Published December 14, 2009
Do yourself a favour. Turn to page ten, right now, and read Haukur Már’s feature, Our Murderous Fences. It details how the Greek government is (mis) treating the nation’s asylum seekers and immigrants, and how the Icelandic government keeps sending our own asylum seekers over there. Take some time to think about this.
Ponder a government institution that would send a 19-year asylum seeker old to fend for himself on the streets of Athens. Without notice, without a phone-call, without the chance to pack his belongings or collect his unpaid salaries. With naught to his name but some worthless Icelandic Krónur.
Ponder one of the wealthiest nations in the world – regardless of any economic collapse – that in the last twenty years has granted asylum to four persons out of 500 applicants.
Ponder the fact Iceland’s laws and policies on immigration have been made so muddled and convoluted that any decision made by the local Directorate of Immigration can be argued for with a simple “BECAUSE WE SAY SO.”
Now ponder this: Recent reports state that Greece might wind up as ‘the next Iceland’ – that it is a nation on the verge of total economic collapse, and that its infrastructure is rotted and corrupt.
Think: why Iceland? Why Greece? Could it be that the two nations’ apparent fear of foreigners, outsiders – the attitude that they are a burden and a threat to prosperity, rather than welcome participants to our society – might correlate with a certain stagnation and corruption we know all too well?
Reflect on all the world’s most prosperous regions throughout history. Try and think of one that was closed off, suspicious of outside influence, raised walls and borders, shut itself in a fit of paranoid xenophobia.
I trust you followed the above instructions, and that they provided you some food for thought. I am going to get all cheerful and seasonally spirited in a couple of paragraphs, wishing you a merry Xmas and all, but before I do, I’ve got some more complaining to do. Even though I am generally a pretty cheerful fellow, the below couple of things get me so riled up that I am going to write them in all caps, as if I were shouting:
IF THE ICELANDIC GOVERNMENT IMAGINES THEY CAN WITHOLD INFORMATION FROM THE REPORT OF THE BANK COLLAPSE’S INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE WITHOUT INCITING RIOTS AND THE BURNING OF XMAS TREES, THEY ARE SORELY MISTAKEN.
EVEN IF I THINK YOUR ‘ENEMY’ IS CORRUPT, THAT DOESN’T MEAN I AM ON YOUR ‘TEAM’ AND THINK YOU ARE ANY LESS CORRUPT THAN HE IS. I AM NOT INTERESTED IN JOINING YOUR TEAM OR FACTION – I AM ONLY INTERESTED IN LEARNING THE TRUTH. AND I AM STARTING TO THINK THAT IT ENTAILS ALL YOU POLITICAL AND CORPORATE SPORTSTEAMS OUT THERE BEING CORRUPT AS FUCK.
Ah. That felt good. And I didn’t even shout about dumbass Alþingi’s stupid, juvenile filibustering as of late (think I’ll save that for next issue).
Now, Merry Christmas to everyone!