Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Danish Election Defeat: Consequences for the Left.

with 28 comments


Anti-European Party Makes Gains in Danish Election.

The BBC reports:

Denmark’s opposition parties have beaten the governing coalition after a close general election.

With all mainland votes counted, the centre-right group led by ex-PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen beat PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s centre-left coalition, although her party is the largest.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt has now stood down as Social Democratic Party leader.

The right-wing, anti-immigration Danish People’s Party will become the second-largest in parliament

These are the results in Parliamentary seats:

  • The Social Democrats (A) – 47
  • Radikale, the Danish Social Liberal party (B) – 8
  • Socialist People’s party (F) – 7
  • Red-Green Alliance (Ø) – 14
  • The Alternative (Å) –9

Blue bloc:

  • Venstre (V) – 34
  • Danish People’s party (O) – 37
  • The Liberal Alliance (I) – 13
  • The Conservative People’s party (C) – 6

From the Guardian.


Flemming Rose, the foreign editor of the right-wing Jyllands-Posten, comments on Politico.

The anti-immigration and anti-EU Danish People’s Party received its best result ever. It is now the second biggest party and almost doubled its support compared to 2011. This will resonate around Europe, where anti-immigration and anti-EU forces are gaining ground in several countries. The big question is whether the Danish People’s Party will join the new government. If that happens, the party’s chairman, Thulesen Dahl, may become the next minister of finance. It will depend on negotiations with Lars Løkke Rasmussen. “Am I awake, or am I asleep and dreaming?” the founder of the party and former chairman, Pia Kjærsgaard, told Danish TV.

The Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti) policy includes the following (Party site):

    • The aim of the Danish People’s Party is to assert Denmark’s independence, to guarantee the freedom of the Danish people in their own country, and to preserve and promote representative government and the monarchy.
    • Denmark’s constitutional monarchy must be preserved.
    • The Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church is the church of the Danish people.
    • Danish independence and freedom are the primary objectives of Danish foreign policy.The Danish People’s Party wishes friendly and dynamic cooperation with all the democratic and freedom-loving peoples of the world, but we will not allow Denmark to surrender its sovereignty.As a consequence, the Danish People’s Party opposes the European Union.
    • Denmark is not an immigrant-country and never has been. Thus we will not accept transformation to a multi-ethnic society.

The other electoral fact which will have a wider impact is that the ‘meat-free days’ Alternative Party (Alternativet)  got more seats than the left-wing Socialist People’s Party, (Socialistisk Folkeparti)  though fewer than the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten – De Rød-Grønne).

They compare themselves to Podemos.

Wikipedia notes, “it refuses to position itself on the classical left-wing, right-wing political spectrum.The party states the aims of supporting sustainability and environmentalism, internationalism, social justice and entrepreneurship.

Their platform is grounded on the following:

The Alternative is based on six core values that characterise our internal and external working processes as well as specific political proposals.

The six core values are:
Courage. Courage to look problems in the eye. But also courage about the future we share.
Generosity. Everything which can be shared will be shared with anyone interested.
Transparency. Everybody should be able to look over our shoulders. On good days and on bad.
Humility. To the task. To those on whose shoulders we stand. And to those who will follow us.
Humour. Without humour there can be no creativity. Without creativity there can be no good ideas. Without good ideas there can be no creative power. Without creative power there can be no results.
Empathy. Putting yourself in other people’s shoes. Looking at the world from that point of view. And creating win-win solutions for everyone.

This is their ‘Manifesto’:

There is always an alternative!

The Alternative is a political idea. About personal freedom, social dignity, and living, sustainable communities. A hope. A dream. A yearning. For meaning, sense and compassionate relationships. The Alternative is an answer to what is happening in the world today. All around us. With us.

The Alternative is a shout out. Against cynicism, lack of generosity and the ticking off which prevails in our society.

The Alternative is a positive countermeasure. The desire to bring real and serious answers to the environmental and resource crisis our planet is in the midst of. A crisis which every day worsens our own and our children’s and grandchildren’s opportunities for good, rich and meaningful lives.

The Alternative is curiosity. About developing our local societies, cities and nations. We want to take back ownership of the economy and of democratic decisions. At our workplaces and in the places where we live our lives. Without losing the global vision for the responsibility for finding mutual solutions with our neighbours – including those who live on the other side of the world.

The Alternative is collaboration. We know that private companies alone cannot solve these problems. Neither can the public sector, and neither can the NGO movement. So we need to invent completely new links and ways of working together where we use the best from the private, public and the NGO sectors.

