Reality Check

Today the President of Iceland (and my personal hero) Ólafur Ragnar Grímssson, refused, for the second time, to sign the ICESAVE agreement into law. Too bad he didn’t go further and dissolve the Althing at the same time, but there is always Monday. Before everyone rushes to judgment with what this all means to the British, Dutch and Icelanders, there are two important points that need to be seriously reflected on:


First, for the British and the Dutch- The problem with this ICESAVE deal, as it is with all the other deals, is that the total debt is unknown. Nobody likes unknowns. It is why horror movies are successful and ICESAVE agreements aren’t. Most people in their right mind would be terrified to sign under a contract without knowing the total debt up front. So this outcome should come as no surprise. The Icelanders are right not to take on a burden that they might not be able to pay. But before you throw your arms up in the air and walk away empty handed, consider this: Most Icelanders would agree to use the assets of Landsbanki to pay the ICESAVE debt. These assets could cover up to 95% of the debt. Also, no Icelander really shuddered at the idea of paying an extra 50 billion kronur (about 270 million pounds). One reason is that the Icelanders just spent 27 billion on their monstrous opera house so 50 billion doesn’t sound like that much. More importantly though, 50 billion is a set figure; the unknown factor would be removed. So a deal still could be reached, that would be acceptable, involving the assets and some reasonable fixed amount. As debt collectors say everywhere, “Something is always better than nothing”.


Now something for the Icelanders- To all that don’t want to burden their children and grandchildren with an unbearable debt I congratulate your efforts. To those that simply don’t want to pay anything, think about this: If it were a British or Dutch bank that collapsed in Iceland and left your government to cover your deposits (which the Icelandic government probably couldn’t do) and then paid British and Dutch depositors in full, you would be screaming for British and Dutch blood demanding quite firmly that the Britsh and Dutch pay. (corrected 21.02 for those who can't understand idioms) There would be no consideration for who caused the collapse, you would simply want your money, and rightfully so.  The British and Dutch saved their depositors (the life savings of real people with homes and families) of an Icelandic bank when the Icelandic government that you elected (and many want to put in power again!) failed them while saving its own Icelandic depositors. To put this all more succinctly, you owe them, plain and simple. You are correct not to want to take on an unforeseen and unsustainable debt, but the country must pay something, possibly with the Landsbanki assets and an additional fixed amount, to the British and Dutch. Sorry to say, but not wanting to indebt future generations is one thing, not offering any compensation is just shameful and embarrassing for the entire nation, and unfortunately, there will be consequences. That is a fact.


So this is where the ICESAVE matter is, today February 20, 2011. It most likely is not over, and won’t be until BOTH sides have faced reality.


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1 identicon

Dear Gregg Thomas Batson. You obviously do not know my people, and you should not be living in this country. Iceland is a civilized peaceful nation, not in the habit of screaming for anybody´s blood, as you so distastefully put it. Iceland never had it´s own army, there was hardly any crime in this nation untill 17 years ago, when we started to receive more immigration (note: I am pro-immigration, and even have a multi-national family, but we obviously need to be more discriminating and show better judgement as to who we allow to enter this country). However, I would rather have petty criminals within our midst, than people harboring such serious illuisions against us as us being blood thirsty. Real vikings hardly existed at all in Iceland, even in ancient times. Rather we wrote down the endeavours and adventures of other nations. Iceland was the first nation in the world to abolish slavery. We have the worlds oldest parliament, and a longstanding important democratic tradition. The United Nations Global Peace Index has usually ranked Iceland as nr.1 most peaceful nation on earth. Imagine how other nations of lesser moral development would have reacted to such a thing as our collapse. It only takes going to a football match to see how your own nation would have reacted...Not even holligans exist among Icelanders! We are a peaceful loving, civilized people and if you wish to express other opinions of your own deranged imagination, do us a favour and leave the country. There are plenty of good, hard working and honest people of higher moral calibre than yourself who´d love to fill your place. You are racist against us Icelanders calling us blood thirsty and so you should leave and go somewhere you have more respect for people.

A few points to consider: Governments either claiming responsibility for private business, or other governments taking such claims seriously, is illegal according to EU law, which I have studied extensively. The act of allowing this matter to even exist is a breach of the law, for the governments of the Netherlands and the UK just as much as Iceland.

