I need to say a little more about Carl-I. Hagen.
(The hyphen is there in his real name, but he is known as Carl I. Hagen. The I stands for Ivar.)
He is a manipulative type, working wherever he finds it practical, on and off the political stage. I think if you have ears for things like that, you can hear his voice many places, he has been a restless political speaker since the 1980s.
You are not going to spend other people’s money, are you?
One of his slogans.
One of his musical heroes, I think, is Elvis.
I think Hagen himself must have some kind of musical or stage talent. His voice is of the kind that…if you are present and he is speaking, almost no matter what he says, and no matter what your political views normally are, when he is finished, you think, hm, that was not stupid…and then, after a few minutes, if you come back to yourself and remember that you used to have your own opinions, it’s maybe possible to sort out what’s what.
He also has a magnificent ability, when he speaks, to balance on the edge between truth and lies.
Insinuation is also a speciality, also in writing. I remember reading an article about the climate changes (which he does not believe is a true story), and one ended up thinking that SV, one of the left-wing parties which opposes him politically, that they were in some way dishonest or trying to control the discussion.
I think he is such a person himself.
He is also a strategist, I believe, thinking years ahead.
He is the son of the manager of Nesoddbåtene, the boats running between Oslo and Nesodden in the inner Oslo fjord basin. (Erna Solberg’s father, by the way, had a similar job in Bergen). He grew up in Røa, just outside the city of Oslo, still within the municipality of Oslo.
He wanted to become an engineer, but he didn’t manage to get into his university of choice in England, and he turned to marketing and business instead, studying in Newcastle. His CV looks for me like one of a person who is gifted and clever and quick to skip one thing or the other if possible to do things quickly.
Anti-communism is important to him.
He aired his opposition against single mums in a discussion many years ago, claiming that they have come into their situation because of their own choices in life and should not have support from the state. In the Norwegian system there has been some economical support for single mothers.
One of his main ideas seems to be that business life should have more credit, more status, and this point sums up much of all he has said the last 40 years. This point has led to lot of practical consequences other than an effect on status – many things, but this is one of his general attitudes.
I believe he had at some point the idea of camps for asylum seekers “if needed” or said something to that effect. One is now a fact, with barbed wire and closed doors, lying at Trandum, about 50 km north of Oslo.
Politically, I would say, he sees problems, but is often part of the creation of the problem, or he has often no real solution to them, I think.
You read for yourself, other things, and listen, and make up your own opinion, but Norwegian politics today can not be understood without knowing who he is or knowing something about him.