Monday, January 29, 2007

Refocusing Public Attention away from the Freedom of Expression Issue

The Danish prime minister is a master of spin.

Public broadcaster DR has cooperated with the left-wing political party the Unity List, the Red-Green Alliance, about producing evidence for the film "The Secret War" by Guldbrandsen, the daily The Avisen writes. In the film it is claimed that Danish soldiers in Afghanistan on a number of occasions have delivered prisoners to American camps where they have been tortured. The Unity list parliamentarian Fran Aaen has tried to force information out of the Danish military by questioning the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister in the questioning hour in the Danish Folketinget's (parliament) questioning hour.

And so fucking what? we're tempted to ask. What is the crux of this whole matter? And what has the Prime minister accomplished by changing focus away from torture and to the way the DR public broadcaster has dealt with the matter? By attacking the media, the prime minister is directing a fullfledged attack at not only the media, but freedom of expression as well.

The DR has not only a right - but a duty as a public broadcaster to inform the public of what is going on in Afghanistan. - And for that purpose they've bought a film from a private direction and shown it on prime time TV.

It is also not uncommon to cooperate with politicians to get relevant information. Anybody knows how difficult it is to get information from military personel in such matters.

Doesn't the public have a right to be informed? Tax-payers money is spent on such military expeditions. Cititzens hence have every right to be informed. The prime minister should be ashamed that he tries to stop the free flow of information. That's not worthy of a democracy - and especially not when we remember how the same PM boasted of his defence of freedom of expression during the Mohammed cartoons crisis a year ago!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Striking at the Axis of Evil - with new Kids on the Block

Denmark!! - you better reconsider the cosy relationship of Mr. Fogh to Mr. Bush! Because soon, it's going to sound a big Bang again!

Denmark's new friends in the EU, Bulgaria and Romania, are ready to let Uncle Sam strike at the axis of evil. The USA has been building up bases in the two countries, and in March the country will move some 3000 troops to the bases, ready to strike at Iranian nuclear installations. We like new kids on the block, - but some more than others. Here is what Scottish Herald On Sunday, who has the story, writes:

President Bush is preparing to attack Iran's nuclear facilities before the end of April and the US Air Force's new bases in Bulgaria and Romania would be used as back-up in the onslaught, according to an official report from Sofia.
"American forces could be using their two USAF bases in Bulgaria and one at Romania's Black Sea coast to launch an attack on Iran in April," the Bulgarian news agency Novinite said.
The American build-up along the Black Sea, coupled with the recent positioning of two US aircraft carrier battle groups off the Straits of Hormuz, appears to indicate president Bush has run out of patience with Tehran's nuclear misrepresentation and non-compliance with the UN Security Council's resolution. President Ahmeninejad of Iran has further ratcheted up tension in the region by putting on show his newly purchased state of the art Russian TOR-Ml anti-missile defence system.
Whether the Bulgarian news report is a tactical feint or a strategic event is hard to gauge at this stage. But, in conjunction with the beefing up of America's Italian bases and the acquisition of anti-missile defence bases in the Czech Republic and Poland, the Balkan developments seem to indicate a new phase in Bush's global war on terror

Wowee, pretty scary. Denmark is in league with "New Europe" in this endeavour to rid the world of the nuclear threat. It goes without saying that some people consider the US a threat of - perhaps the same magnitude? Anyway, why doesn't Denmark use its privileged contacts in Washington to ask Bush what he's up to? After all, Denmark is as close as close can be! But perhaps they've already done that?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Danish Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen Attacks Public Service TV. UPDATED!

The issue of Danish soldiers handing over "enemy combatants" to the American army, which abused them, has led to heated discussions in the Danish parliament. Until a couple of days ago the government was challenged in parliament by the opposition on information that the Danish army had on 5-6 occasions handed over soldiers.

But the other day the American prison guard reduced the claim put forth in the Guldbrandsen film shown on TV to three cases of handing over prisoners. In the film he uses the word "might" about the number of times prisoners were handed over. And this makes the prime minister state that Danish public service TV has brought "distorted information". The word "might" was not translated correctly into Danish. In Denmark it is very unusual that a prime minister comments on a single broadcast shown on public service TV.

