Iceland favours dishonesty and arrogance

Dishonesty seems to be rife in Iceland, and I do believe that things are getting worse every day. Most of the blame can be put on upbringing, society’s values and most recently the economic collapse.

The two last issues are something we can control. It was said that Iceland was safe, honest, down to earth and almost childlike at times. That did change in the last few decades. The “rise to fame” and the growing international status of the nation (in its own mind) and political arrogance is a bad mixture.

A few cases have been on my mind for a long time. And a new one came just yesterday to my attention.

I wrote this in my last blog entry about Logos the law firm: “It´s bad for Logos, no doubt about that. But in proper Icelandic fashion Logos and the two men in particular will probably be even more popular, get better jobs and more money as a result, instead of being shunned like would happen in the civilized world.”

This is so true, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Arrogance and dishonesty are rewarded in Iceland time and time again. The whole banking sector, the politicians and the corporate world seems to have ravelled in this behaviour that ultimately led to our own demise.

Political connections and personal connections lead to good jobs, while very talented well educated people that are far better suited for the jobs don’t stand a chance. The result in many cases is very poor. But still this keeps happening. It is better to be involved in a political party or know the manager than to actually have some talent.

Many examples are of this. Like the ex PM´s best friend who was appointed a supreme judge and the same PM´s son who was appointed a judge as well. Trustworthy???

Logos law firm brought this example back to me. The story about the lawyer Vilhjalmur Vilhjalmson that plagiarised almost an entire essay that someone else wrote without even a quote or any mention of the real author. Vilhjalmur was doing his final thesis at the University of Iceland. He was challenged by the author and was suspended from studying. He then got permission to start again and finished his law degree. Today he is is famous here in Iceland as the “cool hot lawyer who drives a 10 million isk Mercedes Benz” and is the getting more work than ever, the city of Reykjavik employs him. He is also working for Glitnir bank today.

Fraud equals reward.

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