New Jeers Honours

For the followers of British politics, a great re-cap on the best political moments of 2013. Sadly the ‘selfie’ (Cameron, Obama and Thorning-Schmidt) doesn’t make David Wooding’s cut. But it does mine! Happy New Year all!

David Wooding

By DAVID WOODING

THERE has been plenty of gloom in the corridors of power during 2013.

It’s been a year of squeezes and freezes as politicians tell us all to tighten our belts.

But through all the austerity, they still managed to make us laugh – if only at their own tantrums, cock-ups.

So let’s loosen those belts a notch or two as Sun on Sunday Political Editor David Wooding honours those MPs in his NewJeers Political Awards.

Prat of the Year

MEP Godfrey Bloom for a string of outbursts too brazen even for the “fruitcakes and loonies” of UKIP. He dubbed African countries “bongo bong land”, branding women who don’t clean behind the fridge “sluts”. UKIP boss Nigel Farage stripped him of the party whip – probably using even more fruity language in the process.

Gold medal for selfie-exposure

David Cameron was caught snoozing barefoot on a bed in the background…

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Fantastisk! I passed my Danish test!

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It drives me mad, takes up far too much time and mostly baffles me.  But tonight some GOOD news on the Danish front – I’ve passed my first test!  OK it was a re-take as I failed it last time around (read my very sad blog below).  And there’s still so much more to do before I take the first module in February.  But at least I finally feel I’m getting there.

Thank you to everyone who’s been both patient and supportive.  Now I can say with a little more confidence:

Jeg kan selvfølgelig tale engelsk og jeg kan også tale lidt dansk.

(I can of course speak English and I can also speak a little Danish.)

Hurray!

My Real-life Borgen experience!

TV2

Interviewing the Danish PM, as shown on Denmark’s TV2

When I was invited to visit the Danish Parliament, Christiansborg, I didn’t think I’d get the chance to ask the Prime Minister herself a question.  But that’s what happened today.  After Helle Thorning-Schmidt had taken more than an hour’s worth of questions from the FOUR leaders of the opposition, she allowed journalists to ask more.

chamber PM

Today they focused on the fallout from her latest Cabinet reshuffle, after three ministers resigned in just three weeks.  Last week the world was focused on the ‘selfie’ she took of herself, President Obama and David Cameron at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.  Back here in Denmark, there was serious political trouble brewing about allegations that some ministers had misled Parliament over domestic issues.

Christiansborg

Then a few days ago there was an interesting diversion.  Thorning-Schmidt’s husband, Stephen Kinnock, announced he’d like to stand for the Labour Party in Wales at the next general election.  This is the son of the former Labour Leader, Neil Kinnock.  The Danish PM and her British husband are already known as leading pretty independent lives.  But what does this signal about her own political future?

I asked her and she gave me this response:  “I do admit it is unusual. But we have lived an unusual life in many ways and we always make it work. I’m absolutely convinced we will make this work as well. So to all of you who are worried about the way we will make it work in our private household, don’t worry too much.”

So does she, like most Danes, believe she won’t be re-elected?  And is Stephen Kinnock really likely to be selected as a Labour candidate?

corridor ChristiansborgPM's office

Whatever the answers, this is like something out of the Danish TV series, Borgen.  And today, I really did feel like the political reporter, Katrine Fønsmark!

 

 

Christmas at Tivoli

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Tivoli Gardens has yet again been transformed – this time into a Winter Wonderland.  The Christmas scene has been open for a few weeks, but finally we visited this weekend.  It was full of fun, lights, laughter, Christmas markets, and gløgg.

TIVOLI1

Some of the ‘buildings’ looked Russian in their design and colour – like something out of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.  The theme park may have been busy and cold, but it was beautiful.

Hotel

This may not be Tivoli, but the owners of Hotel D’Angleterre have used characters from Hans Christian Andersen stories to decorate their building.  So I thought it deserved a showing too!

Read more about Tivoli on my blog here.