In a feature interview with the Grapevine, Mayor Jón Gnarr has spoken out about alcohol abuse and the addiction of power in Icelandic politics.
“Entering politics is kind of like taking up drugs,” Mayor Gnarr said. “Politics is an environment of addiction. The so-called compulsive-addictive personality is very common in the political sphere. There is a lot of alcoholism— many of our leading politicians are alcoholics.”
When asked whether the mayor had seen politicians turn up to work drunk, he confirmed. “Yes, a lot of them are drunk at work. Or hung-over, not at their best. Or under the influence of something or the other. And yes, it obviously clouds the judgement.”
Mayor Gnarr caused waves when he announced he would not be running for a second term and explained that the reason was partly that the Best Party, which he has likened to AA in the past, was meant to be an intervention for a sick government, not a permanent solution.
“You can think of the Best Party as an intervention,” Mayor Gnarr said. “An intervention is temporary; the counsellor doesn’t stay on the family’s couch while it is in the recovery process.”