The nightmare is over?

Im the little Thai girl deported with her mother because her step father died of cancer last year has been allowed to come back.

Apparently the pictures of her literally wearing the Danish flag tugged at the heart strings of the legislators and they made a special law just for her after she flew back to Thailand. (I understand this special law will protect others in the same situation in the future)

So, she can get on another plane with her mother and come back from Thailand. All the stress, uncertainty and financial hardship the two have suffered so soon after the death of a close family member are to be forgiven and forgotten. Human rights can be granted at the 13th hour with no consequence for withholding them.

In one of the tabloids the headline is

The Danes Save Im

Which is terribly ironic considering who voted for this shitty law to be enacted on their behalf and lifted zero fingers for the hundreds of children who didn’t wear a flag on the telly news. (One other newspaper had a headline about these hundreds of children)

A broadsheet has a front page story about how one of their journalists rang the ministry about another immigration case and the person was granted leave to remain that day. Their essential point is that the appeals board of immigration is the media and this is problematic if you actually want fair treatment.

I guess I seem spectacularly hard to please. After all, the state did the right thing in the end.

But I’m hopping mad. It’s not about Im and her mum. It’s about a country that slaps its balls into the faces of other countries for being some shining beacon of happiness, tolerance, compassion and all that good stuff while it has laws on its books that are so against human decency that even the tabloid press feel compelled to adopt the most photogenic victim of them as a poster child.

Ok. So we have a special law. The country wants to make amends. Good. But let’s take this as an opportunity to completely overhaul the immigration law so that human rights cannot be withheld and all cases are handled fairly without the need for a photoshoot and a list on the news about how the foreigner is worthy of being treated like a human being by virtue of his or her personality or skills.

Then I will be happy.

Let’s all go look at my CPHPost article

Let’s all go look at my CPHPost article

It’s about Denmark this week.



Five years ago or so, I moved to Denmark. I was already blogging about the stuff I was getting up to as an attempt to make me accountable for actually doing stuff. As I went through culture shock and all that stuff, I got much more critical.

The more I wrote about the things that annoyed me (from the not-serious areas around culture shock all the way to the most-serious areas around the Northern European political landscape), the more people would either love me or hate me.

Shit man, it is storm in a teacup stuff. But still. I either had people carrying me on their shoulders and lauding me for Telling it Like it is or bashing me and telling me I was a negative piece of shit for having opinions they did not like. I got more and more entrenched especially since the people that liked my work became my friends in real life.

If anyone says anything ‘positive’, everyone says they have “drunk the koolaid”. Or if you do not say anything ‘positive’ for a while, you get called unbalanced and bitter and deserve all your problems. These two ideas spread like poison and most people stopped talking publicly on the internet about Denmark. Not me though.

I started to feel the pressure though, so I just went for pure politics and translated the news or said what I thought about issues of the day. During this time, a friend of mine suggested to the editor of the English language newspaper in Denmark that I should write an opinion column. He took me up on it and I have been writing for them.

At first, I stayed on politics and then I wrote a bit about the culture. Never anything particularly bitter or out of order. Just the sort of stuff you might expect in a newspaper opinion column: immigration, Danishness, cultural weaknesses, political fights, representations of minorities. That sort of thing.

The editor got in touch to ask if I could widen my scope a little bit, so I have written most recently about the trend of weakening protections for workers and trolls online.

Anyway. Whatever. This week, I wrote about what I had learned in five years of living in Denmark. Nothing particularly controversial, just talking about how it feels to ‘go native’ but I knew this time I would catch flak.

And as I feared, the usual suspects are out in force criticising me for being ‘positive’. It’s not my friends or fans (if you can call them that). It is the people who criticise me for being ‘negative’ or a ‘dane-basher’. They are invested in me being an enemy so that they can be a victim. So that they can feel persecuted instead of really evaluating what I have to say.