This column first appeared in the Manx Advertiser.
By the time you read this, Tynwald will have resumed after its summer recess, a cause for much rejoicing all round.
It is often said that watching our parliamentarians in action is reminiscent of witnessing the behaviour of a primary school playground.
Primary school children are better than MHKs and other Tynwald members for many reasons. Here are just some of them:
- If you asked a primary school child whether nurseries were a good thing, they would probably say yes and would know what they were talking about.
- When primary school children go round in circles, there is a purpose to it (P.E.).
- Primary school children usually grow out of name calling.
- And they sometimes listen to parents and teachers. (Sometimes.)
- You don’t mind blatant attention seeking from children between the ages of four and eleven.
- A school child would probably want to look inside a library before taking the decision to allow it to close.
- A child taking his or her ball home is not a bad thing.
- Very few children in a primary school think they know it all. Consequently they are prepared to listen. By listening they learn. Some MHKs, especially, should try to do this a little more.
- By the end of reception class year, you would expect a child to know precisely what the left hand and the right hand is doing.
- When a child bangs a drum, there is rarely an ulterior motive.
- If a child builds something then goes back and sees it is serving no purpose other than taking up space, they are usually quite prepared to knock it down for the greater good or do something to make use of it. We still have Queen’s Pier.
- You probably don’t feel the need to cross the road to avoid a group of primary school children, but the temptation to head for a different parish if you see more than three MHKs coming your way is very hard to resist.
- For primary school children, the chances are their best years are still ahead of them.
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