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Does that mean Sportacus won’t come save us?

Overheard in the hot pot

“All those people who have been protesting … I’d be really interested in knowing how many of them have paid taxes. I’m convinced that 80% of the protesters have never paid taxes.”

Where: The 42-44 °C hot tub at the Seltjarnarnes swimming pool
When: Sunday, 8 February, 2009 @ 18.20.
Who: A certain individual best known for being the brains behind hit children’s television show LazyTown.

The protests started at 8 this morning in front of the Central Bank and the sound of tribal chanting reached all the way to the West End of Reykjavík, about 4 km away as the crow flies. Apparently neither Doddsson nor his sidekick showed up for work, although a gray van was driven into the bank at some point during the morning, reportedly under special protection by Reykjavík’s finest. This after Doddsson sent PM Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir a lengthy rant in the form of a letter last night, which was equal parts comical and sad. More on that later. Right now brilliant sunshine with a thin veil of cloud hovering in the sky. Temps a cool -2°C [28F], sunrise was at 9.42, sunset scheduled for 5.42 pm.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Gummi February 9, 2009, 1:28 pm

    Well, Magnús may have a good business sense, but he’s never been accused of being the brainy type. But that image of Mr. Oddsson hiding in a van is quite lovely. And this is a recommended reading (for those reading icelandic): https://siggaplebbi.blogspot.com/2009/02/getraun-um-forstisraherra-og.html

  • Andrew February 9, 2009, 2:28 pm

    I still find it incredible that there is no legal mechanism at all for sacking a member of the Central Bank board. Would he listen to a request/order from the President, or from a majority of MPs in a parliamentary vote, to resign?

  • Sonja February 9, 2009, 3:01 pm

    This doesn’t make any sense! The people that are protesting are the law abiding citizens that are angry because they are stuck paying the bill with their taxes!!!!

  • James February 9, 2009, 3:11 pm

    There is probably a removal mechanism for gross misconduct (and maybe for negligence and incompetence). But the PM didn’t give any such reasons. I wonder if the government has written down the reason with evidence (eg that would stand up in an employment tribunal) why Oddsson should be dismissed – that seems a basic first step…

  • tj3 February 9, 2009, 3:22 pm

    We have the same thing here in Florida USA.

    The people responsible for our financial mess here locally will not step aside, nor admit their errors either.

    In fact, the local people here who facilitated the economic mess are still in charge and are entrusted with the task of fixing things. (unlikely, inconceivable).

    One issue in their situation is that what they did appeared normal at the time. Our bankers and leaders and yours all looked to one another for what was normal and all did similar idiotic things.

    Feeling they did nothing wrong, why quit?

    It is as if results do not matter. Intentional corruption or honest mistake the harm is just as real. Their misunderstanding of the risks just as dangerous.

    Around World War One time, all the Kings and their Ministers misunderstood so very, very much. They wrecked the world and ruined their own sweet deal. All the while they were handing out titles and awards and erecting statues to support their pride and competence.

    Many a failed Nobel never admitted their world view was cracked.

  • DJ February 9, 2009, 3:51 pm

    Our favourite friend makes some good points here:

    Johanna and her party were MAJOR contributors to the laws and policies which allowed this disaster to happen.She has now decided to forget all that and leak confidential letters(which are guarded by the Official Secrets act)to the press to garner public support in the hope they will forget the part she played in all of this.
    Of course the governors have to go but it has to be done legally and democratically.Johanna is showing herself to be a poor leader who will try anything to make her mark.I feared this would happen.
    Both leading parties(IP and SD)have become a complete joke and need to be ousted.I’m not a big believer in the Left Green’s principles but at the moment they are proving to be the only viable alternative.

  • Flygill February 9, 2009, 4:19 pm

    @James, here is the list, in english translation, from member of parliament Helgi Hjorvar of Samfylkingin. Too long to repost here, but check it out:
    He didn’t cause the country to wrongly declare war and invade another country, but maybe it would have been better if he had. At least Iceland would be occupied by someone who could provide basic necessities. I wonder if it’s still possible …hmmm … “yo, Britain, we are terrorists and we have weapons of mass deception (anthrax and many other nasty sheep diseases) and we intend to wipe you off the face of the earth, you greasy-chip-eating Limey dogs… “

  • Karen February 9, 2009, 4:56 pm

    My hubby thinks it’s a matter of severance pay.

    In Canada:
    Resignation – Severance pay is NOT obligatory for the employer.
    Fired – Severance pay is required.

    I don’t know what it’s like in Icelandic law, but maybe Oddsson and the other fellow are just holding out for the bucks?

  • Moose Drool February 9, 2009, 4:58 pm

    Hey … maybe it’s time for Sportacus to move on to Funky Town.

  • wally February 9, 2009, 5:00 pm

    Pretty funny thing for an Icelandic man to say.
    Everybody in this country pays taxes.
    There is nothing you buy or do that does not give a slice to the government.
    He may be right about income tax, but that is just a portion of the taxes we pay.
    Iceland is a giant farm and we are the animals.

  • James February 9, 2009, 5:13 pm

    The first news item on the English language version of the Central Bank’s web site is a copy of Oddsson’s letter to the PM:

  • Roy February 9, 2009, 5:26 pm

    I think Sportacus is possibly from the genus Republicanicus which would explain why he would make such a statement. Eating healthy may not be all it´s cracked up to be! I’m suspecting some serious side effects are yet to be discovered.

