Parliamentary elections were around the corner in Iceland (Year 1990). One of our heavyweight politicians had recently chanced his constituency. He had represented one of the rural districts and had moved to a city constituency in order to gain more votes and influence and of course there were heated discussions on this because that is what we do in Iceland. We never discuss what needs to be discussed and decided but ruminate on trivia ad nauseam. (For instance, when AIDS came on the scene there we did not talk about condoms until we had decided what we should call this new disease in Icelandic and that took some time). I did not particularly agree with his party´s politics.
I was performing some abdominal operation. I do not remember what I was doing but I rather suspect I was a little bit like the Swedish Chef of Muppets fame, organs flying, etc. Now I am bashing this politician because that is what we do during operations and to my surprise a young Medical Student who had just started and was assisting me chimes in and just rips the poor guy to shreds. Very eloquently and expertly done. She just upstaged me completely and so I just had to ask, “do you know this guy”? Sure she said, “He is my father”. I have never been shafted with more skill and finesse.
The reason I share with you this story is that I later learned that he was a very good fly slinger and salmon fisherman (I know – thin but I have to come up with a blog?). As the years passed he became one of our best-liked politicians and always tried to find common ground and solve problems. His speeches were not hyperbole and dogma rather common sense and moderation. Once during an interview, he was reminded that recently he held the opposite view to which he retorted “And I really meant it when I said it”. Now we miss politicians of that type.