Full text: Read Marie Krarup's translated column

By Inger Mortensen

Danish politician Marie Krarup sparked a furore by writing a controversial column about her recent visit to New Zealand. Read her full column, translated by Inger Mortensen, below.

Marie Krarup, a member of the Danish People's Party. Photo / Supplied
Marie Krarup, a member of the Danish People's Party. Photo / Supplied

By Marie Krarup (DF)

(Dansk Folkeparti is an ultra rightwing party in Denmark, which sits on 22 of the 179 seats in parliament)

New Zealands natur er bjergtagende smuk og befolkningen venlig og civiliseret. Sådan da.... På en officiel tur med Forsvarsudvalget havde jeg fornøjelsen af at deltage i besøg ved forskellige forsvarsinstallationer i New Zealand. Og man må sige, at der både var civilisation og det modsatte tilstede.

New Zealand's nature is breathtakingly beautiful, and the population friendly and civilised. Sort of... On an official trip with the Defence Committee, I had the pleasure of participating in visits at various defence installations in New Zealand. And I have to say, there was both civilisation and the opposite present.

Det lyder umiddelbart underligt, at danske politikere skal tage om på den anden side af jordkloden for at studere forsvar. Men det viser sig, at der er mange ligheder mellem New Zealand og Danmark.

Befolkningens størrelse (4,4 mio i NZ), ønsket om at spare på forsvaret,så det ikke udgør for stor en del af BNP, samt store opgaver i form af overvågning af arktiske områder. New Zealand beskærer sit forsvar og er pt i gang med en 18 % reduktion af budgettet. Derfor har man fravalgt offensive kapaciteter - ingen kampfly, ingen kampvogne og kun to fregatter. Forsvarets opgave er i høj grad også civil, idet man er meget aktiv i forbindelse med hjælp ved humanitære katastrofer, søredning og fiskerikontrol mm. New Zelands forsvarspolitik lyder i det hele taget som lidt af en drøm for Det Radikale Venstre!

First off, it seems strange that Danish politicians should go to the other side of the Earth to study defence. But it turns out that there are many similarities between New Zealand and Denmark. The size of the population (4.4 million in NZ); the desire to save on defence so that it does not make up too large a proportion of GDP; as well as big tasks in the way of monitoring of arctic areas. New Zealand is cutting down on its defence and is currently in the process of reducing its budget by 18 per cent. Which is why they have opted out of offensive capacities - no fighter jets, no tanks and only two frigates. The defence (force) also has a lot of civil tasks, as they are very active in offering help during humanitarian catastrophes, sea rescues, fisheries control etc. Altogether New Zealand's defence policy sounds a bit like a dream for "Det Radikale Venstre" (Danish Social-liberal party).

Hvordan kan man have et forsvar uden en offensiv kapacitet?, det var et naturligt spørgsmål for os. For man kan jo godt forstille sig situationer, hvor man vil være nødt til at forsvare sig med et angreb. Vores jagerfly er jo f.eks. garanten for hævdelsen af vores suverænitet. En forsker ved en New Zealandsk tænketank svarede meget snusfornuftigt: "Det ligger ikke til New Zealand at bruge penge på noget, der ikke bliver brugt. Så vil vi hellere bruge penge på andre ting." Tankegangen om afskækkelse ligger åbenbart langt fra New Zealand!

How can you have defence without an offensive capacity? This was a natural question for us. As you could easily imagine situations where one would have to defend oneself with an attack. Our fighter jets for instance are our guarantee for the assertion of our sovereignty. A researcher at a New Zealand think-tank answered matter-of-factly, "It's not like New Zealand to spend money on something that is not being used. So we would rather spend money on other things". The idea of deterrents is obviously far from New Zealand!

Under besøget fik vi gentagne gange at vide, at New Zealand træner og koordinerer med Australien. Og de har masser af jagerfly! Kunne man forestille sig, at New Zealand er en slags gratister under en australsk sikkerhedsparaply? Lidt ligesom Danmark i NATO under fodnotepolitikken? Eller har de opgivet at forsvare sig selv? Eller er der simpelthen ingen trusler imod den fjerne østat? Jeg kan næppe give svaret, men jeg kunne undervejs observere visse selvopgivende træk.

During our visit we were told repeatedly that New Zealand trains and coordinates with Australia. And they have plenty of fighter planes! Could one surmise that New Zealand is a kind of free-riders under an Australian security umbrella? A little like Denmark in Nato under the footnote-policy? Or have they given up on defending themselves? Or are there simply no threats against this faraway island state? I can hardly answer, but along the way I could observe certain defeatist characteristics.

New Zealand er blevet koloniseret af briter og har ikke altid behandlet det oprindelige folk - maorierne lige pænt. De udgør i dag kun 12% af befolkningen, men får stor opmærksomhed og har fået gennemtrumfet en kompensations-politik, hvor de kan få erstatning for de skader, de er blevet påført siden en britisk-maori-aftale blev indgået i 1840. På det kulturelle område har de stigende indflydelse. Siden 2000 har der været øget fokus på at genoplive deres sprog og kultur ikke blot blandt maorier, men i hele befolkningen.

New Zealand was colonised by the British and has not always treated its original population - the Maoris - all that nicely. Today they [the Maoris] make up only 12 per cent of the population but get a lot of attention and have forced through a compensation policy through which they can get compensation for the damages they have been expsed to since a British-Maori agreement which was made in 1840. In the cultural area they have an increasing influence. Since 2000 there has been focus on reviving their language and culture not just among the Maori but in the whole population.