  • Karen February 9, 2009, 5:55 pm

    Oddsson’s letter is available at IceNews in english:


    I find his ego so…. appalling. It stuns me. And his complete lack of touch with reality is… well, frightening actually. How can he expect to do his job effectively if he has no support anywhere?

  • nammi February 9, 2009, 6:35 pm

    Well, was he right? Do 80% of them not pay income tax? Just curious.

  • Jessica February 9, 2009, 6:46 pm

    I bet that 80% of the protesters WOULD be paying taxes…if they still had jobs to go to! (D’OH!) Ah, you’ve just got to love the rich, out-of-touch folks.

    And did this gentleman know he was in the presence of Iceland’s most internationally-famous blogger? I bet he would have censored himself if he knew better! (but thankfully for the sake of the flabbergasted readers he didn’t)

  • RK in Los Angeles February 9, 2009, 7:06 pm

    Oh that statement makes so much sense – because TAX EVASION is so EASY for the employed in Iceland! And if they’re unemployed its because they WANT to be. Yes. That also makes sense. Ugh…

    Unfortunately people like this enable the behavior of Doddson and likes.

    Hilarious title Alda.

  • Mondrian February 9, 2009, 7:15 pm

    You have to wonder what’s in all that ‘sports candy’.

    Meanwhile, it’s looking obvious that M. Oddsson’s looking for as much of a severance package / golden parachute as he can obtain, hoping that the government would be willing to offer a better deal in exchange for an earlier departure. The longer he stays in this position the closer it gets to the election, and that’s not good for the Left Greens.

  • alda February 9, 2009, 8:36 pm

    Andrew – I can, actually, see the logic of making it difficult to oust someone like Doddsson. Offices like the one he holds should be protected from the whims of government – i.e. a new government shouldn’t be able to hire and fire people at will. That is the logic behind the laws. And under ‘normal’ circumstances, i.e. if the director in question wasn’t a politician (Doddsson still is, no matter what anyone says) or a flamboyant narcissist, as is the case here, all would be hunky dory. In this case, the law has turned on itself. – And as for your question – no. I’m sure that there is nothing and no one who would convince him to resign. The only way is to change legislation, and with the IP party doing everything they can to stall the bill, that could take a while.

    Karen – yes, it is the same here. The reason the PM chose to first ask him to resign was to appeal to their sense of duty towards this nation – to resign, and negotiate a severance deal that wouldn’t cost us ISK 20 million (which it would have cost to oust all three of them). As we now see, they appear to have no such scruples or sense of goodwill, so the next move is to fire them. We, the nation, will just have to suck it up and pay. A costly price for regaining our credibility.

    nammi – seriously, this incident illustrates beyond doubt that Mr Scheving is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier AND that he never went to any of the protests. If he had, he would have seen people from all walks of life, including senior citizens who have paid taxes ALL THEIR LIVES and are now losing their life savings. It was a completely inane remark.
    Besides, as Wally points out, there is no way to get around not paying taxes in this country. You get up in the morning, you pay tax.

  • Ljósmynd DE February 9, 2009, 8:41 pm

    It is unique in the Western world (I suppose), that the head of a subordinate authority like the Central Bank is publicly reviling an parliamentary elected Prime Minister in this manner without being sacked on the spot.

    His “letter” is definitely appalling to me. I wonder, how this matter is seen in Iceland.

  • Marc February 9, 2009, 9:37 pm

    Does the governor of the central bank even live in Iceland? It doesn’t sound like he is in touch with the current economic situation. Maybe he sees this as some sort of computer game (land this 747 when all your engines have stopped because of a bird-strike). Iceland is advertised as a country of legends, fairytales and gnomes.

    This is certainly a gnome. Whack him!

  • Karen February 9, 2009, 10:10 pm

    This quote below is from Wikipedia’s page on Canada’s central bank – the Bank of Canada. We have a similiar structure in place to put some distance between the whims of government and long term monetary stability. Too bad we can’t say the same about the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission.

    “The head of the Bank of Canada is the Governor, who is appointed by the Bank’s Board of Directors. The Governor is appointed for a seven-year term, and cannot be dismissed by the government. In case of a profound disagreement between the government and the Bank, the Minister of Finance can issue written instructions for the Bank to change its policies[6]. This has never actually happened in the history of the Bank to date. In practice, the Governor sets monetary policy independently of the government.”

  • Scott February 9, 2009, 10:32 pm

    Seems like Goddson staying in his position is the best thing for the Left-Greens. Humiliates the impotent SDs, and is a constant lighting rod of hatred for the rest of the population. It would be far easier for the IP to sit completely in opposition and see how VG/SD handle things, but now VG can point to the Central Bank every time someone loses a job or goes bankrupt and say “there´s your man, fat in his castle”.

  • hildigunnur February 9, 2009, 10:41 pm

    haha, that sportidiot, I can just imagine him saying something to this effect. Hálfviti! Did anyone oppose him on this?

    Yep we pay taxes. Income taxes, other taxes, I’d say much more than 80% of the protesters, probably 95% at the very least.

    Roy, wahahaha 😀

  • alda February 9, 2009, 10:55 pm

    Hildigunnur – there were only three of us in the pot. YT, Sportacus and some guy that he was talking to.

  • hildigunnur February 11, 2009, 9:09 am

    I see. :p

  • Magus October 26, 2009, 10:49 pm

    im 9 years old I LOVE seeing Sportacus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!