The opposition has demanded an official investigation of the Danish Afghanistan troops' dealing with prisoners. Now Anders Fogh Rasmussen claims that Danish TV ought to start an "investigation of itself". An investigation of how the government has withheld information from parliament is not called for, according to the government, even though the opposition wants one.

"It is all a question of the credibility of Danish TV", the prime minister says.

He is being criticised by professors in media science for these statements. They have stated that Denmark treats the media in a way that is "similar to dictatorships and fundamentalist islamist states".

This is deeply ironical. Anders Fogh Rasmussen was an outspoken advocate of freedom of expression during the Mohammed cartoons crisis a year ago. Now he is himself criticised for limiting freedom of expression through these attacks on TV journalists who haven't done anything wrong, other than showing a film and making a wrong translation of the word "might" into Danish. It'll lead to self-censorship among journalists in future, it is feared. There is no doubt about the fact that prisoners of war ("enemy combatants") have been handed over for later torture. It's just a question of how many times it has happened.

During the cartoons crises the PM would not comment on what the Jyllandsposten printed. Freedom of speech was sacred. He could not interfere, and he would not interfere in the free press, he said. Now, it's different. When he himself is the target of the "free press", the whole matter is entirely different. It seems as if he is more or less trying to turn Denmark into a banana republic.


According to the Politiken tonight, prison guard Edward Hermans was quoted correctly in the film "The Secret War". DR, the public service station interviewed him tonight, and Herman confirms all the things he is quoted as saying in the film", a Media manager of DR tells the Politiken. He has "no objections" to what he was quoted for by DR. This is big come-down for the Danish government and its meddling with the free press.

A central focus in the debate is a speak, in which he is indirectly attributed to having confirmed that Danish soldiers routinely delivered prisoners to the Americans (The Secret War can be seen on , the speak will appear 00:43:20). In a just published interview on the DR homepage with Edward Herman director Christoffer Guldbrandsen reads exactly this speak aloud to the American to ask him to corroborate it. "According to our American sources the Danes have routinely brought prisoners in and handed them over to the Americans. Do you object to me saying this in my speak?" Christoffer Guldbrandsen asks. "No, as you use several quotes, I have absolutely no objections to that speak", Ed Herman replies.

After this, we can safely conclude that "there's nothing to come for", to quote one of the prime minister's own words of wisdom. The prime minister's attack on the free press has no justification whatsoever.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Branding Denmark III - Turning Culture into Commodities

The Danish film director Susanne Bier has been nominated for an Oscar for her movie Before the Wedding. Congratulations! Well done. The Danish film industry is getting increasing acclaim internationally. Denmark is a creative nation.

That is good news. What is not so good news are all the primitive robotic reactions it leads to among Danish politicians.

A wave of criticism is coming forth about the fact that Danish films are not mentioned in the Branding Denmark campaign that has just been launched by the minister of economic and business affairs, Mr. Bendt Bentsen.

The minister of culture, Mr. Brian Mikkelsen, now moves to the forefront of this important debate. He suggests that films should also be mentioned and perhaps receive a proportion of the 412 million Danish taxpayers money for the project. Novo Nordisk sells insulin syringes, Danfoss thermostats, and then the enterprising Danes also sell films. What's the difference?

What a wonderful world where everything can be commercialized! Selling sugar, body parts, plastic eyes, sports cars, films with a touch of societal criticism - it all amounts to the same thing: taking part in the great commercialization! It does not occur to the minister that perhaps a few aspects of our lives might be transported back, away from the commercial spere, - become decommodified so to speak!

Maybe cultural politics is the next item that is going to be exported form Denmark! Or Danish cartoonists' drawings of personalities from world religions. Logos/brands are items that might be exported. Or what about the very cartoons? Freedom of expression transformed into commodity? What a wonderfully creative idea! Perhaps we should wait until the Mohammed cartoons crisis is completely forgotten!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Right Wing Politician Attacks Danish Academic

Right wing politician Pia Kjaersgaard from the Danish People's Party (DPP) is arguably the most powerful political figure in Danish politics at the moment. One really wonders why the Danish government is not becoming personae non grata in the EU, like the Jörg Haider supported Austrian government in the 1990's, when Council meetings were held without Austrian ministers.

Nobody likes to be peppered by neither her, nor her lieutenants.

