David Moore’s urbane charm and gentle wit had the audience charmed from the start. Many knew him as a former MHK and highly regarded author and had come along specially to meet him.
This meeting was perfectly timed, given that we are in the throes of a general election. David’s opening remarks gave edge to this. He felt that the next ten years could be ‘the most significant in our history’. Given Viking invasions and a couple of world wars, this had to be serious. His concern was whether or not we would import more and more UK and European legislation out of a laziness to develop our own legislation appropriate to our nation’s needs.
Interestingly, David read extracts from an election address he made in the same hall thirty years ago. These had a striking resonance with current worries. In the meantime, though, GDP has steadily risen from a miserable two-thirds of the UK and a 10% unemployment rate had fallen to a mere 2%. Banks now held £50 billion compared to just £2billion pounds when he came into office. This is a huge improvement, even allowing for inflation.
Who should take credit for the improved economy? Surprisingly, it was the collapse of a bank – S.I.B. This forced government to get a grip of the banking sector and drew world attention to the Island and approval for the steps that were taken as a consequence. It’s an ill wind…………
M.H.K’s should make use of fine professionals in their own fields of expertise and keep their own meddling fingers out. David emphasised that it was treasury officials who set up the very generous terms of the common purse – not politicians.
Less successful areas included fishing, where we were dwarfed by the much more powerful U.K. and Ireland. When pushing for more housing for the population he did not envisage the saturation of any bit of flat land that speculators could overwhelm. David was still conscious of the lack of work opportunities in Peel, despite all the intervening years. However, the marina has been a much bigger success than he expected.
Why do people vote for a particular candidate? He gained one vote when a woman discovered that his middle name was Lancelot. “Ooh, I’ll have to vote for you, that’s the name of my cat!” He still feels that a candidate is successful just by chance - a compound of masses of whims.
The most remarkable result was in 1903 when a blacksmith, Cormode, beat a High Bailiff, in Peel. He and his team issued a free daily paper, entitled the City Star, delivered to every house. This was seen as a success for the working class and Methodism. It set the scene for a fairer representation in politics.
Amusing tales followed, aplenty. ‘Faded’ – David positively sparkled, outshining some present members!
Next meeting, 7.30pm Wednesday, 5th October in the Centenary Centre. Pam Kerruish will talk about her work with children in Tajikestan.