Founder member of Liberal Vannin, Peter Karran gives his views on topics that takes his fancy in this regular column for our website
4. Good Governance
Do you remember when the Island was well-governed? No, neither do I.
The reason why I formed the Liberal Vannin party was because I want to get away from left and right crap. Either government puts its people first or not, the politics comes secondary. If the government is there to put the people first, then everything should fall into line with common sense.
When we look at communism and capitalism, they both end up serving the same people, that back their political persuasion against the interests of the common good for the many. Which stifles opportunity of how to advance humanity.
That’s why it’s so important to have audit and accountability in the corridors of power. We have seen in the Isle of Man the biggest economic boom this nation has ever seen and yet the next generation are in the perilous state as far as having a secure future. That comes down to the lack of good systems of governance.
We have seen some improvements in audit and accountability but this has to go further if we are going to create a sustainable society where opportunity is the basis of creating real wealth. Not on the basis of using the weak the poor and the sick as an opportunity to exploit, in order to create false wealth.
There are simple ways around this. It’s not about left or right it’s about fair and just and that is what we hope to achieve as the Liberal Vannin Party. In our manifesto for this general election, we will put down the way we intend to create that environment of fairness and justice. ustainability for our small nation to give a bright future to our future generations that come along after us.
It isn’t going to be easy fighting against the down side of human nature, but just like the people who were instrumental in bringing about the social justice and social mobility that our grandparents fought for, we must keep that battle on. It’s no use having Tynwald quoting the lord’s prayer about bringing about a heaven on earth, it is up to us as a people to bring that about .
It’s about having a true ethos of care and respect for your fellow man – and woman. People today take things as the norm what people of the past have had to sacrifice to make that possible for us. Education for all and the national health service. The freedom to be part of a trade union and many other great social advantages that have come to the masses.
I hope that you can help us be that catalyst for the social change that is so desperately needed to bring about that bright future for our children. Let’s get true freedom to flourish for all. We can start with government contracts. Responsible builders and other operators that take on apprentices for training and pay their liabilities through national insurance etc should not be penalised when tendering for government contracts as they are the present time. In the tendering process there should be an allowance in costs for being socially responsible as an employer and that should be reflected as a discount when competing contract tenders are assessed.
At the same time, bring back accountability to hold contractors accountable for poor workmanship and poor professional advice, instead of making the taxpayer pay for their mistakes, which wouldn’t happen in private business. There’s a simple principle. With public money, the public have a right to know where their money has been spent, how much has been spent. The issue of commercial confidentiality being able to be used to cover up institutional corruption has to be stopped. It prevents good value for government.
There must be restrictions on people in power, whether publicly elected or public servants, from being able to profit through their association with government, after leaving office. Instead of appointing our own Auditor General, we should be using the agencies of off-island jurisdictions such as the Welsh or the Irish audit office, to get away from nepotism.
Many agencies and other bodies, setup with the best of intentions, need to be accountable for the appointment of officers and actions and their costs to make sure that they do not just become self-serving quangos. They must not to be used to circumvent the employment laws with minimum 0 hour contracts, lower wages and to hide the true level of governments employment. These are institutions that would not be able to function without government money.
Let’s make our government accountable to the people of the Island. Open and transparent government. Support and vote for your Liberal Vannin candidates for MHK in September.