The Oslo Times meets with the Norwegian Green party for an exclusive interview
Interview with Rasmus Johan Michael Hansson by Chief In Editor of the Oslo Times Hatef Mokhtar and Matthew Classen Senior Honorary Media Advisor of the Oslo Times.
Johan Michael Hanssonis an activist and politician for the Green Party. He led the Norwegian chapter of World Wide Fund for Nature from 2000 to 2012. In 2013, he was elected to the Parliament of Norway as the first representative for the Green Party.
First of all what can you tell us about the green party? I know that the made some games the last a year or two, and of course it’s on a platform that I read about environmental protection which will include phasing out oil and gas production by 2033 and also about the food and more organic forming some business practice biased on intervention, so these or something’s that I read you can tell me a little bit more about generally then we can ask some more specific questions?
Hansson: Very generally speaking the green party in Norway is about two things, one is to normalise Norwegian politics relative to the rest of Europe, you don’t have to go further than to Sweden where to find green party which is 3rdbiggest party, and with quite strong possession in politically may be they will be part of next government same thing in Germany. 3rd biggest party crime provincial and in both cases in other Europe countries green parties are popular parties somewhere around the center of the politics, but not taking part of traditional left rights red blue type politics, rather challenging both sides, and that’s the kind of prospective for the Norwegian green party too. Norway has a lackedof such a party, and our ambition is to become that first and the medium size of party in Norway which is very much part of the size of partner with the politics, so that is that part of it. Tactical strategic party too want to you that way, and the other party is now we are a party that basically works the kick start Norway’s the Next generation in Norway. Norway today is extremely prose press and lucky many ways because of the oil and we too recognize that, but we also recognize that a long with the prosperity of the oil comes with the problem the climate problem of the oil creates. So everybody we just like everybody else recognized that civil literal have to do something about that problem, becauseit costs of the problems that for so I refused, or at least according to everything we no likely to be an acceptable from a moral and from a financial and from a human, not least human rights, human well fare point of view, so our main political goal is to start the transition from fusel based Norway to sustainable Norway that everybody knows that we have to create soon or latter , we would like to do it sooner while we still have the opportunities to act because right now Norway has, we have the technology we have the Nordhve we have the flexibility we have the political stability and we have the funding, that makes it easier for us to start making that transaction now, then it will be in 10 years or 20 years when most likely our situation is not as friable and when most likely other countries are rather in bigger trouble then in smaller trouble then they are now because of climate change effects. So that is kind of easy description a wake anark. We would like to start doing that now and we are challenging parties which is still the majority of the Norwegian politics that are mainly investing politically and financially, or otherwise maintaining Norwegian oil independency that is where most of the right minds, most of the investment, most of the ichnology, most of the political focused still goes, and the oil and gas sector is rather consuming even more efforts and investments, social and political and financial investments then less it has the investments to keep the oil and gas sector going has increased drastically during the last 30 years. Other result is that Norway is more dependent on oil and gas then ever, and the problem is of course is less able to make transition that everybody knows that we have to make and it makes us more a part of the problem, which is escrowing up global climate.
Why do you think it is? If I just jump in you mentioned several countries that have very strong green parties. Sweden being a the neighbor one would think which is because of very smeller cultures I agree with also equally being strong like Norway so what is it that keeps the green party back wise and strong is it, should be?
Hansson: Well the main reason is most obviously that we have had two are three other parties that have profiled themselves as pretty green the liberal party venstre the socialist left party and to some extend Christian democrat party they will profile themselves as green and that is fair enough they have been in vironmentalpolices have been fairly good but they have never been welling to challenge the oil and gas dependence the way we are, and we are pressing for changed policies in a way that they have never done, and our results last during last elections when we were not at all expected to be a part not part of election campaign not part of the media picture and Norway part of Norwegian politics in the parliament the change that we made during those elections last summer is proof enough that an increasing amount of voters want a more committed environment land and sustainable policy because we are not by no means by the name Just a party that is about ecological food and the climate missions basically we are a party that is about solidarity with people with life on earth and in the future, and we recognized that in order we for future in mankind to live a good life we need to somehow maintain the biases of livingearth and we recognized with everybody else learn at school the mankind is to pushing the limits of the global biological system, and geophysical can’t take without entering to the big changes. So we are basically we are party that is working for human welfare that recognizing that human well fear is dependent on politics respecting the limits of the ecological change and the limits of your geophysical change.
Tell me something about the immigrant’s society here in Norway what is your policy about immigrants, because now many people call Norway a multi-cultural society what do you think about this?
Hansson: It’s wonderful for now for Norway I agree with this more a less pure white society even I grow up in central Oslo I am from Oslo and people live with darker skin then me was very red then the Pakistanis started to come extra…
Which has simply made Norway a much richer much stronger much more interesting society, as I said no doubt that Norway has gained a lot from it Oslois much more interesting city, and so all the cultural staff is totally clear, but also Norwegian economy has prospered enormously and now we are prospering from Pakistan’s coming in from Pols even the Swedish so emigration is absolutely necessary for Norway, and it’s great for Norway.
Editor In Chief of the Oslo Times Hatef Mokhtar with Rasmus Johan Michael Hansson
How is the immigrationcontributed to the prosperity?
