Aftenposten brings us the full monty, publishing the original cables that were sent from Oslo to Washington DC with concern.
The items speak for themselves, but you may want to see to what extent this blog accurately picks up trends and publishes them.
Unfortunately, as a Norwegian, I am very pessimistic with regards to our own capability to identify and to express true solidarity with ethnic minorities in Norway, or elsewhere. It suffices to refer to a study by the Norwegian Center for studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities, researches concluded that “Jews were considered to be outside the collective – before, during and after the war to the extent that Norwegians thought the deportation somehow was an external matter.”
This observation would appear to be valid also today and, more tragically, for any ethnic minority in Norway; the shameful story of the Sami people, the Travelers, children of German WW2 soldiers, and in particular the shameful treatment of their mothers (whom, just for the record did not round up the Norwegian Jews to send them to extermination camps, this was done by the Norwegian Police), or the Kven people bear testimony to the allegation that we do not recognize outsiders who live in our midst.
As long as our national development and solidarity policies mainly consist of throwing money at a given problem – for instance hunger, war, social inequality – I am afraid we will continue to miss the greater point, which is that true solidarity is to address the underlying cause, even if it means upsetting apparent truths – and the cable above more than proves the point that the current Norwegian government has sacrificed decency and credibility in order to be seen as politically correct and progressive.
Any argument that somehow this government represents popular will is also baseless, in fact they only managed to cling to power by a rather antiquated way of counting votes, and distributing their weight according to an imaginary distribution of the population. They may have managed to get three seats more than the opposition in Parliament, but on a vote to vote basis, we would not have the red-green coalition any longer.
With our propensity to be somewhat megalomaniac (just think of former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland famous slogan: it is typically Norwegian to be good!), and with too much money on our hands, coupled with a strong nationalistic and yes, I will say it, more macho culture than even the most macho LatAm countries, we don’t particularly want to face the rather ugly shortcomings in our national character.
Hopefully we still have true friends who will hold up that mirror we badly need to look into to in order to accept the reality we try to deny – we are essentially a good people, but punching above our weight due to money, not substance, is not making us look any better, rather a bit tatty, perhaps like those faceless men in an embarrassing adult movie.
Dont switch off the light yet, there are still people left inside. They just need a bit of tough love to come clean.
Prof M. McGonagall