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Danes Slashing Immigrant Benefits

There has been some immediate fallout from Denmark’s remarkable election during which the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party came in a strong second:

Denmark’s new centre-right government will cut immigrants’ benefits by half as it named the founder of an anti-immigration party as Speaker of parliament.

Pia Kjærsgaard, the founder of the Danish People’s party who was once named “racist of the year” by a Swedish magazine, will be the new Speaker, the main political position outside of government.

These are the wages of failing to adopt sensible policies over immigration: it opens the door to radical measures, and to having the “racist of the year” serve as Speaker in your parliament. If Denmark’s political establishment had thought more carefully about its approach, the populists would not have gotten this far. This should serve as a reminder to political establishments everywhere: pay attention to the people. In the end, you can’t govern without them.


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  • Boritz

    “pay attention to the people. In the end, you can’t govern without them.”

    That’s right. But a nation of sheep is a different matter.

    • CapitalHawk

      That’s why governments are constantly trying to convert people into sheep. Or importing sheep. Whatever works.

  • qet

    I am unclear why it would not be a good idea generally for all countries to impose a benefits/transfer payments ineligibility period on all immigrants.

    • Boritz

      It would curtail the political benefits accruing to a great American political party and slow the transformation of the country they are busy bringing about.

  • Nick Ottens

    This is a surprisingly simplistic post coming from TAI.

    1. You simply buy into “a” Swedish magazine’s absurd label of a political party leader? If you’d bothered to look into this a little more, you would have found that the magazine in question, called “Gringo”, is tiny, student-run and pretty far to the left. It would probably consider half the U.S. Republican Party “racist”, so of course they’re going to be critical of the Danish People’s Party. But who cares?

    2. The People’s Party has come a long way from being labeled “far right” and “xenophobic” a couple of decades ago. Except for a politically-correct, pro-multiculturalist fringe of the left, most Danes see if for what it is: a mainstream, socially conservative, illiberal nationalist party. It groups with Britain’s Conservatives in the European Parliament, because it didn’t want an alliance with more radical Euroskeptics like Marine Le Pen, Nigel Farage and Geert Wilders. That should tell you something. As should the fact that the Conservatives didn’t mind sitting in the same bloc with these people.

    Yes, it’s still pretty anti-immigrant, in the sense that it believes Denmark — which has a 10 percent non-native population (some useful context you might have provided) — shouldn’t take in many more foreigners and doesn’t want people coming in only to claim welfare benefits. A position that is shared in most other Northern and Western European countries by center-right parties. A position that is also shared by Denmark’s ruling liberal party.

    Finally: what does “pay attention to the people” mean? As I mentioned, the Danish liberals have moved to the right on immigration and integration issues in response to the People’s Party rising popularity through the years. Recently, so did the Social Democrats. Before the election, they said they would cut immigrants’ benefits as well. Are you saying the mainstream parties still aren’t listening to the electorate closely enough? Or are you arguing they shouldn’t have come back from their uncritical pro-immigration and pro-open borders policies, because it gave the People’s Party legitimacy? The final paragraph can be read both ways.

    • FriendlyGoat

      I think TAI’s message is that we’re supposed to willingly elect a mere tax-cutting establishment Republican president in America out of fear that—-if we don’t—–the people here might get so riled up as to elect one of our “fringe” candidates to that office.
      Very little is written here to spin any goal other than tilting America economically rightward.

      • JR

        Well, the leftward tilt of places like Detroit, Puerto Rico, Chicago, Greece, Venezuela, the list goes on didn’t prevent them from either getting to or going to a bad economic place. You can’t tax and spend your way to prosperity with mindless populist slogans. It cannot be done.

    • Tom

      I think, given TAI’s general opinions, that your first notion of how to read the paragraph is correct.

  • Rick Johnson

    Just because a left wing rag smears someone it disagrees with as a racist, doesn’t make it true. And repeating their smear doesn’t add to TAI’s credibility.

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