So I got an email from the Grauniad yesterday asking if I could write something about the “web event” and what it revealed about the Icelanders’ vision for getting out of the mess we’re in.
Much as I would have loved to portray this as some kind of sign that we have it all together here and are uniting in some kind of future vision for this country … I didn’t, because, well, it wouldn’t have been true. The fact is that everyone talks about our LACK of future vision and leadership, and how the victory of the Best Party in Reykjavík reflects this.
These are strange times for the Icelandic nation. Indeed, foreign revenues are not the only thing we need – Iceland is seriously lacking a vision for the future and a strong leader to follow it through. We are in the midst of massive change, there is widespread discontent among the public, but no one quite knows where to go from here. Accession to the European Union is on the agenda, but the nation is deeply divided on the issue, and fear-mongering and misinformation abounds. Even the two political parties that make up the ruling coalition cannot agree on whether or not accession is the right thing for Iceland.
Clearly the good people at The Guardian didn’t mind, because they stuck the post up as one of their Editors’ Picks on the CiF front page.
[As ever, the headline and sub-head are theirs and for once I don’t mind. I think they’re better than mine.]
[NB – a reader remarked on what he viewed as my negative comments about the Inspired by Iceland effort. To which I replied that I’ve made no secret of my antipathy towards the Iceland Tourist Board. However, I have been in dialogue with the UK-based PR company behind the Inspired by Iceland project — dialogue, incidentally, that was initiated by them. I must say that they have been AWESOME in all interactions, which makes SUCH a refreshing change to my dealings with the Icelandic stakeholders in the tourism industry.]