Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 30, 2009


Peter Popham, Independent UK - The first government collapse of the global economic crisis is about to yield the world's first openly-gay leader. Johanna Sigurdardottir, a former air hostess, is expected to be sworn in as Iceland's Prime Minister by the end of the week.

Her moment in the international spotlight comes at the most horrendous moment in her nation's recent history. As the global meltdown began, the collapse of Iceland's grossly over-leveraged economy was followed smartly by the implosion of its banks and currency. Now its government has gone the same way, the first to succumb to the backwash from the crisis.

Ms Sigurdardottir's party, the Social Democrat Alliance, was asked to form a new government but its leader is taking a leave of absence to recover from treatment for a benign tumour. And so, "Saint Johanna", as she has come to be known, has been propelled from the social affairs ministry - which she has presided over for a decade - to take centre stage in a choice hailed as "unexpected but brilliant".

The 66-year-old politician lives with her partner, Jonina Leosdottir, a journalist and playwright. The couple were joined in a civil ceremony in 2002. . . Though she is famous across the island, having been a top politician for years, her lesbian union was no big deal in this calmly progressive nation of only 300,000 people. . .

She will be Prime Minister of a minority caretaker government composed of her Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Greens, with outside support. It is only expected to hold office for two or three months, until fresh elections are called.

"In opinion polls Johanna has repeatedly been chosen as the most popular politician in Iceland," said the government source. "She is a good choice, because one of the problems the government is facing is lack of trust. Getting Johanna to become Prime Minister was a way of saying trust is an issue.". . .

"She is often described as the only politician who really cares about the little guy," wrote Icelandic journalist Iris Erlingsdottir in a blog this week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

gay ex-stewardess and social services politician = very bad combo, does not bode well.

February 8, 2009 4:50 AM  
Blogger MaryAnn said...

Do you think this is just a coincidence that Barney Frank, head of the USA Banking Committee and now this dyke are on the scene as wall street mafiosa run off with trillions of the taxpayers' money? Come one! Who in their right mind would vote either one of them in! It's time for a worldwide revolution to remove homosexuals and put them back in the closet permanently!

February 8, 2009 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

she is not going to solve anything - but she will create more problems, more corruption. Don't believe her lies. Don't get fooled again!

February 8, 2009 5:48 PM  

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