During the recent LA/LI Conference, Sean Gabb, half of the two-man team that now runs the Libertarian Alliance (Tim Evans being the other half) sat himself down next to me and asked me to suggest good speakers for next year. My best two suggestions were two Michaels.
Michael Jennings will be well-known to regular readers here as an expert on technological trends and much else besides. He would be exactly the kind of second-tier speaker, and I mean this in no disrespectful way, who maybe isn’t a superstar name who would cause dozens more attendees to sign up in the first place, but who would add greatly to the enjoyment and enlightenment of the event for all who did attend. Technology, I am sure you will agree, can be relied upon to keep on supplying interesting trends for someone like Michael to talk about.
And the other Michael I suggested was Michael O’Leary, the boss of Ryanair. Okay, definitely a first-tier speaker, but equally definitely a long shot. But what’s the worst he can say? No, too busy running Britain’s largest low fares airline, you can afford my air fares but not me but the best of luck anway being what he probably would say, if anything, if asked.
Ryanair, Britain’s largest low fares airline, today (31st Oct) offered to rescue Jonathan Ross after he was ‘Sent to Coventry’ by the bigwigs at the BBC. Ryanair will help Ross jet off to much more exotic surrounds as it sent him free tickets to escape the media spotlight and sample how those who don’t earn £18million a year live.
Ryanair, called on the black sheep of the BBC, who will lose £1.5million over the next 12 weeks, to make his money go further by escaping the high cost of living in Mayfair and fly on one of Ryanair’s over 350 UK routes where he can live cheaper, get a tan and gear himself up for his return to the beeb next year.
Does Coventry have an airport, I wonder?
O’Leary’s open contempt for state monopolies of all kinds, but especially in the airline business (on the ground and in the air), is most pleasing. A growing trend in public opinion, especially since this latest wall-of-taxpayer-money bailout of dodgy banks, is the alignment of enthusiasm for free markets with populism, while statist solutions to problems are becoming regarded more and more as elitist manipulations, the rich helping themselves to public money on scale that the poor could never dream of. O’Leary feeds into that current, I think, especially in the way he bangs on about how much more you often have to pay the government, when you fly Ryanair, than you have to pay him.
Michael Jennings, constant globetrotter that he is, could doubtless tell libertarians about the impact of low fare airlines on the world, even if Michael O’Leary is otherwise engaged.