I fail to understand why Senator Stephen Conroy got the UN gig. Senator Conroy is the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate in Australia. That’s a long job title. But it’s okay he has a big business card.
Conroy claims to be there for (middle?) Australia. The people’s champion. Giving broadband to everyone. Just very slow broadband because he thinks that by restricting content he can stop all the nasty content on the web reaching Australia… “Mmm’kay,” as South Park’s Mr Garrison would say. (Does anyone else see the comparison, or is that just me?)
Yes, he’s slowing down broadband in Australia to speeds even the luddites will deplore. He’s opening channels for the government to censor anything they don’t consider right, polite or favorable.
A summary of Conroy’s gaffs is brought to life on mumbrella‘s news and opinion pages. Including that in his recent Senate Estimates Committee speech, Conroy, according to mumbrella comes across as “a sneering, sarcastic grudge-bearing point scorer. And one who won’t give a straight answer to a straight question, at that.” Well, a cynic might say many politicians come across like that.
He might be a politician, but Conroy is no diplomat.
He’s picking direct fights with Google, Facebook and News Corp. And not from a very considered position. He says that Murdoch was his inspiration for giving extra cash to terrestrial TV stations. He says that Google and Facebook are not there for their customers, they’re there for themselves. I’m not here to dispute that News Corp, Google and Facebook are bastions of consumer championning. But it doesn’t deflect from the fact that Conroy doesn’t seem to deliver the benefits of broadband to the Australian nation that the nation deserves.
So what does the UN see in Conroy? Does anyone have a list of things he’s done to warrant this gig?
“The International Telecommunications Union’s Broadband Commission for Digital Development was launched this week with the aim of encouraging agencies and governments around the world to come up with new ways high-speed broadband networks can be used to improve social services.” The Australian newspaper informed us on 11 May. And clearly the international Telecommunications Union’s Broadband Commission for Digital Development believes the hype that Conroy has been spinning.
Can anyone shed any light on what makes Conroy worthy of a UN role? Or does that sum up the inadequacies of the UN? Or maybe Conroy is merely Rudd’s puppet and the UN have recognised this and are giving him a chance to shine beyond Rudd’s muddy waters?
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