Yes Minister!

Friday, 01 January 2010 10:27 Chris Robertshaw
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The recent removal and transfer of two of the three political members from the, now clearly disfunctional, Department of Tourism, along with the way these removals were greeted in the printed press, begs a number of questions.

Why bother appointing additional political members to departments in the first place if all they are allowed to do to earn their extra money is to agree with their respective minister's, and therefore Comin's, every wish and will?

If constructive political criticism is not allowed to express itself within a department (where knowledge of the matter in hand should be informed, considered and considerable) from exactly where will it come?

A recent leader in the Isle of Man Examiner cheerfully sided with the decision to remove them on the grounds that thy were members of the Government despite the editor knowing full well that almost every MHK and MLC is a paid up member of Government anyway. Where does he think informed criticism should come from? - clearly not from the newspaper which, after all, enjoys its own particular form of cosy monopoly.

So there we have it, the voter cannot choose policy at the general election, the monopolistic media are uncomfortable being critical, we have no structured opposition or freedom of information act, little investigative journalism and now MHKs are not free to express informed opinion. Meanwhile the Council of Minister's Block Vote dominates all.

This growing sidelining of contrary opinion at home co-incides with an ever more supine tendency on the part of our ministers in their dealings with Westminster - clearly a desire for more 'Yes Minister!' all round.

Little wonder in this increasingly top down form of government that electors are losing their appetite to use their votes. To treat the voter with contempt is to encourage a reciprocal contempt of the political process and consequently those who administer and practice it.

Should you so wish, and in the true spirit of this piece, you are invited to criticise or comment on it by emailing the author here. Should you wish to spend a few minutes looking at a bottom up 'No Minister!' form of democracy in action why not spend a few minutes here.