Sign up and stop sock puppetry

I do not usually endorse anything from Libertarian Home, but this (see and for more on another culprit which likes to target Manx people see ) goes right to the heart of a growing Manx problem.

Because the number of sock puppet charities being set up by the Manx government is growing rapidly. These days, every time the government wants to avoid doing anything about a social problem they simply invite some tame critics into a room and ‘help’ them set up a charity which ostensibly deals with it.

Except that they never do. If they even tried the politicians and government advisers who insist on being on the ‘independent’ charity’s committee would soon slap them down. Certainly, those with paid staff never bite the hand that feeds them by doing something as cheeky as suggesting civil servants do their job: better by far to have a cosy job for life and never tackle the root cause of the problem.

To give an example from personal experience – a meeting I went to with various civil servants set the boundaries for measuring Manx homelessness. The government had been given a template by Shelter, which involved various agencies contributing to a database. This was thought ‘too difficult’ by both government departments like Home Affairs and their previously established sock puppets.

The real problem was that any objective database would point up, for example, the disinterest and incompetence of social services, the racism and sexism of many public employees, and the number of young people who become homeless when evangelical church-leaders advise their relatives to throw them out and cut off all contact. In the case of battered women, it would have also interfered with the public image of a shelter controlled by religious bigots whose menfolk are the biggest single cause of Manx domestic cruelty.

I highlight only a couple of potential examples. Others would include a ‘public health’ racket which thrives on junk science, or government underwriting of green groups which has extended to paying them to produce carefully limited analyses of environmental issues. Oddly, these always concentrate on making individuals feel guilty and never – ever – deal with the much larger problems of industrial pollution and government disinterest in monitoring it. Indeed, some of the biggest local polluters ‘contribute’ with widely publicised but pointless stunts and cheque presentations, which later get wildly over-estimated on company tax returns.

Manx society may be too lazy to stay informed or tackle such abuse, but we can at least go to and sign up to get debate going in the UK. Given that nobody in Manx government or politics ever takes up a topic until it is a middle of the road truism somewhere else, who knows, in a year or two it might even surface as a Manx debate?

Though I doubt it.


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