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In your face

Posted by Richard Saturday, April 08, 2006

Commissioner for information and society, Viviane Reding, crowing about her .eu domainOnce again, one must take exception to a headline, this one from Reuters, which proclaimes: "Europeans rush to register .eu domain names".

Yesterday was the first day that ordinary mortals – as opposed to companies – could apply for an .eu internet domain suffix and, according to Reuters, "hundreds of thousands of Europeans rushed to sign up".

Actually, I was one of them, and I don't remember rushing particularly. Nor in any sense of the work that Reuters seeks to convey, am I a "European". The reason for the purchase, of course, is to protect the name "Eureferendum", preventing a rival or copycat launching a spoiler – the reason why many people and especially companies will have taken the plunge.

Many more will have been bought by "cybersquatters" in the hope of selling them on to the original name owners and, I suppose, some will have been bought for the sheer novelty value.

Whatever, it is certainly not the case, as the commissioner for information and society, Viviane Reding, asserts, that "the demand of European citizens and companies will show whether they believe in Europe."

It is this that sort of blithe assumption that really does hack you off. These ghastly people just can’t resist being "in your face", crowing about their "Europe" at every available opportunity, so much so that they have thoroughly debased the word, inviting hostility at its very mention.

The same goes for their hubris, as conveyed by the Expatica site, which reports, "EU launches .eu domain in hope to rival .com". Why they can't just launch the thing and be done with it, heaven knows. Like children in a playground, they've always got to "rival" something, or be better than someone – usually the United States.

Anyhow, it looks like the British politicos have been caught short by the domain launch, or so says the BBC. Neither Labour, the Conservatives nor Liberal Democrats have yet grabbed a .eu suffix to match their party name. The Europhile Lib-Dims do not even have plans even to try. That is because they are "focussed on politics in the UK", Mark Pack from the campaigns office says, in a display overwhelming stupidity – or dishonesty.

And, to cap it all, tonyblair.eu has been snapped up by Big House Services, a web-site hosting company, the owners of which, no doubt, will be happy to swap it for a peerage. At least, though, Blair has done better than the Boy King. Up to press, there have been no bids for davidcameron.eu.

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