Færsluflokkur: English, texts in

The Idealist, or the social activist

   

He´s not overrated,

in fact: rather hated, 

though not among the broad nation.

His opponents many

sought a way, if any,

to bring his work to frustration.

Did he feel diminished

and almost finished

in view of their condemnation?

 

No, his known resilience,

if not his brilliance,

would repel their mean aggression.

He fought his case well

and, sure, it pays well

withstanding their legal transgression.

And so he´s acquitted,

the judge admitted

his right to his free expression!


mbl.is Ekki verið með hatursorðræðu
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ESB sýnir sitt rétta forræðishyggjuandlit

A "Must read" in The Times to-day:
â—†There will be no favourable Brexit deal for the UK unless Theresa May accepts rules on European workers and security, Brussels has warned ...

Spurning hvað stolt og öflug Theresa May segir við þessu!

Það er mjög öflugur pistill um brezka og ESB-reiptogið um sjávarútvegsmálin eftir Hjört J. Guðmundsson á á leiðarasíðu Moggans í dag -- alger skyldulesning fyrir ESB-sinna og okkur hina líka!


A very varied form appears of the European situation in the rights of non-heterosexuals

Advances in LGBTI* rights in Ice­land, ranking us 12th in Eu­rope in respect of the hu­man rights sit­u­a­tion in this regard, have not been won by well-informed consent of the public or politicians, rather by well-accomplished social pressure and one-sided propaganda, with the full collaboration of all the main media as well as the radical young clergy of the National Lutheran Church, without, however, ever getting deeply to the core of the matters. 

The present author has been informing himself on these issues for about 20 years, and writing extensively in this century on several websites, both about the sociological and psychological findings of research and publications, on the results of health reports, etc., as well as the general state of discussion, and legislative proposals and parliamentary sources, as well as theological and exegetical ones, being a theologian himself, and having participated for some time in argumentations among the Lutheran clergy where hyper-liberalist interpretations have sadly gained the upper hand; most of those pastors do even by now supervise weddings of gays and lesbians.

Turning again to the news here, there is, as it says in an An­nual Re­view of these matters now, "a huge range across Eu­rope", in the 49 assessed countries,

  • un­der six wide-rang­ing cat­e­gories re­gard­ing LGBTI rights. Each coun­try is awarded a to­tal score (%) on the ba­sis of the var­i­ous mea­sures ap­plied.
  • Ice­land’s score of 63% is one per­cent­age point down on the pre­vi­ous year and places Ice­land in 12thplace in Eu­rope over­all. The list is headed by the United King­dom (86%), Bel­gium (83%) and Malta (77%). At the bot­tom of the clas­si­fi­ca­tion are Ar­me­nia (9%), Rus­sia (8%) and Azer­bai­jan (5%). (Mbl.is)

Among "low scores" are Ukraine (10%), Italy (22%), Poland (26%), Switzerland (28%), Greece (37%), and Ireland (40%). We can view the overall picture here:

Many, at least in this country, have seen Ice­land as among the top countries in rights and tol­er­ance of gays and lesbians. Yet, according to the re­port, a ‘Rain­bow In­dex’ (here) shows some "sub-cri­te­ria for which Ice­land has or has not been cred­ited with con­firmed na­tional ap­pli­ca­tion. There are sev­eral ‘tick’ ab­sences for Ice­land un­der the ‘Equal­ity and non-dis­crim­i­na­tion’ and ‘Asy­lum’ cat­e­gories," it says here in the Mbl.is news ...

  • The Ice­land ‘coun­try re­view’ in the main re­port men­tions the State’s per­ma­nent ban on gay and bi­sex­ual men do­nat­ing blood and iso­lated in­ci­dents of ho­mo­pho­bic vi­o­lence in 2014. (Mbl.is)

Those alleged incidents are in fact so rare here in Iceland, according to press reports, that if we are scoring badly on that issue, compared to the other 48 countries, the overall situation in that regard must have reached a much better level in Europe than we even had expected.

