What David Cameron needs to learn from Norway

What David Cameron needs to learn from Norway


norman lebrecht

August 15, 2011

The responses of two prime ministers to public violence is culturally significant is several ways.

Jens Stoltenberg was reflective, David Cameron punitive.

The Norwegian kept going onto the streets to embrace suffering citizens; David Cameron retreated behind well-planned photo opportunities.

One announced strong support for a clearly flawed police force; the other issued critical and destabilising statements.

One declared a public inquiry, the other refused.

One sought moral clarity across the whole of society, the other took refuge in class condemnation.

In Norway, there is unity, in Britain division.

It is not too late for David Cameron to change his way of dealing with the post-riot landscape. Unless he does, he will look increasingly a lame duck prime minister.


  • Jack says:

    In other words, Stoltenberg is soft, while Cameron is hard.

    Frankly, Cameron’s hard leadership is just what was needed in response to the English riots. In Norway, Stoltenberg could afford to be soft because the terror was caused by just one lunatic. Cameron could not afford to be soft because he was dealing with the widespread breakdown of civil order. The two situations are substantively different and called for different reactions.

  • David says:

    You are so right, Norman. How long is it going to take British politicians to realise that we have seen through all their persiflage and realise what a load of sh*ts they are. There is no hope for British politics until this day dawns.

    A friend said to me the other day “Name one British MP who you actually respect.” Um…