With temperatures down to minus 17, we are having a cold, cold winter in this little kingdom reined over by a queen, and a government.
The hottest news this winter was the very long process of having a new government after the elections on 1st November. It took the better part of two months to get there, the Socialdemocrat winners of the election reaching out to the right, to Left and The moderatesa relatively new party lead by the former Left chief and former Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
No, we are not related in any way; Rasmussen is quite a common name in Denmark. So is confusion; Left means left, but they belong to the right. Another party, who voted NO to join the bric-a-brac government, Radical Leftare neither radical nor left wing. Sort of middle of the road.
The The moderatesthough, live up to their name. They are so moderate, that they don’t even have a party programme. Except they want to be part of a government across the middle, even if it means that its leader and former Prime Minister is this time only Foreign Minister, while the leader of the Left (who are to the right), son of a former Foreign Minister, is now Defence Minister. Denmark is a small country, mind you.
And so the actual (and former) Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, may have a bit of nice and quiet at home, whilst her two new associates are abroad working with the Putins, pistols and parachutes of this world.
So, what took them so long? Well, it seems the most important issue on the Government’s Magna Carta contract is junkyarding a day off. The holiday Great Day of Prayer shall no longer be work free.
And, Man, do the Danes hate that!
The new Government got away with lower taxes for the very rich (except the very, very rich) low ambitions on the climate question and other immaterial stuff, but a day’s extra work? Never! That calls for a revolution!
Well, okay, the holiday is not all that holy. It was instituted in the late 1600s, picking up a number of other holidays in one single day to get people to work more – just like today. And legend has it, that it was Struensee, (Christian VII’s court physician), that thought it up.
But let’s be fair. Although he was German, he didn’t do this: invent Prayer day to cut down other holidays. Bishop Hans Bagger did that long before Struensee’s time. The legend is strong to this day, and maybe it was in Struensee’s days, too. Be that as it may, they cut off his head. Maybe because of the legend, maybe because he was German.
Anyway, we had New Year, regardless of the new Government, regardless of an Ice Age, if I ever used to sing along with White Christmas, I’ll never do it again, nor will I be wishing for White New Years. What I will do is get out of this damn cold.
(Feature: Danish Corner)