The Alternative is openness. Towards trying out new ideas and creating solutions which work. The Alternative is also thoughtfulness. About understanding complex contexts and resisting the temptation of simplified arguments and pleasant illusions.

The Alternative is courage. To look problems in the eye. But also courage about the future we have to share together. The Alternative is also humour. Without humour there can be no creativity. Without creativity there can be no good ideas. Without good ideas there can be no creative power. Without creative power there can be no results.

The Alternative is already a reality. Around the world new types of institutions, businesses and social networks are being created. Whether in Copenhagen, Seoul, Durban or Rio. Individually they may not be that significant, but together they form a global wave of change full of vitality.

The Alternative is for you. Who can tell that something has been set in motion. Who can feel that something new is starting to replace something old. Another way of looking at democracy, growth, work, responsibility and quality of life. That is The Alternative.

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias is  influenced  by ‘post-Marxist’ populist discourse theorist Ernesto Laclau (Understanding Podemos. New Left Review. May-June 2015).

This ‘manifesto’ sounds as if one of the influences (if in a diluted form) on the Alternative is the  ‘programme’ advocated by John Holloway in such books as  How to Change to World Without Taking Power, screams and shouts included.

The Alternative’s  success in winning seats on this ‘ programme’  after only two years of existence will not be universally welcomed on the European left.

By contrast we draw inspiration from the good result of the Danish Red-Green Alliance.

For more information  on their background see, Denmark: Fresh openings for Red-Green Alliance as it marks 25 years. And their site (English section)

But all of this is overshadowed by the boost given to anti-European, anti-Internationalist, and xenophobic Dansk Folkeparti.

Update: already the Independent (just on-line)  draws this conclusion: David Cameron could have a new ally for his EU reforms.

The right-wing populist Danish People’s Party is the undisputed winner of the elections. It took 21.4 per cent of the vote, up from 12.3 in 2011.

The eurosceptic group has struck a deal with his right-wing allies to support David Cameron’s plans for renegotiating EU rules about migration.

The PM wants to renegotiate rules around freedom of movement and social security payments, but has been stonewalled by a number of other European nations – he’ll welcome support from the new Danish government.


While Mr Cameron will see the result as a welcome boost, having Denmark on-side doesn’t necessarily make him any more likely to succeed.

In one sense, the prime minister is just standing still – he lost a close ally late last year in Sweden after the centre-left took power there. Denmark is really stepping in to fill the gap.

Despite its international reputation, Denmark is also a rather small country, with a population similar to that of Yorkshire.

The PM also needs to find agreement across Europe to actually effect any change. With so many countries actively set against his plans, this will still be difficult to achieve.


28 Responses

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  1. The rise of the Red-Green alliance is interesting, especially as it is largely based around the old Danish CP, which had been regularly written off as a relic ever since Larsen split off to form the SF. Their increased representation is the main cheering thing about this election result. They also do not commit the error of confusing internationalism with enthusiasm for the EU…


    June 19, 2015 at 11:22 am

  2. The Danish left seems to have taken exceptionally good stands on a number of issues, such as their open support for the beleaguered Kurds in Kobane.

    They also include the Fourth International Francis: http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article3445

    From the evidence available I would not include the Alternative in the Danish elet.

    Andrew Coates

    June 19, 2015 at 11:42 am

  3. Andrew is entirely correct regarding the support of the Danish Red-Green alliance for the Kurds in Kobane. They made the right call, in my very humble opinion, when those Kurds were calling out for western military support to defend themselves against Isis.

    “Why Danish leftists supported military aid to Iraq
    Monday 15 September 2014, by Michael Voss

    Danish socialists voting for a parliamentary decision to send a military plane to Iraq under US command is not usual. Even more unusual is the fact that I – considering myself a revolutionary Marxist – voted to support that decision. Nevertheless, that is what happened a few weeks ago.

    The parliamentary group of the Red-Green Alliance (RGA – Enhedslisten) voted together with all out parties for sending a Hercules airplane to Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government. The plane will transport weapons and ammunition to the Kurdish militias fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).”


    This view got them a lot of flak from the “anti-imperialist” Left who condemned it as “social-imperialist” (see Weekly Worker from this time). I don’t think the Kurds saw it that way.

    In the end, the Kurds survived and were grateful for the necessary western intervention. It helped save them.
    So, congrats to the Danish Red-Green alliance. When push came to shove, you voted for the right policy.

    John R

    June 19, 2015 at 12:23 pm

  4. ‘Thus we will not accept transformation to a multi-ethnic society. ‘ DPP

    i can see their point. if Denmark is only the size of Yorkshire, and you look at the kinds of problems between the ‘white’ and ‘Asian Pakistani’ communities in Yorkshire, it might make sense to not want ‘transformation’.