Her kommer jeg til det mindre civiliserede indslag i Forsvarsudvalgets besøg. Da vi kom til en flådebase blev vi nemlig ikke modtaget med håndtryk eller honnør af uniformerede mænd som sædvanlig. Nej, vi blev modtaget med et maori-danseritual, med en halvnøgen mand i bastskørt, der råbte og skreg på maori. Han udførte mærkelige ritualer og rakte tunge, mens vi så til og blev instrueret af en lokal om, at vi ikke måtte grine, og at vi efter hans brølekoncert skulle gå ind i maori-templet, hvor søofficererne ventede på os. Men de fik stadig ikke lov til at give hånd til os. Vi skulle igennem et langt ritual, der foregik på maori, hvor de nydelige, hvidklædte og europæisk udseende sø- officerer talte på gebrokkent maori og sang en sang, der lød som "Mariehønen evigglad" på maori - komplet med pædagog-guitar-akkompagnement. Jeg prøvede at fange søofficernes blikke under udførelsen af ritualet, men de så ned i jorden! Efter ritualet fik vi endelig lov til at hilse på officererne - men med næsegnidning - ikke håndtryk. Jeg skal hilse og sige, at man føler sig som en idiot, når man tvinges til at gnide næste med 10 europæisk udseende søofficerer. Stor var min taknemmelighed imod den ene fyr, der gav mig et smækkys på kinden i stedet for et næsetryk! Efter ritualet kunne vi slå over i engelsk og i det hele taget gå i gang med et civiliseret besøg. Dog beså vi lige maori-templet, der var udsmykket med gudeskikkelser med vrede ansigter og store erigerede penisser. Det er mig en gåde, at de stakkels søofficerer kunne udholde både ceremonien og omgivelserne.

Here I come to the less civilized part of the Defence Committee's visit. When we arrived at the naval base we were not received with handshakes or salutes by uniformed men as usual. No, we were received with a Maori dancing ritual by a half-naked man in a grass skirt, shouting and screaming in Maori. He performed strange rituals and poked his tongue while we looked on and were instructed by a local that we were not allowed to laugh, and that after his roar concert we should go into the Maori temple where the naval officers were awaiting us. But they were still not allowed to shake our hands. We had to go through a long ritual which was performed in Maori during which the neat, white-dressed and European-looking naval officers spoke in broken Maori and sang a song that sounded like "Mariehønen Evigglad" (Danish children's song about a happy ladybird) in Maori - complete with kindergarten-teacher-guitar-accompaniment. I tried to catch the eyes of the naval officers during the performance of the ritual, but they were staring at the ground! After the ritual we were finally allowed to greet the officers - but with nose-rubbing - not handshakes. I would like to point out that one feels like an idiot when forced to rub noses with ten European-looking naval officers. I was very grateful towards the one guy who gave me a big kiss on the cheek instead of a nose rub! After the ritual we could convert to English and altogether start the civilized visit. However, we did see the Maori temple which was decorated with God-figures and large erect penises. It is a mystery to me how the poor naval officers could stand the ceremony and the surroundings.

Templet er et af flere og der planlægges endnu flere til at modtage officielle gæster til forsvarsinstallationer i New Zealand. Det er et led i programmer rettet imod " cultural awareness"! Man kunne måske også kalde det kulturel selvudslettelse, eller grotesk multi-kulti-dyrkelse. Men det havde tydeligvis haft sin virkning på de New Zealandske søofficerer!

The temple is one of several and even more are planned for receiving official visitors to defence installations in New Zealand. It is a part of programmes directed towards "cultural awareness"! One could maybe also call it cultural self-annihilation or grotesque multi-culturism. But it has obviously had its impact on the New Zealand naval officers!

Senere i besøget fik jeg oplyst af en bekymret konservativ politiker, at mellem 50.000 og 80.000 New Zealændere forlader landet hvert år. Men befolkningstallet falder ikke. De udrejsende - mest af europæisk afstamning - erstattes af asiatiske indvandrere. "Der er ikke lang tid til, vi er en brun befolkning", som han sagde. Farven kan jo være ligemeget, - men hvordan vil kulturen være i fremtidens New Zealand? Næppe som den har været de seneste 200 år. Det virker i det mindste ikke som om, New Zealand har viljen til at sætte deres egen kultur igennem.

Later in the visit I was informed by a worried conservative politician that between 50,000 and 80,000 New Zealanders leave the country every year. But the population is not declining. The migrants - mostly of European descent - are replaced by Asian immigrants. "It will not be long before we are a brown population", as he said. Of course colour does not matter - but what will the culture be in New Zealand of the future? Hardly as it has been in the last 200 years. At least it seems New Zealand does not have the will to put their own culture forward.

Valdemar Rørdam skrev som bekendt, "at aldrig kan et folk forgå, som ikke vil det selv". Det virker ikke, som New Zealand er et folk, der vil bestå. Hverken forsvarsmæssigt eller kulturelt.

As we know, Valdemar Rørdam wrote "that never can a people die out which does not want to". It does not seem as if New Zealand is a people that will remain. Neither with regards to defence nor culturally.

Lad aldrig Danmark komme dertil!

Let never Denmark come to this!

- APNZ

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