Friday, 11 May 2007

Our Banana Republic

Jan Stenbeck, the now deseased founder of media and communications empire Kinnevik, once said in the 1990:s that since his sister was Secretary of State and that he himself controlled all commercial television outlets, this country might be mistaken for a Banana Republic.

This is even more true today.
Secretary of Defence Michael Odenberg (conservative) is rightly criticised today for having stated that Swedish Cluster Bombs are "harmless to civilians". The same Odenberg have earlier pressed legislation through parliament allowing the Sigint organisation FRA (where I myself once used to be employed) to read and monitor all email and sms getting sent to and from the country. Furthermore, for decades federal agents has been able to access library lendings and other civil atcivities in pursuit of terrorists just like in the US. With the not so subtle difference that here they do not need a court order.
Also, since some years the police are issued with dum-dum bullets, internationally banned in warfare since more than a century. At the same times, alleged bribery linked to international sales of Swedish jet fighter JAS-Gripen are conducted internationally.
Our current foreign minister Carl Bildt (conservative) made millions on stock options in an oil company with strong ties to the Russian market and with interests in the planned russian-german gas pipeline through the Baltic. After taking office.
Further, ousted ex prime minister Göran Persson announced last week that he is becoming a senior adviser for a well known (and with many conservative ties) lobby- and communications group.
And not to mention that officials from the liberal party, currently in government, lately were convicted for having illegally hacked into the social democrat's computer systems during the election campaign last year.

This could be very comical.
Had it not been for the fact that so many of us still believe that Sweden is the most just and democratic of all countries.

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