Lord of the Jungle! Venstre chair puts PM on backfoot over continued home-schooling for 10 to 15-year-olds
Venstre chair Jakob Ellemann-Jensen is being hailed for his performance in the televised party leader debate last night – a welcome boost given his popularity in the polls of late – during which he put PM Mette Frederiksen on the backfoot regarding the wisdom of the continuing lockdown.
Konservative recently overtook Venstre, flagging after the departures of popular MPs like former PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen and controversial ex-minister Inger Støjberg, to become the country’s leading Blue Bloc party, but you wouldn’t have known that judging by the performance of their respective leaders on TV2 last night.
According to TV2 political commentator Søs Marie Serup, it was a time for Ellemann-Jensen to prove he is still “the biggest animal in the [blue bloc] savannah”, and today he should be roaring with satisfaction.
“I think he got three crucial points in a party leadership debate, where it can be difficult to speak at all,” Serup told TV2. “And it is quite an achievement to return home with a concession from a prime minister.”
Let the student return … now!
First of all: why have students aged 10-15 not returned to school, demanded Ellemann-Jensen.
A 15-year-old school girl called Andrea Hansen was invited to address the leaders and share how the enforced absence has affected her mental well-being and even resulted in suicidal thoughts.
After her address, Ellemann-Jensen rounded on Frederiksen and said: “Given that everyone standing here agrees they should go back to school, why the hell is it then, Prime Minister, that we do nothing? We have been proposing this for weeks – to get the young people back to school – why do we not do it?”
In response, Frederiksen agreed that society should be able to fully reopen once everyone under the age of 50 has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
PM attacked over taxes and Israel
Next up: taxes. The Venstre leader was clearly angry that the PM said during the last debate ten months ago that it “would be strange” if taxes were raised during the Coronavirus Crisis, but then went ahead and lifted them.
“So therefore I would like to repeat my question from last time: Can the Prime Minister not this time guarantee that we will not meet the companies and Danes with more tax increases for the rest of this election period?” he said.
Finally: the PM’s recent trip to Israel was also criticised, along with its promise of co-operation with the country and Austria.
Taking a rather sarcastic tone, Ellemann-Jensen reminded the PM that Israel is not good at producing vaccines, only buying them.
“Israel is an expert in the production and development of vaccines. They bought them in Germany. Because the Germans are extremely good at this. They have someone called Pfizer,” he said.