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Irish politicans and tech

just spotted this on Karlin Lillington‘s weblog.

I sent (a mail) to whatever email contact was listed on the party website, noting in the subject heading that the message was an urgent press query. I asked them to give me a synopsis of their party stance on technology issues, which would be featured in a spread in the Irish Times, and gave them about 10 days to respond.

The Progressive Democrats, supposedly the pro-business party and the party from which the very publicly pro-technology-industry deputy prime minister (or Tanaiste) comes, never responded. At all. Neither did Sinn Fein, which had been making a minor campaign issue out of the state of Ireland’s internet infrastructure. Of those who did reply, the major party in government, Fianna Fail, only just sneaked in under the deadline (because I suspect no one had read the email earlier). Labour got the award for responding first (the next day); with Fine Gael also on top of things, and the Greens a bit slower but in time for the deadline as well.

Somehow this does not surprise me at all; Irish politicians are all too willing to pay lip service to tech issues, but do absolutely nothing concrete, or useful, about them. The fact that true broadband for the home user has only been made available by one ISP, since about a year ago, and even then costs over 89 euros per month, bears this out only too graphically.

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