Go to The former colonize of this world, UK among them, are holding the third world enslaved though national debts. Studies show the greatest cause for children dying in this world is in fact neither hunger nor illness, rather, the nations in question have no money left, after paying their annual debts to their former oppressors, resulting in there being no money to cultivate the land or build hospitals and so on. This is why Haiti was nearly just as badly off before the natural disasters hit as it is now. Most of the money of this formerly prosperous country goes to paying debts to France. Not only could Iceland face the same fate by becoming a debt slave, we are after all only 300.000 people, without any military power, and so in a very vulnerable position, one which we however will face with courage and moral deterimination...we would also be letting down the people of Africa, because the case of Icesave could easily create a legal example which would help these nations in international courts in their battles against their oppressor. So for the sake of rightouesness and world peace, we should not ever submit to the oppression of the old colonize, but instead stand firm in aid of our brothers and sisters worldwide. National debt as a concept will be banned in the future world order. Those not ready for it are fighting a loosing battle, because the future is on the side of justice!

A third thing to consider is that it is deeply unfair to imagine a whole nation should pay for the mistakes of exactly 30 bankers. Yes, no more than 30. Icelanders did not gain anything from these peoples business, the average Icelander was off exactly the same before and after us having international banking. Might I remind you most of these people were living in Britain, hiring far more British people than Icelanders, and Dutch people and Brits made far more money from their ventures than Icelanders ever did. Most of us didn´t gain a cent from anything they ever did, nor do we know them or have anything to do with them.

Once upon a time a group of people similar to yourself in mentality and intelligence existed. This group, like yourself felt they should punish an entire nation of people because they had a few unpopular bankers in their midst. To help make this happen they stirred up their masses in hatred against them. Had they existed in ourtimes, they would have blogged. Like yourself they filled the heads of the masses with delusions about these people and called them "blood thirsty" and other racial slurs. These groups was called the Nazis.

I am sorry mister, but just because we had 30 unpopular and unethical bankers does not mean we are going to the gas chambers, please. And these debts could infact result in the extinction of this peaceful and beautiful nation, as a nation of 300.000 people, nearly all of them lower middle class, and hardly a single millionair beyond those bankers, simply cannot pay for this. If you have a problem, take it up with the bankers who hired and made money for your own countrymen, not us. And just because a fed middle class British people are fed up with us and harbour illusions and prejudice, does not mean we will betray mankind and betray Africa. We will stand! And we shall overcome!

Another point to consider is that Britain owe us greatly for wrongfully using the terrorism laws against us. By putting the worlds most peaceful nation on a terrorist list, they were mocking the values of Western Culture; liberty, equality, fraternity, human rights and every single thing we stand for, as a whole. For this they should be persecuted and held responsible in an international court. Gordon Brown should spend his last days on earth in jail.

A more just world is in the process of being born. You cannot stop it. But by fighting it you will accumilate your own karmic debt for trying to, and that is what you should worry about, not the imagined debt of my people. The day of reconing is coming. You have been forewarned.

Gunnar Jónsson (IP-tala skráđ) 20.2.2011 kl. 22:29

2 Smámynd: Gregg Thomas Batson


Well, let me first say that thank goodness I'm not British, they sound like really bad people. I don't know where you grew up but "screaming for someone's blood" is a figure of speech, pehaps a poor choice of words on my part considering how hot the topic is, but still only a figure of speech. Anyone who would interpret that as actually calling for the death of another person is an idiot.  Peaceful and civilized? Have you ever been downtown on a Saturday night? Of course you are rated as a peaceful country. You don't have enough people to have a decent army anyway. But of course I am joking. I love Iceland and Icelanders (most of them)and am thankful they have no army. No fool like yourself could ever make me leave. If you don't like what I think, say so, but don't tell me to leave, it is so childish and  American-like. So I will now use a bad British expression here and tell you to piss off.

