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The 1,000 words

For anyone who missed it, I cannot resist posting this fabulous photo taken by Jo of Jóhanna, Birgitta and Sigmundur Davíð on referendum night. That smug look on SD’s face just kills me – and the look on Jóhanna’s just says it all.


I have a post up on The Grauniad’s website about the referendum.

Pretty annoyed [and not for the first time] that they sensationalized both my heading and sub-heading, plus botched at least one sentence in the body of the article [see my comment below it for the originals]. Argh! If they weren’t such nice people to deal with [not to mention if they weren’t paying me for my efforts] I would have given up on them ages ago.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kris March 8, 2010, 4:03 pm

    I think I’ll throw in my support for Johanna. That will certainly carry them over 😉

  • Icelandbob March 8, 2010, 4:53 pm

    A friend sent me a copy of that picture over the weekend. It´s just brilliant…

  • Andrew (the other one) March 8, 2010, 4:57 pm

    Anyone who can look that smug whilst their country is in the middle of a terrible financial, political and economic crisis should be treated with extreme caution!

    By the way, the Google translation (Norwegian to English) of the caption of that photo on Jo’s blog is very funny.

    The Grauniad probably felt that sensationalizing the article was the only way to stimulate interest in the subject – Icesave is just not of interest to most of the British, even if it is extremely important to Iceland. But it is important to keep giving the Icelandic perspective, particularly from people not in politics. Keep up the good work!

  • Tom Thumb March 8, 2010, 5:09 pm

    That photo is a ‘gem’. On a humorous note, it reminds me of the animated movie of Sleeping Beauty, when the dark (meaning not a good hearted person) queen learns that her rival is still alive. Uh oh. Watch out for her! I don’t know the local politics to know who is who, so this is just reading the facial expressions. Congratulations on your article in the Guardian!

  • Jo March 8, 2010, 5:30 pm

    Thanks for nice comments on that photo, and Andrew is right about the translation… It’s hilarious! But a reminder that copy-paste-translate journalism easily could lead to wrong conclusions!

  • alda March 8, 2010, 5:34 pm

    Anyone who can look that smug whilst their country is in the middle of a terrible financial, political and economic crisis should be treated with extreme caution! — I couldn’t have said it better!

  • Schnee March 8, 2010, 7:57 pm

    Reminds me of Hape Kerkeling. 😉

  • gloria March 8, 2010, 8:18 pm

    The two smug and laughing ones look like conspirators . . . in junior high school. Your mobs seem as fickle as those in Shakespeare’s plays. Good luck. I’m still rooting for Joanna . . . and the people of Iceland.

  • idunn March 8, 2010, 9:49 pm

    They had a number of good photos, with the one mentioned surely first among equals. As you said, it does say it all. He looks like the cat that ate the canary, and Jóhanna worried as if perhaps the next bird. 10,000 words, at least.

  • Joerg March 8, 2010, 10:06 pm

    “Anyone who can look that smug whilst their country is in the middle of a terrible financial, political and economic crisis should be treated with extreme caution!”

    I quite agree, except for that he probably shouldn’t be treated with extreme caution but being faced with what he appears to be – self-absorbed, destructively stalling a solution to this mess for the benefit of his connected parties.

    Despite the slight amendments of your article in the Guardian, it made a good read and was very objective as opposed to other articles, which are putting their own spin on this referendum, potificating about the “Icelandic viewpoint” to foreigners, like that one on IR:


    Sounds like coming from another lawyer, trying to wriggle out of any obligation. I wasn’t aware about this as the “Icelandic viewpoint”, it’s a rather biased one.

  • Andrew (the other one) March 9, 2010, 2:07 am


    “Extreme caution” is an example of typical British understatement!


    My favourite example, Captain Eric Moody, pilot of a 747 which flew through a cloud of volcanic ash and lost all four engines, makes an announcement to the passengers:
    “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress”.
    He got the engines restarted and landed safely.

  • Bromley86 March 9, 2010, 12:24 pm

    Joerg. I wonder if this is the article that you were intending to link to?


    It may be coincidental, or the poster may deliberately be using this name, but the hatchet job wiki entry on Thorsteinn Jónsson is amusing:

    Joking aside, much of what he says is true. Of course he massively over-editorialises, i.e. with “weak a legal basis” etc., which is a shame. The core of his argument, that there is doubt over the legal necessity of a guarantee and that the Icelandic government has yet to extend a non-conditional guarantee, is absolutely correct.

    But at least things are starting to become clearer. The IP leader in that article that you do link to has now publicly stated that he doesn’t want the risk of the guarantee staying with Iceland, which effectively means no guarantee. If the IP & PP stick to that line, and if the UK/NL require cross-party support for a deal, there won’t be one.

  • Joerg March 9, 2010, 4:08 pm


    Yes, that’s the link I wanted to provide, I copied the wrong one. Of course, just to check, if anybody was reading the comments at all. 😉

    Officially released information sheets like this one from the MFA read quite differently in respect to the existence and honouring of Icelandic obligations:


    The position of Þorsteinn M. Jónsson, therefore, doesn’t seem to be the general Icelandic viewpoint. His wiki-entry is indeed very amusing, should he really be this person. For a former chairman of the board of Glitnir Bank before the crash he is rather unabashed.

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