“we don’t apologise for what the Vikings did 1,000 years ago”

By way of the Guardian’s NewsBlog, Lars Erikson provides a corrective to the story that the Danish Culture Minister, Brian Mikkelson, had apologised for those Vikings.. well, not those Vikings.. ANYhoo.. According to the NewsBlog post, “in an interview with the Danish newspaper Politiken, Mr Mikkelsen denied having said the S-word during a visit to Dublin to mark the arrival of the replica Viking ship, Havhingsten (the Sea Stallion).”

“What I mentioned in my speech was ‘it did a lot of damages to the Irish people’, but we don’t apologise for what the Vikings did 1,000 years ago. That was the way you acted back then.” The culture minister said he had told an Irish newspaper that there was no need to apologise. He had also spoken to several Irish minister who had not perceived his speech as an official apology. “The Vikings were brutal conquerors,” the culture minister told Politiken’s website, “but research has also shown that they were commercial travellers.”

And, you know, he’s quite right.

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  • Dewi

    Right – everybody withdraw all the apologies we made on the first thread. I’ll start:
    “I withdraw my apology for inviting the Saxons to share these islands – at the time it seemed a rational strategic move”

  • Opix-the-third

    Any residual guilt the good natured Danes now feel for Viking pillage and rape, etc, could easily be assuaged by sending a few crates of Carlsberg to the above location — plus a promise to turn Greenland over to British and Continental European hen and stag parties from Dublin’s Temple Bar — as close as we can now get to the original Viking settlement of WoodQuay!

  • protorious

    So the Danes aren’t sorry after all?

    Another set-back for the long and convulted Viking peace process…

    I give it few months until Viking activity starts up again and a few rogue ships(entirely unconnected to the Danish government/Viking establishment) start pillaging Irish seaside resorts and generally bother innocent holidaymakers…

    When will the madness stop?!

  • protorious

    Convulted indeed!

    Almost convoluted…

  • páid

    So the Danes aren’t apologizing for raiding Ireland 1000 years ago.

    Good for them.

    And we’re not apologizing for giving them a severe pasting at Clontarf.

    Anyway, who are the descendants of the Vikings?

    How many of them went home?

  • Rory

    “The Vikings were brutal conquerors,” the culture minister told Politiken’s website, “but research has also shown that they were commercial travellers.”

    Just as the British in America (North and South), India, Africa and Asia and the United States in Texas, California , New Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Chile, Vietnam and more recently in Iraq (along with countless other “cold- call customers” to long to list) were also “commercial travellers”. The maxim that if “what’s good for business is good for the good ol’USA” must surely have been appropriated from the Vikings.

    Anyway if the Vikings can’t unapologetically plunder, pillage, loot and rape who the hell can?

    Besides they were great fun as well. I know, I’ve seen the evidence – Kirk Douglas in “The Vikings” and Richard Widmark in “The Long Ships”. These guys were vicious, but hilarious with it.

  • Dewi

    Rory – you had a very uncalled for dig at accountants on another thread – I’m thinking of reporting you !

  • Art Hostage

    “The Vikings were brutal conquerors,” the culture minister told Politiken’s website, “but research has also shown that they were commercial travellers.”

    A Thousand years later, some Irish have become Brutal Travellers, and Commercial Conquerors of the Stolen Art World.

    So much for progress !!

    http://arthostage.blogspot.com/2007/08/stolen-art-watch-who-said-stolen-art.html

  • Dawkins

    “The Vikings were brutal conquerors,” the culture minister told Politiken’s website, “but research has also shown that they were commercial travellers.”

    Yeah, right, commercial travellers.

    My dad began his career as a sales rep. How do I tell Mum that our good provider was a’raping and a’pillaging all those times he’d phone from anywhere ‘twixt Land’s End and John o’ Groats to say he’d been “unexpectedly delayed” and not to wait up?

  • Todd

    Movie coming out next year I believe about the life of oul Brian; presumably kicking viking ass!

  • Rory

    I can insult accountants as much as I like, Dewi, I was one myself for more than forty years and, come the revolution, they go up against the wall too, along with the lawyers and politicians and if I have to be among them for me sins, serves me bloody right for lack of foresight in choosing a profession. Indeed while still employed at it I think a firing squad might have provided a welcome release from that dreary hell.

