A political scandal has exploded, involving the leader in waiting of the Socialistic Left party, and current minister of Children, Equality and Social inclusion. Mr. Lysbakken has used the public purse to fund the youth organization of his party, that was organizing a self-defense workshop for young girls. The law in Norway is very clear, public funds available for NGOs must be properly announced to the relevant and qualifying organizations, so that they may apply for said funds. In the case of the money for self defense classes for girls, not only was this law ignored, but Mr. Lysbakken, as the responsible minister, has allowed his political advisors to go against advice of senior civil servants, tried to hide the correspondence trail, lied and generally tried to prevent the public from finding out what goes on.
So much so that Lysbakken, who not once, not twice but many times has had to publicly apologize and to assure us that this time, all the relevant data has been presented and that it is all a horrible mistake, but alas, those horrible journalists as well as MP’s from the opposition parties in the Storting won’t let it go and insist on a full inquiry into the ministers handling of public funds. Some commentators even call it political corruption.
The latest twist in this bizarre drama is that once more, yet another mail – which by the way has not been entered in the official correspondence log, just like many other letters, has surfaced, one which the good minister only a few days ago swore did not exist, where the political advisors promise to have a “good, creative think” on how the Socialist Youth can get money for a course they want to arrange. In the letter from the Socialistic Youth, the leader simply states: “Now that the Socialistic Left party has taken over the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, we now wonder is anybody there who can help us find finances for this course?”
This has prompted opposition politicians to say that minister Lysbakken has allowed his department to be used as the private office of his youth organization and will open an inquiry. The current leader of the Socialist Left party, Kristin Halvorsen, says she has full confidence in her next in charge, that all of this is a series of unfortunate events, but that Lysbakken has apologized, so that should really be good enough for the rest of the nation.
Even the PM, who now has a major hot potato to handle. because once Lysbakken officially becomes the leader of the Socialistic Left party, he will become a senior member of the coalition… so in order to avoid having to deal with this, the PM merely says that he trusts Lysbakken merely has had a bad day – it could happen to all of us!
Whilst the Socialistic Left party is free to choose the leader they want and if they want a leader who has allowed his closest political advisors to make a mockery out of Norwegian Law, I suppose that is their right. But it is not right to try to brush this one under the carpet, particularly not when it comes to a party with such a moralistic and holier than thou attitude as the Socialistic Left Party.
The relation to Israel is of course nil, but for these Socialists, who react with almost sexual arousal every time the mere name of Israel is mentioned, it must be hard to realize that this kind of dirty business would not have been accepted in Israel – Israel’s tolerance of political corruption or abuse of power is zero, and they have several remorseful ex-politicians in jail to prove the point.
How about learning from Israel on this one, every society will have to deal with the scrooge of corruption, the acid test of whether you can withstand the rotting effect corruption has on the society is whether you are willing to use your big legal guns on the problem, if only to set an example that the fall from grace when you have been found out is hard and embarrassing.
For now, it seems that it is more important for the coalition to stay in power than protecting the Law they have sworn to upkeep. Shame on them!