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  • Tomorrow the UK is voting to leave or stay in the European Union tomorrow. The campaign has been fierce, and although there are a few reasons why the EU may not be an ideal club to join, it has at least unified Western Europe and some say that it is responsible for the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, whether one thinks that was a good thing or not. The REMAIN side campaigned on the basis of Britain having a ready-made market of half a billion people for our exports, and LEAVE more or less conceded the point that there might be economic disadvantages to quitting, and they have concentrated on immigration. Not everybody who has doubts about immigration into the country is necessarily a racist, but is is true that racists dislike immigration. Unfortunately this has attracted much support. The result is on a knife-edge.

    I believe that if the vote goes Brexit's way (BRitainEXIT), the country will become more intolerant, specially towards people of colour and EU migrants. The EU safeguards many rights and act as a brake against the Flog 'Em and Jail 'Em brigades.

    Now I want an Icelandic passport because it seems to be an admirable country. Their football team have been unbeaten in the 3 "League Stages" of the ongoing Euro Football Championship and have, against expectation, been qualified for the later stages of the tournament. It is a nation of only 300,000 people, less than the population of a city like Manchester or Lyon.

    This year alone, we saw a stunning Icelandic series called TRAPPED on British TV, which kept us here enthralled until the last minute of the final episode. At the ongoing Edinburgh Film Festival, the Icelandic film THE HOMECOMING scored a resounding success. A comedy on the theme of Incest! Baltasar Kormákur is a Hollywood A-lister, with EVEREST to his credit. Michael Moore went to the land of the Vikings for his brilliant film WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, and came up with the fairly incredible comparison: Whilst in the US, no one was taken to court for what happened at the Lehmann Brothers, when Iceland's banking system collapsed, the bankers (all men) were tried, found guilty and most are now behind bars. Banking there is in the hands of women financiers, and the country has recovered fully, with a thriving economy.

    There are half a dozen internationally known (living) writers, discounting the Nobelista Halldor Laxness, Arnaldur Indriasson is an international bestseller writer. His film Jar City was a great international success.

    If I am refused, I am considering asking for North Korean citizenship.

    PHOTO: Our own CB member Björn Valdimarsson, his wife Marika and my own better half, Pirjo. Photo taken lat year when they came for a visit to Edinburgh.
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