The latest target for her virulent attacks is the highly respected political scientist Joergen Goul Andersen from the Norther Jutland university in Aalborg. He is perhaps the most prominent opinion poll researcher in Denmark. He is drawing the iron lady's heat because he has interpreted an opionion poll just published in the Jyllandsposten showing that 42 % of the Danish population is satisfied with immigration policies in Denmark. 18 % wanted a stricter politicy. 34 % thought that the immigration policy is too strict. Pia Kjaersgaard interprets the results as general voter satisfaction with the centre-right government's policy. It makes her angry that Goul Andersen assesses the results differently. He thinks they show that the policy on foreigners - or illegal aliens, as Kjaersgaard would probably call them - has become a "loser's issue". As this can be understood in two ways: an "issue for a losers' party" or an "issue for losing the coming general election", it has drawn the iron lady's immense wrath!

She even calls Goul Andersen a "dusty academic" in her latest weekly newsletter. As Goul Andersen is not so old, "dusty" means that she regards him as "outmoded", which is a very condescending word to use about an academic of his standing.

Kjaersgaard is a sly politician. If she is not tried in court for libel, you might say that she is getting away with using her "freedom of speech" to provoke people who have not provoked her. What is the purpose? Probably to make a smear campaign against people who do not live up to her own image of what it means to be a "normal" xenophobic Dane waving the proud Danish flag on every occasion.

On the other hand, you can also sense in the newsletter some kind of understanding of how volatile the Danish voters may be, and that maybe the learned professor is not too far from the mark in his judgments. That means she'll have to invent a new populist issue. - Whatever that may be?

How about: McCarthyist attacks on academics: "You just climb down from the ivory tower, you egghead! You're not one of us!"

Friday, January 19, 2007

Branding Denmark II - Breaking Geneva Conventions

Denmark has been breaking the Geneva convention on the treatment of prisoners of war on a number of occasions in Afghanistan in 2002. Danish troops have delivered prisoners on to the Americans, probably knowing what the Americans would do to them: expose them to torturous treatment.

The funny thing is that the Danish government won't admit it, so now it is being pressured by the opposition in parliament. The abuses have been revealed in a film by film director Guldbrandsen that was shown on Danish TV a few weeks ago. In this film American prison guards admit that the maltreatment of prisoners delivered to them by Danish soldiers took place.

The opposition in the Folketinget now demands the minister of Defence Soeren Gade to withdraw from his post, as he has been misinforming parliament in the matter. The Danish special troops in Afghanistan wear a small Danish flag on their jackets. This has been confirmed by several sources, but Soeren Gade denies it. This is important for verification of what has been going on.

The Danish government denies that there is a case. Its parliamentary support party, the right wing Danish People's party calls it a trifle. That is quite astonishing.

Is it a trifle to hand over prisoners to torture? There seems to be a dangerous slip in humanitarian thinking here. It is, however typical of the right wing DPP. It doesn't respect internationalt conventions that Denmark is signatory to. The party has on several occasions, also in matters concerning asylum seekers and refugees, declared that the conventions don't matter. Danish law is above the conventions. Actually it is the opposite. The conventions are above Danish law.

Official Denmark knew all along what was going on in Afghanistan, and how the Bush administration after 9/11 offered its own interpretation of the conventions regarding how terror suspects might be treated. The Danish foreign office warned the Danish government, when the Bush administration issued its legal interpretation of the conventions. But nobody took any notice.

Now the chickens have come home to roost, but the government still denies trespassing the conventions. Under the influence of the DPP the Danish government and its leading political parties of the Liberalists and Conservatives are getting alienated from their previously held humanitarian principles.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Branding Denmark

The Danish government is going to give 400 mio kroners to the branding of Denmark. After the Mohammed cartoons crisis Denmark has experienced quite a lot of problems with its image abroad. For some odd reason people in the Middle East and other places with big muslim populations are not too keen on Denmark and Danish goods. And that's a problem, because then Danish exports suffer.

So what do you do?: You make a branding campaign, no matter the cost.

How stupid can you get? Why not just make a decent society that respects minorities? Then the 400 mio might have been saved. That, however, does not seem to be the recipe of the foreign office and the Danish government. By "branding the country" you can teach a whole population to think like profit-seeking capitalists, instead of making them think like decent human beings, caring for thy neighbour. The neo-liberal profit mentality is filling our lives, and the Danish government is helping it along by spending taxpayers money on this silly endeavour. They are not going to help ordinary citizens by spending money in this way. It's money right down into the pockets of the large corporations that are making bucketfuls of it already, corporate giants like Arla and Maersk, who need to repair their images, which have been spoilt by Danish racism.

