Archive for the ‘Sweden’ Category

Idiotic “gender-equal” snow clearance (!) has been a fiasco in Stockholm

November 13, 2016

The price for politically correct idiocy has to be paid. A year ago the Red/green coalition that rules Stockholm city introduced what they called “gender-equal snow clearance”. With the first, early, albeit heavy, snowfall of November the clearance system was a fiasco as it degenerated into a farce.

(The Red/Green coalition is notorious for its lack of common sense and known for a very warped sense of right and wrong. They inevitably prioritise what is wrong. They believe victims of crime have only themselves to blame and that criminals are victims. They believe that returning jihadists from Iraq and Syria need to be cared for and treated for the trauma of having killed so many others. They believe that biology can be legislated away).

But even after the fiasco (and I experienced it myself when a journey which normally took a little over 2 hours, took over 3 going and about 5 hours returning), the only real change will be a new report. In my opinion and from what I experienced the snow clearing was extremely careless but more importantly, was incompetent. It was the unevenness of the clearance, followed by freezing, which created vicious pot-holes. Driving through Stockholm last Thursday reminded me of driving along the pot-hole strewn death-trap from Calcutta to Durgapur just after the monsoons.

Auto Motor & Sport: 

When winter comes, the roads have generally been plowed first, but last winter Stockholm introduced something called “gender-equal” snow removal in the city. It meant that the bike paths, sidewalks and roads with heavy public transport have been given priority.
But when the snow struck Stockholm earlier this week the new snow removal was a flop. Vice Mayor of Stockholm, Daniel Helldén (MP), is self-critical. In an interview with the Daily News, he admits that pedestrian and bicycle paths have not been cleared as intended.

“I have requested an emergency report to know what has happened these past few days. If it failed somewhere and we’ll correct it. With this report, we hope to be able to do it better next time,” he told DN.

Daniel Helldén is ultimately responsible for the snow removal work and he regrets that many were stuck on the roads or in public transport and could not get through.

“I will do my utmost so that we do not have to experience this kind of chaos again. Large snowstorms always means trouble. But it should not be like it was now,” he says.

Foto: Pär Brandt/auto motor & sport



Highest level of November snow in Stockholm for 111 years

November 9, 2016

Dagens Nyheter is one of the most “politically correct” newspapers in Sweden. It believes – not in mono-cultural, multi-ethnicity (which works) – but in fractured multi-culturalist societies (which don’t). It believes people should get what they desire and not what they deserve.

And it believes in the religion of global warming being due to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide.

No doubt the record snowfall in Stockholm will also prove “global warming”.

snow in Stockholm 9th November 2016 — photo TT (via DN)

Dagens Nyheter: 

The worst snowfalls in Stockholm in 111 years.
It has not snowed in Stockholm this early in the winter since SMHI statistics started in 1905.

“It’s about record levels, which, on Thursday morning, will be  official”, says Stina Kihlgren, meteorologist at SMHI. A formal measurement of snow depth is made only once a day in Stockholm, 07:00 each morning at the Observatory. When Stockholm woke up on Wednesday ,SMHI measured 21 centimeters of snow. At midday there was an unofficial listing that showed 30 centimeters. “And then the snow continued to fall. It has been between 30 and 40 centimeters in total. The probability is very high that there will be a new record”, says Stina Kihlgren.

She refers to the measured snow depth in Stockholm in November, where the previous peak was in 1985 at 29 centimeters. “The snow has fallen for several days, it has been very intense.” 

But not to worry. As global temperature numbers continue to be fiddled with new algorithms every year, the snow will, no doubt, disappear.


Swedish Prime Minister to Saudi Arabia to mend fences ( but does not take Foreign Minister Wallström with him)

October 20, 2016


The Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven is visiting Saudi Arabia over the weekend with a couple of business leaders to try and recover some of ground lost by Swedish businesses in Saudi Arabia. Needless to say, the Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström does not seem to be accompanying him.

