‘United we can fight it’, says Norway Labour Party / News / The Foreigner

‘United we can fight it’, says Norway Labour Party. Labour (Ap) kicked off their election campaign aiming to do the same to the Conservatives (H) and the general election victory podium, Tuesday. The sun shone through the venue’s entrance hall windows, greeting all participants who entered Nylund Skole in Stavanger’s Storhaug district. Traditional Labour Party symbol red roses were arranged in a cluster of buckets, placed close together, symbolising unity.

norwayelections, labourpartynorway, pollingdaynorway



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‘United we can fight it’, says Norway Labour Party

Published on Thursday, 2nd May, 2013 at 15:56 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 2nd May 2013 at 16:49.

Labour (Ap) kicked off their election campaign aiming to do the same to the Conservatives (H) and the general election victory podium, Tuesday.

Culture Minister Hadia Tajik
The Minister of Culture speaking at Labour's election kick-off in StavangerCulture Minister Hadia Tajik
Photo: ©2013 Michael Sandelson/The Foreigner


The sun shone through the venue’s entrance hall windows, greeting all participants who entered Nylund Skole in Stavanger’s Storhaug district.

Traditional Labour Party symbol red roses were arranged in a cluster of buckets, placed close together, symbolising unity.

The event’s two main figures, Culture Minister Hadia Tajik and Torstein Tvedt Solberg, Rogaland County’s candidate for the 2013-17 parliamentary term, entered the building. They paused to smile at local Party representatives gathered together in greeting.

Upstairs in the auditorium was a gathering of Labour hopefuls. Plainclothes government security personnel surveyed the scene.

Roses at Nylund School
Roses at Nylund School
©2013 Michael Sandelson/The Foreigner
To the right was a gathering of people, to the left a table with traditional Norwegian food and drink items – hotdogs in bread rolls (pølser i pølsebrød), buns (bolle), cakes, coffee, fizzy drinks.

“We’re gathered here this evening in cooperation,” said Rogaland local Party staff Dag Mossige, “we’ve spent the last seven years together [since Labour gained power].”

The atmosphere was one of optimism, some four months before polling day.

Minister of Culture Hadia Tajik was the next speaker at the microphone, in the middle of a hall floor before some 100 people.

She took several jabs at considerable opponents the Conservatives, a mixture of honesty and humour.

“We’re stressing basic values this time around,” Ms Tajik said, stating a non-socialist government would not come to the aid of those in need. “What good is it if children cannot read or write, if there is not equal pay, if people lose their job? We will help people.”

“And just think, if [the late] Maggie Thatcher could be in power for three terms, what a fantastic possibility this must be for our politics and government,” she added.

The politicians present also said they look forward to seeing Conservative leader Erna Solberg resigning her post on 9 September after having lost a series of elections.

Nylund Skole has many pupils of foreign origin studying there. The Foreigner spoke with Minister Tajik afterwards, herself of Pakistani origin.

Torstein Tvedt Solberg, Hadia Tajik
Torstein Tvedt Solberg, Hadia Tajik
©2013 Michael Sandelson/The Foreigner
I asked her what she viewed as the most important things to bridge the current immigrant-Norwegian cultural divide.

“One of the most important things is a good public school system in Norway. Having many private schools weakens their structure. Children participate in public schools, irrespective of their ethnic background. The private are more segregated, amongst other things according to the parents’ financial bracket,” she said.

Oslo’s Groruddalen district has seen many ‘ethnic Norwegians’ move out due to ‘White Flight’, with them choosing non-immigrant schools. Why would you say that is?

“There’s no one single answer, and we’d like to see a reversal. Some schools in Oslo are immigrant-dominated, which has something to do with the area’s housing policies and infrastructure.”

An off-shoot or symptom of this was when Oslo City Council’s Torger Ødegaard, senior education official for the Conservative Party, had to step in to stop Bjerke Upper Secondary School’s policy of segregating classes by ethnicity. What is your comment on that issue?

Culture Minister Tajik on the walkabout
Culture Minister Tajik on the walkabout
©2013 Michael Sandelson/The Foreigner
“You can’t separate classes by ethnicity,” she answered.

And on schools in general, some immigrant families have discouraged their children participating in cultural activities at school.

“I would say it’s more focus on encouraging their children to do well in school. They [parents] assume that cultural activities mean no focus on the academic part. On the contrary, I believe these sorts of activities provide a synergy here. The add to knowledge in many ways, a transference of skills if you like, which they wouldn’t get by just reading books.”

Minister, political representatives, The Foreigner, security personnel and all then descended the inside steps to go exit and go walkabout in the neighbourhood.

The politicians knocked on doors, distributing one red rose to householders who answered, the press took pictures, interviewed some people, all safely flanked by the plainclothes government security staff.

See The Foreigner's slideshow from the walkabout here.




Published on Thursday, 2nd May, 2013 at 15:56 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 2nd May 2013 at 16:49.

This post has the following tags: norwayelections, labourpartynorway, pollingdaynorway.





  
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