So, as most people reading this will know, we have a new mayor here in Iceland in the form of comedian Jón Gnarr, of the Best Party.
The Best Party essentially stormed out of nowhere last spring and stole the Reykjavík local elections from the [corruption-ridden] Independence Party [who despite their corruption-riddedness still have loads of support].
This brilliant picture has been making the rounds in [Icelandic] cyberspace over the past few days. As far as I can ascertain it was snapped by one Birgir Ísleifur Gunnarsson who is in the band Motion Boys*, and it shows incoming mayor Jón Gnarr and outgoing mayor Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir [of the Independence Party].
I do believe it’s a tie between this photo and this one, for best news photo of the year.
Meanwhile, in keeping with their “fresh winds blowing” strategy, the Best Party has decided to employ different working practices from before, focusing on a collaboration between all parties, as opposed to US vs THEM. To that end they offered Hanna Birna the post President of the City Council, which is a pretty decent post, all in all, and which has traditionally not gone to an opposition party [which obviously with these new working practices, ceases, in effect, to be “opposition”]. Old Davíð Oddsson, unofficial King of the Independence Party, had a conniption up at Morgunblaðið headquarters, and wrote anonymous columns [which everybody knows are his] practically forbidding Hanna Birna to accept the position. Tough call for old Hanna Birna, who had placed great emphasis on this “working together” business during the election campaign, after it became clear that the Best Party was ahead of them in the race. In the end she went for it, though, which to my mind shows either HB’s strength of character or DO’s declining power within the party. Or maybe both.
Anyway, the new mayor also now has a “diary” on Facebook, in which he writes regular status updates and throws out ideas to his loyal followers. Latest status: “What do you say about a special ‘berry garden’ in Öskjuhlíð: blueberries, strawberries, gooseberries, red currants?” — So far this has 932 “likes” and 186 comments — and counting.
* I nicked it from Dr. Gunni.