Few can disagree about the fact that we are in the middle of a major economical crisis. We all know that the only answer to beat the crisis is to increase productivity and start to earn some money.
In Denmark where we have few natural resources we had a historical advantage. We are extremely mobile. Despite the short distances where driving a car from Copenhagen to Aalborg a distance over 400 kilometers with 150 kilometers per hour instead of the legal 130 kilometers per hour will earn you only 25 minutes, people continue to do that and they don’t care about any fines.
They do that because they will benefit their workplace and keeping their co-workers in jobs. They are willing to go the extra mile due to loyalty and commitment.
Based on this attitude, we shouldn´t worry about the crisis. We would see the light soon.
But then we were hit by a new civil war between the citizens in our major towns and the people at the countryside. It is not difficult to trace where this conflict did start. Some years ago Denmark started a makeover of the entire administration in all parts of Denmark. We had some 270 municipalities and 13 counties before the reform. After the reform we had 5 regions and 99 municipalities. Our police reorganized and now it is impossible to report a theft in person. You have to do it on the internet. There are no or little local contact between the state police and the population. The courts have backlogged a lot of cases and in fact some 2,800,000 cases are put aside as cold cases because there are no resources to investigate them.
Once they started to discuss the placement of new hospitals it became clear that not even the 5 regions could decide where they should be located on their own. The Danish people party pushed the politicians to let the location of a new hospital in Jutland be decided in Copenhagen. The populations at the countryside who are seeing their local policeman disappear, the schools closing to be moved to the larger cities and the local library being closed started their own party. The common list (“Fælles-listen” in Denmark) is the civil riot attacking the ever more centralized government of Denmark.
The old politicians are not ready to deal with this civil war. They have their problems with holidays, tax-problems and restaurant bills to deal with. They cannot offer the population outside the 5 larger cities anything, so they are trying to detain the insurgents.
The method they have chosen is to restrict mobility. Because the police force is caught up with doing administrative work never to be seen in the streets where you need them, they will install some thousand speed cameras around the country where they can cash in money most efficient – not where they could have saved lives the most if they functioned as a concept at all. All the world knows about speed cameras is that they cash in money. Swindon removed all their cameras and they didn’t see even a slight increase in the number of traffic accidents.
I cannot predict if this strategy will work, but while they are testing it the industry in Denmark will suffer some 15-20 loss of mobility and estimated 50-60,000 will be thrown out in unemployment. It is not needed during a period of hard struggle where we try to rebuild our economy.
I understand that the common list is a threat against the established political system in Denmark. The people behind the common list are smarter than the farmers in France or the truckers in Greece. They don’t choose violence or strikes. They aim to take over the political system instead using the only tool democracy can be hurt with: Using the democratic process at hand.
Once again our democracy faces a dilemma. Is it all right to use undemocratic method to shackle the insurgents, methods which are questionable and not very precise to avoid a future defeat at an election? Before 9/11 the answer would have been a clear no, but as result of the war on terrorism our values have slipped and I guess that 50-60.000 unemployed will be regarded as acceptable costs.
We are stuck with the economical crisis and due to the war on the countryside there is little we can do about it.