As to donation of blood from gay men to heterosexual people, how can this be seen as "a human rights issue"? Do others, without regard for objective medical judgment, have a "right" to give us whatever that we may not wish to receive? Medical doctors in this country, as well as "The Blood Bank" institute, have been quite resolute in not accepting blood donations from 1) homosexual men as well as from 2) newly tattooed people, 3) drug-users of needle-syringes, and 4) prostitutes. Those are international standards from which our scientists are not ready to deflect. It can hardly be advisable that politicians allow themselves to intrude on this longtime field of medical expertise.

The full text of the ‘2015 An­nual Re­view’ can be found here.

* The abbreviation stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.


mbl.is Iceland 12th in Europe on LGBTI rights
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The Nipples´ Liberation Movement

This phenomenon has left people puzzled, calling into question preconceived ideas of the attraction of breasts; and yet many stick to theirs. The present author had this illumination:

  •       The Nipples´ Liberation
  •        has had its way by now,
  •        exciting half the nation, 
  •        lifting many a brow
  •  but, then, we have to grapple with this: 
  •  Are tits just for feeding, and not for a kiss?!

mbl.is Bare breasts and girl power
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The Pirates : an Icelandic anomaly

The Pirates´ party in Iceland is by far the most irresponsible of all in politics. Their 100% contempt of popular will about Reykjavik Airport, their disregard of authors´ and composers´ rights, their opposition to amendments of the streets (with dangerously many holes), in their participation of the Reykjavik municipal council, yet at the same time spending huge amounts in unnecessary adventures about narrowing streets, mainly for the supposed benefit of our rather few cyclists, all this and many more awkward political issues of theirs do not seem to have reached the ears & brains of those who, despairing about the other parties, have now flocked to those Pirates, yielding them some 24.4% in the most recent opinion poll!

Their bill to give parents the right to name their sons girls´ names, and vice versa, may seem ´cool´ and even ´in´ in the minds of some absurd-thinking youngsters, to which this party strives to appeal, but will very unlikely have beneficial effect on the children in question, inviting constant jeers and ridicule, in other words: irritation, even harassment. Yes, so short-sighted they are!

The worst argued bill of law that the present writer has ever seen is the Priates´ party proposal to abolish the rather lenient clause in law against blasphemy. I have already had a hearing with the parliamentary General and Educational Committee where I was invited to argue for my written opinion (sent to the Parliament) dissenting against that bill of law. One of their contradictory assertions is that the attack on the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris makes the abolition of the blasphemy law an urgent matter for people´s rights of free expression, while in fact giving free rein to blasphemical outbursts against God, our Creator, or bad language about other supposed gods, may be the occasion, in some religious fanatics, to repeat, in some form or other, the horrid bloodshed at Charlie Hebdo.

The Pirates talk much about democracy and the supposed need for a national referendum in political matters, but this is, as we say here, "all in their noses", as they do not, when they have all opportunity to, show this in effect, such as about the widely opposed proposal of the leftist majority in the municipal council to abolish entirely Reykjavik Airport, the centre of domestic aviation, our only emergency airport to take landing flights from abroad, when Keflavik Airport is closed due to weather conditions, and the only really available place of training and teaching pilots in the country. The Pilots just go hand in hand with the other leftist parties in this issue. At the same time, opinion polls have been showing that 82% of the nation are against the demolition of that airport, and 73% of the inhabitants of the capital Reykjavík are of the same opinion. The largest general petition in our history, collecting signatures protesting for or against some issue, was in this particular case, demanding the preservation of that vitally important airport for our communications and for emergency flights when accidents and catastrophes occur: almost 70,000 signed that petition. Our former mayor, the comic actor Jón Gnarr, totally disregarded all those signs of the public will, and his successor Dagur B. Eggertsson, no less irresponsible, continues in his footsteps, as if following the wisest of gurus, and so do the immature Pirates.