She, of course, was the one who soured relations with Saudi Arabia to such an extent that Swedish industry is not happy. There are many stories of  business opportunities lost because of Wallströms “holier than thou” diplomacy. It was in early 2015 that Margot Wallström and the left green coalition made a great display of their moral superiority and caused some diplomatic consternation. They called Saudi Arabia nasty, very undiplomatic names (all true but not how a Foreign Minister is expected to behave), saw to it that a defence agreement was cancelled and recognised Palestine. The Saudis recalled their Ambassador, banned Margot Wallström from giving a speech to the Arab League, denied visas to Swedes and made life difficult for Swedish firms doing business in Saudi Arabia. Eventually the King of Sweden sent a letter carried by Björn von Sydow to Saudi in March 2015 apologising for Wallström and managed – monarch to monarch – to cool down some of the Saudi anger.

Left/Green sanctimony is causing a debacle for Swedish foreign policy

But the Greens and the left of the Social Democrats forgot that they were actually in government and were not just an irresponsible lobby group like Greenpeace or the WWF indulging in publicity pranks.  They were so mesmerised by the idea of showing off their moral credentials that the intention to terminate the defense agreement was announced in a great blaze of self-righteous publicity.  The Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (an old trade unionist with a good understanding of the importance of jobs) actually wanted to extend the agreement. But he was over-ruled by his far left and the Greens. His Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström (who, unlike the Greens, is old enough to know better), was more obsessed with demonstrating how Swedish foreign policy was feminist and green and occupied the moral high ground than in promoting Swedish interests and values. And so she forgot about her duties as a Foreign Minister and sharply criticised Saudi Arabia in most undiplomatic language. It verges on incompetence that the consequences of her statements were not analysed.

On this trip Löfven will be accompanied by Marcus Wallenberg of Investor, and Maria Rankka from the Swedish Chamber of Commerce.

I don’t expect that Löfven will bring up the funding emanating from Saudi sources for IS in particular or for Sunni extremists in other places.


Sweden’s Schools Inspectorate approves gender segregation in Muslim school

August 27, 2016

There is precious little courage on display among any of the Swedish political parties or the mainstream media. They are slaves to political correctness and I have a sneaking suspicion that many state agencies act primarily out of the fear of being politically incorrect. And, I observe, cowardice is very much in play when actions are subordinated to fears.

Swedish Radio:

The Schools Inspectorate has approved gender segregation of sport and health classes at a Stockholm Muslim School .

Official complaints were made against the school claiming that gender segregation risked the permanent subordination of women. 

“Boys and girls should receive an equal teaching, an equal education. The school argues that if the girls will go along with the boys so many people will avoid participating in physical education that it will not be an equivalent education”, said Frederica Brickman, head of the complaints investigation at the  Schools Inspectorate.

“We also heard from the school that the training actually given in the different groups was similar, which means that we could not see that this segregation did not comply with school statutes”

It sounds like rationalisation with a dose of cowardice. An abdication of responsibility I think. But even the teachers’ organisations are equally fearful and quite anxious to be politically correct.


At Al-Azhar school in Stockholm girls and boys are taught separately for sports and health studies. The school refers to students of Muslim background and have got the green light from the Schools Inspectorate.
While the girls have physical education the boys have math and vice versa. Segregated physical education is part of the Al-Azhar school’s Muslim profile, as well as its prayer room and its pork-free school meals.

The boys are taught by male sports teachers. About 350 girls receive their education from two female teachers.

I am afraid the Schools Inspectorate in Sweden has little courage. It does surprise – and disappoint  – me though, that the fear of being seen as politically incorrect is sufficient for the Schools Inspectorate to pander to a Muslim school and approve gender segregation.

Sweden is now multiethnic and that is irreversible. That should and could be a strength. But pandering to the deeply flawed dogma of multiculturalism can only lead to a splintered and fractured society.


A “society” – to be a society – can be multi-ethnic but not multicultural


The secret of the Swedish crayfish party

August 18, 2016

Every year after 12th August it is crayfish party time (kräftfest, literally crayfish feast)  in Sweden.

sweden: Crayfish have been eaten in Sweden since the 1500s. For a long while, only the aristocracy enjoyed these delicacies, as popular suspicion of shellfish was widespread. Originally, crayfish meat was used for sausage, ragout, patties or puddings.

