My home country has found itself in a rather slippery situation recently. As a nation we’ve always been on top of the world, dwelling casually by the North Pole in a landmass looking somewhat like a disfigured mitten. We always rank first on the Human Development Index (when we’re not beaten by the Finns), and apart from the occasional delusional terrorist, we’re known as a peaceful country. A place of democracy, holding hands, brown cheese, cross country-skiing and Roald Amundsen.
But recently things have taken a turn for the worse. When departing the Monocle office for Christmas I perused the local Norwegian newspapers and realized that I was returning to a country on the verge of decline and despair. I am of course talking about the butter crisis. Low-carb dieters have supposedly exhausted the market and the producers are empty of supplies. Although my eyes are watering as I write, I will try to continue.
The severity of the situation crystallised at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo in December, when the lovely host Rosario Dawson – campaigning for human rights in Liberia and Yemen – was asked about her sentiments towards the current butter shortage in Norway. She was too appalled to speak.
And I agree. Heavens! Norway is contributing with roughly one per cent of our GDP to foreign aid. And what do we get back? This is a greasy famine and the world should take notice. Thank the lord for those kind Estonian butter smugglers who have been supplying us to some extent. My Christmas dinner had a total of five and not the mandatory seven cakes, and I swear my 86-year-old grandmother almost had a cardiac arrest – due to lack of butter.
Let’s have a trade off – Norway might be minuscule in size (we count roughly five million heads), but due to our natural resources we have some of the most delicious produce there is. And as the fifth biggest oil exporter in the world we definitely have some weight to throw around.
You give us the butter, we give you the oil. The euro is flailing, people are returning to their beloved drachmas and liras, and although the Norwegian krone has a remarkable potency, why take the risk? Butter is the new currency of the 21st century.
Mark my words, those seven Christmas cakes will be mine again.