The Pirates also take part in another silly spectacle in the municipal council: to put down a huge, many tons´ ugly stone on the premises of the present National Cultural House (Þjóðmenningarhús, beside the National Theatre), in front of the doorway! This they prefer to have instead of a statue by our world famous sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen, made in Copenhagen, a self-image of his at work, a fine neo-classical piece of work now situated centrally in the park Hljómskála­garðurinn by the City Pond of Reykjavik.

As witnessed by this and other cases, the Pirates are essentially a revolting party on the Icelandic political arena, thriving on negativity, discontent and confusion. They are a temporary outburst of many peoples´s desperation of our politicians and their lack of resolve in working for the nation´s best interests. The present opinion poll, appearing to predict a sweeping victory for the Pirates as the possibly biggest party in Pariament in 2017, is thus a mere provisional state of affairs, depending on passing events and non-events, until more and more people have realized the multiple follies of this party, one of which, to end this sad narration of anomalous political agenda, and to crown this scandalous story, is their ideas of facilitating importation of addictive drugs into Iceland.

Jón Valur Jensson is a theologian, family historian (genealogist), proof-reader, poet, a prolific writer, and a social activist; he is a Cantabrigian from the 1980´s. Jón is available for the sundriest information at jvjensson@gmail.com, and at telephone (00-354-)616-9070.


mbl.is Pirate captain as Prime Minister?
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Athugasemd mín á umræðuvefnum um greinina í Die Zeit: Islands Recht und britischer Unrecht

HÉR átti ég eftirfarandi athugasemd á vefslóð Zeit, fyrst í örstuttu máli á minni klaufsku þýzku, en bætti svo við það grein minni á vef The Economist um daginn:

Islands Recht und britischer Unrecht

Ein dr. juris, Gunnar Jonsson, hat gestern gesagt, daß in dieser Sache die alte Göbbels-Methode angewendet ist, ohne Ende zu schreien: "Ihr seid schuldig, ihr seid schuldig, ihr seid schuldig!" und die isländische Regierung hat mit einer vollständiger Kapitulation respondiert. Das Wert dieser Pseudo-Schuld ist gleichmäßig mit ALLEN Wohnungen auf Island oder zehn Schiffe wie Queen Victoria (90.000 Tonne, nehmt 2000 Passagiere), und wir sind nur 319.000 auf dieser Insel!

Ich hinweise auf diesen Artikel auf dieser Economist-Webseite (oder hier):

 

INNOCENT ICELAND WILL RESIST AND RISE AGAIN

We Icelanders appreciate the understanding, shown by some of the British in the media, of our frightful predicament in connection with the Icesave dispute, which threatens our very chance of economic survival in the next 15 years. Along with Ms. Eva Joly's Daily Telegraph article, the keen sense of justice witnessed by the editorial of The Financial Times on Aug. 11, as well as a few informative articles there and in this valuable magazine, have shown us the lie of our own defeatist cabinet, led by two socialists whose willful choice it was to try and make us believe that European opinion was united against us in the question of our rights in the Icesave dispute with Great Britain and the Netherlands.

Our timid, co-dependent leaders have failed to defend us, even Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir who defected our firm ground of innocence and legality in her article in your paper on August 13. Our foreign minister and the minister of the treasury chose to hide the legal opinion of two solicitors' offices (Mishcon de Reya in London [briefing paper here: http://www.island.is/media/frettir/MB_290309.pdf], and Schjödt in Bruxelles [http://www.island.is/media/frettir/14.pdf], which both attested to our legal rights in the dispute) – for which unlawful cover-up the foreign minister apologized in Parliament (Althingi) on July 9, but only when urged to do so by the leader of the largest opposition party.

