ABC Nyheter has an article about how an employee of the Norwegian embassy in Saudi Arabia has written a couple of slightly indiscreet posts that she perhaps shouldn’t have written. Following the links I discovered I quite enjoy her blogs: In Transit – Insh’Allah, and her English blog, Orientia in Saudi. Her transgressions are rather minor – it’s a personal blog, written in a language only about sixteen million people can read, and really, you’ve got to read for quite a while before you even figure out she’s working for the embassy.
One of her “indiscretions” – well, it’s a brief ode to Emanuels, by which she means the drivers and local employees Norwegian embassies always have, and she notes how wonderful they are – and that the Norwegian embassy employs these local people on contracts that would never be acceptable in Norway. Shouldn’t a citizen of a democratic country, working for that country’s embassy be allowed to say something like that?
Of course, ABC Nyheter probably just wants to scare up a good story.
There are some jobs which you take on very clear assumptions about what you can and can’t do iof you accept the offer, Jill. In the past I’ve declined interesting positions of one kind or another because I was unwilling to assume self imposed restrictions which would have been necessary had I taken up the offer. On one occasion I resigned from an interesting position because I could no longer accept what was expected of me — but I never resented this, or tried to pretend that there couldn’t be issues where my employer had the right to expect me to follow guidelines aimed at protecting the institution.
The meaning of democracy shouldn’t be pushed so far and wide that it covers everything we want to do, because once a word means everything, it means nothing, and Humpty Dumpty has won.