Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg went undercover as a secret taxi driver in Oslo in a bid to find out what real Norwegians were thinking.
Wearing sunglasses and a taxi drivers’ uniform for the experiment in June, the prime minister took to the streets of the nation’s capital and only revealed his true identity once recognised by passengers. Every conversation he had during the stint was recorded by a hidden camera.
Stoltenberg has now posted the footage on his Facebook page in film version and it will be used during his re-election campaign. He said it is important for him to know what people really think, and taxis are somewhere people are happy to voice their opinions.
Some passengers in the film had called for a taxi, while others were waiting at taxi ranks. Most seemed to recognise something was rather strange quite quickly, with one even telling him he looked like Stoltenberg.
The majority of conversations ended up being about politics, with the prime minister telling one passenger the main point about education is to ensure good students are offered something to stretch for, while struggling students are given extra help. All passengers got a free ride.
It was later revealed that five of the fourteen passengers filmed in the cab had in fact been payed 500 kroner each (65€) to take part in the Labour Party video, although they had not been told what it involved.
In response to light-hearted criticism about his driving, Stoltenberg said he had not been behind the wheel for eight years. The Labour prime minister is popular in his homeland, but recent opinion polls indicate he is behind the opposition in the lead-up to next month’s election.