`No Political Pressure in Graffiti Case” was the bold headline on Manx Radio over an article which had President of Tynwald, Noel Cringle, assuring that such a suggestion would be “stretching things too far”.
However, one would have hoped that even the `spinmeisters’ at Manx Radio would have appreciated the irony of seeking such an assurance from the most senior figure in the political system on the Isle of Man.
Despite the President’s assurances some on the Island believe that political pressure was indeed driving these, now aborted, prosecutions.
A reputable source in the south of the Island, unconnected to the Nationalist scene or involved in politics, told the Celtic League “even the dogs in the street know this was politically driven”.
However on this occasion “the dogs in the street” must be wrong or perhaps Manx Radio is!
After all when it comes to dancing to a political tune the Manx Police have form. Some years ago when the Manx police `cracked down’ on the Manx Herald free-sheet (no connection to the current internet publication), in another
threatened prosecution which was eventually aborted, they took their order from Government Offices not the CPHQ.
More recently during the political crisis which surrounded the resignation of the Chief Minister the then Chief Constable admitted a liaison with Government House.
No one doubts the integrity of the President of Tynwald who has been held in high regard in a number of political offices he has held over the years. However should he have been put in the position of defending the police politically – does the Island no longer have a Home Affairs Minister?
As for Manx Radio perhaps they could press the Chief Constable to release details of all the liaison and conversations both formal and informal he had on this matter. After all there is a good rapport between himself and the station. He was for example allowed to pontificate about the background to the case whilst it was ongoing so now that it has been aborted he should feel free to `open the books’.
A bit less spin and more investigative reporting may yet establish there was no political pressure – but for now the jury is out!
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J B Moffatt (Mr)
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