Probing The Establishment Danishly. A ‘What Would Borgen Do’ experiment

A true testament to human kindness dropped through my letterbox. I hadn’t ordered anything off the internet so I was excited at the thought that someone might be sending me a surprise pressie.

150610 HITTEGODSKONTOR SIGNThe first clue that this was something entirely different lay in the Danish postmark “Hittegodskontoret, 2720 Vanløse” Lost Property Office (or Found Goods Office, as they say in Denmark and which makes much more sense, when you think about it). Continue reading

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Loadsamoney: Top Lawyers and Accountants Rule OK! So what is Borgen’s view?

140819 EATING MONEYA.P. Herbert once said: “Laws are made to be broken so that lawyers may drive Daimlers and drink Mumm’s.”

Milton Berle once said: “The company accountant is shy and retiring. He’s shy a quarter of a million dollars. That’s why he’s retiring.”

My dad once said, “If you want to get really rich while having lunch, study law or calculators”. He did neither, although he did keep a small army of lawyers and accountants in good lunches.

Through the ensuing years, my overdraft has reminded me with monotonous regularity just how right they all were, so I headed off to a recent discussion event ‘Cheques and the City’ (see what they did there?), arranged by The High Pay Centre. Continue reading

Borgen is Killing Cameron – Is Nordic democracy a Bridge too far?

140427 BORGENUK news agency The Press Association reports that “British PM David Cameron has urged the BBC to produce more home-grown dramas and comedies instead of relying on Danish imports such as the international hit series ‘Borgen‘, ‘Broen‘ (The Bridge) and Forbrydelsen (The Killing)”.

Apparently our Dave doesn’t cope well with reading subtitles and taking in the action all at 140427  SUBTITLE BORGENonce. Whether he also has problems patting his head while rubbing his tummy remains unknown.

Thankfully, new BBC million pound costume drama Jamaica Inn should play better at Cameron Towers – you only need to watch the pictures, you can’t hear what anyone’s saying anyway…without subtitles. Oh. Continue reading

Borgen solves the Minimum Wage issue: Don’t have one

I’m only just getting my head around how, here in Britain, our tax money pays an army of private landlords £35 billion a year in rent.  In fact, this is so common that the Government has invented a euphemism for it: Housing Benefit.

And now I discover that, on top of that, we also foot £24 billion worth of the wage bill of thousands of large companies, who are too stingy to pay people a proper wage. And get this, there’s a euphemism for that as well: Tax Credits.Image

So, the British welfare system is working really well. For landlords and supermarkets.

Shurely shome mishtake? A quick perusal of the Oxford dictionary confirms that a welfare system is a system whereby the state undertakes to protect the health and well-being of its citizens, especially those in financial or social need, by means of grants, pensions, and other benefits.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t seem to run into a lot of landlords in financial or social need these days, and I don’t think Tesco or Asda are short of a bob or two. (Other Supermarkets are available). But do any of them pay the minimum wage – let alone a Living Wage? Continue reading