So, essentially a big fuck you to the Irish-speaking citizens and communities of Ireland from former Trotskyite rebel-without-a-cause Pat Rabbitte, the minister of communications, as he dismiss out of hand any rise in the tragic-comic budget of TG4, Ireland’s only Irish language television broadcaster. Meanwhile RTÉ, Ireland’s publicly-funded English language television broadcaster, will continue to turn out its increasingly hard to swallow diet of trashy British and American imports while its main independent rival, British-owned TV3/3e, will sink ever further into the stinking gutter of sewer-pipe television. All this of course on the back of news that the existing (and notoriously inefficient) TV licence fee is to be replaced by a mandatory Broadcasting Charge on all households which at least has the merit of not pissing away 20 million euros a year in paying off the “administration charges” imposed by An Post. Of course it seems the vast majority of the money will go into propping up that self-entitled palace of elitism in Donnybrook with perhaps a chunk carved off to feed the rapacious appetites of the hedge-fund managers in London that own much of tabloid channels TV3 and 3e.
Of course no one thought to ask the bleedin’ obvious question. Why the hell is the nation-state of Ireland funding a public broadcasting television and radio network in English when that is already amply provided for by the private sector both at home and from overseas? Surely a public broadcast service exists to provide what no one else will? In the case of Ireland, national television and radio channels in the indigenous language of the island-nation of Ireland.
The simple truth is that TG4 should not exist because RTÉ should already be what TG4 is!
You want cost savings, you want more bang for your buck, you want to provide home-grown public service broadcasting, you want to serve and enlarge the Irish-speaking population of the country? Then do the obvious thing, stop pissing about, and transform RTÉ from an English language broadcaster to an Irish language broadcaster.
Leave English language broadcasting to the private sector, make sure there are regulations in place to secure domestic ownership and levels of quality (which are virtually non-existent at the moment), and then let them get on with it.
Ah stop. I’m speaking too much sense so that will never happen. The so-called experts would never permit it. Sure where would we be without all those ancient BBC and ITV shows rebroadcast on RTÉ? Not to mention the television psychics of TV3?
Sometimes I really do despise this state I live in. The state we all live in.