Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We should follow Minister's logic and scrap TV license

The Minister for Comms says the TV license won't exist in 2020. Well, why don't we follow the Minister's logic on the electric cars - be first in Europe to force pace of change - why don't we scrap license as of 2012. That would have the effect of focusing minds at RTE and open up television production & distribution to all sorts of creative people here.

There's absolutely no reason Irish cultural products can't compete in a free market in our wired world. Irish authors, playwrights, songwriters, actors, etc. all manage well, why not those who create digital media? Oh yeah, we also have some excellent games and other software producers.

Scrap the license and free the market now - we'll be ahead of the curve as other countries are forced to do likewise.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Euro's crisis is thanks to hubris of European elites

I missed most of the 9:00 news tonight and so didn't see how (or if) RTE reported on today's news on the euro, but it's gotten a lot more serious. Greek debt is now junk, the euro fell by more than 2¢ against the dollar (a currency with its own concerns) and today a member of the FDP - junior coalition partner in the German Government - said Greece might have to "leave the euro zone for a time."

The German and Greek peoples are pulling in opposite directions. The Germans don't want to bail out the Greeks (or any other errant euro members) and the Greeks don't want to endure the pain required to get their government spending under control to German satisfaction.

Are we approaching the moment of truth for the euro (& the EU)? I've said before that I'm not anti-EU, but I've never understood why the European elite kept plowing on with their political project when the people were so far behind. The European project was too important to allow it be forced on people, but never sufficiently explained.

Now you see the results. First real difficult moment arrives and the various peoples of Europe are pulling apart. The Greek & German governments are like rubber bands stretching, stretching trying to keep holding hands with each other while their respective voters pull them back from any sense of European solidarity.

How do you think this image from Athens on Die Zeit's web site plays with the German people?

The stupid things is, if the euro disintegrates, the European Union will follow. It should never have come to this. The hubris of the Europhiles was as great, maybe greater, than that of the bankers who are public enemy number one today.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Maol Muire Tynan - still can't pronounce it

Maol Muire Tynan is a name I used to see regularly in the Irish Times. It also stuck in my head because I always used to wonder how you pronounced the name. I could probably have a stab at it now having lived her for 20 years, but from the day I moved here the name was just a mystery to me. In fact, for a while I didn't even know if the name belonged to a man or woman (woman, if you don't know).

I only mention her name because I just stumbled across it. She's now the Public Affairs Manager at ESB. Good for her. I'm sure it's a better paying job than journalist at the Irish Times. Probably less pressure too - at least until we start having rolling strikes and electricity cuts that I keep hearing about.