Brit Welfare Or Class Warfare? What Would Borgen Do?

Last week, think tank policy-wonks, rent-a-rant political bloggers, assorted pressure group spokeswo/men were all encouraged to express indignation or admiration for George Osborne in equal measure.

‘The un/deserving poor’ came in for considerable comment. And apparently, if ‘the deserving rich’ were made to pay proper tax, they’d leave the country. But if they’re just using all our stuff, like roads, parks, schools and hospitals without paying for it, would we want such a bunch of free-loaders to stay, you might – quite reasonably – ask? Continue reading


Viking wife beaters? Or something else? Over to Borgen

All week people have been poking me in the eye with this new report about violence against women. The Schadenfreude has been palpable. Apparently, when it comes to beating and raping their women, Borgen’s blokes are no better than their Viking forefathers. In fact, a new report suggests that Harald Bluetooth and Sven Fork-beard were a pair of pussycats compared with today’s incarnation – the worst wife-beaters in Europe, allegedly.

The study in question is from FRA, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and is the largest of its kind to date. 42000 women in 28 European countries were asked about their experience of physical violence.  One in three women reported physical or sexual abuse since the age of 15, with the largest number of victims per capita in – yes you guessed it – in Denmark.

In this Scandi Happyland 52% of women say they have suffered physical or sexual violence, with Finland close behind at 47%, and Sweden trailing with 46%. The UK and France share the joint fifth highest incidence (44%) and Poland brings up the rear with just 19%. Continue reading