TRYING to see ourselves as others see us is always worthwhile, especially here on the Island where we’re a tad inclined to take what goes on around us as normal and unalterable.

Three years ago, it was the head of Ofsted, David Hoare, who put our poor education statistics down to inbreeding, and called the Island a ghetto.

He was, of course. completely OTT with that one, and had to recant.

But only an ostrich would deny our schools do have a chronic and unexplained problem — and that a lack of social and geographical mobility might easily be a factor.

Mr Hoare’s clumsy outburst could have been a spur for some proper research to get to grips with the problem. It hasn’t happened, more’s the pity.

And now of course we have Lord Adonis. The one-time transport secretary’s day-trip to Brading was a litany of delays and frustration to which many of us have become accustomed.

He took to Twitter and soon got bogged down in a spat with Bob Seely.

Rather lost in the Solent fog of war were the fundamentals that travel to and from the Island often resembles the 13th Labour of Hercules.

It’s been like that for far too long and what progress there has been, on Mr Seely’s part and others, is no better than nibbling at the edges.

Just like the intractable education problem, we need to remind ourselves it doesn’t have to be like this, and Lord Adonis is right to be amazed at what we put up with.

Yet when he marvels at the absence of a fixed link he ignores several things — the downside of such a project which many of us see, the absence of any realistic funding source and, most pertinently, the other available means of controlling the ferry companies’ behaviour.

On this last point, Mr Seely, for all his recent Tweeted compendium of achievements, is culpable.

At the CP’s hustings before the 2017 General Election he pledged to ‘set up an IW Bill which will re-regulate the ferries.’

He hasn’t done it and he won’t do it, perhaps because he realised belatedly that the party of government, of which he’s a member, wouldn’t dream of entertaining such leftie nonsense and also wouldn’t dream of promoting to a junior ministerial role any backbencher who thought it should.

This is a great shame, because if such regulation became a real prospect, there could then be a meaningful debate around its virtues versus those of a fixed link.

A proper fixed link debate would be divisive but long overdue.

It would require a referendum and feasibility study, both properly funded and independently run.

These are prerequisites which Mr Seely ought to be pursuing, but not before he has successfully made the case with his political pals for correcting the mistakes of the past and causing Red Funnel and Wightlink to serve Islanders properly.

Arguing for a fixed link simply as a means of punishing the ferry companies will be seen by many, myself included, as throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

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