In the mid-1800s, people started eating crayfish as they are eaten today. The crayfish feast or crayfish supper in the month of August spread through the middle classes. In the 1900s, crayfish became a national delicacy and people in all sectors of society began celebrating the occasion. The price of crayfish fell as a result of imports from Turkey and elsewhere. The crayfish feast, at which people gather to eat, drink and be merry, is a typically Swedish festivity marking the end of the summer.

I attended my first crayfish party of the season yesterday – and very enjoyable it was – but not because of the crayfish.

I find crayfish bland. It is a strange animal without the delicacy of shrimps or prawns and without the strength of lobsters. It is a lot of very fiddly work for very little meat. The predominant taste is of dill (which is not my favourite herb). Nearly every crustacean I have ever eaten is superior in taste to crayfish – shrimp, prawns, crabs, soft-shelled crabs …. . But it is one particular custom, a behaviour, which makes the crayfish party such a blast.

But the real secret of the crayfish party is that one must wash down every crayfish with a snaps (schnapps). One is expected to burst into song. Naturally every song must be accompanied by a skål, and the songs get shorter and more frequent as the night wears on. The bread and cheese and Västerbottenpaj, also usually available, takes care of hunger. It also provides for some absorption of the alcohol.

Crayfish 2016

I try to hold with traditions. I tried to respond properly to every skål. A shortage of glasses meant that I even had to pour some of my snaps away since we were going to finish with whiskey. (Fortunately I had my my coffee available to pour the snaps away.) But since I don’t much care for the taste of crayfish, I only had eight last night!


Sweden’s politicians protect their independent auditors (and what’s the quid pro quo?)

August 6, 2016

Oh dear!

Dagens Nyheter exposed examples of “crony corruption” within the Swedish National Audit Office last month The Audit Office which is supposed to be an independent audit body monitoring government and government processes is answerable only to the Swedish Parliament via its Constitutional Committee. I have written earlier about the revelations and the calls for all the three Auditors General to resign. One did but the other two – who were also implicated in Dagens Nyheter’s expose – did not.

Yesterday the Constitutional Committee held a hearing with the Auditors and came to the startling conclusions that the transgressions were not serious enough for the Auditors to resign. If that was meant to restore the integrity of the Audit Office, it fails spectacularly. In fact, the clear impression I have now is that there is a very cozy relationship between the politicians of the Constitutional Committee and the Auditors.

It does seem that even in Sweden, which prides itself on the probity of its government and governance, the ruling principle is “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”.

Dagens Nyheter:

The statement by the Constitutional Committee (KU) that there are no grounds for dismissing the Auditors general has upset the experts DN has talked to.

“This announcement is remarkable”, said Inga-Britt Ahlenius, the former head of the National Audit Office. and of the 
UN’s internal audit. She said earlier this summer that all Auditors General should resign after what had emerged. “It is strange that KU did not take the time to reflect on what has emerged during the hearing. I also find it strange that they chose not to inquire any further and question others such as the chairman of the FA (Association of Chartered Accountants)”, she said to DN.

Inga-Britt Ahlenius thinks that KU has obviously failed with its recruitment of Auditors General. “Had the right people been recruited this situation would not have arisen. They acted as if they were the bosses of a private consulting firm. Not the Auditors General of a constitutionally constituted National Audit Office”, she said.  …. 

Auditor general Susanne Accum had previously announced her resignation, but her colleagues Margareta Åberg and Ulf Bengtsson are set to remain. Inga-Britt Ahlenius believes that their situation will become unsustainable. “They have abused their trust of the authorities they are supposed to monitor and also that of the public and among their staff. Had the National Audit Office has been a private company they would have been dismissed long ago”.

Professor Olle Lundin is an expert in administrative law at the Faculty of Law at Uppsala University. He has reacted strongly to DN’s revelations. “If the National Audit completely ignore the basic principles we are in a pretty bad way out there. They should lead by example and be extremely effective, because no one examines them”, he told DN in early June.


Revelations of crony corruption at the Swedish National Audit Office

July 13, 2016


The Swedish National Audit Office is part of the central control power of the Swedish Riksdag (Parliament). It ensures that the Riksdag receives a coordinated and independent audit of the state finances. This assignment is unique as the Swedish NAO is the only body that can audit the entire state finances.

