Friday, August 25, 2006

 

Northern Lights Voter Ingratitude Warning for Labour

I've always been a huge fan of Sweden and -along with Anthony Crosland(who never, like me, had a Swedish wife and half Swedish son)-of the Swedish route to socialism. So I was very interested the article by Polly Toynbee today on lessons Gordon brown should learn from the upcoming election in this shining(if rather smug) welfare paradise to our north. Sweden has an annual growth rate of 4.5 per cent, superb public services including the best childcare in the world, a high fertility rate, the highest level of public trust and, to cap it all off, top position in the international happiness league.

Yet Goran Persson, a bit like his 'Goran' football manager compatriot in this country, is not much rated in his homeland. And it seems 41 year old Fredrik Reinfeldt, the new media friendly leader of the rightwing Moderate Party is busy stripping the Social Democrats- in power for much of the last 80 years- of their centre ground portfolio of policies. Sound familiar?

It seems the political party which has provided the main tenets of Sweden's liberal political culture and given it such enviable public services not to mention high standard of living, is lagging behind the Moderates by a margin never overhauled beofre three weeks from polling day. The Moderates' take on globalization- that it is incompatible with welfarism which should be outsourced and substituted by charity and social enterprise- sounds a bit the noises coming from our very own Tories; if the right win in Sweden, stand by for the volume of such messages to be racked up a few notches.

Polly ends by gleaning a warning from Sweden for Labour: Blairite banalities will never win over modern British voters: 'Even if the economy thrives better than he, Brown dared hope, even if almost every public service is improving, even if most people are better off and secure in their jobs too- that's still not enough'. As I wrote recently, voters have decided to take their economic good fortune for granted. It seems Swedish voters have decided to be similarily ungrateful.

Comments:
The Social Democrats can still win this election - the latest poll was yesterday and showed them back ahead:

http://thedaily.wordpress.com/2006/08/24/latest-from-sweden/

But it's certainly going to be a close run thing...
 
The Moderates' take on globalization- that it is incompatible with welfarism which should be outsourced and substituted by charity and social enterprise- sounds a bit the noises coming from our very own Tories; if the right win in Sweden, stand by for the volume of such messages to be racked up a few notches.

Quite coincedental really. I was just commenting below SPL's post on immigration about why the free market need for more immigrants is clashing with welfarism. Then I came straight to your blog and you're talking about pro-immigration Tories like me using it as a stick to beat welfarism with.
 
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