Danish tax-payers: Why don't you rebel against such folly?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"Death and Destruction"

It's heartrendingly sad to read a comment on the well-known Danish blogger The Belly Blower's blog on the Youth House. An anonymous reader Ole writes:

Dear Allan!

Can you explain to me why there are all these hateful comments on anything concerning the Youth House? - Coming from people obviously wishing death and destruction for young people, who are actually making few demands, and who are ready to commit themselves to their ideas..... It is beyond me - Is it because of some hyper-active internet debaters on the extreme right dominating the agenda? - or what do you think.


That's an interesting comment. It says quite a lot about the intellectual climate in the Danish debate. A couple of years ago the Danish corporate giant A. P. Moeller group got a permission against all zoning laws to establish a huge ware-house in the very centre of a large Danish city. The Ware-house was just built. Permission was something you could get afterwards. And the A. P. Moeller group got it, even though the minister for the environment was against it! But she was quickly swept aside for more powerful lobbyists and interest groups impacting the Danish goverment. And then the media are getting outraged at these young people not obeying the law of the land. There is one law for big capital and big media, - and a completely different "law" for the young of Copenhagen!

When the issue is a place for young people it is quite different. They were even granted permission to stay in the place by the council of Copenhagen, but the city later sold the house to a right wing religious sect, which has now got a verdict to set the young out. Of course they do not go voluntarily!

The youth house was originally a meeting place for organised labour and the members of the trade unions, built for funds collected among ordinary workers. It has housed many memorable events for the Danish labour movement. Vladimir Ilich Lenin even visited the house. The name Lenin, however, gives people of power in Denmark the creeps. Some even consider him in the same category as Pol Pot. Historical consciousness is at a low level. The religious sect wants to tear down this architectural treasure and historical place in favour of .... - who knows? - probably a concrete, glass and steel "warehouse" for sloppy sentimental revivalist religion where they can exhibit their sloppy religious goods.

And the young are kicked out. Corporatist-and-house-equity Denmark has no room for young anarchists.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Last Throw of the Dice?

Condoleeza Rice is touring the Middle East at the moment to try to get some support among Arab states for the new American initiative in Iraq. Why isn't she coming to Denmark and Britain? The answer is very simple: You know a pal when you got one! Danish right wing politicians already boast that in terms of population size Denmark is already one of the most dedicated participants in this colonial war. And the Danes have problems with recruitment.

But what about looking at the matter from the Danes' and the Brits' point of view? Why not use this as a chance to withdraw from the killing fields?

What is the geopolitical game the Americans are involved in? To start a war on false premises, lies and manipulation. And Denmark just went along without much debate about in the Danish parliament. On May 1st 2003 a triumphant George Bush in combat uniform announced "mission accomplished". What a big laugh.

Mission was not accomplished, and it'll not be accomplished with the new initiative, the purpose of which is to break the shia militancy in Iraq by concentrating on Sadr city and Moqtada al Sadr's militia. But these people are not so studid that they just sit in Baghdad and wait for the new troops to arrive. They'll have dissipated before the Americans have engaged them in combat, leaving just a lot of civilian casualties.

The Danes should get out, so they're not accomplices to the coming atrocities that'll perhaps make Falluja look like a picnic.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Denmark is getting a Globalised Upper Class

It is well-known that Denmark is one of the countries that is most open to globalisation. What is less well-known is that the country is getting a globalised upper class. Denmark normally prides itself with being "a very egalitarian society".

This is being undermined by increasing economic differencies between the "haves" and the "have-nots". It's like in America. The incomes of ordinary workers and employees do not increase very much. Whereas those at the top get extremely well-packed pay-deals. Last year the top manager of the tele giant TDC got nearly 100 mio. kroners in reward for the selling of the tele-empire to foreign capital. A manager on his way out of Keops, an investment conglomerate, leaves with 170 mio. kroners in "after-payment". A number of bank managers scored more than 100 mio in stock options. Several thousand top employees in private business enjoyed the fruits of the globalised economy by raking in millions in stock options and bonuses.

