on sharing and caring

We’re so modern these days, using all sorts of fancy technology. We don’t steal anymore, that’s so twentieth century. Oh, no. We share files. Doesn’t that sound at lot better?


top ten Persson (6) the Survivor

Persson is a survivor.

You don’t have to love him. In fact, few people do. He stays on top anyway. Unlike his predecessors Palme (who was loved and hated wherever he went) and Carlsson (who rarely stirred any emotions) Persson is sort of “disliked but respected”.

And he does survive. I remember election night 1994 when former Moderate leader Bohman expressed deep worries that the nation could be facing all sorts of turmoil and hardship due to the socialist majority. I completely agreed with him. We were both completely wrong. Persson has managed to keep his odd informal red-green coalition together and unless the voters have him removed there is no internal party opposition capable of doing that.

Persson survives and stays as long as he pleases.

ten reasons to appreciate Göran Persson
5 ...
6 the Survivor
7 a Stockholm less congested
8 pro-Israel
environmental awareness
10 an international defence


top ten Persson (7) a Stockholm less congested

At long last, finally something is being done to improve the traffic in and around Stockholm.

A road congestion tax has been introduced for a trial period. The political process leading up to this was flawed in almost every respect but the outcome is promising. The number of cars commuting into town has been reduced significantly. The upcoming referendum might well lead to the system being adopted permanently.

The two railway tracks built across Riddarholmen in the 19th century are still the only capacity available through central Stockholm. Period. This has been debated longer than anyone cares to remember. Now a decision has been taken to build a City Tunnel doubling the capacity of the railroads through the city.

Both these initiatives involved local politicians but they occurred on Göran Perssons watch and this was no coincidence. In fact, his government was directly involved in both issues. A Prime Minister passionate about the environment made a difference.

ten reasons to appreciate Göran Persson
6 ...
7 a Stockholm less congested
8 pro-Israel
environmental awareness
10 an international defence



We got ourselves an official national day last year. And here it is again: June 6. Hooray? Not really. Here’s why.

Leaving aside the fact that it’s rather unclear what historic event is associated with the official celebrations attempted today – to me it all boils down to the issue of nationalism. In a nutshell: do we or do we not need more flag-waving and singing of national anthems in this world? Here are some problems mankind is facing in the imminent future:

  • intolerance
  • wars
  • terrorism
  • pandemic
  • climate change

I fail to see how nationalism could help us on any of these issues. In fact, I’d argue that with less nationalism in this world we’d be doing a lot better on all of them.

So, are flag-waving Swedes intolerant war-mongers? Of course not. If you enjoy celebrating our national identity, by all means, bring on the party. I’d rather spend some time reading about the European constitution. That would be a major cause for celebration.


top ten Persson (8) pro-Israel

Still looking for ten positive things to say about Persson.

One area where Göran Persson has chosen to change course is the conflicts always surrounding Israel. There is still a lot of leftist-activism in the party (and even in his government) advocating tolerance for terrorists and a one-eyed criticism against almost anything Israel does to defend itself. But those of us old enough to remember the heydays of Foreign Secretary Sten Andersson see a distinct difference. Sweden is clearly supporting the only established democracy in the region. The fact that Andersson has complained publicly about the new course is itself a good sign.

ten reasons to appreciate Göran Persson
7 ...
8 pro-Israel
9 environmental awareness
10 an international defence


June in Härnösand

Härnösand Posted by Picasa

How should one spend those brief weeks of light and joy that we call June? Going north of course. Härnösand with the loveliest of Swedish cathedrals is not a bad choice. Go see.