesterday that look like they’ve pissed a lot of people off as delegates were apparently using the system to ask questions and yet none of them were actually being answered. Apparently they’re now thinking about sending written answers to the questions not asked out to everyone who bought tickets as enough people kicked off. But it just further perpetuates the belief that it isn’t a platform for interaction with the public at all. It’s just a vanity showcase for government and its hangers on. 

It was honestly like how I imagined attending the Chinese Communist Party Conference feels like. 

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On 9/21/2022 at 11:44 AM, The Phantom said:

Server farm - Yep.  If your product/asset is digital and it is stored and provided from the IOM, then this helps with the bona fides that the activities genuinely occur here.  Not sure if you're aware, but thanks to Pokerstars et al, there are already significant farms and capabilities in this sector here. 

If you read the Substance Rules, they do specifically highlight and limit 'High Risk IP companies'.  This is to stop say Amazon or similar companies with high value existing digital IP just being transferred to the IOM.  It needs to be developed here or started off when it has minimal real value, so real start-ups. 

Govt consulting industry?  Please don't even get me started...   

So how many server farms there are on Mann? 

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2 hours ago, 2112 said:

I have noticed lots of IOMG propaganda and dickwaving on Facebook as to each of the sessions at the conference. Other groups are also adding their two pennerth, for example at the Tourism talk, the experts are already trying to interfere in the running of the Steam Packet, the New Manxman and what it should be used for. Very good and pipe dreaming but these big wigs and civil servants never use the boat to go off island so they aren’t paying the increased charges. 

How do civil servants get off the island other than by the boat? Do you think they use the planes all the time?

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9 minutes ago, Andy Onchan said:

So how many server farms there are on Mann? 

At least two I have been to. One in Douglas and one in Ballasalla. Very cool retinal scanners etc for entrance.

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14 minutes ago, The Phantom said:

At least two I have been to. One in Douglas and one in Ballasalla. Very cool retinal scanners etc for entrance.

There’s at least 2 in Ballasalla and 2 in Douglas. Domicullium, Manx Telecom, Continent 8 and Netcetera. 

Edited by Newsdesk
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