Kategoriarkiv: Kultur

Socialist scandals 1990s – 2000s in Sweden

1. 1994. Business minister and union leader Björn Rosengren went to porn Club Tabu using union money ($8000 for one night), claiming he did not understand what kind of establishment he gotten into so late at night. Evidence of him being with prostitutes at the time is still around but not substantiated.
2. Fall 1995. Mona Sahlin, labour minister and deputy prime minister by then, later party leader 2007- 2010, had to leave her posts when parliament discovered that she had used public cash to purchase private services and goods, paid nanny services illegally, not paying child-care fees, taxes, 98 parking tickets and TV/ radio fees in time forcing her to the Swedish Enforcement Agency (Kronofogden). She had just accepted the post as party leader after Ingvar Carlsson in 1995 but left next year all political positions. She went during her personal crisis on a vacation to Mauritius with three staff members paid by government.
3. 1996. Public municipal employees’ union leader and Örebro county head Sigward Marjasin was charged with mismanaging public and private finances but later freed in court. Leading social democrats denounced him.
4. Winter 1998. Stockholm social democratic leader Mats Hulth had been buying drinks on taxpayers’ behalf for many years media reveals. Municipal rules for alcohol consumption had not been followed. Hulth was supported by the local social democratic club but had to resign.
5. 2000. Family ties within the social democratic party and sphere becomes obvious when the son Thomas of former minister Lennart Bodström and the daughter Brita of former minister Anna-Greta Leijon become ministers too. Families Nuder, Larsson, Toreson, Carlsson, Palme, Holmqvist, Damberg, Marén, Lindh and Holmberg were also using the social democratic party nespotic networks.
6. Winter 2001. Extraordinary rendition of two refugees after 9/ 11 by CIA at Swedish airport to Egypt without guarantees of the men not facing torture. UN, Human Rights Watch and Swedish parliament objected afterwards to the deportation. Responsible minister was the deceased Anna Lindh whom every involved social democrats conveniently later could blame.
7. Winter 2002. Prime minister Göran Persson’s wife Anitra Steen headed suppousedly unaware the Swedish alcohol monopoly Systembolaget when systematic corruption was revealed between suppliers of wine and liquor and the Swedish government buyers.
8. Spring 2004. Party leader Göran Persson bought a mansion with 500 acres for $2 million. Many hard working Swedes did not forget this, even if the purchase was perfectly legal.
9. Summer 2004. Finance minister and deputy prime minister Bo Ringholm was criticized for being lax in illegal wages paid by a sport club Enskede IF where he was president for ten years. Police investigation was started but shut down since crimes were done too long ago.
10. Fall 2004. Metal union officials went to sex clubs, bought liquor and dildos (to give to loyal women) for union members’ money in Trollhättan. One evening in Brussels three union officials spent $7000 on liquor and prostitutes.
11. Winter 2004. Prime minister Göran Persson was made honorary doctor at Örebro University on dubious grounds. The official motivation for his degree in medicine, science and technology (subjects which non-graduate Persson never had studied) could be viewed as a reward for his support of Örebro university college when applying for full university credentials. Earlier attempts had been refused by academic authorities but Persson made way for the new regional university.
12. 2005. Trade union LO fired two officials (Jan Edling and Olle Sahlström) when they wrote about how the union and socialists used false labour statistics (real unemployment 20 % rather than officially 5 %) and corruption in housing foundations meant for poor widows of workers’ families going to union officials.
13. Spring 2005. Gunilla Ekberg expert on sexual trafficking and prostitution at a government ministry threatened female journalist Evin Rubar and other women organisations, but minister in charge Mona Sahlin did not react.
14. Spring 2005. Social democratic parliament member Ola Rask forced to leave his leadership of socialist and union education center due to having two positions, and a pension, at the same time.
15. Spring 2005. Government Employment Agency in Nyköping threatened to withdraw benefits unless unemployed construction workers went to Stockholm to protest against budget cuts in unemployment benefits together with the union. The government Employment Agency official signed the letter together with union officials and both stated that the march was mandatory.
16. Summer 2005. Center Against Racism, created by ministers Jens Orback and Mona Sahlin, did not use their government grants properly and had little activity but many expenses on hotels and restaurant. The anti-racist center got new grants each year without control.
17. Fall 2005. Police used union officials when checking on foreign transport companies after a storm in southern Sweden. Unions checked for collective agreements (optional according to Swedish law) while the police looked at safety arrangements. Unions used the uniformed policemen to obtain secret information from foreign chauffeurs that they had no reason to give to union officials.
18. Fall 2005. Zakarias Winberg was fired from his position at a trade union after writing an article declaring his loyalty to Christian Democratic Party, not to the labour movement.
19. Winter 2005. School minister Ibrahim Baylan stopped a report from National Agency for Schools which had found that private schools made better results and that teacher qualifications did not matter. In Sweden agencies are independent from ministers, but Baylan made the agency remove the report from internet immediately. An edited version was uploaded later and Baylan had to explain his actions to constitutional council at parliament.
20. Spring 2006. Göran Persson was sentenced but with no punishment in court for illegal constructions at his mansion under the care of his brother. Neither of them knew that such constructions must be reported to municipality and a plan for working safety be prepared.
21. Fall 2006. Göran Persson threatened to withdraw government bonds in telecommunication multinational Ericsson because CEO Carl-Henrik Svanberg said that a shift of political power could be refreshing.
22. Fall 2006. Leading lady of Stockholm municipal social democrats Annika Billström lost her political position but used regulations to fund her private business while being supported by taxpayers after her lost election. Legal but immoral many thought.
23. Spring 2009. Union leader Vanja Lundby- Wedin did not act or understand when as board member of the union pension fund AMF, she supported its CEO with $9 million when he was laid off on top of the $6 million salary.
24. Fall 2010. Two local socialist politicians went to Stockholm, got drunk and brought prostitutes to the unions premises. Buying sex is illegal in Sweden and the legislation is heavily supported by the social democratic, feminist, green and left parties.
25. Summer 2011. Party leader Håkan Juholt got parliament to pay for his apartment while his woman stayed there too. He also mismanaged rented cars and travels to Belarus on parliament funds.

