Iceland vs Gordon BrownBy Dark Politricks
If you follow me on twitter at @darkpolitricks you will know I have just had a few days in Iceland. It was on my bucket list of things to do before I die and I had some cash so why not. I just wish I brought a video camera or better camera as the amount of rants I heard from taxi drivers about Gordon Browns actions during the Icelandic banking collapse could have filled 60+ minutes.
I had to get taxis as standing around in minus 10C waiting for a bus that will most likely drive past you isn't much fun. However I am glad I did. Not only was every single taxi driver able to speak perfect English but they are on the ball when it comes to politics, international relations and how the world really works.
Every single person I talked to was sick to the teeth of Gordon Browns action to use anti-terrorism laws to freeze Icelandic money in British banks. Not only did this help worsen the economic crisis in Iceland but it made the Icelandic people think they had been betrayed by a friend and ally.
If you don't know, Iceland kept the Brits alive during World War II by sending over fish for us to eat whilst all our trans Atlantic ships were being destroyed by German U-Boats. A little known fact is that per capita, Iceland lost the most people in the war, more than Russia, more than the Jews and more than the USA and UK combined. They only have a population of 320,000 (now), so a lot less back then, so you can see how many a few thousand people's deaths would compare to the total population.
Iceland suffered their economic crisis between October 2008 and the 31 August 2011, which was the day where the international bailout support programme led by the IMF officially ended.
The economic crisis revolved around a few Icelandic banks which were offering stupidly high rates of interest which attracted many foreign investors including many UK local authorities. Our dear leader of the time, Gordon Brown, had told them to invest their money in the highest paying interest accounts they could find. The Icelandic banks were offering high rates and were thus used by many.
The problem was that these rates of interest were totally unrealistic and there was no security for screw ups. In the UK we get up to £85,000 protected if the bank goes bust. So the Government bails small account holders out up to that sum. However Iceland failed to do this for foreign investors and it sent Brown and co fuming.
Every taxi driver I spoke to said that anyone with half a brain cell could see these banks high interest schemes would fail in the end and they eventually did. However Gordon Brown was having none of it. The UK along with the Dutch, demanded that Iceland pay back all the monies owed with interest or they would be thrown out the IMF.
Gordon Brown froze any Icelandic money in UK banks and used anti-terrorism laws to do so. This prompted the Iceland's prime minister Geir Haarde to call it "a completely unfriendly act" and was disgusted that a supposedly friendly nation was calling their country terrorists.
More than 25% of the Icelandic population (over 80,000 people) signed an online petition called "Icelanders are not terrorists". The UK responded by cancelling its scheduled patrol of the Icelandic airspace in December 2008. As Iceland has no standing army of its own it relies on other NATO nations to take turns in protecting it. The UK pulled out of this agreement leaving Iceland vulnerable to attack.
Iceland basically stuck two fingers up at these threats, kicked their whole government out when they seemed to bend over to the demands and took matters into their own hands by voting in a coalition government led by the Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Green Movement.
They even won a court case in the court of the European Free trade Area, when the UK and Holland took Iceland to court over the failure to payback depositors in the failed banks. The court ruled on the 29th January 2013 in favour of the Icelandic banks and saved the country from having to pay back billions to foreign savers.
The EFTA court dismissed an application by the EFTA surveillance authority, which claimed that Iceland had failed to comply with an obligation to ensure compensation of a minimum €20,000 to Icesave depositors in the UK and Netherlands. Over €6.7 billion was owed to UK and Dutch investors and whilst the UK paid back the investors out of their own tax payers money, they then demanded that Iceland was to pay back the money to them.
However logic and reason won the day and when Iceland's President's Olafur Grimsson refused to sign an amended law on repayment he forced a national referendum on the issue and 94% of Icelanders rejected the move to payback the cash.
At the time the crisis resulted in massive migration from Iceland yet Iceland's economy stabilized under the government of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, and GDP actually grew by 1.6% in 2012. However many Icelanders remained unhappy with the state of the economy and government austerity policies. In 2013 they voted back in the same people who were in power during the crisis, the centre-right Independence Party but in coalition with the Progressive Party.
Relative to the size of its economy, Iceland’s systemic banking collapse was the largest suffered by any country in history. The amount of money owed by the 3 Icelandic banks taken into national ownership was equal to more than 11 times Icelandic GDP.
They also threw a load of banksters into prison - can you see a trend here? These people included:
- Baldur Guðlaugsson, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, who was sentenced to two years probation by the District Court of Reykjavík for insider trading.
