NOT SO NOBEL

Alfred Nobel once had an image problem, now his Peace Prize needs a crisis consultant

October 13, 2012
Obsession
Euro Crunch
October 13, 2012

The Nobel Prize Committee is distinguished in many ways, but it mainly operates like a Loyal Order of Moose lodge for potty Norwegians, who nowadays know little about literature and even less about peace. The Grand Herder of Oslo is Nobel Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland. Known to his friends as Jurij, the former Norwegian Prime Minister announced Oct. 12 that he would hand his politically bilious and financially bungled European Union neighbors $1.2 million for bagging the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

“We don’t have a position on how to solve the European economic crisis,” Jagland told the prize winner. “But we believe it will be important to solve it.”

Unfortunately, solutions are getting even rarer in the EU. Unelected President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, whose pals back in Lisbon call him Durao Barroso and face 152 billion and skyrocketing euros of Portuguese national debt, said taking the world’s ultimate peace trophy home to Europe’s experimental capital in Brussels was proof that “the EU remains an inspiration for countries and people all over the world.”

Everywhere that is except in the yellow snow of Norway, where opinion polls consistently show the ersatz OPEC nation of peace connoisseurs want absolutely nothing to do with the EU’s debt crisis, crumbling currency, unemployment and the possibility of hundreds of thousands of angry 2012 Nobel Peace Prize winners arriving by ferry to riot against tax hikes and job cuts.

Manuel Reyes knows a lousy promotional campaign when he sees one. He’s the chief executive officer of Cortex Media Inc., a Miami-based firm that tracks and gauges the impact of the advertising and public relations efforts undertaken by global clients such as pharmaceutical giant Sanofi SA and the automobile maker BMW GmBh.

Reyes was flying over Oslo on his way to Paris when Jagland dropped the bomb. As he tells it, the 2012 Peace Prize detonated a crater bigger than anything Alfred Nobel could have mustered with his dynamite.

“This is certainly the silliest and most damaging statement the Nobel Committee could have made to Europe falling apart,” Reyes says. “The Nobel Peace Prize once recognized the grand and inspirational achievements of great individuals like Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Martin Luther King. The Nobel Committee is now into making political statements, which is their right, but they do it so very badly.”

Such is the beauty of the Nobel Peace Prize, which bookmakers say will next season go to King Lear for his efforts to combat madness.

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