Annonser

Socialist scandals in Sweden 1970s

SOCIALIST SCANDALS

1. Fall 1972. Croatian terrorists hijacked a plane at Malmö airport, asking for release of Yugoslavian terrorists that had killed an ambassador and occupied a consulate in Sweden and money. Minister of justice Lennart Geijer could not withhold against the terrorists and gave in to the demands.
2. Spring 1973. The labour unions own faltering construction company BPA was saved unconstitutionally by Olof Palme through a foreign aid project for Algeria, a corruption pattern that would unfold later .
3. Summer 1973. Bank robbery in central Stockholm leading to robbers holding hostages for five days. Sympathy arose between robbers and hostages leading to the Stockholm syndrome. Olof Palme emerged as soft on crime, talking to the robbers at their request for 45 minutes that was taped by the police. However 20 minutes remain lost of the conversation. Palme used the tense occasion when tear gas had disarmed the robbers to speak as a politician rather than a statesman and thereby using a crisis before the election.
4. Spring 1975. West German embassy occupied by left wing group Baader Meinhof terrorists which left four people dead and severely injured terrorists. The injured were immediately sent to West Germany in spite of doctors’ recommendations and with no negotiations with German officials. The minister in charge Anna-Greta Leijon was one year later hunted by same terrorists wanting to take revenge by kidnapping her, which did not happen due to clumsy planning by the terrorists. Swedish left wing activist Pia Laskar was sentenced in planning kidnapping the minister but later brought into social democratic and union circles as lecturer on queer and left activism .
5. Oct 1975. A spy working for the social democrat party was revealed at Gothenburg municipal hospital where he surveilled left wing activists. Two leading social democrats, police officer Hans Holmér and journalist Ebbe Carlsson, were involved but not charged. They were however charged later in 1980s for other illegal actions doing police work without legal authority.
6. Oct 1975. Pentti Ketola, Finnish social democrat, was stopped at Stockholm airport with cash coming from Germany to help Finnish unions campaign against communists .
7. Jan 1976. Hans Eriksson, leader of Transport workers’ union, vacationed in fascist Spain paid by employers in spite of the union blockade of Spanish general Franco’s dictatorship. Eriksson would later resign due to mismanagement of union funds.
8. Jan 1976. Ingmar Bergman, world famous film maker, were questioned by taxation authorities in front of actors during a rehearsal at National Theatre Dramaten and left Sweden for five years to Germany.
9. March 1976. Astrid Lindgren, world famous children’s author, had been double taxed with 102 % and wrote a satire in the largest tabloid about the greedy witch Pomperipossa in the land of money.
10. May 1976. Brothels with politicians, royals, judges, military officers and heads of government agencies as customers were linked to the social democratic party. Polish prostitutes associated with the communist country’s Stockholm embassy courted military officers and ministers. Under age girls were involved. Police investigation was hampered by leading socialist leaning police officers. Documents are still partly filed secret.
11. Aug 1976. Female clerk at parliament who took notes for ministers Palme et al. was cohabiting with important drug dealer who was given pardon by minister of justice Geijer. The woman was given new job in the labour movement .
12. Nov 1977. Geijer, by then former social democrat minister of justice, were named among other politicians including Olof Palme in the press for visiting prostitutes. Palme lied about Geijer and the whole affair in parliament and to media.

