Wednesday, 16 May 2012

kitchenware revolution

While much of the world’s attention was focused on the hopeful inauguration of Barack Obama in the United States, many missed the culminating moments of the protests in Iceland against the recklessness and corruption of their former government, clanging pots and pans and marching on the Alþingi by the thousands.
The Icelandic people had already accepted enough deprivation in witnessing a significant percentage of the national treasure evaporate and many of their young people, without prospects for their futures, migrate to other countries, but were unwilling to suffer further austerity over private debts with public money. Though an investigative commission found wrong-doing and fraud on the part of borrowers and lenders and in government oversight was inchoate in the bulk of transactions and several plebiscites rejected repayment, the governments of Britain and the Netherlands (the major blowhards behind Iceland’s economic bubble) are threatening to take the country to the EU court over failure to make good on these loans. This movement of 2009, which previsions if not fathers others, is a template for the international Occupy rallies and demonstrates that people are not at the mercy of banking thugs. Iceland is still recovering but its reputation and demeanor does not seem diminished, nor its prospects for success, and real change is being affected by the infusion of ordinary members of the public—independent and with no political affiliations—into public policy and the parliament. The reversal of political orientation and the need to prevent the same financial backsliding drafted all citizens to revise their constitution. In light of current events and the amnesia of novelty and panic, we should look to Iceland’s stand.