Will phone magnate follow role models?
Has Denis O’Brien dropped a hint as to what might be his long-term goal in life?
In a wide-ranging interview with Reuters on his interest in Haiti, published yesterday, O’Brien referenced two other developing world mobile billionaires – Sudanese-born British rich man Mo Ibrahim, founder of Celtel, an Africa-wide cellphone network, and India-based Sunil Mittal, founder of Bharti Airtel.
O’Brien models himself on the two men who he claims, “proved the concept that you can have people with very little disposable income in real terms, but who want a phone and they’ll pay you for it, and you can afford to build up quite a large network”. It is a concept that O’Brien has applied with gusto in Haiti, which remains Digicel’s largest market and where the company is on the verge of introducing smartphones .
Ibrahim sold Celtel in 2005 for $3.4 billion and now runs the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa, while Mittal also runs his own foundation, the article noted.
This raises the intriguing prospect of O’Brien chucking it all in and cashing out of Digicel to devote himself to further good works.
A foundation to encourage better governance in Ireland per chance?Consumers have enough on their plate
The discovery of horse meat in some of Ireland’s processed burgers has provoked not only outrage, but also a great deal of equine humour, much of it relating to having “a horse outside” a la The Rubberbandits. It’s all pretty funny, unless perhaps you’re a responsible executive in one of the implicated companies or, even worse, a consumer who cannot now be sure what precisely they have consumed.
Horses hold a position of great affection in Irish society, with the idea of cooking up a Black Beauty casserole about as appetising to most as chopping up and roasting the kitchen table. It is simply not done.
This is not, however, the most important aspect of the revelations of recent days.
Not wanting to eat horsemeat is one thing; not being able to safely rely on food labelling is an entirely different and more serious one. It is in this sense that the equine content of “beef burgers” is (to mix foodstuffs) something of a red herring.
Tesco’s Everyday Value beef burgers were found by the Food Safety Authority to contain just shy of 30 per cent horse meat. This was presumably a secret to almost all involved until the FSA conducted its tests.
Taking this to its extension, it is a mere hop and a skip to the conclusion that absolutely anything could be included in an Irish burger (or another processed meat) as long as it doesn’t interfere with the flavour.
Sawdust nuggets, anybody?
This leads to a fundamental loss of trust in any kind of meat that is processed through a factory and comes out the other end in a different form.