Icelandic actor, comedian and mayor of Reykjavik, Jon Gnarr poses in New York

John Gnar the Mayor of Reykjavik describes himeslf as an anarcho-surrealist and gives his influences as Crass and Bakunin. The Best Party of which he is a member now control Reykjavik Council and have big public support and are self-declared anarchists. Article on them in today’s Observer and thanks to Peter Good for tip off. Be interesting to see how they go in comparison to the AmsterdamProvos. Why do we never get any playful movements like this in the uk – just the usual god awful agitprop tight arsed grimness?


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  1. I was going to comment using a witty and amusing line from a Crass song. But there aren’t any.

  2. Though you could blame Bjork. Her first band Kukl played a gig with Crass in Reykjavik in 1983… there has just been a bit of a delayed reaction. Kill Your Pet Puppy has a recording of the gig and more details.

  3. And you thought I was joking ?

    “Einar Γ–rn Benediktsson, who used to sing alongside BjΓΆrk in the Sugarcubes and is now Reykjavik’s head of culture and tourism….”

  4. So here’s the plan.
    1. Engineer financial crisis which bankrupts the UK.
    2. Chaos ensues.
    3. Ian Bone emerges as Mayor of London. (Without any help from Crass.)

  5. Ned

    Don’t know if it’s still possible to catch the excellent Icelandic sitcom called “Nightshift” (Naeturvaktin) on BBC iPlayer, starring Jon Gnarr as the Marxist petrol station manager, Georg Bjarnfredarson, but here’s a trailer for the film, “Bjarnfredarson”, which was more popular than “Avatar” when it premiered…

    I couldn’t recommend “Nightshift” enough – recently on BBC4 – better than “The Office”.

  6. b

    John Gnarr is literally a comedian. According to the Observer, “After his summer holiday, he plans to paint his nails, wear lipstick and campaign for great apes to be given human rights”. Maybe we can do without watching celebrities take the piss?

  7. Peter Good

    The article, in yesterday’s Observer, is really worth a read.:

    “The human spirit has been crushed by small-minded people playing politics. We have no agenda and are just fully engaged in trying to do our best. We have no party members and no idea about spin or political punchlines. When we don’t know something, we admit ignorance”.

    It was stuff like this that captired 34% of the vote.

    We never know, of course, how anything will kick off. What seems to have worked in Iceland is a mix of surrealism, humour, honesty and a self-evident message about corruption.

    Along a similar theme, you might like to know that there is a call-out for Anarchist poets, designers, music-makers, writers, printers, actors…… to meet al fresco style in the centre of Norwich on 16th July. Bring a collapsible chair, an umbrella and sandwiches. The one item on the agenda is:

    What should an artistic response be to austerity?.

  8. ‘Anarchists’ who take up political positions= class traitors

    Hang em high

  9. “Why do we never get any playful movements like this in the uk”

    If you like playful, you’ll love this…

    Anonymous and LulzSec have declared war on banks, governments and corporations – they’ve already taken down the Serious Organised Crime Agency ( website as part of the #AntiSec revolution πŸ˜‰

    Welcome to WORLD WAR FREE!

  10. Been thinking about how “we never get any playful movements like this in the uk” in relation to the news that even more towns are going to get an Elected Mayor – poor bastards 😦

    In Doncaster the Mayor was elected with a tiny minority on what was largely a ‘protest vote’ – people feel more comfortable casting an outside vote in Mayoral Elections even though the vote can be devastating. Although Donny council has a Labour majority, the English Democrat (fascist lite) mayor and his Tory and LibDem cabinet get to override the rest of the council – so we tend to get Tory austerity measures even harder and faster than the rest of the country. This system is begging to have the piss ripped out of it – as with the Hartlepool’s Monkey Mascot Mayor – and it would be relatively easy for us to target a town with an anarchist/surreal party candidate.

    How about we start the FTC Party?

    FTC could stand for a number of things – Fuck The Cuts, Free The Country, Feed The Children, Fight The Capitalists, Frame The Constabulary, Fake The Currency, Fool The Cool, Frighten The Conservatives, Forgive The Crims, etc., etc. – depending on who you’re talking to. Keep it vague, but make it look official.

    The manifesto and election materials can be based on the New Angry Brigade ‘Fuck…’ communique, and the whole election can be run on the understanding that in the unlikely event our (wo)man is elected s/he will do their utmost to derail the cuts and return an illegal council budget to central government.

    As I said, it would be relatively easy to pull off. Campaign materials – posters, leaflets, website, etc. – are easy enough to produce. We’d need to raise money for a deposit and we would probably want to arrange a nice little party (or traffic stopping rave) in whichever town we contest. But other than that it’s just a case of having a couple of committed people living in – or near – the town who can handle the election office and the press… simples.

  11. TomC

    I saw a T-shirt the other day it said “Fuck the Future” maybe a rallying call for the nihilists πŸ™‚

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