13. 1973 IB affair. public disclosure of a secret intelligence bureau, IB (Informationsbyrån) that without agreements from parliament and in opposition to routines of secret services, had registered and persecuted left wing activists and others that the ruling socialist party disliked or feared. The bureau did not exist officially in the intelligence services, so there were no laws on military or civil intelligence to follow.

Swedish self – images, state individualism and my writings

I have written earlier here and here about the book I am writing on about the Swedish self- image that partly will be a reply to the influential concept of ”state individualism” in the 2006 book ”Är svensken människa?” by historians Henrik Berggren and Lars Trägårdh.

Historian Lars Trägårdh has become a source for the new moderate government polices to ensure continuity with the welfare state of earlier leftist years. The Guardian let him explain his views when Cameron was here and as well as the moderate daily Svenska Dagbladet and the very useful web discussion forum Newsmill let him speak for an influential audience recently.

Below is an expanded draft plan of the book that will amount to a critique of Berggren’s and Trädgårdh’s optimism of their coined concept of ”state individualism”, see the links above for presentations.

Draft of writings on Sweden – an outline:

Introduction

Sweden the last century is a microcosm of the affluent West, modernity and individualism. The last decades have been tougher but still the Swedes make it well in most global market indexes, except for primary education.
This study will tell both the success story of the welfare state and its downfall. The two theses I will pursue are that the Swedish welfare state has given rise to an unfettered individualism supported by the welfare state. This statist individualism is cherished by all political parties and has deep national roots. Secondly, radical policies to correct and nurture the Swedes’ behaviour and minds in good directions are sprung from belief in expertise, science and government. The isolation of Sweden outside continental Europe has been crucial for nurturing exceptionalism during the Swedish Empire 16-18th centuries and in its unique leap from a poor rural economy with peasant democracy to a modern welfare state in very short time in the last century.

This study will try to link the welfare state with the unique domineering politically correct policies in 21st century Sweden, where the most embarrassing is not doing and thinking what is correct, from sorting out the garbage to memorizing with ethnic groups could get offended by speaking one’s mind. The Swedes must collectively be made to make the right choices by political campaign, ideologist state apparatuses and benevolent media when buying alcohol, deciding on child care, caring for oneself when unemployed, sick or old and finding a place to live in. The centre-right parties in 1990s and since 2006 have reformed some welfare state mechanisms with great excitement together with the centre-left parties with less excitement. But all parties want to use the enormous state apparatus and its experts to control choices, processes and outcomes.

