Straight Up: Brexit: Where is Denmark’s finger-pointing? – The Post

Straight Up: Brexit: Where is Denmark’s finger-pointing?

Nationalism is rearing its ugly head once more
July 10th, 2016 7:00 am| by Zach Khadudu
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The empire of the never-setting sun is crumbling and exposing the nakedness of the ‘monster’ that is the EU.

More exits
Unless you live in an isolated igloo in the remotest edge of the world, you are by now well accustomed to the term ‘Brexit’. You are probably also familiar with the new wave of terminology inspired by that buzzword: Frexit, Nexit, Auxit etc. Here at home, despite assurances by Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen that no such referendum will happen, there are clear voices from both the red and blue blocs calling for a Danish exit.

Back in Britain, while the remainers weep and leavers celebrate, the ugly tentacles of racism and xenophobia are spreading thick and fast. The emboldened racists are running wild, orchestrating attacks and intimidation with shouts of “go home” to anybody who doesn’t look British enough.

So far, yet so near
That may seem like far away in Britain. But look around. When the wave of the refugee crisis peaked last summer, the EU remained indecisive. Countries shunned responsibilities. Border checks were introduced in Denmark and elsewhere to deter the movement of the “swarms” of refugees “invading” our Europe. Then, it seemed like a brilliant idea.

Activists and well-wishers who attempted to ferry Syrian refugees to Sweden via Øresund Bridge were arrested. Some were charged and fined. Refugees were shepherded to camps, called names and told to “go home”. Same script, different cast. Søren Espersen of Dansk Folkeparti (DF) was uncategorical: “We don’t expect refugees to become Danish citizens and stay here forever.”

Immigration the key
This might seem reasonable. But as we are learning the hard way, so long as wars persist and we keep stocking up on piles of fighter jets running into billions of kroner, we cannot escape repercussions including, as we have seen in Britain, the decisive implication immigration is having for nations and the EU.

In the aftermath of Brexit, DF leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl was quoted in the Daily Express newspaper warning that Danes may need a similar referendum. Let’s not be under any illusions: if indeed that position takes root, we will witness a rise in racial and xenophobic realities that have been waiting under the radar for an opportune time.

Rise of the right
While it may be easy to point fingers at the likes of the now former head of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, the rise of right wing populist-nationalists is present in many western countries. Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in Netherlands, and [insert name here] in Denmark.

Let’s face it, immigration has played a fundamental role in Brexit. Mirror that against the Danish government’s reaction to the refugee crisis of last summer, and you see the stark reflection of far-right racist, islamophobic xenophobes like the National Front in France, Golden Dawn in Greece, UKIP in Britain, True Finns in Finland and DF in Denmark.

Zach Khadudu


Zach Khadudu is a Kenyan by birth and a journalist by choice. He is a commentator and an activist with a passion for refugee and human rights. He may share a heritage with a certain US president, but his heart lies elsewhere – in the written and spoken word.