Swedish Social Democrats commit suicide as they destroy their own leader

I was not much impressed by the “back-room” election of Håkan Juholt as the leader of the Swedish Social Democrats and nor have I been very impressed by his performance to date. But the current media storm over his “failings” (excessive housing and travel expense claims, vacillation on immigration and citizenship and embellishing his credentials as a young politician) is I think entirely fuelled by forces within his own party which have decided to take revenge for the manner in which they were ignored and overridden in the battle for the party leadership. The timing  and the drip feeding of all the revelations over the last week screams of an “inside job”. There are some who are now blaming the media feeding frenzy – which no doubt exists – but it was surely initiated – and perhaps orchestrated – by a few of his party “colleagues”.

But this internecine feuding will surely keep the Social Democrats out of government for a long time to come.

Irrespective of whether he will actually be found to have broken any laws or parliamentary rules, his position and that of his party has been destroyed for the next election in 2014. The prevailing perception – that will surely dominate the next election – is of a party which is supposed to represent workers, weaker members of society and the downtrodden but where the representatives are a grubby, greedy, hypocritical lot looking for every possibility of lining their own pockets. They have opened themselves up for unending attacks regarding their ethics. All social democratic politicians can now be  accused of embodying a “do as I say and not a do as I do” mentality.

Needless to say, the left-wing of the party which organised the coup which made Juholt the party leader 6 months ago are now whining and busy blaming the “neo-liberal” wing for leaking and initiating the whole affair. As one of them- Daniel Suhonen – puts it:

Maybe Juholt needs to go, maybe he deserves it. But the story of how this has happened for probably all the wrong reasons, and how the trap was sprung by the
neo-liberal, right-oriented social democrats in the county of Stockholm has yet to be revealed.

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