onsdag 19. mars 2014

The Norwegian Right are often Not Right , Right Now

The new slightly right of centre coaltion here are also slightly wrong-side-of-centre now.

Currently they are persuing a multi message approach on the progress-party side where the political party come out with some populist rant while the parliamentary party hold quiet lipped or to the current centre line. In order to win the election they had to come to the centre from their earlier unelectable right ranting stool. Now they are towing the middle line but nibbling away at some left wing holy cows.

The first is abortion where they have opted for a kind of sly way of letting GP doctors opt out of further recommending patients. The majority of abortions here over 12 weeks are due to medical grounds of the mother or foetus. Does the doctor then not refer someone who may have a condition which clearly will lead to a termination? I have pretty conservative views that 'economic ' and ' convenience' abortion over 12 weeks is ethically unacceptable. The most common form of termination is actually now the morning after pill anyway. So they have a kind of subtle playground which probably attracts some political funding from catholic conservative foundations abroad for the political parties. The public in general are a bit wooed maybe by this, but the women's movement are not.

A further issue which is alienating right wing feminists here is the abolition of the 'fedre
kvoter' the mandatory paternity leave which if I remember right was set at 3 months or 6, I took 6 once and 3 another time which fitted in with moving here. The Hoyre party, just @Right here have been against quotas which positively discriminate for women and equalisation of mens role in the family. So now they are abolishing this which was seen as a progress towards easing society into the fact that womens careers are just as important as mens, for better or for worse house prices.

Men can now choose to not really take any and effectively the choice will be who has the bigger, better Oslo 'power job' for those high achievers there versus, it will be the missus then out in the sticks where she is much more likely work in the public health and education sector. Step in then of course bigger bills for those sectors. It means to the right, less interference in business, or rather some principle of small government which will let women struggle on rather than giving them a punt up and knocking their mans careers down a notch or two.

So the new right are newly wrong in two areas already and are about to embark on a third area too in education.

Like the right all over the west, public service teachers are seen as a wasteful and the source of all badness in international performance tables. Firstly I take issue with these performance tables and if you compare the prospects for those who take a technical apprenticeship here or university then they will not only earn far more but they will be more productive by virtue of a comprehensive education and a balanced lifestyle. Norway is actually hellish productiver per capita if you EXCLUDE the oil production industry. This is because it has to be and was leaner and meaner before oil. People were clever in how they learned and what they did with that learning, and were cunning in how they made a profit given meagre pre oil prices and long transport costs.

I would like to have a look at these league tables in terms of the later life prospects for jobs,
responsibility level at work, international responsibility, innovation, productivity,  good personnel policy implementation, general health and longevity compared to korea and china. The chinese heirarchical work culture and flippant attitude to quality standards and control mean that it is actually expensive to do quality there and freight it to the west for many capital items and with suppressed costs and profit expectations in the EU, quite a few companies I know of have moved work back for major offshore projects.

Korea can do quality, but will they be the new Scotland with shipyards eventually becoming
ueconomic in the face of the communist capitalists over the south china sea?

When I hear worries about not enough engineers and not enough programmers the issue
is actually that companies are loathed to have to pay new graduates more than established employees of course, but in general would like to have a declining cost base which is at odds not least with demographics. In Norway too many spoilt children of the oil generations best earners go out and take social sciences or art subjects or of course th
that doyen of the middle classes, Media Studies only to find that there just arent many jobs in that anyway. We are looking at the non technical generation here in Norway too, as in theUK, as earning relatively less than their parents and having a lower standard of living.

Anyway the right wing coalition here turn on that bastion of socialism in the times table, the
school teacher. They have actually their most radical policy on anything aimed at teachers and are ready for a fight. So ready in fact that their raft of proposed reforms are just the old chesnut of talking a big fight, backing down and then actually achieving the small move
-ment they originally wanted. They want both their cake in front of them and to eat it at the same time by wanting better results, harder working teachers but labouring more beaurcratic tasks on teachers outside quality teaching hours. They want to rip up the old agreements on longer working hours marking and doing non curricular out of hourrs activities for longer holidays, and get some form of wonder planning and efffectiveness from teachers working into July, when as anyone knows you can get sod all done in private industry in Norway. I think this is just a stalking horse for a simpler and popular goal which is to remove planning days into general school holidays and out of hours time, which is a good idea and if they acheive zero planning days they will save industry and public service masses of lost hours as people continue to stream to the metropolii out of reach fo the grandparents, who are getting too old now to look after 7 year olds anyway. I mean do SFO need planning days in school term? No.

The next big fight will no doubt be on health, but here it is more softly softly be pragmatic at the moment before talk of a market system outside additional capacity. Really this bunch are so arrogant to believe that they have the right to two terms in parliament to 'fix the red green mess' and then move the country forward. The next fight after these will be temporary contract work, where in fact Labour here did a cunning thing opting into the EU directive which basically puts agency workers on the same level as ordinary workers rights in that nation and has removed much of the competitive, low cost and cheating advantages they had. Temporary contracts will be good for the economy and get the long term out of work back into employment they say. Everyone here knows that you need a permanent job to get house and bling loans so this will make temp work with small companies even less popular with the brighter graduates, meaning like in the UK, you pay peanuts on short contracts and you get monkeys who are counter productive and not motivated. The finance
sector largely abuse the law ironically enough, where mid ranking analysts as in the rest of the west are on one year fixed contracts, take it or leave it, in breach of the law.

