By Pat Brosnan


Iceland Says No

One of the most important news items that came through on last weekend so far as a headline for our own 26 county state is concerned was the fact that the people of Iceland decided in a referendum by a 60/40 majority to welch on their debt payments to some of the lenders who as far as some of us are aware are European based capitalists. What the consequences of this courageous decision by the Icelandic people will turn out to be is anybody’s guess as there have been few precedents.

The decision however by the majority of the ordinary plain people of Iceland against the advice of their present reigning Government should certainly set a headline for ourselves and both our previous Government and indeed our present administration who are still slavishly upholding the practice of bowing and scraping and accepting every whim that the European Union and the European moneylenders are imposing on the unfortunate taxpayers of this bankrupt country which has now lost its financial, economic and political independence and all because we became blindly entangled with several European Nations who were formerly colonial powers and who basically have little respect for small island nations such as Iceland and ourselves.

But the Icelandic people even though their total population is less than half a million have proved time and again that they are a free-minded independent race. Up to the outbreak of the Second World War Iceland was administered as a colony by the Danish Government. Then after Denmark was invaded and occupied itself by the German Nazi Government in the early forties the people of Iceland took advantage of this and declared their homeland to be a free independent nation which it has remained ever since.

Then in the nineteen-sixties Iceland was involved with a long and bitter battle with British fisherman whom they suspected of invading and depleting their fishing stocks in what at the time became known as the “Cod War”. The Icelandic Government took measures with their tiny gunboats to harass and prevent the British fishing vessels from invading their fishing grounds and coming near their shores. There were several incidents and the tiny Icelandic navy often defied the might and strength of the British Royal Navy until the Government at the time in England finally agreed to respect the Icelandic Fishing Waters and to stay away from these unless they were occasionally granted permission. It was in that way that a settlement to the dispute was finally reached and most people considered it a triumph for Icelandic resilience.

Now in the latest referendum the voters in Iceland have displayed their freedom and independence once again. It will take some brave moneylenders and capitalists to force the issue with them. In the meantime our own people and Government might do well to follow their example, at least in so far as getting a better and fairer deal for our national debt is concerned.


Visitors To Our Isle

Recent visitors to our country included Prince Albert of Monaco and the Dala Lama of Tibet who now lives in India since the Chinese Communists took over the occupation of his homeland without regard to democracy or the wishes of its people. Next month the Queen of England Elizabeth II is visiting this country in her old age and while there is a great amount of expectation that Her Majesty’s visit will generate a large number of British tourists coming to this country it is very doubtful if this will be borne out. English people are not going to be carried away on a wave of emotion just because their monarch has decided to pay us a short visit.

English people in my estimation after living among them for ten years will come to this country as tourists when they feel that they are getting good value for their money and hotels and other catering establishments would do well to remember this instead of talking a lot of nonsense about irrelevant matters. There is great potential for the tourist industry in this country if those who are promoting it will take the right approach and see to it that their guests, whether they are native or foreign, are made welcome and that they are never ripped off or exploited when they come to visit here.

President Obama’s visit here next month will also be interesting and while like the Queen’s visit being expected to bring in English visitors the President’s visit here will only marginally impact for a short period on the influx of Americans coming on holiday here.

By all accounts the cost of security arrangements for both the English and American VIP visitors here can cost anything up to €25,000 which is in many ways a considerable amount of money to be spending in these stringent times and for which there is no real value to the country apart from a few doubtful status symbols.

Turf Cutting And Europe

The unwarranted interference by the European Union and their stupid regulations concerning turf-cutting which recently has been implemented in the West and Midlands has caused an awful lot of hassle and distress to local people living in these areas. To think that people can be prevented from the traditional practice of cutting their turf as owners or tenants of these bogs for generations shows up in a very clear light the downside of our membership of the EU. The bureaucrats who are operating from high rise office blocks in European cities many of whom most likely have never been within miles of a bog in their lives have the cheek and arrogance to order the rural dwellers of this country what they should do, or not do.

And what is our Government doing about this nonsense, why is it not using its veto which it is by all accounts entitled to do to have these derisory regulations suspended or better still totally abolished. It is not turf cutting that has damaged wild life, it is other factors because we all well remember when grouse, snipe and larks were plentiful as well as frogs and hares where they existed side by side with turf cutting before we had the misfortune to join the EU.