Ex cabinet member dishes the dirt on Prime Minister / News / The Foreigner

Ex cabinet member dishes the dirt on Prime Minister. New autobiography tells of resignations and negative culture within the Labour Party. Karita Bekkemellem, former head of the Ministry of Children and Equality for the Labour Party (Ap) has come out with a new autobiography. In “Mitt røde hjerte”, she tells of her dismissal, attempted suicide, and a father who became an alcoholic after shooting his girlfriend dead by accident. She alleges Jens Stoltenberg is both weak and a coward.“Absent”

karita, bekkemellem, jens, stoltenberg, helge, pedersen, memoirs, autobiography, book, labour, party, arbeiderpartiet, gossip, dirt, cabinet, member, politics



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Ex cabinet member dishes the dirt on Prime Minister

Published on Friday, 30th October, 2009 at 00:00 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 30th October 2009 at 15:25.

New autobiography tells of resignations and negative culture within the Labour Party.

Karita Bekkemellem
Karita Bekkemellem
Photo: Arbeiderpartiet/Flickr


Karita Bekkemellem, former head of the Ministry of Children and Equality for the Labour Party (Ap) has come out with a new autobiography. In “Mitt røde hjerte”, she tells of her dismissal, attempted suicide, and a father who became an alcoholic after shooting his girlfriend dead by accident. She alleges Jens Stoltenberg is both weak and a coward.

“Absent”

Bekkemellem was given her notice at a Cabinet meeting, and blames the Prime Minister of both showing no sympathy and poor behaviour from when she received the news, reports Aftenposten.

“In crisis situations Jens Stoltenberg can be perceived as an absent leader who’s hardly there at all; something that makes him cowardly. Quite often he starts things just to buy himself time, thus avoiding the need for an opinion,” she writes.

Surprised

Far from being bitter, she views what happened as a turning point; transforming difficult times into a personal success.

Jens Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg
Eirik U Birkeland/Wikimedia Commons
Bekkemellem goes on to say she’s learnt the importance of telling people things directly – rather than via someone else – and was surprised by Stoltenberg’s behaviour.

She claims that although he tends to shy away from conflicts – saying that he found the situation difficult at the time – he chose to act differently, despite having told her that he believed in the same thing.

Lack of solidarity

Bekkemellem also writes critically about the culture within the Labour Party. She claims people were slandered, excluded, new members were kept in their place, and she was portrayed as being a stupid woman in a dress.

There was hardly any trace of solidarity when she was displaced.

“Where are the comrades now? Solidarity? Oh yes, I would have liked to have seen that.”

Family tragedy

Personal and family problems also form part of Bekkemellem’s memoirs. Her father became an alcoholic, and she suffered from eating disorders and had tried to commit suicide in 1992 when she entered politics.

There is a tragic story behind his fit of rage and drunkenness that once caused the rest of the family to flee the apartment dressed only in thin clothes.

“His life suffered an abrupt change one fateful day in 1962. He was seeing a girl from another village in the dale and they went into the woods with another couple to fire a shotgun. But dad stumbled whilst walking in the woods; the shotgun went off and hit the girl who was walking on the path right in front of him. The girl died from an accidental shooting.”

Bekkemellem says that despite being fined he never forgave himself, and turned to alcohol to try and numb the memory.

Mixed reactions

Stoltenberg had only a brief comment to make about her book.

“Karita has given me the book and I’m going to read it. I don’t wish to enter into any debate about internal procedures – either within the Labour Party or the government – but would like to say that Karita has contributed a lot to Norwegian politics and I wish her all the best.

Helga Pedersen
Helga Pedersen
Harry Wad/Wikimedia Commons
Some experts have criticised her for writing it – suggesting that she should take what happened on the chin, and raising questions about her future job prospects after having criticised her previous boss openly (NA24.no).

Whilst the Labour Party’s parliamentary leader – Helga Pedersen – tells Dagbladet that although she thinks Bekkemellem is a “wonderful woman”, she doesn’t share her views.

“I don’t recognise what she describes at all,” says Pedersen.



Published on Friday, 30th October, 2009 at 00:00 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 30th October 2009 at 15:25.

This post has the following tags: karita, bekkemellem, jens, stoltenberg, helge, pedersen, memoirs, autobiography, book, labour, party, arbeiderpartiet, gossip, dirt, cabinet, member, politics.





  
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