The owners of houses and flats in the "right" neighbourhoods in Copenhagen and other big cities are becoming milionaires just by sitting on their backs raking in millions in free equity values. One doesn't pay any taxes whatsoever on this kind of capital income, whereas an ordinary worker who works hard in a 7-16 job has to pay upwards to 60 per cent or even more of what he or she makes in income tax to the Danish state.

Together with leaders of the media and politicians the business elite form a close-knit circle that won't let the underdog in. They regulate who "get on" in the media. They go to receptions together and make deals that only the initiated understand. They live in the same classy neighbourhoods, their kids go to the same schools. They even use the same beauty parlours for their dogs.

If an ordinary worker complains about this, he or she is told that they have no understanding at all of what it's about! It is necessary for Danish competitiveness in the global economy that the elite enjoys "certain benefits". Likewise, it is "necessary" that workers wages are frozen, because Denmark has one of the highest hourly wage costs in the world, making it difficult for Danish business to compete. Alas, what a sorry state of the world we're in!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Minister in Witchhunt against Danish TV Reporters

The Danish Minister of Education Bertel Haarder is trying to intimidate journalists in the Danish public service TV. Last sunday he appeared in the evening news programme where he criticised the DR TV-channel's coverage of parental fees for having kids in kindergarten and school day care.

In the last general election the centre right government, in which Bertel Haarder is minister of education, promised to cut the parental fees for having children in municipal kindergartens.

Some of these expenses have consequently been cut for parents, as the limit for parental payment was cut to 25 per cent of the total expense.

Many municipal councils have, however, reacted by increasing the payment for after school day care for kids, in such a way that many parents are worse off than before. The DR TV ran a story about this, in which parents and council politicians were interviewed. Bertel Haarder appeared in the TV studio where he attacked the TV reporter Anders Bech-Jessen very virulently. Anders Bech Jessen was criticised for not coming to the minister first. And the TV reporters were criticised by the minister for bringing wrong figures and statistics.

This information was at a glaring disharmony with the TV report, in which there were interviews of parents and local politicians who told about day care expenses from their point of view. This, however, did not seem to fit well into the minister's world view and agenda.

On Tuesday 9th January in the Danish parliament's question hour, the minister answered questions about the problematic, and he used the occasion to criticise the Danish public service TV for being "propagandistic".

The matter is probably revelatory of a government being under considerable stress. The Fogh Rasmussen centre-right government fears for its public image in the welfare arena, which is dear to many Danes. But does that give the minister the right to intimidate ordinary reporters who are making interviews with ordinary Danes, who talk about their daily lives? Haarder is turning into a kind of mini-Putin with such attempts at hitting at ordinary reporters with the authoritarian state's long arm.

What it therefore amounts to is another deplorable attack on freedom of expression. The minister is seconded by politicians from the Danish People's Party, who are making attacks on TV reporters through their campaign organisation "Critical License Fee Payers", which has recently demanded that "red TV reporters" be fired. Where the "red TV reporters" are is, however, a big mystification to most Danes. On the contrary, Danish TV seems to become increasingly staid and conservative.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

War Buddies are Planning the Next Bold Move

Hello from beyond the big blue ocean!

George called Anders tonight, and the two war buddies were talking for nearly half an hour, the Danish media were proud to announce.

George wants to send another 20.000 men and some women to become fodder for worms or desert spiders in the Iraqi Qagmire. Anders' situation is different. He is running for reelection, and being keenly aware of what Danish voters think of this post-colonial desert expedition he has perhaps not shown too much enthusiasm at the prospect of troop reinforcements! But a pal knows a pal, when he sees one!

Maybe that's the reason why the conversation lasted so long. Denmark is, in spite of everything, religious right, neocons, Disney and chewing gum, the most faithful and staunchest of allies. So Anders was somewhat ambiguous as to what stance his government should (or would?) take, confronted with these deja vu Vietnamese tidings. But don't give me any of that Westmoreland shit! That was a long time ago. And we live in a different world now.

The Danish People's Party (DPP), third party to the proud war-mongering coalition, are proud to have calculated that in terms of population size Denmark is one of the most willing contributors to the allied war effort in the shifting sands. Anders can be sure of support from this side. If you wear sun-glasses you won't get sand in your pretty eyes, Betty Sue.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Danish McCarthyists on the March

Freedom of speech is again being threatened in Denmark, this country that was the big champion of this fundamental right during the Mohammed cartoons crisis a year ago.