It is supposed to audit the entire chain of executive power. It is intended to be an independent organization under the Riksdag and independent of those audited. Both performance- and financial audits are within its ambit. But Dagens Nyheter has been carrying out an investigation and in recent days has been revealing that the Office is far from independent. Both in staffing and in its operations it seems to be riddled with “cronyism” and “crony corruption”. An Agency intended to be a check against corruption (among other things) has been found to be corrupt itself. One Auditor General (Susanne Ackum) has resigned. The Swedish branch of Transparency International has called for all the 3 Auditor Generals to resign and for integrity to be reestablished:

Transparency International Sweden reacts strongly to the investigation of the National Audit Office carried by Dagens Nyheter. 

It shows that the Auditors have acted with a lack of integrity and judgment.

The National Audit Office is to contribute to the proper use of the state’s resources and that state administration is handled efficiently. The three Auditors General have a strong mandate for the independent review and the authority is to be a cornerstone in the fight against corruption in Sweden.

When the National Audit management do not follow the basic principles of good governance, ie integrity, impartiality and objectivity, and do not even comply with the international code of ethics, confidence is destroyed not only for individuals but also for the important work the Agency conducts. Transparency International Sweden believes in this context that all Auditor Generals should offer to resign.

Transparency International Sweden welcomes the announced meeting  called by the Constitutional Committee with the Auditors. The Committee should also consider their role in the recruitment process for this important office.

Given the National Audit Office’s  central role as part of parliamentary control, Transparency International Sweden believes that it is important that the Constitution Committee immediately and forcefully act to restore the Authority’s integrity.

Dagens Nyheter: Revelations about the National Audit Office

  1. Auditor General Ulf Bengtsson has interfered in an audit review of a decision which he himself was involved in.
  2. He gave his explicit support to a County governor audited by the National Audit Office.
  3. One of the National Audit Office’s senior managers had a private  SMS contact with the audited governor and promised to help her.
  4. The head of the Agency Supervisory Board warned the National Audit Office that DN was conducting an investigation. (DN had contacted him to get expert help in assessing unpublished data).
  5. The Auditors may have violated their own ethics rules. The internal guidelines say that employees may not take a position in a pending case.
  6. Auditor General Susanne Ackum has promised jobs to people before they are announced. E-mails reveal how she has given away jobs before a proper recruitment process has even started.
  7. Those recruited by Ackum receive on average 6,500 kronor per month more than their colleagues in similar positions. Her closest colleague gets 114,000 kronor/month.
  8. Those recruited by Susanne Ackum will lead audit examinations of policies that they themselves have helped to implement while at the Cabinet Office.
  9. Susanne Ackum has allowed people outside the National Audit Office, including the Cabinet Office, to take part in and influence the ongoing audits.
  10. At least one review has been shut down after Susanne Ackum discussed it with an official at the Cabinet Office.
  11. Even Susanne Ackum’s live-in partner has been allowed to read internal working documents and comment on documents not yet published.
  12. The National Audit Office’s chief economist is a well established political debater who has previously taken positions on matters related to taxes and the tax system. Now he is to lead the National Audit’s impartial review of the tax system.
  13. The Auditors have dropped an unusually high number of audits. They have canceled audit missions which had already consumed 19,000 man hours, at a cost of nearly ten million.

I am not all that surprised and just a little shocked that the Agency which is supposed to be a check on corruption is rife with cronyism. But it should be remembered that the entire Swedish party political system is built on “cronyism”. Party membership is tiny compared to the number of voters for each party. Yet it is this tiny membership which controls all public (tax-payer funded) positions. It is friends, and friends of friends, which governs. Not that that is any different to any “party democracy” in Europe. It only demonstrates once again that “party democracies” are quite different  – and often in conflict with –  “people democracies”.


Sweden pays most per capita into the EU

June 14, 2016

A very revealing map by Gravel King on Reddit. He writes

Some people asked for a per capita map of this post.

I took the figures from that post and divided it by the population of every single EU country.

I apologise in advance if I made some mistakes when colouring the countries (I wasn’t sure if the Faroe islands had to be part of Denmark, for instance.) or some other mistakes.

