Simon Jenkins
The Guardian
April 20, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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A ship, a ship, my kingdom for a ship. Refugees now herded in airports on the west coast of America are harking back to Conrad. Thousands of us, entombed in the hotels round LA airport, live by rumour. A fleet of racing canoes is said to have left New Zealand waters, re-enacting the ancient Polynesian migration to Easter Island. Bring them on, we cry. Any vessel will do to escape.

Across the world, air travellers to Europe are in limbo. Mysterious websites tell of riots on Spanish ferries, $1,000 taxi rides from Scandinavia and a million desperate Britons wandering the continent. We hear they are fighting to get on trains and buses, huddled, exhausted things with sacks like those fleeing an advancing army. The Vikings of Iceland, who gave us herring wars and dodgy credit, have capped it all by cutting the Atlantic. Come back Columbus, come back the Cunarders. Death to Iceland.

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