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!"

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let’s analyse your primitive rhetoric. The following is said about Joergen Goul Andersen:"the highly respected", "the most prominent", "an academic of his standing."

Do you have any evidence that Jorenge Goul Andersen is highly respected (more so than other scientists?). Do you have any data that suggest that he is "the most prominent" within his field?

And why would “an academic of his standing” be working at Aalborg University?


Have you always been such a big admirer of this professor or has he just gained popularity after his odd interpenetration of the poll?

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Cosmic Duck said...

You've completely misunderstood what's interesting about this case.

12:00 PM  

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