Something is rotten in the state of Denmark – What on earth is Borgen doing?

150830 SOMETHING IS ROTTENSomething is rotten in the state of Denmark“. Thus spake Hamlet’s mate Marcellus, back in the year 1600. It could just as easily have been half an hour ago.

For Borgen’s freshly minted right wing government is busy cribbing British Prime Minister David Cameron’s reactionary austerity politics for use in their spanking new raft of policy proposals. All the while, the Brits are equally busy arguing about exactly how many thousands of sick and disabled compatriots have died less than three weeks after being declared ‘Fit For Work’ by Iain Duncan Smith’s Stasi – the Department for Work and Pensions.

It would appear that Borgen’s new Statsminister Lars Løkke Rasmussen is hell bent on steering the happiest, most equal and well functioning nation on the planet headlong in the direction of the most miserable, most unequal and dysfunctional country in Europe. From inhabitants to immigrants, asylum seekers to average citizens, everyone’s in the firing line. Confused? You should be. Continue reading


Happy New Year Borgen – Literally

150131 HAPPY NEW YEARThe Season To Be Jolly over, say hello to The Season To Be Happy. “Happy New Year!!!” We squeal dementedly at anyone, every day, all month. But, be honest, thinking back over the years, how often did it really turn out that way?

To Borgen, where it does turn out exactly that way. Every year. Or at least for as long as anyone’s been counting that sort of stuff. Linguistic quirk: The Danes don’t actually say ‘Happy New Year’, they say Godt Nytår – Good New-year, so a slightly less Jazz Hands augmented outpouring.

So what’s their secret? The magic ingredient? The weather is cold and wet, it’s dark for much of the year, there’s no great imperial past, little pomp – even less circumstance. Could it be the Lego?  Or a daily Danish ?(which they, by the way, call Vienna Bread)?

Just for a laugh, let’s spell our way through some likely determinants of Borgen’s happiness phenomenon: Continue reading

Vive La Difference! Or Spot the Similarity?

ImageI’m spending time Borgen-side, an ideal opportunity to put to the test some of the Scandi characteristics I wax so lyrically about on this blog. It often sounds just too good to be true, doesn’t it? So what does the dark side of Denmark’s moon look like? Apart, of course, from The Killing (‘Forbrydelsen‘), The Bridge (‘Broen‘) and all those other ‘The Something-Or-Others’. Plenty of dark there.

Perusing a daily newspaper you could be forgiven for thinking that you were still in the UK (apart from the language. Obviously): “Shocking tax department bungle forces up rents and rates“, “Secondhand car dealers loans break the law“, “Productivity goes into a coma – again“,  “The Liberal Party embraces Trades Union boss” – ok, so perhaps not that last headline. And then some lament about Mylie Cyrus’ new album not being remotely as engaging as her on-stage antics. Continue reading