The new right keep on quoting the 'lost youth' who fall out of education as the need for much of this reform. These are the wasters, the dope smokers, the bullies, the dont care and of course those with undiagnosed dyslexia, ADHD and aspbergers. In most other western countries these wasters end up doing the shitty jobs and maybe get some adult literacty and a new start if they carre. Here they learn to go on sick-benefits or take aforementioned temp job, be shit at it, not get taken on further but earn up points for
unemployment benefit. They no doubt drag down the average on those league tables
and if you want to compare private school tables, forget it, they arre discouraged from sitting the examinations in the key metric areas of maths in particular. Double gymn for them. The simple answer is a right wing answer even Labour in the UK adopted its long reign over a bouyant ecconomy / if you dont get out and gett work then  you are going to be very poor. Here they are pandered to and get extra education and work placements I would quite fancy for myself in times between job contracts. Another thing, immigrants are seen as temp job workers, expendable so this law will just make a big rise in immigrant or guest worker unemployment as indeed the slump in house building did> they laid off all the poles and Lithuanians after five years of lots of work, and hey presto did the guests go home to abject poverty? No they signed on the dole here and kept on paying their mortgages and sending their kids to preschool and were better off than here in their newly made home than going home as they were expected to do. Temp work is bad news for me in future> I have been used and abused by contracts and even in permanent jobs but I have also used and abused contracts to suit my own ends of getting the right experience and having time with the family.Now I have to get back on the ladder soon in either a stable job or a fast moving job so temp work is bad news as we need a new car and a new mortgage.

The new soft right are then wanting to rattle sabres but come out with a series of wins
which they can parade out in time for the next general election. The trouble is that they are tickeling with the way of life and models people are used to here  and in that they stand on shallow ground, already reliant on the dieing liberal party 'venstre' who are not sitting in government but prefer wheeler dealing in back rooms. Labour here had ironically their best showing ever and have a ground of a solid force in a possible 2018 coalition leftist government where the centre-party and the left socialists will have less say but there will need to be concessions made to them in order to form a coalition. Currently the right wing are going to be putting a bung in everyone's wallet only to take it away from the below average family income in various ways over time, money floating upwards in a one way street is not popular here.

Basically Norwegians would never be fooled by bullshit like
Reaganist 'Trickle Down' - instead they have since oil came always wanted their own piece of the pie against the old right capitalists here who ran shipping lines and relied on poverty
for their supply of labour. A days work was going to be a living wage and then some, with time off in there too. Now the skilled working masses earn a lot more and are taxed too much - but the question is who voted right who did not in the last eight years? The answer is not labour and not socialist left. The answer is somewhere in the floating voter land, and not voted much before land where in my personal experience, people have been fed iup with road tolls and high taxes and the perception of waiting times in hospital. Poor roads too, but since most of Norwegian labour live within 30 minutes of their job and the roads outside rush hour resemble a Sunday 2 am in other western countries this has not been a very big swing. Enough though it has been, just as those teachers who were not political before, and those workers who do not want temp contracts and deunionisation will scome out in the next election.

Labour here has been seen as far too immigrant and assylum seeker freindly, and thgey will now inherit a more careful structure with fewer taken, maybe some selection on cultural comaptibility, locked assylum camps and extradition of paperless seekers and anyone caught doing anything else criminal while here or from abroad. This is a must happen for the right governement, another area swing voters came out in force for. A future labour government may whipe its brow and say phew because the human rights lobby are too strong in the movement and in socialist left they had to endure in the last governm,ent.

I see this as a one term government and a new centre right Labour government following them. The trouble is that all the parties are completely reliant on the 80 dollar barrell oil right now. In future gas will be more important and then the North Sea electricity net will help keep the exchequer in kroner, but no one is really addressing a possible low dollar price and of course when oil and gas becomes uneconomic here in maybe 2030 or as long as 2050.  What will Statoil and Aker Solutions do then? Will norway be lumbered with uncompetitive labour costs or will low power costs make electro industries once again the white heat thing they were in 1905 when Norway became a state again?

Innovation outside oil has been difficult here but in areas where technical creativity and qaulity production are to the fore, norway has been a world player. The set back usu6lly comes when they go big too early in a market, and this is what happened in solar cells which became both commoditised and fiddled enough with in China that a major new industry fell on its face on the starting blocks. Norway has to think nimble and support technical entrepreneurs more rather than tyring to build a new aker-kværner or Statoil.

I dont beleive there is the risk investment , the number of tech literate real entrepreneura or the government will to diversify the economy. However i do think that the current generation of young engineers do have thr attitudes to break free of the big corporate
Blankets especially if they find more and more of their time being in Korea, Brasil and China.


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