As a new year is upon us I suppose I should stop lying about and write something again.
As http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/youth-group-meet-on-christmas-day-1-7637738 or http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/help-available-for-gamblers-and-their-families-this-christmas-1-7632868 or http://www.isleofman.com/News/details/75671/charity-s-christmas-outreach-to-elderly or https://www.gov.im/news/2015/dec/23/prison-working-to-support-homeless-charity/ and http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/raise-a-glass-to-those-who-spend-christmas-day-helping-others-1-7638400 show only too well, the public holiday nominally excused by the mythical birthday of a mythical figure was again seized on as a weak excuse for acolytes of the aforementioned zombie carpenter to make other people’s existence more miserable by claiming to help them.
As a disabled friend of mine always used to quip, “ these are people who will do anything to help, except get off your back in the first place and get a real job”. Mind you, that might also be because they have less chance of getting a job in the real world than a dyslexic junkie anyway. There are numerous basic errors and outright lies in such reports which could have been pointed out at the time of their publication, but as I decided to take time out instead they will wait for the next time.
The main thing people misunderstand is that the Third Sector was never meant to alleviate suffering. It is a market-orientated phenomena which looks for opportunities to profit from suffering, not just filling holes created by current Welfare State cuts but creating new suffering ‘needs’ and markets, in the same way that traditional for-profit companies create new ways to make us feel insecure in order to sell us new products we do not need.
The important difference is that while traditional for-profit companies are ultimately only interested in economic gain, the faith-based Third Sector aims for a change in the balance of social power, such that society (and certainly the most vulnerable elements) cannot function unless religious organisations control key aspects of it and are economically subsidised to do so by the taxpayer. The last thing the Third Sector wants is a fully functioning Public Sector in which competent professionals are properly trained, paid and equipped to look after our sick, elderly and other vulnerable neighbours.
Quite bluntly, charity is a lie and the current definition of a charity provides a licence for religious organisations to print money. All that is necessary in order for a charlatan to avoid tax or governmental oversight is for him to claim his project is centred on religious practice. The weakness is in the automatic assumption that this is a good thing, when both history and the current world demonstrate that religion can just as easily be a force for evil.
While I was whiling away my days off with a good book or three there was also http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/should-smoking-in-a-car-in-front-of-children-be-illegal-1-7636723 , which, as the comments show, will pass without a fight because most locals are too easily fooled by cheap emotional fascism to ask questions when a so called ‘expert’ proposes watering down the human rights of grown adults.
The key facts are that (1) the ‘research’ on smoking in cars had too many flaws and simple mistakes to stand up to scrutiny (most importantly that it was a computer model based on a physically impossible test environment), (2) the only serious research into the prevalence of smoking in cars with children present ( an undergraduate project at University College Dublin a few years ago) did not record a single example and (3) the law is unenforceable and if those proposing it had serious worries about child abuse by irresponsible parents there are many other, and better, ways in which such abuse could be legally curtailed.
All of which leaves any serious analyst wondering why such a pointless law is being introduced. The only logical answer is that it opens a door for other laws which would allow any self-important little public sector busybody to go barging into other people’s private property. On those grounds alone it needs challenging, but on the past track record of Manx people defending the rights of the individual in the face of privilege and sheer stupidity I seriously doubt it will.
I also could not start the new year without marking the passing of Lemmy, who in a past life I had the pleasure of meeting several times. As he once said ‘Getting to travel round the world and bring joy to people is not the worst job in the world. It’s better than spraying napalm on children, and they give you a medal for that’.
Like Lemmy, evangelical Christians and smack dealers are two sub-species of humanity I have absolutely no time for. Salesmen for other variants of such nonsense I can live with as long as they only prey on adults and stay well away from children. Elsewhere and beyond the scope of this blog I have a far more serious project to tackle such rank stupidity this year, but here I pledge myself to kick back and joyfully expose, mock and wind up militant prod-noses, do-gooders, and social engineers wherever I find them on the Isle of Man.
Go do thou likewise. In 2016 do what makes you happy. Spread happiness and don’t be a bed-wetter.
This society could be a far better place if the witless middle classes could be prevented from interfering (or far better, develop the self-discipline to stop interfering) in the lives of those too poverty stricken or powerless to stop them. If we can help to bring that about, without once leaving our armchairs or spilling our drinks, then it is the civic duty of all idlers, wasters and bon-viveurs to do so.