with Al Likilla

Home Defence UK
A Symptom of a Greater Malaise
To Reykjavic, capital of Iceland, a country that sits in the 
North Atlantic between Mainland Europe and Greenland. 
But in the Autumn of 2008 this snowy isle is seeing its 
economy dissolve into nothingness following a global credit 
crunch and ill-advised dealings among dozens of its leading 

“Didn’t think about what they were doing did they?” Balthazar Snafu, a cockney bailiff HDUK met outside
Reykjavic’s boarded up stock exchange, sniffs. “Now blokes like me get called in to clear up the mess. I’m here
working for Westminster council, trying to get back the millions they put in Iceland’s collapsed banks. But this
isn’t like any other job I’ve ever done. We’re finding it tricky to put a price on geographical features of immense
natural beauty for one thing. Also, most of the country’s assets are in fish. Councillors have got no use for fish.”

In fact, a hundred local councils, charities, fire services 
and transport authorities within the United Kingdom are 
owed over a billion pounds by the Icelandic government, and since the 
country’s stock exchange fell 100% in a single day, many debtors feel as 
if they’ve been left with no choice but to repossess assets, belongings and 
segments of the country’s landscape to try and recover their money.

“My guv’nors have laid claim to some of the most majestic valleys and 
inlets.” Snafu noted, consulting his clipboard. “And I reckon Transport for 
London will probably get the airport. We’re going to give Kent one of the volcanoes, while Norfolk have put in a claim for either a waterfall or a geyser, depending on what’s available.”

Six months ago this once-proud nation with three hundred thousand inhabitants was enjoying boom times,
fuelled by victory over Britain in the so-called ‘cod wars’ and a never-ending flood of cheap credit. Back
then Iceland had been proclaimed “most developed nation in the world” by the UN, with its indigenous
bankers persuading companies from across the world to put cash into the tiny isle’s banks. With the
supposed profits from these deals, millionaires swiftly snapped up retail empires and football teams, but the illusion of success rapidly disappeared come the economic downturn. Now the country’s debt has been revealed as six times its Gross Domestic Product, a figure many think Iceland will struggle to ever repay.

These sceptics include British P.M. Gordon Brown who, keen as ever to scapegoat foreigners and deflect attention 
away from his own situation, has threatened to sue the country, authorising the immediate dispatch of many debt 
collectors, all determined to recover whatever they can for Britain’s panic-stricken populace. His approach was 
immediately condemned by Olafur Grimsson, Iceland’s Prime Minister (right), who has called upon the international 
community to prevent this British invasion of monosyllabic hard-nuts, all of whom are either called ‘Dave’ or ‘Les’. 
That was when Brown invoked his specially made-up anti-terror legislation and had Grimsson detained indefinitely, 
Iceland’s PM quickly extradited to a police cell in London before being bound hand and foot under the terms of 
extraordinary rendition.

“I’m terrified of whatever’s going to happen next.” Thor Moodysniss (left), a former fish salesman, told
Home Defence as we wandered the streets of Reykjavic looking for signs of life. “Our government’s
only remaining channel of communication went down last night, shortly after we received an official
bulletin telling us unemployment stood at 99% and rising. They said any of us with cash lying around
the house should store it in shoeboxes then bury them in the garden. It doesn’t matter anyway, none
of the shops are open. My family are having to survive on our emergency store of pickled herring, and
to add insult to injury, when I went out this morning I saw one of our best glaciers being towed away
from the coast by what looked like a Japanese whaling ship. They seem to be taking everything
that’s not nailed down, but what about those of us left behind?”

What indeed? As Home Defence went to press, reports were filtering through that Iceland has now been 
entirely stripped of its assets while the country’s former citizens are being granted economic refugee status 
by the European Union which is bussing them away to purpose built ‘work camps’ in Russia and parts of 
Eastern Europe. Aside from this exodus, dissent among the out of pocket continues, with recent weeks 
seeing a number of violent attacks on the homes of Icelandic footballers who ply their trade across the UK 
and record shops forced to remove all copies of ‘The Best of The Sugarcubes’ from their shelves for fear of 
firebombing. Meanwhile a last-ditch attempt to get Iceland’s most famous daughter to fund a rescue 
package and save the country of her birth fell through at the eleventh hour, reports claiming crazed pop 
pixie Bjork told her penniless country folk “exactly where to go.”

But for some the divvying up of this country continues to be richly rewarding. Back in the UK we met
up once more with Balthazar Snafu outside a vast lock up near Hounslow where what remains of the
once-proud nation of Iceland is now being stored in a specially converted car pound.
“Stinks a bit don’t it?” The bailiff observed. “But all that effort was worth it in the end. The bosses
even gave me a hundredweight of haddock and a nice fjord as my bonus for working so hard. I’ve got
it out back at the house, next to the rockery. My kids bloody love it.”

Balthazar Snafu at work.
Some of Iceland's key assets.
The Sugarcubes

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Nation of Iceland Repossessed