In June the Prime Minister of Norway worked secretly as a taxi driver in Oslo for a day.
Disguised in a uniform and sunglasses, Jens Stoltenberg, picked up passengers for several hours, only admitting his identity after the travellers guessed who he was.
The stunt was dreamed up by an ad agency as part of Stoltenberg’s re-election campaign and was filmed with hidden cameras. The Prime Minister says he wanted to hear the public’s real views on politics: “If there is one place where people say what they really mean about most things, it is in a taxi. Right from the gut,” he told Norwegian newspaper VG.
After realising the identity of the driver, several of the passengers joked with Stoltenberg, saying, “So, you have begun driving a taxi,” and “Have you quit as prime minister?”
Folllowing some political disucssions the conversation turned to Stoltenberg’s driving, with one passenger saying: “I am not really happy about the driving,” and another, “Your driving is really bad.” Stoltenberg, who has led the Nordic country for the past eight years, admitted he is usually driven around by a chaffeur.
Asked by VG if he would consider becoming a taxi driver if he loses the re-election, Stoltenberg said: “I think the nation and Norwegian taxi passengers are best served if I am the prime minister and not a taxi driver.”
Stoltenberg’s Labour party is trailing in the polls against the opposition Conservatives. Parliamentary elections will take place on September 9.