    June 19, 2015 at 12:47 pm

  5. Roy Greenslade has a piece on the coverage of the Charleston terrorist attack by the UK media citing the disparity on coverage across newspapers. He believes that racism is at work http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2015/jun/19/charleston-shooting-british-papers-underplay

    I would note that the UK coverage reflects in many ways the US coverage, which you can read some criticism of here http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/cable-news-frustrates-viewers-with-overnight-coverage-of-charleston-shooting/265224

    I would add that there is absolutely no doubt that it was a terrorist attack. Compare the reaction to that when the Chapel Hill shootings occurred a few months ago. That was endlessly raised as a terror attack against Muslims, in UK media and all across the UK left although the facts were strongly in dispute.

    By contrast with Chapel Hill I cannot see one left wing UK website covering Charleston. Even the Guardian has little and is not calling it a terrorist attack either.

    This is utterly exasperating. Gobsmacking. What the hell is going on?

    Paul Canning

    June 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm

  6. Is Rachel Dolezal the new Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner? a mentally disturbed but nice woman pretending to be black, while a macho man transvestite pretending to be a woman. i guess i’ll be turning Japanese.

    i guess Charleston is a ‘hate crime’ rather than ‘terrorism’.
    would the Cure’s ‘killing an Arab’ be banned if it was released these days?


    June 19, 2015 at 2:18 pm

  7. I imagine that you are “turning Japanese” quite a lot of the time.

    Boleyn Ali

    June 19, 2015 at 2:33 pm

  8. this is pretty weird too, Britain’s first transgender Muslim, a former British solider who had a sex change and converted to Islam.


    The Joker in the new Batman is gonna be gay, and Conchita. Thor is going to be a woman, etc. the values the left are promoting are not working class values, the values of hard working families.

    i guess a reason for the DPP’s success is that the left are not addressing the real issues…
    pro EU, pro free market, pro everything the centre right is for, but in a different way. The fascists and the stalinists are the real democrats. when people ask if i want red sauce or brown sauce, i say i want both, red/brown sauce, HP and Heinz.


    June 19, 2015 at 3:12 pm

  9. Troy Southgate you are outed!

    Troy Southgate (born 22 July 1965): National-Anarchist activist.

    “Southgate is today the main figurehead of National-Anarchism,[citation needed] which sees the artificial hierarchies inherent in government and capitalism as oppressive. It advocates collective action organised along the lines of nationality, identity and tribes, and advocates for a decentralised social order wherein “like-minded individuals” maintain distinct communities. National-Anarchism echoes most strains of anarchism by expressing a desire to reorganise human relationships, with an emphasis on replacing the hierarchical structures of government and capitalism with local, communal decision-making.

    The revolutionary conservative concept of the Anarch is central to National-Anarchism and its supporters view liberalism as a primary cause of the social decline of nations and cultural identity. National-Anarchists also reject fascism and communism as statist and totalitarian, and reject National Socialism as a failed dictatorship of a totalitarian government. However, Southgate’s National-Anarchism has been criticised as an opportunistic appropriation of aspects of leftist counter-culture in the service of a racist, right-wing ideology.[13]

    On 19 September 2010, Southgate launched the National-Anarchist Movement (N-AM) and unveiled a 15,000-word manifesto which included a detailed membership system based around a revolutionary cadre structure. The group also launched a magazine called Tribal Resonance and, in January 2012, published a 300-page book entitled National-Anarchism: A Reader. He has since published four other volumes by Black Front Press on National-Anarchism.”


    And banned, not for your views, but for Trolling.

    Andrew Coates

    June 19, 2015 at 4:09 pm

  10. Exactly my feeling John and I always remember good deeds.

    Though I have to admit my interest in Danish politics largely comes from this:

    Andrew Coates

    June 19, 2015 at 4:13 pm

  11. Further to my earlier angry rant I see John Seargent and HP have stories and now the great white liberal leader Jon Stewart has spoken we have other comment. So, slightly less annoyed.

    This is one of the better pieces explaining why it is not being called terrorism, by a writer the Grau lost and replaced with the awful Jessica Valenti http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/18/why-the-gop-hates-talking-about-hate-conservatives-don-t-want-to-confront-racism-in-charleston-shooting.html

    Comment lost in spam I think Andy, responding to you if recall right.

    Paul Canning

    June 19, 2015 at 4:26 pm

  12. spam, spam, spam … g*d I love wordpress ….

    Paul Canning

    June 19, 2015 at 4:27 pm

  13. Well spotted on Troy. Reminds me of some strands of the left in Russia.

    Paul Canning

    June 19, 2015 at 4:28 pm

  14. It is free.

    End of story…..

