An Actor’s Life: Iceland – proving that size doesn’t matter
Ian Burns

August 18th, 2018

This article is more than 5 years old.

Mr Scruff went to Whitehall (photo: Estonian Presidency)

As a nation Iceland can hold its head high. Pia Kjærsgaard’s disastrous visit to its shores to address its Parliament on July 18, where she was boycotted and booed, was akin to Donald Trump’s embarrassing European tour on which he only succeeded in pissing off most of his current allies.

An icy reception
Having Pia as the face of Danish politics is unwise as she represents that dark swing to the ultra-right taking place across Europe. Iceland refuses to look the other way as fascism tries to sneak its way back into Europe, arguing that apathy only serves to help the forces that encourage discrimination to flourish.

Its football team has showed you don’t need a team full of tattooed superstars to succeed, merely one that plays together along with an awesome chant that fans everywhere now try to emulate.

Iceland, I applaud your efforts to focus on debate, dialogue and the improvement of human rights over hate and intolerance.

Abandon Boris!
It strikes me as bizarre that the people originally behind Brexit have mostly abandoned ship – take Boris Johnson, for example, who recently resigned as UK foreign secretary before he was sacked.

This untidily dressed, sinisterly dangerous and ambitious Etonian upper-class twit, whose eyes remain fixed on becoming PM, appears to be getting advice on how to be even more obnoxious from the equally untidy and unshaven Steve Bannon, the ultra-right wing, white supremacist maniac who wants to turn the clock back to those KKK days – is that what attracted them to each other, I wonder?

Is it a coincidence that Boris came out with his reference to women wearing burqas looking like “letterboxes” and “bank-robbers” days after spending time with Bannon? (Of course it would be good to see both of them doing time.)

Johnson’s supporters want us to believe it was all jolly and in jest, but it’s the association with the notion of unacceptable and silly foreign behaviour and the terms he used about women wearing burqas that matters. He is encouraging racism. He is openly wooing the UKIP vote. Imagine having him as your PM – what an awful but sadly possible scenario.

Similar in name, not in nature
King Cnut tried to stop the tides and waves, but with soaking wet feet robes failed, showing us there are powers greater than those of a monarch. If only we had leaders like him.

It’s a global world now and that clock of yours Bannon, me old mate, has been digitalised with working parts from all over the world.

Britain might have been alone fighting the Nazis for a few years and can hold its head high with its resolute defence of the realm (with the aid of soldiers enlisted from its Empire), but to try and use this fortress mentality in 2018 strikes me as ostrich-like.

Do we need to commit this foolish and stubborn act of collective suicide called Brexit to prove our mettle? Johnny Foreigner ain’t the root of all our problems. Look closer to home.

Fracking hell
Anyone noticed it’s getting hot? Everywhere! Temperatures are soaring to unprecedented levels. This has nothing to do with global warming at all, just too many people on the planet and their body heat, according to oil and gas corporations and toxic Trump.

The planet’s pissed off and rightly so. We’ve raped and pillaged its seas and minerals for personal gain and have put nothing back. It’s not a proud legacy.


Ian Burns

A resident here since 1990, Ian Burns is the artistic director at That Theatre Company and very possibly Copenhagen’s best known English language actor thanks to roles as diverse as Casanova, Shakespeare and Tony Hancock.


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