Hansson: Norway has a long time and still has deficit of skill workers, we have in constructionindustry, in the restaurant, hotel business and in a lot of industries there is not simply enough Norwegian labor, so a lot of those and a lot big industries a lot of those very necessary jobs are done by immigrants, we would be simply we would be in troubles if we didn’t have serious immigrants to do that kind of job and those people who are coming and starting with those jobs are abusively mostly getting integratedNorwegiansintegration policy is not all are easy we have all sorts of problems like all other countries have but basically most people get integrated in a good way and become citizen in Norway and do all sorts of jobs and simply contributing into the society in an extremely positive way. So that is the standard immigration then it is refugees and that part people who are really have to flee or something like that and of course that is more problematic because that is people I am telling yousomething that staff that are people are , I am telling you the staff that your very aware, but any way you’re asking that’s people who are traumatize that’s people who have the education and they are starting pointinterning to the society in Norway like other western society people like that coming its tough so obviously there are some problems connected to that to some extend Norway needs to improve their way to well come those people but the most important part is that we that green need to be much more generous to be receiving people who are coming from areas where conditions are really bad and the example is that these day are Syria.
Do you have some member in your party that they have immigrants background ?
Hansson: Yes several one is fairly well known his name is Shohaib Sultan he is working in one of the immigrant’s organizations. He is very smart and knowledgeable fellows. It’s good to have thatkind of background in the party.
So you have board meeting you have board member?
Hansson: Yeah we are organized like all Norwegians parties like in annualconference.
No I mean in your board member do you have some immigrants?
Hansson: No, Shohaib is not a board member, and we don’t have immigrants in our board. Well that is obviously untrue because we have two.One, French and one German, but we don’t have any from south Asian countries, but this guy Shohaib Sultan he used to be in our board.
He used to be? Or he is in your board?
Hansson: No he is not
He left the party?
Hansson: No, He wasn’t elected because he was busy.
Do your party did something’s for human rights across the borders, for example there is a bad situation in Syria, in Afghanistan, in a part of Somali and now in Iraq, there is a humanitarian ground?
Hansson: No our party do not do that our party is common that Norwegian parties work like NGOS as far as I understand it is the type of activities that the NGO would do. I have self an NGO background so they are they once doing operational staff, raising money, has projects extra. If you’re asking parties the green parties certainly hasn’t done not, and theNorwegian parties done it as normally we do is to influence politics so the other can activated on those polices.
I was cruise if we just switched a little bit from human rights as far as that the green party goes some the platform is to shift the crime food system I believe, on Wikipedia I have look it this quick ?
Hansson: I have friend in Wikipedia read about the green party that was always interesting
I am from the US and I am from the part of US when you go there and visit there is a lot more there organic form a lot more verity innovation. Norway has all these resources; Norway has all in terms of smarts capital.Why do we still have a very limited food supply, and how you guys want to change the police or improve that?
Hansson: First answer why do we have limited food supply? Is that you find yourself60degrees North and if you go due west from there so these you end up in Churchill Mintel by in Canada which is called polarcapital in the world they don’t have golf sites that keeps the country warm so we have so that is how far on the earth we are. This means that Norwegians are agriculture and food production is tough thing. That is fair enough, because Norway in a very few decades ago not at all a rich country. We have had a fairly or very organized agriculture policy left agriculture all over the country in a way that brings everybody on board that makes it possible even very small forms. It is very hard to grow very much that takes them a long doesn’t only priorities the biggest, then the most prospered forms that’sbeen a part of Norwegian agriculture policy. In order to utilize every possible peace of Norwegian agriculture only 4% of Norwegian area is in growing. That isonly 4% its very different from the great place and from the priorities in the US and so far so good, but the result of that one of the result of that Norwegian agriculture is not very worried becauseeverybody is doing the same according to governmental scheme agreed many years ago and it’s also an extremely complex system of support schemesand additionalschemes that will balanceout deep wanted defected supporting scheme extra…
The government supports agriculture here as the others ofcourse different things here you do agriculture quite a lot and the system is so complex that basically the commentators in the newspapers debated and it was debated last month in Norway basically states that nobody understands this if you do something, something else will happens over you . so that is the situation that has linked increasingly a desire for evolution towards more and more industries agriculture and more food production based on imported resources so and amazed from brazil and staff like that. Act of costing Norwegian utilizing so what the green party wants to do is partly clean up the system in the sense of would like to make it clear. Food production based on resources and what is the food production biased on imported resources which is could be fair enough but it’s not part of Norwegians agriculture its putting some resources in factory or a bar so that gets some food out but it’s not Norwegian resources. And then we would like to priorities politics that stimulate real food production based on Norwegianresources and food production that is happening in equal friendly and annul friendly way. Norwegian agriculture isn’t that bad compare to much else but it’s going in a wrong way and especially with new governmentit’s really speeding up the equal unfriendly production that’s what we will work against.
How is that?
Hansson: Well because they actually prioritizing they got this idea the biggest beautiful in Norway and we are not the smallest beautiful party but in Norway there is hardly a field that a big comparative which you have in US and Afghanistan everything is small because its mountains its valleys and its everywhere. If you really go for big prioritize the Norwegian agriculture they are very little because they left out of majority which is very small staff and you have priorities the small staff if you would like to utilize Norwegianresources to produce food. In world that needs of food and in world that needs kind of moral just a based in countries which is based in food production in import so that needs to be done in equal friendly way . we do not want all of Norway to be an equal form we do wants Norwegian agriculture adapt more in equal friendly methodology partly because of environment and partly because its smart so that is basically we are afford in agriculture politics which is very interesting our position was very welcomed by the agriculture organizations during the process there is annul process in April May where negotiation where the all the sub cities and everything from government to agriculture is negotiated and that involves all political parties debates extra and what we will do more less and how will things change backwards and forwards and during those negotiations, By the agriculture organization to us as a player on the filed because we entered the parliament last four years.
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