Danish Thatcherites, xenophobes, lose elections

This video is called Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s speech to [the British] Labour Conference 2010.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Danish progressives win election to usher in first female PM

Friday 16 September 2011

by Our Foreign Desk

Social Democratic Party chairwoman Helle Thorning-Schmidt began talks on forming a progressive new government today after defeating a right-wing coalition that had been in power for over a decade.

She is set to become the first female PM in the country’s history after voters handed 92 of the Danish parliament’s 179 seats to the “red bloc” coalition she leads.

The red in Ms Thorning-Schmidt’s electoral group has been provided by the Red-Green Alliance – a merger of communist, socialist and environmentalist parties.

The alliance won 6.7 per cent of the vote, up from 2.2 per cent in 2007.

It is resolutely opposed to Denmark’s membership of Nato and the EU and is committed to improving the country’s welfare system.

Incumbent Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen’s centre-right “blue bloc” coalition won 87 seats.

He had insisted that deep cuts to welfare services and unemployment benefit were needed to sort out the government’s budget deficit.

He also said that there was no option but to raise the retirement age by two years to 67 by 2020.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt and her allies promised a progressive alternative, pledging to stimulate the economy through government spending, to be financed by increased taxes on banks and the super-rich – and a one-hour increase to the 37-hour working week.

The “red bloc” also vowed to spend more on health and education.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt, the daughter-in-law of British Labour politician Neil Kinnock, said on Thursday: “We can say farewell to 10 years of bourgeois rule that has stalled and get a new government and a new majority in Denmark.”

The populist anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party (DPP), which provided vital support for the outgoing right-wing coalition, saw its share of the vote drop by 1.5 points to 12.3 per cent.

Political analyst Henrik Qvortrup said: “The DPP had the liberal-conservative government in a firm grip. This is over.”

See also here.

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