Monday, August 12, 2013

Norwegian Prime Minister Takes a Tip from George Burns.

"Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair." - George Burns.

I once flippantly suggested, knowing that it would never happen, to a local politician skeptical of out of control drunkenness and street violence on a typical Saturday night, that she take the wheel of my cab for just one night. Actually, while one Saturday night would be enough to turn off anyone from driving a cab, it would take several to get a good picture. After seven years of Saturday nights, one's sanity can be severely tested to the limit. 

Fortunately Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg only had to tolerate it for a day, on day shift, and mainly to get the political gossip from his constituents. Apparently most of his "customers" seemed to recognise him and were quite amused and thrilled. It was, anyway, a nice political gesture from usually aloof politicians locked away in ivory tower offices and parliaments, and quite out of touch with the "real world". There should be more of it.

"If there is one place where people say what they really mean about most things, it is in a taxi. Right from the gut," he told VG
 Politicians in Norway and the other Nordic countries tend to be more accessible than their colleagues in other European countries. One can often bump into Mr Stoltenberg, for instance, at the weekends walking in the woods surrounding Oslo.

'Just up here on the left, prime minister': Norway's leader Jens Stoltenberg turns election-time cabbie.  (Brisbane Times)

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