Through the eyes of a Dane


During the last five months I’ve been living in the UK. This has been an extraordinary experience as it is the first time I have lived outside my native country Denmark. Before I came to the UK I expected to be arriving in the liberal front-runner of Europe, the country where state intervention and regulation was the exception rather than the rule. I was expecting to go from socialism to a small state, but it was quite the opposite. If what we have in Denmark is social democracy and what you have here in the UK is liberal democracy, then I’ve become a social democrat!

One of the most striking experiences I have had is the discovery of health and safety? Before I came to Britain this was something that existed on construction yards and in laboratories, where it is probably sensible to have safety rules. In the UK health and safety has become the new ruler of everything, and it overrules any other decisions. I’ve manage to discover some very extraordinary rules and associated courses for using a chair and computer screen. Yet the most ridiculous health and safety regulation I have meet so far is the rule that children are not allowed to leave schools when it snows.In Denmark we don’t prohibit snow fights, we organise them.