It is your wonderful ancient Althing that you democratically elected that allowed this shit to happen not just your so-called 30 bankers.  I have supported the efforts to avoid ICESAVE but I do not think it is unreasonable to use the banks assets and some of the wealth stolen by the bank and used in Iceland to refund the miminum insurance to hard working depositors of the other two countries. This "I did nothing wrong" bullshit make me sick. Do you have no shame? You call the bankers unethical, but where is your sense of ethics that allows taxpayers of another country to shoulder a burden for money that was stolen by an Icelandic bank. Do you only want to be a nation when it is Our Boys playing handball, but not Our Bankers screwing up? Are they not equally Icelandic? I do not want to see my children burdened with a unpayable debt, but as a nation, I also don't want them to be known as the people who "did nothing wrong but stuck thousands of other people with our debt" either. The ICESAVE deal must be fair, and so far it has not been fair, but you also have to also be reasonable. 

Please do try to tone down your rant, people will start to think there is something wrong with you, and might assume all Icelanders are that way, which I know they are not.



Gregg Thomas Batson, 21.2.2011 kl. 00:38

3 identicon

Dear Gregg. Blood-thirsty is not simply a figure of speech, which is why Americans keep using it about arabs these days. It can sometimes be, but that does not mean it always is. And you obviously don´t have many friends here if you think we are vengeful people. Britain, their unjust government, not the people of Britain (which I like very much) tried to steal most of our fishing terretories twice, and did what they did now, yet most people here actually liked them. And most of us also like Danes, despite the oppression when they reigned here, and hardly a single Icelander was even allowed to run a business. We are quick to forgive, but we do not forget. Saturday nights downtown are fine if you go to the right places. We have trash bars here like everyone else. I spent a great deal of time in Britain and I assure you "Piss off" is not a "British expression" it is chav expression, that of cultureless, mannerless, low class idiots, and no decent person uses it. The idiots in Athingi today, unrelated to the original spirit of the Althingi, do not diminish our great tradition any less than idiots like Bush being able to do away with the greatness of people like George Washington and people more linked to the true American spirit, which sadly has mostly died in the hearts of men there these days, although it may be rekindled like the Pheonix some day. And same goes for us. We started out as a free nation, we kicked out peacefully, without using any violence, despite the severity of the oppression, not even a single Dane ever got kicked or hit, there is no historical record of such a thing, and we write everything down, especially fights.

I think the banks and bankers in question should be made to pay what they owe. But the Icelandic nation does not owe anything. I do not watch sports, and I only take pride in myself as an individual. However I will come to the aid of  those unjustly slandered like the peaceful Icelandic people. I have done that for many others in the past. I never thought I´d have to defend my own country.

If you think most of us are of the opinion the bankers should not pay, then you never spoken to a single Icelander. Every single Icelander I know, left wing, right wing, anti-government, pro-government, pro-Icesave, anti-Icesave, would ideally like these criminals to pay. The people of Iceland would never stand against that. And that is infact what the opposition in parliament has been suggesting all along, and some of the left-wingers in charge too! I bet you don´t follow the debate here and only read that ignorant tabloid Grapevine.

I am telling you to leave for your own good. I spent over a decade living in other nations, and I know what it is like to be somewhere and like it and be willing to adapt, as well as what the opposite feels like, of living somewhere and not really liking it so much. If you have so little respect for your hosts as to go around calling us blood-thirsty and lying about us that we think the bankers should not pay, then by all means do leave. You will never be happy here, go somewhere you will find more purpose in life than being among people you do not respect could ever bring you.

The bankers and banks should pay. All of Iceland thinks so. In fact, most of us dislike those institutions so much, we wouldn´t care if they all burned down tomorrow. But the Icelandic tax payer should not pay a cent. For the same reasons and principle law should be abided by in general, and the contract was illegal from the start, and that national debt is on the way out, and we must use every opportunity to use every single legal opportunity to chase it out of existance. The world is going to change, and what is to come will not be as unjust as the old world order was. The rule and oppression of the old colonize is on the way out. Everyone who is willing to give up in that fight is a traitor to all of mankind and the future of the human race.

PS: The Brits are fine people, despite Gordon Brown being a criminal who in a just and moral world would spend the entirity of his life in jail for mocking Western Civilisation by putting us on a list with Bin Laden because of our distant relations to 30 banksters.

