Published January 22, 2009
Vicariously experiencing the events unfolding in Reykjavik, whilst sat in a green and peaceful corner of England, is a bizarre experience.
The European press hasn’t grasped what is going on in any way; the only clues are infrequent (and often out-of-date) reports from the newswire services or freelance contributions, such as ex-Grapevine Editor Valur Gunnarsson’s work for The Guardian. The odd national newspaper around the globe have picked up on what is happening but in only in a half-hearted, post-Obama fashion.
The fact that Iceland’s campaign to send a container of woolly jumpers to English pensioners made headline news today with no mention of anything else happening in Iceland speaks loudly about the current level of awareness. They even interviewed the DJ behind the campaign and talked about woolly jumpers helping to defrost old people for 30-seconds without the merest hint of what might be brewing at the Althing.
The equivalent protest in London would see about 200,000 people throwing rocks and paint at the House of Commons and abusing Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling – that would certainly make worldwide news. Maybe it’s all about the timing. Protesting in the middle of the evening and late into the night won’t make the morning papers or the evening news but it certainly seems to be working and that’s the most important thing.
Keep up the good work Iceland.