The headlines could have been so very different this morning.
From “Lars Løkke Rasmussen RIP. Election postponed following tragedy” (Politiken) to “PM in ER after GBH by roof tile” (Ekstra Bladet), political difference would have been put aside by a nation united in grief.
“The Danish prime minister is the first Scandinavian leader to die in office since Swedish premier Olof Palme was shot dead in Stockholm in 1986,” the story might have continued. “Not since Johann Friedrich Struensee, has a Danish premier been decapitated in office.”
A metre away from a new leader … two days early
Just 100 centimetres – that’s how close the nation came to losing its leader yesterday.
Standing outside the National Museum for an interview with TV2, a roof tile fell from a height of 12 metres, narrowly missing the PM and the entourage surrounding him. One of them could be heard uttering the word “Shit” shortly after it fell.
PET officers immediately surrounded the PM to shepherd him to safety.
Soothsaying Lars nearly gets it spot on
And it gets more bizarre. In an interview with Berlingske in 2014, Rasmussen referred to what would happen to the Venstre leadership “should a roof tile land on my head”.
Yesterday Rasmussen was visibly shaken by the near-miss. “For a split second you just stand there and accept it’s in the lap of the gods,” he said.
“It is a small reminder that one should never take anything in life for granted.”
Unfortunate timing … is one way of looking at it
The National Museum, meanwhile, has taken action to inspect the roof and accordingly cordoned off the area.
It described the incident as “unfortunate timing”.
Parties agree tobacco prices should rise, but not by how much
The price of cigarettes ended up being one of the hottest issues discussed at yesterday’s live TV debate at DR Koncerthuset. Liberal Alliance leader Anders Samuelsen summed up the mood of those present when he hailed the consensus that tobacco prices need to rise – whatever the result of the election. Socialdemokratiet, however, has so far made no commitment to how the prices should rise, with its leader Mette Frederiksen previously suggesting that young people should pay more than pensioners. The other parties were more forthcoming, from Dansk Folkeparti (up from 45 to 48 kroner) on the low scale, to middle-road Konservative (up to 60), to extreme hike advocates Radikale (up to 90). Klaus Riskær Pedersen went as far as suggesting Denmark should adopt the Swedish systembolaget system, which only allows the purchase of tobacco products and alcohol at special stores, although ‘Risky’ would like to include cannabis on the inventory.
Pape Poulsen confronts Paludan: The police protect you, but they dislike you
Konservative leader Søren Pape Poulsen used yesterday’s live TV debate at DR Koncerthuset, which featured all 13 party leaders, as an opportunity to come clean with his Stram Kurs counterpart Rasmus Paludan: namely that the police might protect him, but they don’t like him. “You are pissing off the police, and you should thank them for all that they do for you,” Poulsen told the Koran-burning lawyer. Many pundits concurred it was the line of the night and the one that would be most reported on social media and in tomorrow’s newspapers. According to the polls, Stram Kurs is on course to win 2.4 percent share of the votes – which will be enough to win at least one seat.
Men in their 40s reign supreme, with women in their 20s in short supply
According to an analysis of the 900 candidates running in the 2019 Danish General Election, only 40 are women under the age of 30 – the least represented decade/gender group of a working age. In contrast, 160 of the candidates are men in their 40s. The youngest candidate, 18-year-old Laura Emilie Hollander Jensen, an Alternativet candidate in west Jutland, told DR that people think it’s “cool” and “wild” that she is standing for election. “Many are surprised that it is possible at all to become a candidate as an 18-year-old,” she added. “Many wonder if you can do it at all.”
DF leader crosses the line with festive playlist selection
CPH POST is doing its best to remain impartial during the campaigning for this year’s general election. Enhedslisten skipper Pernille Skipper came dangerously close to pushing us into the red over her inability to name what is easily Denmark’s biggest export market, and now Dansk Folkeparti leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl has irretrievably crossed the line with a selection of his favourite songs for the P3 radio station. The inclusion of Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ on a playlist outside the months of November and December is a flagrant disregard for common decency. No wonder DF is projected to win just 10.9 percent of the vote – down significantly from its 2015 share of 21.1 percent. “The mood we have around Christmas time is far too short,” he told P3. “I do not understand why people complain that it lasts too long. Why not start at daylight saving time? It creates a good atmosphere.”
Mama Pia delivers stinging tweet regarding make-up of debate audience
Parliament speaker Pia Kjærsgaard won tweet of the night during yesterday’s live TV debate at DR Koncerthuset with the observation “Miserable audience carefully selected by DR”. DR was quick to dismiss the former Dansk Folkeparti leader’s claims that the broadcaster ensures there is “applause and teary eyes every time the treatment of refugees is spoken about and silence when the talk turns to a moratorium on asylum seekers and sending them home”, insisting the registration process is open to all.
Risky speaks up for refugee centre children
Klaus Riskær Pedersen, the leader of the party with the same name, had a moment in yesterday’s live TV debate at DR Koncerthuset when he spoke up for the children currently being held in the Udrejsecenter Sjælsmark centre for rejected asylum-seekers. “I am crying out on behalf of the children. I would like them to be released,” he said. Political observers believe the personal nature of the comments might give him some tail-wind in the final days of the election. According to the polls, Klaus Riskær Pedersen is on course to win 0.6 percent share of the votes – 1.4 percentage points short of the amount needed to win a seat.