Even more serious, theirs is the blame not to have used and appealed to our fundamental ground of legal defense, viz., directive 94/19/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 1994 on deposit guarantee schemes which says, "Whereas this Directive may NOT result in the Member States' or their competent authorities' being made liable in respect of depositors if they have ensured that one or more schemes guaranteeing deposits or credit institutions themselves and ensuring the compensation or protection of depositors under the conditions prescribed in this Directive have been introduced and officially recognized; ..." This is actually what Iceland, partner in the European Economic Area, did, legally setting up such an independent fund guaranteeing deposits, as from year 2000, thus fulfilling its strict obligations in this regard.

Accordingly, we as a nation, and our treasury, are in fact not at all liable to pay for the lost savings in the privately-owned Landsbankinn, nor to take over the responsibility of that Deposits Guarantee Fund – yet this is what the U.K. and the Netherlands are forcing us into, in their 250 times greater strength in terms of population and power. The whole lot will amount to some 11,000 pounds sterling for every Icelander, from newborns to those at the gate of death.

The Icesave 'agreement', and the soon to be expected state guarantee, practically enforced under threat, will be a constant reminder of the gross injustice of an LP-led, ex-colonial power exerting its superior might against a small nation denied by its own political leaders the right to defend itself.

We Icelanders can only rise from here to our just and rightful place among free nations, in our brave, unavoidable resistance. The leaders of Great Britain, and their accomplices the IMF and the EU, will not be partners to our restoration.

Jon Valur Jensson, theologian and researcher, Reykjavik. 


mbl.is Hegðun Breta og Hollendinga ekki sæmandi
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Innocent Iceland will resist and rise again – A letter to the editor of The Financial Times


Innocent Iceland will resist and rise again


Sir, We Icelanders appreciate the understanding, shown by the Financial Times, of our frightful predicament in connection with the Icesave dispute, which threatens our very chance of economic survival in the next 15 years. Along with Ms. Eva Joly's Telegraph article, the keen sense of justice witnessed by your editorial of Aug. 11, as well as Mr Andrew Ward's informative articles, have shown us the lie of our own defeatist cabinet, led by two socialists whose willful choice it was to try and make us believe that European opinion was united against us in the question of our rights in the Icesave dispute with Great Britain and the Netherlands.


Our timid, co-dependent leaders have failed to defend us, even our PM Johanna Sigurdardottir who defected our firm ground of innocence and legality in her article in your paper on August 13. Our foreign minister and the minister of the treasury chose to hide the legal opinion of two solicitors' offices (Mishcon de Reya in London [briefing paper here: http://www.island.is/media/frettir/MB_290309.pdf], and Schjödt in Bruxelles [http://www.island.is/media/frettir/14.pdf], which both attested to our legal rights in the dispute) – for which unlawful cover-up the foreign minister apologized in Parliament (Althingi) on July 9. 


Even more serious, theirs is the blame not to have used and appealed to our fundamental ground of legal defense, viz., directive 94/19/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 1994 on deposit guarantee schemes which says, "Whereas this Directive may NOT result in the Member States' or their competent authorities' being made liable in respect of depositors if they have ensured that one or more schemes guaranteeing deposits or credit institutions themselves and ensuring the compensation or protection of depositors under the conditions prescribed in this Directive have been introduced and officially recognized; ..." This is actually what Iceland, partner in the European Economic Area, did, legally setting up such an independent fund guaranteeing deposits, as from year 2000, thus fulfilling its strict obligations in this regard. 


Accordingly, we as a nation, and our treasury, are in fact not at all liable to pay for the lost savings in the privately-owned Landsbankinn, nor to take over the responsibility of that Deposits Guarantee Fund – yet this is what the U.K. and the Netherlands are forcing us into, in their 250 times greater strength in terms of population and power. The whole lot will amount to some 11,000 pounds sterling for every Icelander, from newborns to those at the gate of death. 


The Icesave 'agreement', and the soon to be expected state guarantee, practically enforced under threat, will be a constant reminder of the gross injustice of an LP-led, ex-colonial power exerting its superior might against a small nation denied by its own political leaders the right to defend itself. 


