– FRP has an image problem

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– FRP must not become a one-party party. We can not be a party for the particularly interested, then we have to talk about more issues. We need to talk more about school policy and how we should secure jobs, says newly elected FpU leader Andreas Brännström.

He is at his first national meeting as FpU leader after being elected new leader of the youth party earlier this autumn. And he is concerned about the rhetoric of immigration policy.

– I am completely convinced that people want Frp’s solutions, if they understand the challenges the world faces. But then it is our duty to front our solutions in a sympathetic, charismatic and optimistic way. I think a lot of people agree with the policy, but who still choose to vote for another party, says Brännström.

Politics is thus not fronted in a sympathetic, charismatic and optimistic enough way for FpU.


AGREED? Party leader Siv Jensen denied that there was any disagreement between her and Ketil Solvik-Olsen, after she emphasized that the FRP should not use consent in the immigration debate. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB
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Out- or in-vote

Dagbladet talks to Brännström out on what is called the “airstrip” at the FRP national meeting, right outside the hall. Inside the hall is the debate between leader Siv Jensen and former deputy leader Ketil Solvik-Olsen, who is back in Norway again to focus fully on politics.

– We will not talk to agree on immigration policy, Ketil! said Siv Jensen to the national meeting.

The background was a VG interview on Friday where Solvik Olsen said exactly this. During the political debate, Ketil Solvik-Olsen struck back:

– Only those who do not have a battery in their hearing aid, believe that talking with consent means that nothing is said, said Solvik-Olsen, and received applause and laughter from the audience.

– There are more than enough problems we can point to in immigration policy, without saying that all immigrants are a problem, says Solvik Olsen, who makes a comeback in Frp and is elected to the central board this weekend. He joins Frp to get results.

– That is why I say I agree is important in the immigration debate so that we do not push people away by using a language that some people think is too harsh, he says.

Image problem

Solvik Olsen tells Dagbladet that he went to the podium to clarify “what must be a misunderstanding”.

– When I heard Siv speak, I thought it was in agreement. I agree with the policy and agree with the solutions. When I say that we must have consent, it is because I mean we must communicate in a way that both makes us appear with authority and that we appear with nuances. If we remove the nuances and roar a little too much, some people think it will be too easy.

– It does not mean that we do not manage it ever, we usually do it very well. But sometimes it gets a little too much. Then I like to get some feedback and have felt a little myself, that it will be a little too hard, he says.

– I’m completely in line with Ketil. FpU believes that Frp has had some convulsions in the election campaign lately, where they have been more concerned with getting attention than explaining our solutions. It may have given us increased support in the short term, but given the party an image problem.

– I think we need to focus more on our own policy and turn off some switches that make people not vote Frp. We must turn off these switches before the election, says Brännström.

Listhaug: – Describes the problems

Deputy chair Sylvi Listhaug chairs the resolution committee at the national meeting, where FpU leader Brännström also sits. She takes the criticism from the youth party with great calm.

– We have to talk about the problems, because they exist. Then there are many who want to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that everything is joy and joy. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Before one can solve a problem, one must describe it. We do it. At the national meeting so far, there have probably been two posts about immigration of 25 posts in total so far. I talked about health policy, in the budget negotiations we address cross-border trade, tolls, health and the elderly. I mean we talk about a lot of different issues, says Listhaug.

– The FpU leader says the voters are being pushed away because of the rhetoric?

– We have seen voter surveys that show that FrP has very strong support for immigration policy. Among FrP voters, immigration policy is incredibly strong, but it also has support among many who vote for other parties.

FpU stands alone

Brännström promises a clearer FpU in the future. He points out that FpU in many cases stands alone among the youth parties.

– Fpu is the only youth party that was not involved in the climate strike. It shows that all the other parties think the same, it is only we who stand out and stand up for safe jobs, increased value creation and a sustainable welfare society, says Brännström.

He refers to a survey in Klassekampen from last year where a large majority still want oil and gas activities. 47 per cent of the population still want petroleum activities, but among young people between 18 and 22 the figure is 58 per cent.

– Even the Young Conservatives want to increase climate taxes, immigration and taxes and fees. The majority agrees with us and wants to extract more oil and gas, but none of the other youth parties dare to pursue a rational policy, says Brännström.

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