- Aron Karlsson was sentenced to 2 years in prison by the District Court of Reykjavík for defrauding Arion Bank in real estate dealings.
- Lárus Welding, CEO of Glitnir, and Guðmundur Hjaltason, Managing Director of Corporate Banking of Glitnir, were sentenced to 9 months in prison by the District Court of Reykjavík for a major breach of trust.
- Friðfinnur Ragnar Sigurðsson, Glitnir employee, was sentenced to 1 year in prison by the District Court of Reykjanes for insider trading.
- Styrmi Þór Bragason, President of MP Bank, was sentenced to 1 year in prison by the Supreme Court for breach of trust.
The other thing to note is that whilst Ireland and Greece are now suffering like hell due to their Governments subservience to the banksters and their German EU masters Iceland is recovering well.
Instead of loading future generations up to the eyeballs with huge debt, and suffering serve austerity like many European countries Iceland is well on the way to recovery.
They have had one of the fastest economic recoveries on record. They stuck to their guns and told the banksters to fuck off. This is a lesson others should follow.
GDP of Nordic countries including Iceland from 2000 to 2007
Not only do the Icelandic people do things their way, but they are the leaders in the world for press freedom and Internet freedom.
Everywhere I went, whether it was the airport, the bus from the airport, the hotel, pubs, clubs or restaurants, all had free WI-FI. No logons just Internet access wherever I went, it was great.
No wonder many companies who don't want hassle from the NSA/GCHQ nexus of spy bitches base their servers there. It's just a shame we are sucking data straight from cables and main routers and until other countries build their own Internet infrastructure the axis of spying will continue to do so.
It is also not coincidence that the owner of Lavabit, who closed his business rather than succumb to threats to spy on his customers, was told by his lawyers that Iceland was one place he could move to and setup his business to escape NSA spying and Security Letters.
You can watch his interview on RT.com below.
The fact that anti-terrorism laws were used and abused by Gordon Brown shows that their true intention was nothing to do with terror but more to do with control over people.
The same laws were used to attack an 82 year man who dared protest the Iraq war during a Labour conference. Walter Wolfgang was dragged out of the conference for daring to heckle Jack Straw and detained under the terrorism act in 2005. They were also repeatedly used by the previous Labour government to detain and question tourists and other photographers "daring" to take photos of London landmarks.
Gordon Brown was only following in the foot steps of Tony Blair, the war mongerer who took us into 4 wars, destroyed many civil liberties and did more to destroy the picture of Labour as the "peoples party" than any other Prime Minister in recent years.
However whilst the UK is languishing in debt, the Greeks are begging on the streets and the Irish are cutting back services and trying to find ways to pay back their own banking debts the Icelandic people are doing just fine.
If you don't mind the cold, enjoy beautiful women and scenery then Iceland is one place to definitely consider going. Not only is everyone friendly but they all speak English and everyone I met was a good laugh. The fact that booze is so expensive yet the Icelandic people knock it back in gallons from 10pm to 6 am most nights must indicate that people are being paid enough to have a good time.
So whilst I had to apologise for my Governments behaviour constantly, I also let the Icelandic people know we also hated the Labour Government just as much as they do.
The fact that we are still suffering under many of Labours big brother laws, and that the farcical Protection of Freedoms Bill which promised so much when a Lib Dem idea yet turned into a "freedom from wheelclamping" bill just goes to show that none of our current political parties can be trusted when it comes to protecting our civil liberties and hard-won rights.
So just remember the next time the Daily Mail or Sun attacks the EU Human Rights Act or our PM threatens to pull out of it. We invented the thing in the first place after the 2nd world war. On top of that these rights protect you and me as well as the tiny minority of Jihadists the papers like to trot out as examples of the bill's failure. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater is the appropriate saying!
We don't have a written Bill of Rights like the American's (not that it seems to be doing much to help them anymore) so we must take what we can.
Until we get our own Bill of Rights and proper protection of free speech, without journalists boyfriends being detained at airports for revealing the massive spying our Government does on us, we should be happy for anyone who sticks up for our liberty.
The Icelandic people saw us as friends. When Gordon Brown froze their money it made it hard for them to import goods and prices shot up in their country. His act did more to harm them than the banking crisis in the first place.
The fact that a court sided with them just shows that he was in the wrong and they were right to ignore his demands.
Well done Iceland.
View the original article Why Icelandic people hate Gordon Brown at darkpolitricks.com.