Positive Action Group - Possan Jantys Jarrooagh

Open, accountable government, rigorous control of public finances, and a fairer society for all.

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

PAG Event: Why we need a republic

E-mail Print PDF

Why we need a Republic!

A Presentation by

Graham Smith, CEO 'Republic'

republic 1

Manx Legion Club, Market Hill, Douglas

7:30 pm MONDAY 27th January 2020

The event is free and open to all

Positive Action Group (PAG) kicks off 2020 with a hot topic.

The talk and following debate will focus on why we need the opportunity to elect our head of state. The unelected Monarchy is going through a torrid time as we enter the new decade. Chief Executive Officer of Republic, Graham Smith, will explain some of the mystique surrounding the existence of the Royal Family.

He starts a nationwide tour here at The Legion, in Douglas. PAG has indeed been fortunate to get him to speak in the IoM. This is the first event of Republic's new "Where You Live' programme, which will see him travelling to dozens of towns and cities talking about why we need a republic.

He will talk about recent events which have shown our constitution to be deeply flawed, and why we all deserve to elect our head of state. Monarchy myth busters will feature.

Graham Smith regularly comments in mainstream media - BBC, Channel 4 - about the need for democratic reform and the abolition of the monarchy.

Commenting on the recent Royal crises Mr Smith said:

"The royal family is in trouble and with the next succession on the horizon their problems are only going to get worse. The Queen and Prince Charles appear comfortable with all the trappings and formality of royal duties, but it's increasingly clear that the younger generations are not so keen.With recent events in the UK parliament exposing the Queen to criticism and prompting serious debate about royal powers this is an important issue".

Following the presentation the audience will have the opportunity to comment and ask questions

As usual the event is free to attend and all are welcome, whether you agree with Republic or not, whether you want to listen to the ideas or get stuck into what promises to be a lively debate.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2020 22:36

PAG Event: ALWAYS follow the MONEY?

E-mail Print PDF


ALWAYS follow the MONEY?

A Presentation by

Louise Whitelegg (IoM co-ordinator for Christian Aid)

Archibald Elliott (IoM Student Climate Network)

manx money

Manx Legion Club, Market Hill, Douglas

7:30 pm MONDAY 25th November 2019

The event is free and open to all

Following the money seems to be the policy of the IoM Government.

At almost the same time as announcing a climate emergency, along with aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050,Government persisted with an agreement to award a gas exploration licence in Manx waters. Further, if 'commercial accumulations of natural gas' are found, drilling will continue. The theory is that revenue raised from gas exploration will go towards funding green initiatives in the future.
All this at the same time each of us being encouraged to reduce our carbon footprint and dependency on fossil fuels. It all adds up to a confusing message for the public whilst we wait for the eagerly anticipated Curran Report
One measure our government could take is to withdraw our investments in fossil fuel companies i.e. divestment. The Manx government has £42 million held in gas and oil assets. Douglas Borough Council has almost £1 million held in fossil fuels in its pensions portfolio.
Louise Whitelegg, IoM co-ordinator for Christian Aid, puts the case forward for divestment of fossil fuels.
"This is really the only sensible option, not only for the future of our planet but to avoid possible future liabilities and stranded assets. People ask what difference can I make in the climate debate, there are plenty of little things each of us can do but there is one simple thing we can all do to make a massive difference to our environment and that is to divest from fossil fuels"
Aided by researcher Archibald Elliott of the Isle of Man Student Climate Network, Louise will make the case for re-thinking our investment strategy to correlate with tackling the climate emergency.
The event is free and open to all.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 22:33

PAG Event: Climate Reality with Paul Craine

E-mail Print PDF




An illustrated Presentation by Paul Craine

Manx Legion Club, Market Hill, Douglas

7:30 pm MONDAY 21st October 2019

The event is free and open to all

As the residents of Laxey will tell you, climate change is a reality.

The 'Climate Reality Project' was founded by Al Gore,former US Vice-President in 2011, and the project's current chairman. It focuses on climate change education through the training of volunteers.

The network now has 20,000 members from 154 countries, all committed to organising presentations and events in their own communities. One of those communities is the IOM.

Paul Craine studied climatology in the 1970's and was drawn towards the Climate Reality programme.
Earlier this year he attended an intensive course in Minneapolis and qualified as a 'Leader'

One of the greatest strengths of the project lies in the resources made available to its Leaders.
At the heart of these is the renowned "Climate Reality slide deck" which is regularly updated.