We Icelanders can only rise from here to our just and rightful place among free nations, in our brave, unavoidable resistance. The UK, and the accomplices the IMF and the EU, will not be partners to our restoration.


Jon Valur Jensson,

Reykjavik, Iceland.


"Wir müßen Großmacht werden!" – stórveldisdraumur Evrópubandalagsins

  • M. Jacques Delors – the one whom Mr Hannibalsson (perhaps rightly) calls "still today the greatest of the EU-presidents" – served as President of the European Commission in 1985–1995. So it can hardly be denied that he, if anyone, could act as a spokesman for the EU and the European Commission. Accidentally, he is the same who declared in an interview in Der Spiegel in November 1991: "Wir müßen Großmacht werden!", viz.: We have to become a Super-Power! (cfr. Ragnar Arnalds, ex-minister of finance and of culture, Iceland: Sjálfstæðið er sístæð auðlind, Reykjavík 1998, p. 102).

Þetta var framlag mitt til vefsíðu Jón Baldvins Hannibalssonar: DELORS´S BABY. Hér segir frá því, að Jacques Delors hafi verið forseti framkvæmdastjórnar Evrópubandalagsins (æðsti embættismaður þess, á árunum 1985–1995), og mærir Jón Baldvin hann sem hinn frábærasta í því starfi. Orðin Delors's Baby vísa hjá honum til þess, að Jón kallar kann föður Evrópska efnahagssvæðisins. En af öllu er ljóst, að Delors var talsmaður Evrópubandalagsins, ef nokkur var það, þegar hann árið 1991 dró saman kjarnann í markmiðum Maastricht-samningsins í þessum orðum í Spiegel-viðtali: "Wir müßen Großmacht werden!" – við verðum að gerast stórveldi!

Nú er að sjá, hvernig Jón Baldvin bregzt við þeirri athugasemd minni, sem frá greinir hér ofar, á því mjög svo virka vefsvæði, sem hann hefur nýlega stofnað til. Vitað er, að hann er einhver einstrengingslegasti predikari EB-sæluríkisins hér á landi, en fer oft rangt með í því sambandi, og það á líka við um greinar hans nú, eins og séra Svavar A. Jónsson tekur sér fyrir hendur að gera athugasemdir við í vefgrein frá í gær: Þeir upplýstu hafa skoðun, hinum er borgað. Svo ósvífinn er Jón að halda því fram, að þeir sem fari hamförum gegn aðild Íslands að ESB séu aðallega einstaklingar sem fái borgað fyrir það! Þetta er nú einmitt það, sem maður hefur látið sér detta í hug um ýmsa einstaklingana, sem skrifað hafa í þágu Evrópubandalagsins og löngunar ráðamanna þar til að innlima Ísland, enda eru þar ærnir sjóðir (7% útgjalda EB), sem hvergi er gerð grein fyrir, og ekki hefur bandalagið látið endurskoða reikninga sína síðustu 14 árin.

Engan einstakling þekki ég, sem borgað sé fyrir að skrifa eða tala eða beita sér "gegn aðild Íslands að ESB," og sjálfur hef ég aldrei þegið eina einustu krónu fyrir eitt eða neitt af því sem frá mér hefur komið um þau mál öll.

Sjálfur furða ég mig á fjölda rangfærslna í greinum Jóns Baldvins á vefsetrinu – og á grófleika þeirra. Hann telur sig kannski fullsæmdan af þeim sem bíræfinn valdapólitíkus, en eitt er víst, að ekki er það hlutlægur fræðimaður, sem þar birtist, né heimildamaður sem mark verði tekið á.

En fróðlegt verður að sjá, hvernig Jón Baldvin og hans skoðanasystkin bregðast við mínu innleggi, sem greinir frá stórveldisdraumum æðsta fulltrúa eða leiðtoga Evrópubandalagsins um það leyti sem það hafði tekið þann eindregna miðstýringar- og valdasamsöfnunarkúrs, sem fólginn er í Maastricht-samningnum og því samrunaferli sem fylgt hefur í kjölfarið.