  • sammaguire

    So the Danes aren’t apologizing for raiding Ireland 1000 years ago.

    Good for them.

    And we’re not apologizing for giving them a severe pasting at Clontarf.

    Anyway, who are the descendants of the Vikings?

    How many of them went home?

    Posted by páid on Aug 16, 2007 @ 09:17 PM

    According to a recent BBC documentary DNA studies have shown that there is very little Viking blood in modern day Irish people. So they either died off or fecked off home. I know we can all have a laugh at the Danes apologising after 1000 years but at the same time I appreciated Tony Blair’s apology for how the British Government dealt with our little Holocaust over here in the 1840s when we were under British rule.

  • Dawkins

    Rory,

    If you were a chartered accountant you’re automatically entitled to a Plenary Indulgence.

  • les coqs

    Good thing those Danes didn’t stick around. They may have offset your leprechaun DNA and you would be much more formidable now.

  • DK

    “Movie coming out next year I believe about the life of oul Brian; presumably kicking viking ass!”

    If the American’s are making it, then he’ll probably end up kicking English ass. That is if they can persuade Mel Gibson to take the role.

  • Kloot

    That is if they can persuade Mel Gibson to take the role.

    Apparently Leonardo DiCaprio and Vinnie Jones are lined up

  • IJP

    The Danes get it right yet again… that Nordic Model really is all-embracing… 🙂

  • Rory

    Right. I think we had better now ask that the minister issue an apology for not issuing an apology in the first place.

    I will now humbly apologise for upsetting Dewi’s finer feelings towards accountants and sell Herself and the daughters into white slavery to make suitable compensation to all offended accountants. (The older daughter is an accountant with KPMG so she will hardly notice the difference and Herself will probably welcome the change of scene).

  • Dewi

    Rory – upset that u found it so dreary. It does, I suppose, depend on what field you are in. Auditing and stuff is fairly dismal admittedly but knowing the language of business means you get involved in most things.
    Eldest daughter obviously rebelled against her Dad’s advice…..

    Protorius
    “Another set-back for the long and convulted Viking peace process”
    They haven’t gone away you know…(the old ones are always the best ones !!)

  • Dewi

    And even older:

    Mr Mikkelsen announced:

    “The Vikings have no selfish strategic interest in Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, Normandy or even Lindisfarne” (Where I seem to remmeber the whole pillaging thing started.

  • sportsman

    If they are apologising for founding Limerick I dont accept.

  • Rory

    “…but knowing the language of business means you get involved in most things.”

    I understand, Dewi. Unfortunately that language demanded that I justify wage cuts and sackings for the hard working and large payoffs and bonuses for the leeches.

    I so decided to address the masters in the language of business, which you will agree must be clear and decisive, and advised them that they could take their “best business practice” and shove it up their arses.

  • Dewi

    Fair play to you Rory – unfortunate that you could not not have done an audit review of Sweaty Betty’s because it’s demise has had severe socio economic effects here… a decent business plan could have saved it I am sure !

  • Harry

    “I appreciated Tony Blair’s apology for how the British Government dealt with our little Holocaust over here in the 1840s when we were under British rule.”
    sammaguire

    Blair did not ‘apologise’ – he stated that the British government had stood by and were merely guilty of inaction while a natural disaster unfolded , a sin of omission rather than commission as it were.
    This is not an ‘apology’ it’s an outrage. The british most certainly did not ‘stand by’ during those years, having implemented many laws during that period which reinforced the deadly nature of the event while providing military muscle to evict people in their hudnreds of thousands into certain death.

    Blair’s ‘apology’ was a disgrace, an evasion of responsibility and a typical example of the self-serving revisionism that we have come to expect in relation to Ireland. The obsequious self-effacing gratitude of some Irish in accepting this piffling bone thrown their way is also something we have come to expect.

  • Dewi

    Harry – very interested in precisely what Blair said – must have missed it. Have u a link or quotes ?

  • Harry

    You will find many references to what he said Dewi if you google it. To be going on with however he said the following:
    “Those who governed in London at the time failed their people through standing by while a crop failure turned into a massive human tragedy.”

    This is quite simply an inaccurate and cynical reading of the historical facts that should not be countenanced much less welcomed as some sort of golden moment in anglo-irish relations. You will note also no words that might be called an ‘apology’ – as noted by international commentators at the time.
    Link: Blair on An Gorta Mór