Tag Archives: coalition

Kick ass women: Birgitte Nyborg

Nobody in this damn coalition rocks the scarf look like I do

I am so enjoying Borgen (pronounced, by Danish friends tell me “Born” with a bit of a swallow in the middle where the ‘g’ is). And a huge reason for my pleasure is the performance of the luminously beautiful Sidse Babett Knudsen, who plays Birgitte Nyborg, leader of the (fictional) Moderate Party, who becomes Denmark’s first (fictional) female prime minister.

Clever, complicated and utterly compelling, she’s no Margaret Thatcher. She’s much more the sort of groundbreaking female PM that many of us dreamed of having. For a start her politics are magnificently liberal (think President Bartlett, on a bike, without God). Secondly, she’s a thoroughly decent human being. And thirdly, she is operating as prime minister in a nightmarishly complicated coalition, which requires the patience and diplomacy of a saint and the ability to juggle ninety balls in the air at once.

There is so much to enjoy in Borgen (which means castle or fortress, and is the Danish slang for their parliament building).

  • Copenhagen
  • Lots of scandals involving sex, infidelity and money
  • A great baddy in the form of slick, scheming Michael Laugesen
  • Vast plates of Danish pastries in meetings (oh leave me alone, I found it funny)
  • Ubiquitous bicycles which have right of way over cars, with even young children taking themselves off to school on them
  • A gripping portrayal of a marriage, with kids, in which both adults are trying to be egalitarian and fair under massively increasing pressure
  • Fascinating interplay between TV journalists, spin doctors and politicians
  • Real looking actors of all ages, some a bit overweight, with crap teeth. Very reassuring

Just loads of good stuff really. But best of all is the wonderful character of Birgitte Nyborg in her sexy boots and wonderful scarves.

Posted by Inkface

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Election News Special 2010: “Coalition of the losers”

The longest TV election night in UK history now reaches its 96th hour.  Have they allowed David Dimbleby some sleep?  Judging by his appearance at the hurriedly arranged 8.30 pm BBC1 Election special, he’s had a few hours kip.

But under the hallowed unwritten UK constitution it’s actually a requirement that a Dimbleby remains on TV until a new government is formed.   It’s going to be a long night.

You guys all wanted a hung parliament – and this is what it’s like.  We’re watching the formation of a Government in slow-mo, something  that usually happens in just a few hours on the early hours of a Friday morning after the polls close.

But you’ve got to admit these are great, dramatic political events.  Today (Monday) perhaps the best of all as Gordon Brown shifted the dynamic once more with his resigning as leader, but remaining PM.  It’s one of the great features of that same unwritten UK constitution that we can do this – “I’m resigning as leader, but I’m still in charge of the country”.  Beleaguered leaders elsewhere must see this as a pretty neat trick.

General Election Night, usually the time of highest drama as MPs fall and rise, now feels like the phony war.  There was no Portillo moment then.  But I think we’ve had it now, with Gordon falling on his sword outside No 10.  But “were you back home in time for Gordon?”, sadly doesn’t have the same ring to it. Continue reading


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