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  • Writer's pictureBerlaymonster

Gunther unsays daft stuff

When the stable door opens this wide, horses will bolt.

Internet bites Internet commissioner in the cache.

EU “digital” commissioner Gunther Oettinger has been caught out trying to rewrite a speech he gave two weeks ago.

He made the address on 24 February to a “Digital For Europe” event, seemingly without a script.

The speech attracted snarks at the time for going badly off piste in suggesting companies could be “thrown out” of the European market for not obeying the rules, and for nutty out-of-place references to Napoleon and pigeons.

This was worsened when a few days later, some poor euroserf was tasked with taking a transcript of his speech from the English simultaneous interpretation, and posting it online, which laid out in black and white quite how meandering the utterings had been.

Now it seems someone has redacted the original to try and make it more respectable.

The new version removes the threat of corporate banishment and the gauche analogy with Napoleonic comms.

But the Internet – as Oettinger may someday discover – is a marvelous thing.

Old webpages, Oettinger and his people will learn, don’t just disappear. Those clever American search engines that Gunther seems to dislike so much keep an archive.

A cached version of his speech, as well as a video of his blurtings, remain available on the websuperhighwaythingy, and bear testament to the rambling nature of the address.

And a document merge of the original transcript and the doctored version reveals there have been 263 revisions made throughout, most of them deletions. In fact, the second version of the speech is about 1000 words shorter than the 2400 word original.

One can only imagine the time it took to wipe the Tippex off Oettinger’s computer screen when he had a first go at editing the transcript himself.


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