Friday, January 29, 2016

Telling Porkies

Recently, the city council of Randers approved with the relative majority of votes from the Liberals and the Danish People’s Party a decision that makes it mandatory for public institutions to serve pork. Obviously, this was not prompted by the dietary concerns of the city of Randers, a town in the Mid-Jutland peninsula with a population of about 60 thousand people.  According to the Randers city council, municipal institutions must provide - by law - that the daily menu at childcare centers safeguards what is seen as a principle of Danish food culture and tradition, by compulsory including pork on a daily basis. The representatives of the Randers municipality hastened to explain that their decision was not to force anybody to eat anything that ‘goes against one’s belief or religion’, oh, no, but rather only a necessary motion to safeguard the cultural heritage of Danish gastronomic cuisine. Danish roasted pork with parsley sauce has been nominated as Denmark’s official national dish and was decided in a voting scheme where only 1.15% of Danes participated, and only 40% of them voted for the pork dish.

The harsher exclusionary migration laws, the worsening of asylum conditions, the tightening of citizenship rules, the curtailing of welfare provisions and help to refugees, the implementation of border controls, are all part of the competition to be the hardest-hitting and toughest on immigration issues. Migration and asylum politics have thus been taken hostage in the politics of vote-catching between the Liberals and the Danish People’s Party. 

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