Oops – Now they’ve done it.

NATIONALIST feeling seems to be growing in the Isle of Man in the wake of the VAT crisis. A Facebook page has been set up to press the case for Manx independence. Mannin Aboo has attracted about 300 members since its launch earlier this month.

The creator of the site goes under the name of Manannan Mac Leirr who asks: ‘Should the Isle of Man be an independent Nation again as it once was. Join if you agree. The Isle of Man forever — Mannin Aboo.’

Meanwhile, nationalist banners have been posted on roadsigns and graffiti sprayed across the roads on the main routes into Peel. All read Mannin Seyr, which means ‘Manx independence’. Signs written in Manx Gaelic were also posted on flagpoles in the town.

This rise of nationalist sentiment is linked to growing anger at the UK’s apparent hostility towards the Island, starting with Chancellor Alistair Darling describing us as a ‘tax haven sitting in the Irish Sea’, continuing with the scrapping of the reciprocal health agreement and culminating with the raid on our VAT revenues.

Founder of the Manx nationalist party Mec Vannin Bernard Moffatt said there appeared to be a growing number of young people in the Isle of Man getting involved with the Manx language and nationalism. He said: ‘I don’t think the UK wants us any more. They want us to stop hanging on to their coat tails and our government is acting like a wailing baby wanting its nanny back.

‘With the growing importance of international agreements and international groups, not least the European Union, I think it is possible for states to exist and operate independently.’
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