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Political musings of a Danish, former, farm-boy

By Fjodor on Mar. 19, 2012.

I’m not entirely sure if I even have a following on this blog (if you are there, do say hi), but that is not really my intent either. I moved my opinion content here as a combination of avoiding doing markup by hand on the (minimalistic) main page, and seeing what it would be like to use blog-oriented CMS such as WordPress and in the mean time firing off a few cheap (but important) shots at Microsoft.

This post is not about them!

I don’t think that I have ever given much information about my background, as I have not deemed it important, but the following details are relevant to this post:

I have lived my entire life in Denmark and grew up in a small village near the German border. A few months before my 7th birthday, my family moved to a small farm that my parents (and my sister and I) would spend a whole lot of time restoring to livable conditions, as well as doing actual farm work despite the fact that both my parents had normal jobs on the side.

Now, what could possibly be relevant to you, my dear, accidental, reader regarding that, one might ask, going on to ask what it has to do with politics?

Well, apart from the local grocery store being mugged last year, making national news for the record-breaking 3 minutes that it took for the robber to be apprehended, my home town is, and should be, relatively unknown to the general populace.

There is, however, the 3 times over the past 10 years when it has been reported that a pig transport fell over for unknown reasons in a local roundabout, and numerous other incidents of this nature abound here in Denmark, the land of pork.

Worth noting is, that this almost never seemed to happen anywhere until:

Danish television, some 10 years ago or some-such, reported on long-haul transportation of pigs for slaughter, to countries where slaughter was cheaper, and made a specific point of showing how the pigs where fixated in the trailers. Now, long-haul of animals is generally cruel in nature, and it is my understanding that the EU has, or is in the process of banning that practice. Score 1 for animal welfare (until slaughter).

The Danish media, however, made a specific and misguided point of showing how the pigs where fixated in the trailers, leading to general consumer uproar and a demand on politicians to forbid said fixture.

Now, I do not know, dear reader, if you have ever happened to stand upright on a moving bus, but if you have, you will grant me that it is of the utmost importance to be able to grab on to something – an ability that pigs simply do not possess…

Thus, to satisfy voter demand, a law was passed to forbid fixation on animal transports, which seemed to satisfy all relevant parties, except for the drivers of said transports and, most notably, the pigs in question, since it should be obvious to anyone who has traveled by bus in the aforementioned manner, that they are now doomed to be thrown around in the trailer, frequently offsetting the balance of the trailer itself to such a degree that both truck and trailer topples, generally killing the cargo and seriously injuring the driver, which is an outcome that any 15-year old farm-hand could have told the politicians without even thinking.

Now, one can derive a number of lessons from this, and surely a lot more than this, but the principal one should be that politicians, as politics are done today, are not only willing to cater to the demands of a vocal part of the public – without giving thoughts to the possible implications of doing so – as long as this, vocal, part, and the media, seem to make an issue of it.

Secondly, I said that “any 15-year old farm-hand” would know this to be a bad idea is important. It means that anyone who actually works in these conditions would know this to be moronic, but since most don’t, that is what’s called “expert knowledge”.

The assignment I give to you, dear reader, is to analyse the situation, adapt it to the workings and dealings of programming, internet use, copyright restrictions and some-such, and go forth to use this very down-to-earth (and real) analogy on your various members of your various parliaments, and please report back and/or discuss in the comment section of this post!

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