When Charles Dickens wrote a Christmas Carol, little would he have known that in the 21st century, Tynwald would find itself in such a state that it would make for an appropriate metaphor.
There is not very much on this month’s order paper and really there is only one headline act, so let’s get that out of the way first.
Nick Black resigned: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever, about that. But what is not certain is what happens next, for this week Tynwald will be haunted by three ghosts as it is asked to fork out an extra £32,621,921 of our money for the Liverpool landing stage.
The ghost of DoI projects past will come first, to remind members that this dept has a dark history of failure when it comes to schemes being done on time and within budget. Members then be visited by the ghost of projects present who will no doubt remind them that the prom is yet to be finished before giving a warning that unless things change (ie giving them an extra £32.6m) there will be no harbour for Tiny Tim (who is actually quite tall) or the Steam Packet to park their boats.
But the ghost members fear most is the ghost of motions yet to come. Despite this extra sum of money, the word in the corridors of power is there is no guarantee that this will be the final sum. However, I fear despite these hauntings, there will be no leaning out of windows to yell at an urchin below asking ‘you boy what day is this?’ For despite the promise of lessons learned, like Marley’s ghost the DoI seems doomed to walk the earth forever bound by its past.
Kicking off the questions is Claire Christian who, like many of us at this time of year, wants to know how some of the things we’ve been promised are going to be paid for. She will ask the Chief Minister how both the Housing and Community Board and the Climate Change Transformation Board will be constituted, funded and staffed? Mrs Christian will later ask DHSC Minister Lawrie Hooper when medicinal cannabis will be available on prescription; and if he will make a statement?
Speaking of climate change, Daphne Caine will be asking Treasury Minister David Ashford how his the gov ensures compliance with the Principles for Responsible Investment supported by the United Nations; and when fossil fuel divestment will be completed across the the gov’s investment portfolio?
Next up we have Stu Peters who wants to know what influence the gov has on Steam Packet fares; and what assessment has been made of the economic benefit of lower fares? Given its status as an arms-length company, I imagine this will be a short answer from Mr Ashford.
Remember that a dog is for life and not just for, well you get the idea, Jason Moorhouse will be asking DEFA Minister Clare Barber new Animal Welfare Bill will be introduced.
Mrs Christian comes back around again later on she asks Mr Hooper whether an interim ME and chronic fatigue syndrome service has been created and how the DHSC will measure the success of this service; and what targets have been established for it?
Other topics that may be covered on Tuesday include negative PCR tests, clear fairways into harbours, bridges on the former railway line and Covid in schools.
You can see the full question and order paper below.