Evrópubandalags-reglugerð vill sjaríalög fyrir múslima í löndum EBé!

Frétt í dag í Daily Mail (EU judges want Sharia law applied in British courts) hermir að dómarar í Bretlandi gætu þurft að beygja sig fyrir sjaría-lögum í skilnaðarmálum. Áætlun EB skorar á dómstóla í fjölskyldumálum að nota lög upprunalands hjóna til að fjalla um mál þeirra. Þetta gæti merkt, að dómstóll í Englandi gæti þurft að byggja á frönskum lögum eða jafnvel saúdí-arabískum sjaríalögum.

Hugmyndaveita (think tank) The Centre for Social Justice gerði í dag árás á þessar s.k. "Rómar III-endurbætur" sem hlægilegar (ludicrous) og varaði við því, að þær fælu í sér tafir á málum, aukinn kostnað og gætu leitt til ranglátra niðurstaðna, jafnvel að stefnt gegn hagsmunum fjölskyldunnar.

Lesið nánar fréttina sjálfa, en nú þegar eru a.m.k. níu EB-ríki (þriðja hvert) búin að ákveða að heimfæra þessar "Rómar III-endurbætur".

Brezkir lesendur bregðast hvumsa og reiðir við fregninni. Ég sendi eftirfarandi viðbrögð inn á vefsíðu Daily Mail í morgun:

  • This shows you Brits and others in Europe how ill-advised and unfortunate it was to create that monstrous, exacting super-state of the EU and to yield to its demands to supreme judiciary powers in all its member-states.
  • We Icelanders, 1670 times smaller in numbers than the EU, do now have to defend ourselves against persistent propaganda for our inclusion in that Super-state which expects us to yield our sovereign legislative power, jurisdiction and supreme command over our natural resources.
  • "Wir müssen ein Großstaat werden!" (We, the EU, have to become a Great Power on the world arena!), these are the words of Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission 1985–1995. Their superpower ambitions are obvious, and the enforced legislation on each member state can only have as a corollary the unified infliction of "political correctness" throughout EU lands, for the benefit of Sharia law if it suits those bosses in Bruxelles!
  • Exit the EU, independent-thinking people of Gt Britain!
  • Jón Valur Jensson. 

A welcome to specialist observers of the OSCE: You have work to do in this country!

These are among the things that the representatives of OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) should advisably investigate concerning the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Iceland:

  1. The totally unjust, artificial and undemocratic division of the capitol of this country, Reykjavík (one official province, under one mayor, municipal council, etc.) into two constituencies. Until 1999/2000, this had been an undivided constituency for over a century. The division was virtually enforced in the working committee for a revision of our elections law, as witnessed by one of its members, Ms. Kristín Sigurðardóttir, representative of the then Women´s Party (Kvennalistinn), in a radio interview; an amendment of the undue difference between the proportional weight of the votes in rural and urban constituencies (cf. no. 3 below) was denied to those members of the board pressing for that amendment, except if they yielded to the demand of the representatives of our largest political party, the Independent Party, Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn, that Reykjavík be divided in two constituencies. – The awkwardness of this action manifests itself in the fact that not until the last couple of days before election day is it possible for Iceland´s Statistical Bureau (Hagstofan) to decide a demarcation line between the two constituencies Reykjavík North and Reykjavík South (as they have to be equal in size, viz., in their number of voters). – The sheer injustice, and party-political guarding of self-interest, implied by the named division, shows itself in the effect that a whole 7–8% of the voters in this capitol can thus be reduced to no influence at all in the results of the election, whereas, if they were all united in one constituency, some 4–4.5% of the votes would suffice for having an MP elected. This state of affairs is clearly profitable for the largest parties, and disadvantages the smaller ones.
  2. A 5% "threshold" was adopted with those same laws, barring any political party from having supplemetary parliamentary seats (uppbótarþingsæti), if the total percentage of votes among the whole electorate in Iceland does not exceed 5%. It is notesworthy that such a party does also have to fulfil the requirement of having at least one regular MP elected locally, by his constituency. Yet, the percentage of three members of the Alþing among the whole number of MPs (63) is only 4.9%. – The consequence of this unnecessary requirement is, first, that new parties have very slight chance of crossing that wall (or threshold); second, that this interacts with the effect of opinion polls for making people take it for granted that a vote cast on such a party is, in advance, a "dead" one. – In justification of the 5% rule it has been asserted that extremist political parties have to be barred from entering Parliament. But the actual fact is that there are no such parties in this country, and are unlikely to become a reality, let alone to gather wide support among the population.
  3. The constituencies themselves are so unequal in the weight of influence of their voters that this has already drawn the attention of the OSCE to this fact, which shows itself, e.g., in that the voters inhabiting the North-West constituency have a double weight of influence as compared to the voters in the South-West constituency; and the Reykjavík constituencies are also disproportionally represented in Parliament in an almost similar way.
  4. In the election law it is stipulated that any party going for elections in the whole of the country has to offer no less than 63 men and women running for seats in parliament, plus 63 as their substitutes, and also to provide a list of 63 x 30 to 40 recommending persons who must not recommend any other party´s runners for parliament (if they do, their signatures will be ignored on both or all the relevant parties´ lists). This means, in a country of only about 310,000 people, that somewhere between 1,890 up to 2,520 persons need to recommend each such a list, which is a heavy burden on new parties which are in the process of making themselves known, usually with almost no party funds, and in several ways discriminated against by the state of affairs which reigns in this area of our electoral rights.
  5. The power to call a new election with a very short notice, like the forthcoming one, is a further cause for a concern about democratic rights in this country to be compromised or even jeopardized, cf. no. 4.
  6. The largest parties in this country have been receiving a whole lot of contributions from the State, well over 300 million Icelandic krónur (IKR) in this year, and also from firms (up to a maximum of 300,000 IKR), from individuals, and even from the boards of the communes, which of course should be apolitical in matters such as this one, and yet have not been so: political representatives on commune councils have made the communes support one or a very few among the political parties, in such proportion as their own caprice decides. – Even worse still, the political parties are getting direct state money, from taxpayers pockets, proportionwise according to the parties´ size (in the number of MPs), and we are not talking here about the salaries of the MPs themselves, which is an entirely different matter. – Those state contributions to the old (or "established") parties which are already represented in Parliament do not wait until after the elections, whereas other parties running for Parliament get nothing contributed from the State except if they exceed a certain percentage of votes, and especially if they get a member or more elected to the Alþing, yet only after the elections and in a proportion to the number of their votes and MPs. This is a great cause of disadvantage for new parties who can hardly ever compete with the advertising campaign of the wealthy "established" parties.
  7. A scandal has arisen owing to huge secret contributions being made to two of the largest political parties in the year 2006, Samfylkingin and, especially, Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn, the latter one receiving two grants of 30 million IKR each, from one of our largest banks, Landsbankinn, and from the corporation FL Group (active in avaiation etc.). Allegations have been made that this is under an even darker shadow of suspicion due to those two firms´ interest connections to large energy firms which were being founded and starting new initiatives which depended to a large degree on consultation and contracts being made in 2007 with representatives of that same political party. Two voices were raised in Pariament yesterday claiming that those large contributions were virtually an attempt at bribery.
  8. The different parties or organizations running for Parliament have for a long period of time been disproportionally represented in the State media, the old parties having the upper hand at most levels. A complaint to this effect has already been briefed to the OSCE, I believe.

I, the undersigned, have written extensively on these different points and topics on my two websites, http://jonvalurjensson.blog.is and http://blogg.visir.is/jvj/, and am ready for a further information on this very important issue of interest for those who have at heart equal democratic rights in Iceland.

Jón Valur Jensson, theologian, researcher and writer, Reykjavík.


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