“Disrespectful” is how one politician from Northern Norway reacted to how a Member of Parliament was caught playing Pokemon Go during a major hearing on the future of the country’s defense industry Wednesday. And it wasn’t just any MP, but the leader of one of the government’s two support parties.
Trine Skei Grande, leader of the Liberal Party (Venstre), was spotted hunting down pokemons Wednesday, right in the middle of the hearing that has prompted many politicians to travel from Northern Norway to protest proposed shutdowns of military bases in their districts. They wanted politicians in Oslo to listen to their concerns expressed at the open hearing before the parliament’s defense and foreign affairs committee.
“It is pure and simple disrepectful to sit and play Pokemon during such a serious hearing,” complained Halvar Rønneberg, group leader for the Progress Party in Andøy, a community up in arms over the pending shutdown of their local military and naval air base. Rønneberg told state broadcaster NRK that Grande’s game-playing was “meaningless, and also shows a lack of respect for voters and those who are here in the Parliament today on an important mission.”
Grande told VG during a break in the proceedings that she had stopped playing Pokemon, since it bothered some observers and participants. “But some of us have heads that listen better when we can do something brain-dead on the side,” Grande told VG, in an apparent attempt to defend her Pokemon play. “We’re not all alike. More sensational things came up during the hearing than this.”
Grande is not the only politician keen on Pokemon. Prime Minister Erna Solberg has also become an avid player, proudly telling newspaper Aftenposten last week that she’d reached Level 14. Some reporters had to wait to launch into an interview with Solberg, until she finished a critical aspect of play and could turn her attention to other matters.