I will argue that this belief in the good state and its well meaning civil servants was accelerated by leftist policies since 1968. With a vocal intellectual bureaucracy under PM Olof Palme elected 1969 the Swedish welfare state changed from a modest reformist state handing out pensions to an aggressive Moloch that interfered with not only your wallet, taking two thirds to itself, but also your values and self-respect. What distinguish Sweden during 1960s – 1980s from other nations were the ability, need and desire to employ loyal teachers, doctors, lecturers, bureaucrats and PR agencies in municipalities, ministries, government monopoly media etc.

The results are still with us whenever we enter public spaces or deal with the government. We are the children, the government is the adults. The legendary social democratic PM Per Albin Hansson created used national romantic term “Folkhem” (People’s Home”) in 1928 to describe his social utopia. In this national home, everybody should be treated equal. No bullies, no favourites, no downtrodden children. The nostalgia and force of the term Folkhem is still in repressive use after its heydays 1930-1970.

Earlier research and commentary

Earlier research and journalistic commentary has been done successfully by foreigners like R Huntford, M Zaremba, M Rojas, M Alapoeus, A Brown, N Sanandaji, M Karaveli but also by self-critical Swedish scholars and authors like V Moberg, S Rydenfelt, S Burenstam Linder, T Segerstedt, H Zetterberg, J Norberg, B Sundberg Weitman, A Edwardsson, M Henrykson, S Fölster, P Engellau, B Rothstein, A Lindbeck, PT Ohlsson, J. W.F. Sundberg, C Arvidsson, L Trägårdh, Å Daun and KO Arnstberg along with proceedings from Axess seminars on Swedish history and modernity. My contribution will be to condense these findings and draw conclusions that will bring contemporary perspectives. Little has been published in English with a comprehensive narrative of the particularly Swedish road to modernity and individualism. My approach will be to tell the history of Sweden trying to explain how the distinct features of Swedish nationality made the late 20th century welfare state to implode yet without any sound and fury.

The findings so far seem to be that the Swedes wilfully accept living in a state with little respect for rule of law, with little knowledge of individual rights against authorities, paying over 60 % of wages in taxes, fees, VAT and payrolls and succumbing to a nationally correct culture and media. Swedes are simply not interested in much else than consumption, security and efficient government. Humanity, integrity, religiosity, moral values and individual responsibility and courage are not popular issues and make them nervous. I may accept that being somewhat bland, anxious and with few human traits common to other cultures and peoples is the pale Swedish prerogative but then we should not be proud of being sheepish. Swedish politicians and representatives usually take a very high moral ground with little base. Our history of forced sterilizations in 20th century is enough to prove out incapacity to both being the epitome of modern welfare state and an example of scientific rationalisation, eugenics, social conformism and mental hygiene going mad.

The current situation

What has accelerated the inner contradictions of the Swedish welfare state is the inability to speak openly about any of these matters in media and research. Slowly the intellectual debate will change but new areas since 1980s have replaced the older socialist paradigm, e.g. government versions of feminism, multiculturalism, child care, security paranoia etc. With state controlled media, education and weak parliamentary system with little civil society backing, the executive branch of government runs the country like a corporation. No matter if the CEO is socialist or not, the state machinery runs effectively in praise of the meek citizens.

Table of contents

Prel title: Swede land

Introduction
Part 1 History: hubris, humility and hubris again
History 1000 – 1930
Hubris 1930 – 1970
Humility 1970 – 2000
Hubris again 2000 – 2012
80 pages

Part 2 Anxiety, conformism and policies
Schools
Academia
Gender
Immigration
Culture/Media
Legislation
Foreign policy
Business/Economy
Welfare
Anxieties
180 pages

Part 3 Alternatives, ideologies and national mentality

70 pages incl references

Total 330 pages

Part 2 will cover the current debates in these policy areas after year 2000; with some exceptions (the mad 1970s in foreign policy and primary education will not be forgotten). Part 3 will conclude with references to current political philosophy and ideological debate in Sweden. Liberalism and conservatism has been revived since 1980s by liberal minded publishing houses (MTG, Axess) and think tanks (Timbro, Ratio, SNS) and will be considered along with useful studies by young writers like Hadley-Kamptz, Bard & Söderkvist, Norberg, Olsson et al. Little discussion on the particular issues, more on the national character of political culture and thought in Sweden. Debates in UK and USA on communitarianism, civic humanism and contemporary liberalism may be included.

