This Week’s Editorial: Looking forwards, not backwards - The Post

This Week’s Editorial: Looking forwards, not backwards

Can the PM deliver? (photo: Hasse Ferrold)
October 13th, 2019 6:05 am| by Ejvind Sandal

On Constitution Day the picture changed with control switching to Socialdemokratiet. It took several weeks, but its leader Mette Frederiksen was confirmed as PM and permitted to form a minority government after an understanding was forged between the red political parties.

Usually, a government is backed by other parties by a written political strategy, which contains shared goals and a promise to stand together against the opposition.

An agreement of understanding, on the other hand, is more a list of issues submitted by the different parties, but it is by no means a promise of realisation.

Weakened opposition
So far, the PM has been met with few disturbances. Her biggest potential opposition, Venstre, has been entangled in a mess, as powers within the blue party sought to persuade the former PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen to step down.

The election of a new leadership team duly took place, and in Ellemann-Jensen the party has a familiar name back in charge. Jacob, who is the son of former V leader Uffe, will now attempt to spearhead the blue parties for what they are worth.

Long list of non-crises
When the new PM in her opening address at Parliament medntioned included a number of “crises”, it was almost a misuse of the word.

Immigrants provide some problems, but generally a lot of them are becoming integrated into the workforce, with only a few refugees reaching our shores and asking for asylum. A crisis? No.

Gangs are making a lot of noise, and even some gunfire, but that cannot come to an end until a practical way of handling cannabis is introduced. Too much of the police force is occupied in futile attempts to control this, but when the PM sees what tax revenue cannabis can generate, then maybe we can stop the painful actions on Pusher Street. A crisis? No.

Maybe the PM can simultaneously stop wasting police resources on border control and help them catch criminals instead. But is this a crisis? No.

We are building a completely new hospital system – one that’s state of the art. It may give us some trouble, but it’s not a crisis.

Only climate and tax
Climate? Well yes, it will have to be dealt with. The reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to 70 percent in a few decades may not be possible, but there’s no crisis now. That’ll be a dog fight when the bill is written – for now, everybody is collecting plastic waste, and we may have to live without plastic bags and straws.

Don’t even mention the tax mess! That may be a sort of crisis, but it is a practical one for practical people to solve – no politician dares to interfere.

The first draft of the budget law for 2020 is here, and when all the wishes cannot be met, then we will see how far the agreement of understanding will bring the PM.

Looking forward, we may have to learn to anticipate years with only small, incremental pieces of legislation. As for the crises, we will deal with them when we see them.

Ejvind Sandal


Copenhagen Post co-owner Ejvind Sandal has never been afraid to voice his opinion. In 1997 he was fired after a ten-year stint as the chief executive of Politiken for daring to suggest the newspaper merged with Jyllands-Posten. He then joined the J-P board in 2001, finally departing in 2003, the very year it merged with Politiken. He is also a former chairman of the football club Brøndby IF (2000-05) where he memorably refused to give Michael Laudrup a new contract prior to his hasty departure. A practising lawyer until 2014, Sandal is also the former chairman of Vestas Wind Systems and Axcel Industriinvestor. He has been the owner of the Copenhagen Post since 2000.