Åsa Romson and “the tears of a Green”

Åsa Romson’s “tears” for taking the decisions she took have received much attention. But it is not about the decisions this post is concerned with. It is about the behaviour of a politician who wishes to escape responsibility when making unprincipled decisions. It is about crying for a credit where none is due.

The Independent: Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister broke down into tears as she announced the Government’s U-turn over the refugee crisis to reduce the number of people fleeing war and persecution from seeking asylum in Sweden. ……

“In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been convinced that this is the best way to help the local green party politicians actually do something,” she went on, before bursting into tears.

I note today that she gets some sympathy for taking a decision which goes stick and stone against what the Green party is supposed to stand for. As if the tears wash away her responsibility for her own decisions. As if the tears somehow mean that her principles are uncompromised or excuse her remaining in government. Doing something “wrong” by her own standards and then crying about it does not make it any the less wrong or alter the fact that she took the “wrong” decision.

It is a trick that politicians should remember and bring out whenever they need to take an unprincipled decision but avoid the consequences. A few tears can then absolve them of any feelings of guilt for violating their own principles. It is having the meal and bursting into tears when the bill is presented.

I am reminded of “Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson.

Well ther’e some sad things known to man

But ain’t too much sadder than

The tears of a Green

who, to pay the bill, is not too keen

with apologies to Smokey Robinson

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