Paul has kindly agreed to share his knowledge, and experience, with the Manx public.
He will use slides from the powerful Gore Reality slide deck, as well as his own slides, relating to climate change in the IOM

More than a decade ago PAG hosted the IOM Film Premier of Al Gore's Award winning film on climate change "An Inconvenient Truth".

It was attended by most politicians, yet they still feel the need to sponsor a professor to advise them on the way forward to tackle the pressing problem of climate change.

It is apposite that, all these years later, Mr Craine is spreading the global Climate Reality message via PAG. As Al Gore states "The reality we now face implores us to act."

The event is free and open to all

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 October 2019 12:25

PAG Event: 5G IoM

E-mail Print PDF

PAG public meeting in conjunction with 5G Aware IoM.

5G IoM

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2019 20:54

Bog Standard Comprehensives

E-mail Print PDF


Following on from the publication of two articles relating to student levels of attainment in the Island’s primary schools, parent David Watts has turned his attention to the secondary schools – focussing on Key Stage 4 GCSE/IGCSE attainment.

The author believes this new article contains some thought-provoking material. As with his previous work much of the data in this document was sourced from Freedom of Information requests and is information he resolutely believes should be in the public domain so that parents and other stakeholders can determine for themselves the relative academic strengths of our secondary schools.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, some school Departments shine; others most certainly have room for improvement. Not only does this new article critically examine GCSE results and so called pass rates over the previous three years it also highlights some important related areas namely:

  • The value added by the schools (how much actual progress is made by pupils through their 5 years of compulsory secondary education?);
  • Whether the Island’s schools are “gaming the system” by concentrating on a particular group of pupils in order to score as highly as possible in the Department’s key performance measure (5 GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths);
  • Are some IOM KS4 pupils effectively “off-rolled” for examination statistics purposes and if so, what is the actual data for all students completing the KS4 in terms of gaining a Level 2 qualification (the traditional pass) in English and maths?
  • Some notes on the performance of King William’s College (the Island’s only public school) and broad comparisons with other areas of the UK notably Wales and Northern Ireland – the latter jurisdiction returns some particularly impressive results in comparison to the Isle of Man;
  • The DESC U-turn in choice of examination board for GCSE mathematics with some shocking statistics on reading ages required to access papers and exceptionally low grade boundaries. According to e-mails released under the FOIA at least one Secondary head has “serious concerns” over certain subjects “and the whole exam set up” and articulated such to the DESC CEO in December 2018 – some 5 months before students sit examinations crucial for their future.

You can access the work by clicking on the link below.

FileFile sizeDownloads
Download this file (Bog Standard Comprehensives.pdf)Bog Standard Comprehensives.pdf1251 Kb4594
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2019 11:10

Home Education: The Education Bill 2019 and the Human Rights Act 2001

E-mail Print PDF

Quinn Legal were instructed to consider the extent of compatibility with the Human Rights Act 2001 of key proposals in the Education Bill 2019 with regards to home education.

Their findings are attached.

IoM Examiner 190205 P1

FileFile sizeDownloads
Download this file (Quinn Legal Opinion Isle of Man New Education Bill.pdf)Quinn Legal: Education Bill 2019 and Home Education936 Kb1323
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 April 2019 22:12

PAG Event: Constitution Conundrum

E-mail Print PDF

Public Meeting

"Constitution Conundrum"

manx relatPresentation and panel discussion by:

  • Prof Peter Edge LLB, PhD (Cantab), SFHEA, FRSA. Professor of Law Oxford Brookes University

  • Professor Claire de Than - BA (Hons), LLB, LLM Deputy Director of the Institute of Law, Jersey, and Co-Director of the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism at City University

  • Advocate Paul Beckett M.A., M.St. (Oxon.), FRSA, MCIArb., TEP; Senior Counsel, Mann Benham Advocates Limited

Manx Legion Club, Market Hill, Douglas

7:30 pm MONDAY 29th April

- The event is free and open to all -

The frenzied over-long continuing controversy about Brexit has caused many to question as to how how the UK is run. Westminster is generally revered as the mother of all parliaments, but of late fissures have been exposed in the relationship of the government and parliament. Unlike modern states, there is no written constitution to which a citizen can refer.

Like the UK, the IOM muddles through with a jumble of precedent and convention. This was brought into sharp focus here, three years ago, when it was announced that the majority of Manx Residents would not be able to vote in the 2016 EU Referendum. Because of our relationship with the UK we were deprived of a vote, so have been mere by-standers since then.