    Andrew Coates

    June 19, 2015 at 4:41 pm

  15. I had heard the name before, frankly couldn’t be that bothered, but when we have people making valuable contributions here, which believe it or not influence people (well, me), and when it was really trolling, something had to be said.

    Andrew Coates

    June 19, 2015 at 4:47 pm

  16. I remember reading a while ago that Enhedslisten were doing *extremely* well in the polls, around the same mark as the social democrats. Anyone know more about that and what happened?


    June 19, 2015 at 9:07 pm

  17. the Rt. Honourable Enoch Powell
    no, he never threw in the towel
    teamed up with Tony Benn
    neither made it to No. Ten


    June 19, 2015 at 10:06 pm

  18. While we’re chuntering about WordPress, could you possibly consider reducing the number of posts on the front page? Load/refresh times suck, particularly when I’m viewing with a tablet or phone (which is 85% of the time).

  19. @redkorat☭ – Are you trying to wind me up? I loathe how web design is going backwards, like the BBC news website has because of effing tablets. Just hit the ‘stop loading’ button if it is annoying.

    As for WordPress .. I had to work with fanboys for years and like with the Apple fanatics I have a built in aversion to cults.

    ps: UR in Australia, no? Are you watching The Killing Season? I am with my jaw agape.

    Paul Canning

    June 20, 2015 at 3:14 am

  20. I hate code bloat myself, chacun à son goût.

    Have watched the first ep of the Killing Season and have the second on the PVR waiting. Not so much jaw agape as profound sense of pain. Really could do without the laundry being done in public *again*. The LNP filth are loving it — the soap opera spectacle bullshit distracts attention from their scumbaggery.

  21. Is the vile troy the same guy as the vile neil, late of this parish? Has he been replaced by the potentially vile giles? The lower-case, lower brained


    June 21, 2015 at 12:31 am

  22. is Troy really Southgate or Donovan or perhaps Coatesy himself or some ex AWL member trying to stir up controversy or having a giraffe?

    What does the support of the Red-Green Alliance for the Kurds in Kobane mean? what kind of support is it?

    was Tatchell really a member of PIE or is it just BNP slander?

    the defeat of the left in Denmark is ominous. France is the test, if the FN succeed, then that should herald serious warning signs.


    June 21, 2015 at 2:21 am

  23. Your command is my wish…(down to 3).

    Andrew Coates

    June 21, 2015 at 11:26 am

  24. This site of course is a vlaubale source of material for the far right.

    The Danish peoples party must be avid readers of this Islamophobic and alarmist site. I am sure they use you as a source of their material, have they thanked you for their victory yet?

    You share the same preoccupation (let us call it an obsession) with the far right (i.e. those pesky Muslims and their backward ways), you must be delighted by their victory and if you are not you are one conflicted individual.

    ps good luck to jeremy Corbyn

    Socialism in One Bedroom

    June 21, 2015 at 11:58 am

  25. @redkorat☭ – also gritted teeth as I cannot stand Rudd’s voice and passive aggressive monotone.

    Of course it makes Labor, esp Shorten, look awful but Aussie pols have always been like this. I can just about recall how Hawke got in. Then we had Hawke/Keating and Howard vs the other one … But this TV was them all piling in and tearing ten strips off each other whilst smiling.

    “Mr Swan.” Combet “f*** this” .. The production was excellent as was the journalism. Someone should do an opera.

    Can’t be arsed with IPNs, so thankfully it is watchable in the UK http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/killing-season/ Makes Jeremy Paxman look like Christopher Robin.

    Gillard appears to be the one doing nicely, she is here in UK right now with Michelle Obama. She just did a hard nosed BBC interview and did well I thought. Much was about sexism and that speech against Abbott, which she’s known all over for now. She BSed through a boat people question … From a skim of Aussie news it seems the commentariat think the show makes her look bad. I guess her answer would be ↓↓↓

    Paul Canning

    June 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm

  26. socialism in one bedroom hit the spot.
    the obsessions of this site are similar to those of the far right anti Muslamic bunch.
    it is this site which tries to form a kind of left/right red/neocon alliance.


    June 21, 2015 at 3:48 pm

  27. Fuck me there’s a full sock-puppet drawer today isn’t there?

    Paul – yes there’s something disturbing about Rudd. The thing with the ALP is members tend to hate the other ‘wing’ of the Party more than they hate the LNP and they relish the opportunity to pour shit over their factional enemies. But I’m sure you’re aware of that already.

  28. Interesting! 🙂


    July 16, 2015 at 5:15 pm

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