The Soap Opera of Sweden

Coming home to Stockholm after more than a week on the other side of the Atlantic is coming home to something that more and more resembles a soap opera.

It’s all centered on the ruling Social Democrats and its Prime Minister Göran Persson. But it also covers the ethical standards of the way in which that party has been fostering its coming elites.

The Persson story is the daily story of it, when and how he intends to resign.

And it really is a daily story. One day the PM is saying that he doesn’t really know, but it might by this autumn. The next day the same PM is saying that he certainly does not intend to resign, and anyhow certainly not now.

He alludes to ”powerful interests” that are interested in the continuation of the soap opera over the issue, but abstains from naming them.

Wisely so – everyone knows that practically everyone else in the Social Democrat party is plotting different schemes to secure a change in the leadership prior to the September elections next year.

The crux is, of course, that there is no successor in sight.

European Commissioner Margot Wallström has – correctly – said that she can not be a candidate since she has an important position that she can’t just simply abandon. The position as European Commissioner must never be seen as a holding position awaiting the outcome of some domestic battles.

But increasingly she is the dream of all the plotters. She seems to be everything that Persson is not – and they seem to want something that is as different as possible. Whether that is enough as a criteria for political leadership is a matter that isn’t even discussed.

With her firmly in Brussels, it’s only the junior minions of the Persson immediate entourage available on the scene. And most of them are obviously seen to be in the same class of attractiveness as the average East German local party hacks used to be. Not a good way to electoral success in the age of media politics.

To all this should be added the rolling scandal of how the different functionaries in the Social Democratic youth organisation seems to have falsified membership numbers over the years in order to get more subsidies from the state.

This now involved a substantial part of the members of the government, including the Finance Minister. There are now no fewer than seven different police investigations against differents parts of SSU for different degrees of fraud.

It’s of course very bad in itself, but even worse as an illustration of the ethnics that is implanted in those being trained to lead the Social Democratic party. They seems to treat the state as theirs – to be cheated in order to get more money.

So it’s not only a soap opera that seems to just go on and on. It’s also a deeply troubling story about ethics in politics and morality in public office.

Bad. Very bad.

4 Responses to The Soap Opera of Sweden

  1. Moz skriver:

    The problem of finding a successor to Göran Persson has been obvious ever since former minister for foreign affairs, Anna Lindh, was murdered. It is now hard to anticipate a scenario where the social democrats get their gear together before the general election next year.

    PS: I can’t help remembering another Swedish party that had a bit of a succession problem in 1999, even if we didn’t have to endure a soap opera before the change.

  2. Uncle Sammy skriver:

    I think it’s quite inspirational and effective to be the providor of both bread AND entertainment. Go Göran!

  3. Andreas & Niklas skriver:

    The Social Democratic party in sweden in nothing but a grand fraud against the citizens. Their huge power rests upon the large number of voters depending on social welfare. People who work for a living have no logical reason to vote for Mr Perssons corrupt government. Most of the members in Göran Perssons government have no objective to improve the society, they only seek to accumulate personal power and wealth. Mr Persson himself has now fulfilled his personal goals and has realized that it might be time to retire before the possible humiliation of losing the 2006 election. He has got himself a false doctors degree from Örebro ”university” and he has bougt himself a huge mansion in the countryside. At the same time he has removed the tradition tax for property, which allows his children to take over the place without having to pay tax when he passes away. He can now spend the rest of his life hanging out at the 14 000 000 sek country house, writing books and relax. Great for him but at the expense of the future of a whole generation citizens of sweden.

  4. El Loco skriver:

    Well isn´t Sweden a lovely country? Those naive natives are living pretty well, indeed. Do know how they do it? I think one has to be a Swede or at least a Scandy to find out. They are such a polite, nice and intelligent people. If I was a Swede I think I would be wellcommed everywhere, no doubt about it huh?

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