Gunnar Jónsson (IP-tala skráđ) 21.2.2011 kl. 01:14

4 identicon

PS: If you are not educated enough in certain matters to imagine I need to "tone down something", because of your inability to recognize certain phrases and read between certain lines, or to assume there is something "wrong" with people of a different educational level to yourself, than there is no need for you to be concerned about me. I do not care for the opinion of idiots, whatever their nationality. Your average informed person of minimal education will understand what I am referring to and what I mean by such phrases as "the day of reconing" , which won´t be anything Biblical or supernatural. But the colonial powers do have a debt to pay far greater than Icelandic bankers, and they will be made to pay it, and should beware. This matter is a testing stone, and if they mistreat us, certain powers worldwide will be stirred and they will be made to pay their own debts, against the impoverished nations they robbed and mistreated, in more severe ways than they would have preferred. And I happen to know what I am talking about...I spent a lot of time among those nations.

Gunnar Jónsson (IP-tala skráđ) 21.2.2011 kl. 01:25

5 identicon

Your arguments have been covered before in news and are quite reasonable. The response you got from Gunnar is a typical one from an extremist and does NOT represent what the majority of this nation thinks. I mean seriously, comparing someone to a Nazi is just being an asshole.

The uncertainty of the Icesafe deal is definitely something that bothered people. Some where bothered simply because they didn't feel like they owed anything. Hopefully, there will either be a clearer agreement or a ruling of a court of law. What you don't know, you're afraid of.

Helgi Heiđar Steinarsson (IP-tala skráđ) 21.2.2011 kl. 08:11

6 Smámynd: Gregg Thomas Batson


So now the "Brits are fine people". My British friends who read your disparaging words last night will be glad to know that.  They particularly did not like "It only takes going to a football match to see how your ... nation would have reacted...Not even holligans exist among Icelanders!"or “just because a fed middle class British people are fed up with us and harbour illusions and prejudice, does not mean we will betray mankind and betray Africa". They sounded pretty upset and I think you owe them an apology more than just saying they are fine, because at this point, I know they don't believe you. And they assure me (although I needed no reassurance) that "piss off" is a British saying.

Unless you know someone who actually drinks blood "blood thirsty" (your words here, not mine) is absolutely a figure of speech. You are free to interpret the words any way you wish but thirsty means "a desire to quench one's thirst” and thirst is "a physical need of fluid, preferably containing water". Now I have never heard anyone say "Damn, I'm thirsty, I would really like a glass of blood”, hence the reason why it is a figure of speech. So please stop telling me how to interpret my own language.

You make far too many assumptions about people you don't really know. That is, by the way, the definition of prejudice. I am quite happy here, have plenty of Icelandic friends, talk to them very often, follow the ICESAVE debate, and don't read the Grapevine. I am also quite capable of "reading between the lines" but can't be bothered doing so, as I prefer people to actually say what they mean. I find communication is much easier that way.

So please stick to the debate here. Insults and threats serve no purpose other than expose one's own ignorance. 

One more thing, George Washington did not have greatness. He was a not a particularly good general and would have lost the war if not for the help of the French. He once ordered his men to shoot their own officers who had deserted the army.  He also slept around on poor Martha. That being said he was a person, like any other, with flaws but also with good qualities very much like everyone else in the world. He did the best he could with what he had, also like everyone else in the world. It is the myth of history that has raised him to the status of greatness.


Gregg Thomas Batson, 21.2.2011 kl. 09:09

7 Smámynd: Gregg Thomas Batson


Thanks for the comment. It is always refreshing to come across a bit of calm reasoning, especially after all the other crap I've had to read.


Gregg Thomas Batson, 21.2.2011 kl. 09:19

8 identicon

Gregg Thomas Batson. I am not speaking of the man´s military achievements nor his personal life. If you do not know what Washingtons greatness consisted of, then I am sorry, but you are too ignorant to waste words on. Bloodthirsty is an expression that exists in most languages and is often meant to depict a violent, immoral individual. I don´t know who your British friends are but mine don´t use such expression. I don´t associate with individuals of no education.  Expressions such as these favoured among your friends are equivilalent to the n-word or the f-word in American English. How likely a person is to use them is  a fairly good indication of their background, and civilized people refrain from it. I grew up in the UK the first 12 years of my life, so I should know British English better than you. You are correct that I should have specified chavs when mentioning holligans, the British chav holligans are famous worldwide and probably a remnant of a violent colonial past, culminating in the murders at the temple of Amritsar, when the British establishment finally began to the see the light. You don´t read between the lines because you are not well read, that is why. The most important things are always between the lines and not meant for any ignorant idiot without the neccessary prerequisites to be able to decipher. That is the way it always was and that is neccessary.

