I didn’t plan it as a series, but I have written some posts recently that all tell a different story about Norway, one that differs from the official version we like to tell.
In The Norwegian nightmare I wrote about some of the companies the Norwegian Oil Fund has invested in. The list of the five biggest investments at the moment include two large pharmaceutical companies, which is clearly a problem when the government also decides whether or not to recommend a certain medicine or vaccine.
In The scarecrows I wrote about the governments’ justification of gambling and in Norwegian greed I wrote more about acquisitiveness. I discovered a headline in a newspaper today that follows the same subject. Donald Trump published a list of organizations that had given money to The Clinton Foundation. Norway and Saudi Arabia was on top of the list, and according to this list the Norwegian government had given between $ 10 and 25 million. It turns out it’s worse because according to NORAD the Norwegian contribution was $ 89,6 million between 2007 and 2015. The reason for the discrepancy is that Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is an independent organization that reports its own donors.
Norway also divided the money between the government and NORAD, which is the agency that manages developmental aid given by the Norwegian government. This is probably very common, and I suspect my government is doing this to buy friends and support, but I wish they’d stop it. Apart from this being wrong I don’t think it’s going to work in the long run. I know many in politics like to divide the world into friends or foes, and there is a lot of evidence showing that long term relationships almost doesn’t exist in politics. Sooner or later you feel the rather unpleasent sensation of a dagger digging into your back. The crazy thing is that no one seems to mind. This should be extremely illegal use of taxpayers money. Media reported it, but there is no debate.
A professor of comparative politics at a Norwegian university pointed out recently that three of the biggest democracies could be run by Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and Boris Johnson next year. I’m not convinced that Norway’s paid friend would make any difference.