Politicians worldwide have a reputation for being comical, if not utterly ludicrous. They are good fodder for comedians and cartoonists. Matter-of-factly, they are loved, loathed and worshipped. Importantly, we love to hate
Politicians are two-faced. They kiss and cuddle babies, and then once the cameras have gone, turn around and head-butt them. You don´t believe it? Just ask Venstre about its proposal to have 12-year-old “misfits” jailed.
Different kind of reality TV
Outside their nine-cat lives, the electioneering period is the singularly most important period for a politician. The run-up to this year’s general election was the funniest and perhaps the dumbest. For weeks, newspapers and television stations were saturated with nothing but political gibberish.
Even our favourite silicon-breasted reality show hosts were pulled off air to create room for ‘debates’ that soon transformed into shouting matches. Talking of silicon breasts, is it just me or are Danish TV channels obsessed with Kardashian-type reality shows? I digress.
Rap and app, all crap
In a bid to win the youth vote, candidates swarmed social media with gusto. My all-time favourite was Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the centre-rightist whose party is ironically called ‘left’ (venstre).
He took to the studio and attempted to rap. Honestly, if Lars is nursing a dream of becoming Denmark’s Tupac Shakur, then rap as we know it is dead and buried. It was terrible. He should be awakened from that slumber and offered a pep talk to keep his day job.
Gucci Helle’s team were no better. They came up with an even crazier idea: a video featuring a Tinder-like app in which a right-swipe equated to voting Helle and a reverse gesture rejected Lars Løkke, her rival for the premiership.
The mother of all campaigns played out in media interviews. Top candidates with their finely shaved beards and carefully applied mascaras took to the podium to expound their dreams and nightmares for the country. They were well-orchestrated, face-the-press interviews, with the party propagandists running on
As is usual, the immigrants, refugees and Muslims were the punchbags for the candidates to make political gain. “Say no to criminal foreigners” was the rallying cry of Dansk Folkeparti (DF), a generalised reference to criminals and foreigners in the same sentence, as if one is a sine qua non of the other – the very epitome of bigotry. For DF, it is unfathomable to not imagine foreigners as suspects.
But even after displaying such open intolerance, DF still tried to play the Freudian reverse psychology on the electorate. They tried, albeit in low-key fashion, to suggest it was not an anti-immigrant party, but rather just a nationalist one.
Audaciously, a DF candidate with a corny conciliatory have-I-seen-you-somewhere kind of smile courteously approached my Afghani friend and I and asked for a selfie (obviously to show their openness to foreigners :-).
We politely declined and walked way humming Craig David’s ‘I’m walking away from the troubles in my life’. If looks could kill, the stare she threw our way would have ripped us apart.
And now the elections are over. Rapping Lars won. The politicians are back in their glass houses at Christiansborg. Like mini-gods they will soon start cajoling and making pronouncements. For the rest of us mere mortals, in the immoral words of David Letterman, we are screwed