Crystal ball gazing for the year ahead in Manx politics

The summer is nearly over, so it’s time to take a look at the political year looming ahead. Here are six predictions for the Isle of Man.

At least one of the current Council of Ministers will not be in the same position this time in 12 months. Whether it’s down to a resignation or a sacking, I get the impression Chief Minister Allan Bell doesn’t foresee his team remaining the same throughout the five years. There has already been one dismissal in the form of Peter Karran ­– to be fair his name was on the departures board from the moment he arrived – which means it is less clear who will be next through the door marked exit, assuming it is not of their own volition. If there is not a sacking or resignation during the coming Tynwald year, expect there to be a summer of reshuffle speculation in 2013.

There will be plenty of talk about making the government and its many departments more efficient. I suspect Allan Bell is actually genuine in his desire to cut down on inefficiencies. There will be some headline cuts in certain areas, but it’s fair to say there are plenty of Sir Humphreys who will be doing their best to ensure their particular area does not suffer too badly. The government workforce will reduce in size, probably in areas like the care industries and teaching if we’re not careful, just don’t expect too many job cuts to be in senior civil servant positions. And keep an eye on the consultants’ budget.

Zac Hall will find some purpose. It’s hard to imagine someone is worse off after leaving the Liberal Vannin Party, but the new boy appears to be struggling to find any sense of direction following his acrimonious expulsion from the party. He had a great opportunity to take a principled stance against his boss (the above mentioned Peter Karran) but chose to go missing during a crucial Tynwald vote, rather than voting against the party leader and the policy of the Department of Education and Children, of which he was a member at the time. Shortly after he went AWOL from the Tynwald chamber he was sacked from the DEC and he explained he was against the cuts to nursery provision (see link below). Information we could have done with a few days earlier, Zachary. I’m not sure what purpose he will find, or whether someone will find it for him, but it is a must that he does, He needs to display slightly better direction because he has enemies now who will be glad to point out his failings.  Ask Bill Malarkey.

If people continue to ask questions, we will discover the cuts to nursery education haven’t saved as much money as they’d like us to believe. Given the fiasco over private providers not managing to fill the places and parents only finding out at the last minute they couldn’t even pay for the service they wanted, plus the handing over of responsibility to another government department, don’t expect the hurried change to run as smoothly as some would like us to think. Expect things to come to light after the start of term.

There will be new faces in the Legislative Council. Four are due to retire by rotation in February. The odds are strong that at least two of them will not be there after MHKs hold a vote as to who will continue.  It may be by design or it may be down to grudges borne by MHKs, but there will be new members of Tynwald next year. The four names due to face the vote are David Callister, Eddie Lowey, Juan Turner and Tony Wild. Don’t expect voting to be completed during one sitting of the House of Keys though. Legislative Council elections are another example of navel gazing, so expect things to spin out for a few weeks.

The proposal to put a new Douglas bus station in Victoria Street will be quietly dropped. Of the six predictions, this is the least likely to happen, partly because dumb ideas have a habit of happening.

Follow on Twitter: Norbertsdad

If you enjoyed this article you may like this piece about Treasury Minister Eddie Teare:

And this one on Economic Development Minister John Shimmin:

This piece about Peter Karran will help you understand a little more the references made above:


About Paul Speller

Writer, journalist, husband, dad.
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3 Responses to Crystal ball gazing for the year ahead in Manx politics

  1. Pingback: Will the next year end with us having had our Phil of Gawne? | Paul Speller

  2. Pingback: Should action man Juan Watterson be defined as a bus klutz or by his police cuts? | Paul Speller

  3. Pingback: Back to the ball…more predictions for the year ahead in Manx politics | Paul Speller

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