A political scandal is engulfing the Social Democrat Party in Sweden. Hitherto it had only affected small fry, but this week it has washed up to the doors of the two possible successors to the job of PM Goran Persson. Pär Nuder and our own self styled [European Union] Commissioner for Public Relations, the blessed Margot [Wallstrom].I guess the prudes in Sweden are getting the same kind of education as the ones in Canada, eh? And what is it about left wing politicos and the public purse? I suspect it's a result of always viewing the plunder as "the government's money," but I really do admire the idea of the hitting up the taxpayers for a stipend based on the number of paid-up party members. If we tried that in the USA, the Donks would have more party members in large cities than there were citizens. On the other hand, the concept of "paid up" is clearly too discriminatory for US leftoid tastes. Heck, to hear the Democrats tell it, whole herds of their voters don't even have any personal identification.
The bottom line is that in Sweden private donations are frowned upon, and parties are funded by the state. Each party gets money per paid up member. Over the past couple of weeks it has become apparent that members of the SDP were engaged in a vast enterprise of looting of the public coffers. An enterprise which is somewhat looked down on in prudish Sweden.
As for Margot's current job as EU PR czar - You are now part of the project:
You have to admire the bald-faced arrogance of it, don't you? On the other hand, since Margot mentions "online news outlets," maybe she'd toss some dough my way! Here's my proposal: a massive weekly series of lengthy pictorial posts with the theme "EU good! Margot hot!." Make the check out to cash, Margot."It is the first time that senior editors from both public and commercial Television, Radio and Online news outlets have been asked to contribute directly to the development of a new European Commission communication strategy".As readers of this blog will be aware the purpose of the simpering Swede (and now [we] learn corrupt and simpering Swede) is to improve the Commission's information and public relations policy. Having realised that having a multi million team of over 200 press officers doesn't seem to help she has decided to co-opt the private and national public sector. Thus the conference.
...I am also considering inviting you, every year, to propose programmes aimed at national or regional audiences and describing how EU policies affect ordinary people. For 2006 we are considering significantly increasing the budget for calls for proposals of this kind, so that as many as 70 TV stations and 100 radio broadcasters could be involved. The best proposals would be awarded a contract and we would place at your disposal the Commission’s technical facilities."...
What this looks like to me is a massive power grab, as private and nationalised broadcasters compete for resources by producing more and more EU friendly copy. Those programme makers who retain independence would be cut out of the financial loop.
Update: I'm ready!