Too “mentally ill” to sell hot-dogs but he can cope with being a Swedish MP!

The behaviour of some parliamentarians and all that they get away with never ceases to amaze (whether fiddling expenses in the UK or being convicted criminals in India or being benefit spongers in Sweden).

He was mentally incapable of working at a hot-dog stand (for which he drew sickness benefits) but perfectly able to cope with the strains of being a Member of the Swedish Parliament (which commands a generous salary with no demands).

The Sweden Democrats are riding very high in the polls even though their “junkies and hooligans” image is being further embellished by revelations that one of their leading lights has been living off benefits for most of his adult life. Apparently Johnny Skalin was too mentally disturbed to be able to stand the rigours of working at a hot-dog stand. A stint of 4 hours required 2 days to recover! But working for the party during this time was not too onerous (and he received fees from the party in addition to his “sickness” benefits”).  But after living off benefits for some 13 years he found he was quite able to cope with the tough life of being a Member of Parliament.  He explained in an interview with Aftonbladet that he didn’t want to talk about his illness but it that it took a very long time for him to recover! He has now given up his benefits and can manage on his salary as an MP (about $9000 per month).

The Local has the story:

Sweden Democrat MP Johnny Skalin, whose party describes unemployed immigrants as being “a burden on society”, has lived on state benefits most of his adult life. 

Swedish authorities said in 1997 that Johnny Skalin, who is now 34, was suffering from a mental disorder that prevented him from carrying out his duties in a hotdog stand where he was employed at the time. It was then that he began receiving disability benefits, local newspaper Sundsvalls Tidning wrote. Ten years later, he told the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) that he suffered from extreme tiredness and needed up to two days of rest after working a four-hour shift.

However, that same year he became the head of the Sweden Democrat local chapter in the northeastern town of Sundsvall. “It was naturally a lot of work,” Skalin told the same newspaper.

Skalin also began to study sociology, and went on to co-author a party platform that helped the Sweden Democrats get into parliament in the 2010 election, when it got 5.7 percent of the vote and won 20 seats in the Swedish Riksdag.

Two months into the job as an MP, he told authorities that he no longer needed any benefits for his mental disability.

But the fundamental truism is that voters get the politicians they deserve. And convicted criminals or junkies or hooligans or benefit spongers are as entitled to be members of Parliament as anybody else who can get the votes of the discerning electorate.

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