The Labor administration’s handling of the Kiske case has been revealed in a new book

The Labor administration’s handling of the Kiske case has been revealed in a new book

In her book “The Whistleblowers,” author and social scientist Heidi Helen Swain takes a strong stand against Ap’s handling of the much-discussed Giske case, which she reviews from A to Z.

– For me, it is important that whistleblowers’ voices are fully heard. I followed the case from day one and saw it as a bad move. Sweeney tells NDP that AP’s handling of whistleblower cases is a terrible example.

– Selected idle line

The warnings against Trond Giske gained a lot of attention when the case broke in December 2017.

In the book, Svein Vaal recounts how the case was initially brought forward by party leader Jonas Gerstor and later by Anniken Huitfeldt, head of the APS’s women’s network. “Wobbling,” “woolly” and “devilizing” are the words she uses to describe the manipulation.

“Støre and Huitfeldt had a great opportunity to show action, while they were given a golden opportunity to distance themselves from sexism and abuse of power. Instead, they chose a passive line,” he writes in the book.

She also believes the store contacted her twice.

– In the beginning, Storr said the announcements were taken very seriously, but at the same time referred to the events as “experiences”. As a result, whistleblowers felt their stories were being questioned, says Swain.

Both Labor leader Jonas Gerstør and party secretary Gersti Stenseng have endured heavy criticism for their handling of whistleblower cases against Trond Kiske in the book “Whistleblowers”. Here’s from the AP’s 2018 press conference on the Giske case. Photo: Day, Erlend Dalhag / NTP

Fear of leakage

He also points out that party secretary Kjersti Stenseng established early on that there was no culture in the Labor Party.

— but that’s precisely what whistleblowers warned about, he points out.

Many of the whistleblowers made it clear that they did not want Stenseng to be involved in the processing of their case because she was a “faithful Kiske friend”. Nevertheless, Storr chose to involve the party secretary in the process as well.

Swain points out that what whistleblowers fear most is that their names and stories will be leaked to the press.

– That’s what happened, she says.

Miss Settlement

Sweene believes that it would have been entirely possible for Ap before the Kiske case was formally announced. In the book, he writes that Ap already had enough information at the beginning of the process to start an investigation. The party did not.

“The matter may have ended here,” writes Swain.

– Instead of stories that were already well-known in the party, they waited for someone to make formal announcements. They pushed whistleblowers in front of them. In fact, she says it’s very hair-growing.

According to Sween, Ap’s official story was that they were unaware of Giske’s behavior and that it was about the reprehensible actions of an individual.

“For many of us who have followed the case closely, a different picture emerges. The party’s decades-long unwillingness to examine its own failure leaves a glaring void in the narrative. There is little help in pointing to one rotten apple when the basket is all poison.” She writes in her book.

Sween believes the app still doesn’t deal with uncultured and misogynistic attitudes.

– A solution with such approaches is completely absent in Ap. Many people are aware of Giske’s behavior. He says they still have power in the party.

New notification

In the book, he interviews eight whistleblowers. One of them is unknown to the public till now.

Giske has always denied allegations of sexual harassment, but resigned as Ap vice president in January 2018 as a result of whistleblower cases. In August 2020, he also had to withdraw as a candidate for the position of district chairman of Trøndelag Ap due to new announcements.

Since then, he has formed Ap’s largest local team, Nidaros Social Democratic Forum, in Trondheim.

Ap, for its part, has concluded that Giske violated the party’s code of conduct when it comes to sexual harassment.

– To be safe

NTB submitted a review of the book to Trond Giske, Jonas Gahr Støre and Kjersti Stenseng. Referring to the store party office, Giske tells NTB that he does not want to comment on the case.

Stenseng tells NTB that he has not read the book and does not want to comment on individual passages.

– In general terms, I would say that since 2017 the Labor Party has had clear guidelines for dealing with announcements and has, among other things, focused more on good party culture through information and its own educational rings. Acting in the Labor Party should be safe and we are working towards that, says the Party Secretary.

Hope others can learn

Swain hopes the book will serve as a shock and warning to other companies.

– This case shows how difficult it is to give notice in a hierarchical organization like the Labor Party. Now we see the same thing happening in the armed forces, he points out.

– Do you see signs of change?

– Collective awareness of sexual harassment has actually increased. But in certain cases it will go wrong anyway. Many companies have a weak awareness of notification processes, but are more concerned about protecting their reputation, says Sween.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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