Our Chief Minister has spent many hours in Westminster ensuring the island's voice is not ignored.

At its free public meeting on April 29th "Constitution Conundrum", PAG will discuss constitutions, constitution making and independence.

A distinguished panel will assemble to consider and discuss this confusing topic with the audience

In arranging over one hundred public meetings, we have never assembled such a distinguished panel of experts. The topic is relevant to current political turmoil brought about by Brexit. We have no codified constitution. We rely on precedent and convention. Is that sensible? What would change look like? Could this be prove our "constitutional moment?"

Prof Edge will provide a broad perspective on constitutions followed by Prof deThan who will explain a perspective from Jersey. Paul Beckett will then introduce the concept of independence for the IoM. Is it a possibility?

The event is free and open to all - come and have you say!


Prof Peter Edge LLB, PhD (Cantab), SFHEA, FRSA. Professor of Law Oxford Brookes University
Peter Edge was educated at Ballasalla Primary School, Castle Rushen High School, Lancaster University and Wolfson College Cambridge. He has been researching on Manx constitutional law and legal history since the 1980s. His publications include Manx Public Law - an open access ebook originally published by the Isle of Man Law Society in 1997 and now available from the Oxford Brookes website.

Professor Claire de Than BA (Hons), LLB, LLM Director of Studies of the Institute of Law, Jersey, and Jersey Law Commissioner; also University of London
Professor Claire de Than is a senior legal academic of more than 25 years' standing, and a Jersey Law Commissioner, currently working on a Criminal Code. She has over 85 legal publications in total, including 15 books, chapters in leading legal monographs and edited collections, such as Reed and Bohlander, Substantive Issues in Criminal Law (Ashgate, 2011) and articles in a variety of national and international journals, including the Modern Law Review. Her research fields include criminal law, comparative law of tiny jurisdictions, human rights law, media law, and disability law. She has been an expert for the Law Commission of England and Wales on two recent projects. She has advised several governments and many organisations on criminal law, human rights and law reform issues, with specialisms in the law of British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

Advocate Paul Beckett M.A., M.St. (Oxon.), FRSA, MCIArb., TEP; Senior Counsel, MannBenham Advocates Limited
On a professional level, I he hasover thirty-five years' experience as a lawyer, both within the international private banking and fiduciary services industries and in private practice. First trained at leading "magic circle" City of London Solicitors Simmons & Simmons, qualified an English Solicitor in 1981 and as an Advocate in 1990. Also a non-practising Solicitor in Ireland and in Northern Ireland. He has diplomatic experience, having been on the staff of the European Patent Office in Munich in this capacity, where he worked in English, German and French; languages which he still use professionally. He was the Honorary Representative of the Isle of Man Government in Switzerland during his time as a Senior Vice President of Deutsche Bank in Geneva. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (founded in 1754). His academic work extends over five decades. He graduated from Worcester College, Oxford University in 1978 with First Class honours in Jurisprudence, being awarded Master of Arts in 1982. He is also a member of New College, Oxford University and completed a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law in 2014. He has been widely published.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2019 21:52

Positive Action Group AGM 2019

E-mail Print PDF

MONDAY 25th March 2019

Annual General Meeting at 7:30 pm


Extremist Politics: "A Night at the Garden" at 8pm

(Short documentary film followed by an audience discussion)

Manx Legion Club, Market Hill, Douglas

msg nazi

The whole evening event is free and open to all, but only members are able to vote at the AGM. Why not join on the night?

Most of us are wary of extreme political views, but nevertheless they do seem to grab headlines in other parts of the world. This is not a modern phenomenon - PAG recently came cross this short shocking documentary of an event in the heart of New York City in 1939.

In 1939, 20,000 Americans rallied in New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate the rise of Nazism – an event largely forgotten from American history. A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN, made entirely from archival footage filmed that night, transports audiences to this chilling gathering and shines a light on the power of demagoguery and anti-Semitism in the United States.

The film was nominated for a 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short and PAG has been given permission by the distributors to give it a public showing in the Isle of Man.

PAG, is now in its 14th year of operation and over that time has held about 100 free public meetings. Prior to the showing of 'A Night at the Garden' it will also hold its AGM commencing 7:30 pm and all members are urged to attend. Without continued support we will not be able to sustain our activities.Do join us!
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 March 2019 23:39

Page 2 of 30



Our occasional newsletter provides details of forthcoming events and features new website articles.

Main Menu