Heja Sverige!

It’s great being back in Sweden, in the middle of a glorious summer (better than Britain’s – not quite so hot), and in Darlana, where we’ve been holidaying, and which is standing in now for my vision of Heaven, if I’m allowed to choose my own. (Previously it was Scarborough cricket ground, watching Essex beat Yorkshire.)

Sweden also seems safe, sane and normal, apart from some drug-based gang warfare in the south – largely immigrants, I’m afraid; and to my mind appears roughly as Britain might have become if she had stuck with social democracy in the 1980s, instead of being led astray by that monster (you’ll know whom I mean) and the powers behind her, along the path to the hell that I see being described in the news I get from the old country just now.

This is what I hear. The NHS collapsing, with a critical shortage of doctors and nurses: one of the results of Brexit, surely – we used to depend on foreign medics; six-hour queues in blistering heat to get on to channel ferries (serve them right if they voted for Brexit and ‘an end to free movement’, but not all will have done); an extreme right-wing government about to become even righter-wing, if the two Tory leadership candidates’ promises to their elderly and quasi-fascist constituency are to be believed (viz their recent pronouncements on Rwanda, and on Channel 4); this of course reflecting the quite ludicrous system Britain has in play for choosing prime ministers, and a failed electoral system overall; a shockingly propagandist popular press (38th in a world index of press freedom); soaring prices of just about everything; poverty rising, with even food banks running out of stock; people distracted by irrelevant ‘culture wars’; Russia threatening mightily, especially as it happens just over the Östersjön from us on the Swedish coast; the rich profiting from all this, as they invariably do; the country almost universally despised abroad – that’s largely Boris’s doing; economic crisis looming; and climate change threatening to bring an end to the whole planet quite soon (don’t read this if you’re of a nervous disposition – oh go on, do: https://eand.co/the-door-to-climate-hell-is-opening-6724be0f4427); but with our British political leaders scarcely mentioning it in their play for votes.

So Britain – or should I say England? – appears to be a thoroughly unpleasant country just now; my version of ‘Hell’, if I’m not allowed into my heavenly Darlarna. I’m glad I’m not there currently. And as an immigrant here I know which side I’ll be rooting for when England meets Sweden in the women’s European football semi-final tomorrow night. Norman Tebbit would doubtless approve. (Google ‘Tebbit Test’.)

Is it really so bad over there?

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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6 Responses to Heja Sverige!

  1. mickc says:

    But there wasn’t going to be social democracy was there? There is no doubt whatsoever that the “Unions” were out of control; Dennis Healey was shouted down at a Labour Party Conference because he warned of the consequences of the militant actions, as was Sid Weighell at the TUC conference. Neither were Right wing; and the consequences duly came in the form of Thatcher.

    Trade Unions are there to look after the interests of their members (I am a member of Unite) not to try to oust a democratically (well, insofar as the current UK is…) elected government, which Scargill attempted (“we will bring down this Tory government…” and yes that is a direct quote).

    Having Michael Foot as Labour leader was ridiculous. Healey could have won against Thatcher.

    And I very much doubt that the Red Wall which voted for Johnson is quasi Fascist or indeed that many of the Tory party members are; certainly Right, not Fascist. Britain doesn’t actually DO Fascism (even Mosley’s BUF was rather miniscule) and never has; we don’t like being told what to do (even for our own good…it rarely is…) Europe does Fascism which is why it is scared of democracy; and we will see how “European” each country is when Germany can’t pay for it all anymore.

    Democracy in Labour made Corbyn Leader and he almost beat May in that General Election. Had he been given a fair hearing by the MSM he probably would have done. I certainly voted Labour to get him as PM; he is an honest man…rare, and fatal, in politics. So I see no reason to decry votes by Tory party members, save that all candidates should have gone forward to the electorate.

    The NHS is certainly useless and the doctors lazy. And the UK shouldn’t have to steal other countries doctors anyway.

    Yes inflation is rampant. It’s what happens when you print money to save banks which should have been allowed to fail.

    Russia isn’t threatening anyone; it is seeking security from the American Empire and that could have been given by a simple agreement for a new security structure whereby Ukraine did not become part of NATO. But the USA continued on the Neocons plan of empire building. The UK should not be supporting this..but does, and will.

    And I don’t care what other countries think us…they should mind their own business, as should the UK.

    I do care what the UK people think of the UK…currently not much and with Starmer, and Truss or Sunak things aren’t getting better anytime soon.


    • You make a number of points, some of which I agree with, but others I can’t reply to adequately here. Can I suggest you read my new book to get my elaborated argument? It’s quite short, and bears on some of the questions you raise.


      • mickc says:

        Yes, it was a bit of an unstructured rant! Sorry about that…and thanks for your reply.
        Yes I had already intended to buy your new book (along with others of yours I don’t yet have) when next month’s book budget becomes available…


      • mickc says:

        Yesterday I bought your latest book at Blackwell’s, which, you may be pleased to know, had a number of copies on the shelf. I should have asked how many had been sold, but forgot to do so.

        Anyway, I like it, which probably means my views, (biases?), agree with some of yours, and whilst it is short, it is “dense” as in has much packed into it, requiring considerable thought about the views and conclusions expressed.

        I hope it does well.


      • Thank you so much!


  2. Phil says:

    It’s not great! The NHS isn’t collapsing so much as slowly decaying – the lead time for in-person GP appointments at our practice gradually rose from a few days to a week, then to two weeks, and then to three or more; you can still speak to someone over the phone within a day if you’re worried, but they’re liable to tell you to go to A&E (which is collapsing). Nobody in politics seems to care about the climate, and nobody even pretends to care about Covid – and you can forget caring about people living in poverty, or about migrants (as people, not as an alien menace to be repelled). The Tory leadership contest is unutterably depressing, all the more so given the BBC’s inexplicable decision to give it extensive coverage – I suppose they think that for most people politics is spectacle anyway, so the fact that next to none of us have a vote in this contest doesn’t make any dfiference. Labour are at once shambolic, untrustworthy and absurdly unambitious – which is to say, given how far to the Right the country’s been driven, absurdly right-wing. Starmer having been elected on pledges to renationalise rail and the utilities, today we’ve learnt that Labour doesn’t support renationalising rail and the utilities, then that they do still support renationalising rail, then that, actually, they don’t. Who this is supposed to attract to the party is beyond me. My only two consolations are the thought that Johnson’s gone, and the thought that a political spectrum so extraordinarily thin and idea-free, a political caste who openly admit they have nothing to offer in a time of crisis, can’t possibly last very long. Surely?

    Liked by 2 people

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