IRISH BLOGGERS were talking about many of the things I scanned in the Sunday papers today. That's because the Irish blogging community is no longer the domain of geeks. It's easy to glean all the high points of popular culture, current events, and the political climate by listening to the chatter among Irish bloggers. For international readers--some who have told me they like my weekly summaries--here are 10 things arising from the Sunday papers in Ireland.
1. "Youth now tuning away from national broadcasters' older DJs." That's been happening for years. Emmet Oliver recycles the idea in a story that boldly claims overall radio listenership remains steady at 85%. What about all those earbuds I see on the streets of Dublin? They're propagating and I doubt they're tuned to the radio.
2. There are no restrictions placed on Irish police in how they use the three-year-deep trawl of e-mail headers, phone call records, and web browsing histories collected on everyone in Ireland. Karlin Lillingtron has highlighted this troubling deterioriation of personal privacy, as has the team at Digital Rights Ireland.
3. The Irish government should reward its taxpayers by getting out of the hotel business. If the Irish government sold The Great Southern Hotel in Dublin, the taxpayer would get €200m. Too bad the government has dithered on selling Aer Lingus because that indecision will probably force the taxpayer to stump up €500m to buy new aircraft. That money would have come from private investment if Bertie Ahern had national interests at heart.
4. Taoiseach Bertie Aheran has delivered the lion's share of the Irish aviation market to Ryanair. As Matt Cooper explains in The Sunday Times, "It's not what he intended. Ryanair has become the primary provider of air travel into and out of the country, mostly at cheaper prices." By my calculation, the Irish government would get more money out of its aviation spend if it bought shares in Ryanair. Wait a minute! I think the government pension fund managers are doing this already! We can secure the pensions of retired TDs on the back of Ryanair's continued dominance.
5. The US recording industry continues to think that "digital" means "dangerous" even after a decade. They're suing digital radio broadcasters now. Sue the customers. Sue the listeners. What a business model.
6. Munster fans drink a lot. The 40,000 Munster rugby funs who traveled to Cardiff to watch Munster win the European Rugby Cup contributed more than €8bn to the local economy of Cardiff.
7. If you have a medical emergency at home in Dublin, it is faster to drive to St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny to see a doctor in an emergency than to wait to see a doctor in Tallaght Hospital's A&E department on weekends.
8. Who does Taoiseach Bertie Ahern back to win the world cup? Argentina.
9. What colour did Ireland turn this weekend? Red (See #6 above.)
10. What green option for energy production is Ireland not considering? Nuclear power. It's politically expedient to bash nukes since you can smack down the China Syndrome and the Brits in one whack.