Gunnar Jónsson (IP-tala skráđ) 21.2.2011 kl. 16:57

9 identicon

@Helgi. The difference between nazis and the mobs screaming for little Iceland, a tiny country of 300.000 people, nearly none of whom have any money, is not a difference in kind, but a difference in degree. The desire to punish ordinary people because of them being related to unpopular bankers. Icelanders may well become the new jews of this world. They have no power you can see on the surface, although we have hidden connections that can fortunately back us up, and so make an easy scapegoat. They are also fairly unknown, and so it is easy to paint any false picture of choice of them, and this always help. Anti semtism was much more common in the German countryside where no jews lived than it was in the big cities. And most people never even met an Icelander. A better known nation, or a nation of more power, would never have been put on a terrorist list, no matter how violent it´s past. Little Iceland being World´s most peaceful nation according to the United Nations Global Peace Index, never having had a miliarty of it´s own and never gone into violent war of any kind with another nation. I cannot think of many more nations that would have toleranted the kind of treatment we received from the Danish without resorting to violence, but it is not our culture, so we refrained from it. Hardly a single Icelander at that time was even allowed to run a small business, and the Danish businesses sold rotten goods to the desperate Icelanders at top prices, leaving the nation severely impoverished. It should also be remembered how during the Cod Wars, when armed British battle ships sailed to our armyless land, nobody ever fired a gun at them. It was not a war in the traditional sense, yet it is the only war we ever hard, and it is far from over. The great oppressors of India and Africa, who destroyed the US from within by never fully letting them go (and are still in control of their monetary system), that of the UK, are out for vengence once again, this time against one of the worlds smallest, most powerless and most peaceful country. To put it in the language of children: "Pick on someone your own size!" The world where size and the willingness to apply force along with wealth has any say in the outcome of wars will soon be over. The Old World Order and it´s ignorance are on the way out. We will not give up. Let the bankers pay for what they owe. Ordinary people worldwide should never be made to pay for the crimes of private buisness. Not even if the government goes behind their back. When this truth becomes commonly accepted in the world, African children will no longer be starving. 

Gunnar Jónsson (IP-tala skráđ) 21.2.2011 kl. 17:16

10 Smámynd: Gregg Thomas Batson


Actually, New Zealand is rated the most peaceful country in the world according to The Global Peace Index.

I especially like this quote from the article:

 The South Pacific nation of four million people and 40 million sheep has knocked Iceland off its perch after violent demonstrations followed the collapse of Reykjavik's banking system.

Violence in Iceland? No, I don't believe it. It must have been British agents disguised as protesters.

BTW, the word "hooligan" is spelled with two o's. If you lived in Britain you should know that.


Gregg Thomas Batson, 21.2.2011 kl. 18:00

11 identicon

Dear Gregg Thomas Batson. Yes, New Zealand beat us for now, but we held the position many times. Why would I know how to write such words? I do not read the tabloids, I stick to the classics and philosophy. The protests in Iceland were remarkable peaceful. There are violent protests going on all over the world right now. A few people throwing eggs does not count as violence. Yet we are currently living in the most violent times for many hundred years, and probably even longer, as the Christian writers of the sagas were biased against pagan cilivisation. If you are angry at the bankers, make them pay. But don´t think it´s brave or fair to stand with the old colonize against little Iceland and expect single moms with handicapped kids to pay for the sins of billionairs. There aren´t many enough people here to pay untill after many generations, and we have no buisness in paying at all, as it would be laying another stone on the wrong side of the scales, which ever delays the creation of a more just world. The old colonial powers are meant to pay their karmic debt by becoming a mere shadow of their old self, while others rise to the foreground. Our president is doing the right thing by focusing his attention on building a good relationship with India, where they bestowed a very high honor on him already, because they sympathize with our cause against the UK. I lived in Africa, I know the relatives of people who died at Amritsar, where thousands of children were brutally murdered by the British regime, and I count the children of Holocaust survivors among those dearest to me in this world, I have lived in Africa, and so I will forever stand with the oppressed of this world against their oppressors. Even little Iceland can help, by never giving into them.

Gunnar Jónsson (IP-tala skráđ) 22.2.2011 kl. 01:35

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