Kultur nej, debatt, nej men ganska kul underhållning

I röd täckjacka främst i kön sedan 16.30 kom jag in till teater Brunnsgatan 4 där en utsåld kulturdebatt gick av stapeln. Martina Montelius och Marie Söderqvist vimsade med fyra personer som hade erfarenhet från kulturpolitik, produktion och organisation. Bitvis sade Joakim Berner t ex något vettigt (”Sam Nilsson” – doktrinen och Bosse Strömstedts bredsmala tabloidtänkande) men mest roades jag och säkert många andra av Montelius gränslösa skojigheter. Jag gillade allt som kom ur munnen , även hennes Breivikande som gick som en stöt genom publiken, men inte ledde deras samtal kulturdebatten framåt, bara underhållande. Synd att inte Leif Nylén eller Lars Nittve var med. Lite rustik rebellism och fakta hade behövts.

Dagen därpå skrädde inte Anna Klara Bratt orden i sin än mer surmulma krönika än Svelands. Bratt menade att det hade varit tjänstefel att inte hänvisa till Breivik som Sveland gjorde apropå meningsmotståndare till höger om vänstersossarna. Fredrik Eklund hade just hyfsat DN debatten liksom Bo Rothstein, Gina Gustavsson och Dilsa Demirbag Sten men segt vänstervirke sedan 1970talet (oavsett när man föddes) förgås inte så lätt.

1980 pågick en liknande kulturdebatt, initierad av Jan Myrdal, Sven Fagerberg, Lars Gustafsson och Sven Delbanc. De kritiserade från skilda håll en ”massmedievänster” som inte tålde kritik och som stöddes av offentliga medel och etablissemang. 13 juni 1980 skrev Fagerberg att en opinionskantring var på väg. Alla fyra var ense om att en okritisk samling ”intellektuella”, ”nya herrar”, ”vänsterfascister”, ”politiker, ombudsmän, byråkratier, massmediemän, akademiska lärare” osv dominerade kulturdebatten. Gustafsson betecknade dem som ”Medievänstern. nya klassens vakthund”. Dess funktion var terapeutisk och avledande i syfte att skydda dess ”problemformuleringsprivilegium”.

Idéhistorikern och biblioteksmannen Anders Frenanders avhandling Debattens vågor : om politisk-ideologiska frågor i efterkrigstidens svenska kulturdebatt från 1998 ger en bra bakgrund till vad som skett i kulturdebatten sedan den 4 jan 2012 då Bengt Ohlsson startade allt med sina slängiga ord och starka erfarenheter av kulturlivet på och nedanför Söders Höjder. Tack Benke

Sweden and its past – a place for ideological innovation

Recently two texts have caught my attention. The first text is the Fokus´ article about the New Moderates usage of Henrik Berggren and Lars Trädgårdh´s thesis about the ”state individualism” in Sweden.The second text is by Nina Samandaji on the Swedish Model reassessed

Both texts try to wrestle the history of Sweden from its social democratic dominance. They seem to say that Sweden was already on its way to the welfare state, building on liberal values, protestant work ethics and market economy. Nima Sanandaji is a young liberal conservative who started his own think tank Captus, while Henrik Berggren is social democrat, looking backwards. Lars Trädgårdh has been associated with the Christian college Sköndal. What divides them is their usages of the new and ideological innovative Swedish history. Berggren and Trädgårdh seem stuck in their preservation of a exceptionalist story of Sweden, even if they broaden the story to be founded on pre-socialist principles. Sanandaji is looking both to the history, but he sees Swedes moving to USA making a better life for them there than other nations. The exceptionalism is not nationalistic. His hope is to the future of Sweden, building on what has changed since 1995 in business life, slimmer government and social reforms to enhance work rather than benefits. Berggren wrote recently a biography of Olof Palme. He has not left him yet. Others have.