Keep well wrapped up if you visit the Frozen North

And so we turn our gaze to a small, bankrupt island just fornenst the Arctic Circle. During the Years of Irresponsibility, Iceland marketed itself so effectively to tourists as Europe’s premier party destination that it’s hard to remember that the Icelanders actually had prohibition as late as 1989. Now, however, things are tightening up – not thanks to Lutheranism this time though, but to feminism. The Icelandic parliament, it seems, has been immersed in deep study of Natasha Walter:

A legislation banning striptease in Iceland and barring clubs from making profit from the nudity of employees of will take effect on July 1, 2010. The legislation was passed with 31 votes. Two MPs of the Independence Party abstained but no one voted against it.

“It is pleasing how fresh the breeze of equality is at Althingi [the Icelandic parliament] these days,” said Siv Fridleifsdótttir of the Progressive Party, the bill’s first presenter, Fréttabladid reports.

She also said a step had been taken towards increased democracy, considering a legislation which was presented by a member of the opposition was passed.

Stripping had generally been banned in Iceland before yesterday’s legislation was passed, but a few clubs were operating on a legal exemption. Now they will no longer be able to do so.

Ásgeir Davídsson who runs the strip club Goldfinger in Kópavogur is looking into whether he can sue the Icelandic state for compensation.

“I have reached the age where I’m not sure whether I want to bother with this hassle anymore,” he said. “I would be relieved if they just paid me compensation and I would quit.”

Davídsson said yesterday’s legislation reminds him of regulations in countries where hardly any part of a woman’s body can be seen in public. He claimed Iceland is the first European country to ban stripping.

Fridleifsdóttir said she doesn’t know whether it is true that Iceland is the first country in Europe to pass such a legislation.

“But we showed consideration while passing the legislation by allowing the clubs a long time to adjust,” she said, adding that the parliament’s General Committee does not believe strip clubs are entitled to compensation.

11 Comments

  1. ejh said,

    March 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Davídsson said yesterday’s legislation reminds him of regulations in countries where hardly any part of a woman’s body can be seen in public.

    Does it really, mate. Does it really.

  2. robert said,

    March 26, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Good for Iceland. Some of the lap dancing clubs in Britain could do with a dose of the Taliban.

  3. ejh said,

    March 27, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Fact: the pop music correspondent of a leading British Sunday paper used to post on the internet using the name Spearmint Rhino.

  4. David Ellis said,

    March 27, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Short-sighted. Everyone knows that the only way out of the economic catastrophe for Icelanders is to kill whales and get naked.

    Seriously though it does seem a strange thing to get fixated on at this time. Two acquaintances of mine were in Iceland two weeks ago and the cheapest, the very cheapest, meal they could get was £60 . . . each. They could only afford hot dogs.

  5. robert said,

    March 27, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    time to get back to basics such as eating rotten shark in the winter and castrating welfare claimants so they don’t reproduce.

    Both of which happened in the good old days of Icelanic history if you go far back enough.

    I suppose things are bound to be expensive since so much has to be imported but £60 for a hot dog does seem excessive. I won’t be holidaying in Iceland any time soon. Doubt Brits are popular up there anyway after Brown abused anti terrorist legislation to seize their assets

  6. David Ellis said,

    March 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Apologies Robert. The meals were £60 which is why my friends were reduced to eating hot dogs which were cheaper and unaccompanied. I think the rotten shark thing is still considered a delicacy. But in reality out of the 360,000 population a large proportion is looking at starvation. Perhaps the island will pay its way by becoming an Imperial Russian nuclear missile base. Let’s look forward to the Iceland Missile Crisis and a genuine dossier about WMD and 45 seconds.

    Holland and Britain must waive the debts accumulated by crooked bankers both in Iceland and the City of London.

  7. ejh said,

    March 28, 2010 at 7:21 am

    a large proportion is looking at starvation

    You sure about that?

  8. David Ellis said,

    March 28, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Pretty sure but as I say there are ways out like selling the island to the highest imperialist bidder, killing lots of whales, mass prostitution. You think Iceland is OK? How will it avoid a starvation diet for the bulk of its people do you think? IMF austerity only seems to work if you’ve got natural resources or fertile land.

  9. ejh said,

    March 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    But where’s the starvation? Where are the boats full of people fleeing their fate? Where are the urgent warnings from aid agencies?

  10. robert said,

    March 28, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    White Europeans don’t get to starve – it would look very bad on CNN and might frighten the horses. Famine is for Third World countries.

  11. David Ellis said,

    March 29, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Agreed Robert but we live in interesting times.


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