So goes the old saying. It is very true. And that's something we, Norway, that ancient state, should be keeping at the forefront of our minds right now.
I'll explain. Ahem.
OK, what the hell is going on with Iceland?! I mean, WTF is that about?? The whole place is totally falling apart. I'm astonished. Or am I? I remember reading, like a year and a half ago, in places like Dagens Næringsliv, about how Glitnir (the other Icelandic banks as well, but Glitnir first and foremost - they have been the most visibly present in this country) were biting over more than they could chew, this could never last, only a matter of time before things would go haywire, etc. And now it's happened ... and how. The whole country is teetering. It's amazing to see it. I mean, I understand it's awful for the Icelanders. I'm not entirely devoid of human emotions. But it's fascinating in a lot of ways. I was watching the Daily Review a few days ago, and there was this guy there from somewhere in the current administration in Reykjavik and he was saying that there are basically some specific individuals - between 20 and 30 people - who are to blame for this. Who have speculated so wildly and have risked all that money and so on. Can you believe that?? A group of less than 30 people who have put the country in this situation. Out of a population of 300 000. That is just completely mindboggling.
Anyway. Now they're all up shit creek without pretty much even a canoe. Poor saps. I mean, it's awful that these people, who have remained nameless so far AFAIK, have done these things and created, or at least contributed significantly towards creating, this terrible situation. But obviously, the government should be given their fair share of the blame too. There are regulations in place that are supposed to control these things. But that's totally not worked at all ... so somebody in some high places have dropped the ball over there somewhere. And now it looks as if they're all screwed. Gordon Brown wants to sue the Icelandic government to make sure all those voters won't lose their savings. I mean ... things are seriously incredibly unbelievably bad for Iceland right now.
But like I said, one man's loss is another's gain. It sucks for the Icelanders. But for us, for Norway, this is a golden opportunity!! This is a chance that will never come again!! They got away from us once, and they swore they'd never be in our power again - our empire shrank, then collapsed, then the Danes swallowed us up ... and when we finally escaped their clutches, they kept Iceland. :-( We thought we would never be a colonial power again. But just think what we have the chance for now!!!
I'm just saying it. OK? I just want to throw this out there. We've got the petroleum fund, right? Which we pretty much can never use, cause if we do it'll create endless inflation and ruin our economy forever. And now we can't be sure how much longer we'll even have it, because the whole stock market (where we've invested I don't know how much of the fund, maybe all of it :-o) is more or less collapsing and taking so many investments with it that no one can tell where it will all end. So how smart is it really to be holding on to that money now? And Iceland's desperate! The whole country could go bankrupt any day! Do you see where I'm going with this? They need money, we've got money ... they're independent now, but they haven't always been (far from it!) ... and is it really written in stone that they always should be? Is it?
I'm just saying. This could be a really special chance for us. My fellow countrymen: think about it. This could be the chance of all our lifetimes. The North Sea Empire can rise again! Icelanders, I don't have anything against you (but you are all really weird, sorry) but that useless piece of rock you're sitting on ... that was ours once. All ... completely ... ours. Once upon a time. And you know all that oil's made us all so puffed up and big-headed. I can't help what I'm thinking. It's such a natural thought.
I hope Jens Stoltenberg is thinking really hard right now.
2 weeks ago