This time it is the representative of the Danish People's Party (DPP) in the European Parliament Mogens Camre (photo) and Morten Messerschmidt, backbench MP of the DPP in the Danish Folketing. The two gentlemen have not been in the media for some time, and they probably feel an acute need to "get on", be part of the big political show, and get some attention, so they can successfully run for reelection in the next election.

So now they are launching a new initiative of "Critical Feepayers" that are supposed to look at the public service TV and radio in Denmark, in order to get some "value" in terms of "objective reporting" for the license fees they and the voters they claim to represent are paying to the institution.

The two politicians have sent a letter to the Danish government (that depends on the DPP for parliamentary support in parliament) in which they demand that "the government takes action against 'politicising activity' in the DR".

According to an interview in Danish paper the Politiken today, Messerschmidt says that the "leftist journalists" in DR (Danish public service Radio and TV) should be dismissed if they are not capable of making more "objective" news.

When he is asked by the Politiken for a definition of "leftist", he seems to be at a loss for an answer. He just has a vague feeling that the broadcasts are leftist.

This seems to be a bit odd. Actually the institution is being criticised by the Danish Left for being too rightist, for instance in its coverage of the Iraq war, in which Denmark participates with troops.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Cuban Guests turned down at Scandic Hotels

It has caused a lot of anger in the Nordic countries that Cubans are being rejected as guests at the American owned Scandic hotels in Norway and Sweden. The Cubans are turned down after orders from American owners who are following the Helms-Burton legislation. It forbids Americans having business dealings with Cubans. It is part of the American embargo against the island.

Therefore it is surprising that the manager of the Scandic and Hilton hotel chains in Denmark Hans Frank is able to follow another policy. According to the Danish business paper the Borsen, Cubans are heartily welcome at these hotels in Denmark.

Scandic is the largest hotel chain in the Nordic countries. Shortly before christmas a Cuban trade delegation was rejected by a Scandic hotel in Oslo.

- I'm running a hotel business in Denmark and we obey Danish law. Therefore I shall not turn guests from Cuba down, Hans Frank tells the paper.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Jyllandsposten in attack on Freedom of Speech of Danish Textbook Writers

The Jyllandsposten became world famous about a year ago. In a bold defence of freedom of expression the Jyllandsposten printed the Mohammed cartoons.

It is somewhat odd that the Jyllandsposten does not uphold these noble principles in the campaign against textbooks that right wing politicians from the Danish right wing People's party are waging at the moment. On January 5th the paper lets the minister of education express his condemnation of a number of Danish textbook writers without letting these writers defend themselves.

The centre-right Danish government depends on the right wing Danish People's Party (DPP) for its majority in the Danish parliament, and the minister of education Bertel Haarder is being pressured by the right-wing party to take a hard stand against the textbooks.

One textbook on politics for secondary education students writes about the Danish People's Party that it is based on Danish voters' fear of immigrants, and that the party is nationalistic and xenophobic. This seems to many people to be the very truth about the party, but the DPP does not like this characterization, so in the Jyllandsposten it demands the book withdrawn from schools and taken off the curicula. The whole matter is quite hilarious, as the DPP has characterised its voters/members in the same way in a film commercial. The message in the commercial is that if you're in favour of cosy Danish idyll from before Denmark lost its innocense and became open to globalisation, and you love the typical Danish allotment garden houses, then it only costs 150 kroners a year to register as a member. What hypocrisy!! And what hypocrisy of the Jyllandsposten and Bertel Haarder, minister of education, to participate in such a low campaign.

Another textbook writes about American politics and describes the policies of the present Bush administration as "an odd combination of influences from the religious right". This is deemed "wrong" by Bertel Haarder, and this book is likewise by the DPP required taken off the market for school books. The Danish People's party has also started a campaing titled "Report on your teacher", in which Danish school children are encouraged to visit the campaign's website and write reports about "indoctrination" and other abuses in the class room.

It is odd that these totalitarian tendencies are finding their way into the Danish government as Bertel Haarder has previously prided himself with being a liberal. He has been brought up in the Danish folk high school tradition well-known for its emphasis on experimentation and freedom of the mind. Now he seems to be ready to do anything to cling to power.