As my Twitter and Facebook-feeds have been exploding with the story about Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s travel expenses for the Korean-led INGO GGGI during the last week, here are my scattered thoughts:
1. Did the story tell us something new about Løkke?
Hardly. While the size of the accounts involved definitively exceeded those of the previous Danish scandals, Løkke has always had an extravagant and rather sloppy approach to expenses.
2. Was the story beneficial to the government?
Yes and no. Obviously, the exposure has tarnished Løkke’s reputation and led to a short-term decline in support for the Liberals but on the other hand it hasn’t changed his reputation and it hasn’t changed the balance of power between the government and the opposition. The stage is still set for a landslide victory for the right in 2014 or 2015.
3. The activity of politicians and advisors on Facebook and Twitter was far too much of an already bad thing.
Their updates were predictable, boring and in the end simply annoying. Self-righteousness and hyperbole are two things which can seriously alienate people who are not already activists, even if I will admit that the standard of political discussions on the internet (as in “real life”) generally isn’t too encouraging already.