Per capita contribution to or from the EU between 2010 – andf 2014. Eleven countries are “givers” and 17 are “takers”. Sweden pays most into the EU (more’s the pity).

EU contribitions per capita 2010-2014 (map by Gravel King)

EU contribitions per capita 2010-2014 (map by Gravel King)



Swedish church under attack from sanctimonious journalism

May 31, 2016

Ekot (“The echo”) is the news service of Swedish national radio, Sveriges Radio. But some of their “journalists” often amaze by their triviality. They are self-righteous, sanctimonious and politically correct to an extraordinary degree. They – more even than any extreme teetotal organisation – see any kind of “public money” spent on any kind of alcohol as the Mother of all Original Sin. They are so convinced of their own reserved places in heaven that their self-righteous reporting is almost embarrassing to listen to.

This morning they were particularly pathetic.

They released a so-called “investigative report” into the sinful travels of the Swedish Church (financed partly from tax money). Horror of horrors! Some of the travel costs included meals. And even worse – some of the meals were accompanied by the devil ALCOHOL. The breathless report of their intrepid journalist was in hushed tones commensurate with the moral decrepitude now taking over the Swedish Church.

Swedish Radio:

Politicians and church employees in the Swedish church go on expensive trips abroad, often to well-known tourist resorts and cities, an investigation by Ekot has found. For example, in 2014 traveled a total of 99 people from Huddinge went on a five-day conference at a hotel on the shores of Malta.  …… The Huddinge parish conference, which also featured instance pool-side meetings, medieval fencing and a city walk, cost 800 000 kronor. By comparison, the trip cost more than twice as much as the parish received from collections that year.

The Huddinge conference in Malta is one of many similar staff travel trips within the Swedish Church. ……

6.2 million Swedes are members of the Swedish Church. It is their money, the so-called church fees – that are charged automatically on their taxes – which for the most part finance the activities of the Church.

Oh Dear!

Less than $1000 per person for 5 days in Malta (including travel and hotels and meals and ALCOHOL) and – if one were to pay attention to Ekot – the Swedish Church was on a slippery slope to hell.

I note that Swedish Radio is financed entirely by public money. Generally Ekot does a good job. Their relatively few foreign correspondents are particularly good. But their domestic and trainee reporters have a fairly low standard. Some of them are little better than parasitic copy-cats who merely repeat stories from larger press institutions. And far too many have a smarmy political correctness which makes one cringe.

One of our local churches. St Maria Church Risinge from the second half of the 12th century

One of our local churches. St Maria Church Risinge from the second half of the 12th century


JAS Gripen 39E – A “6th generation” stealth fighter with anti-stealth radar

May 15, 2016

Saab’s JAS Gripen Next Generation (NG or E/F) has been called the “planet’s best stealth fighter and a step improved from Lockheed Martin’s F-35. 

The reason that the JAS 39E may earn “sixth generation” tag is that it has been designed with these issues in mind. Software comes first: the new hardware runs the latest Mission System 21 software, the latest roughly-biennial release in the series that started with the earlier, A and B models of the aircraft. 

Long life requires adaptability, both across missions and through-life. The Gripen was designed as a small aircraft with a relatively large payload. And by porting most of the software to the new version, the idea is that all of the C and D models’ weapons and capabilities, and then some, are ready to go on the E. 

The Swedes have invested in state-of-the-art sensors, including what may be the first in-service electronic warfare system using gallium nitride technology. It’s significant that a lot of space is devoted to the system used to pick out friendly from hostile aircraft; a good IFF (“identification friend-or-foe”) system is most important in a confused situation where civilian, friendly, neutral, questionable and hostile actors are sharing the same airspace.

The first Gripen E is to be unveiled in the coming week on May 18th.

It’s supposed to have “anti-stealth” radar (of course if anti-stealth radar becomes standard it makes “stealth” obsolete). Which means that “deep stealth” will have to be developed next and when that can be detected, the defence industry – like physicists – will have to go looking for “dark stealth”.

But it looks good.

JAS Gripen 39NG test aircraft - image Saab

JAS Gripen 39NG test aircraft – image Saab


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