• Sweden edition
 
Social Democrats call time on 'self-torture'

Social Democrats call time on 'self-torture'

Published: 15 Feb 2011 10:03 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Feb 2011 10:03 GMT+01:00

Voters have lost confidence in the Social Democrats, which has become introspective and "smug," according to the party's own crisis commission which published its conclusions in a report on Tuesday.

"We have been a bit smug and cocky," said crisis commission president Anna Johansson in connection with the presentation of the report to Ibrahim Baylan on Tuesday.

Baylan welcomed the report, arguing that the time had come to put an end to the process of "self-torture" that has gripped the party since its crushing loss in the September 2010 general election.

"In the beginning of April, we have to develop a new programme for the Social Democrats and this report will become an important contribution," he said.

The commission severely criticised the party's policy and work in the report, singling out the voters' lack of confidence in social democracy's ability to attain full employment as one of the main reasons for the party's poor election results.

"The Social Democrats have long failed to live up to its promises of basic services for all, greater equality and greater freedom for everyone. It has created a credibility problem whose importance cannot be overstated," the report read.

The Social Democrats recorded their worst result since 1914 in the September election, polling 30.66 percent. The party's poll troubles have continued since then during a period of turmoil that has included the resignation of party leader Mona Sahlin.

According to the latest opinion poll by United Minds, the party is backed by only 25.6 percent of the electorate, far behind the buoyant Moderates, currently Sweden's largest party.

The period covering the crisis commission's work has been characterised by collective low-esteem, navel-gazing and a lack of internal trust, the report's authors concluded, calling for more initiative in the public discourse.

The report also concluded that Red-Green cooperation ahead of the 2010 elections led to a blurring of the party's profile, resulting in difficulty for the voters, both party members and others, to determine the main pillars of Social Democrat policy.

"Our problem in recent years has been an inability to describe reality correctly," said Anna Johansson, co-chair of the commission and the mayor of Gothenburg.

Johansson argued that the image of the Social Democrats as a conceited and smug party dates back to the 2006 election, when the unemployment issue was not given the correct attention it deserved.

"I think it was a huge mistake to ignore the people outside of the labour market," she said.

In connection with the presentation of the report, a series of proposed policies for investments were outlined and tax increases have not been not ruled out.

"We identify the need to spend money on railways. The quality of schools is not sufficient. We have health insurance that is really awful and also an unemployment insurance that is really awful," said Johansson.

"If you are going to have a sound society for all people, it costs money. Growth will meet a number of these ambitions, but we can not rule out tax increases - it would be politically irresponsible," she added.

The commission also argued that the current caps on health and unemployment insurance should be removed, allowing more people to be included under the systems.

The report also raise the prospect of punishing private schools which extract large profits from their businesses.

The over-arching goal of Social Democratic police should be the push for full employment, Johansson underlined.

To achieve this goal, the report recommends massive investments in infrastructure and the construction of homes where the jobs are, but also measures such as subsidised placements and extra training for groups excluded from the labour market.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:15 February 15, 2011 by Zala Russe
Oh dear. Sounds like trotting out of same old 'tax and spend' policies. This kind of economic engineering is necessary for coping with deep crises. Instead, the Social Democrats should be hammering out expansion policies that aggressively secure trade and prosperity on a 'Sweden First' basis, and capitalise on the inherent weaknesses in many of the EU puppet member economies.
13:24 February 15, 2011 by apelsin000
They are kind of people always know where the thunder is...
13:53 February 15, 2011 by Kevin Harris
Tax rises, jobs for all, spend money everywhere, envy of the rich. The Social Democrats big new plan looks rather similar to their big old plan. It's not just "self torture", they want to torture everyone else too. Isn't there a bright young Social Democrat out there who knows how to make this sad old party electable? This is your moment.
13:53 February 15, 2011 by McChatter
So what's new, Mrs. Johansson? Still pushing for 100% employment? That's Utopia and certainly with the Swedish unemployment insurance, where you can stop working and still get paid (only then by the State). Why not make it a compulsory national system? Only for people made redundant. If you voluntarily quit your job, no handout. Look for another job real quick. You should have done that first!

Curb the powers of the unions. Then you talking employees' language. The socialists have too long been seen as the party for the people on welfare. And not for the workers, 'cause they vote Moderate nowadays! If the socialists want success, they will have to take a long look at the future. Start looking at reality.
15:09 February 15, 2011 by eltechno
The problem with the Social Democrats is that like the Democrats in USA, they abandoned progressive economics for the neoliberal variety in the late 1970s. Once that happened, they became utterly useless to the working people they claimed to represent. But since they didn't go out of business, they became the party of political correctness and annoy your neighbor. If this article is representative of current Soci thinking, they still don't understand what went wrong. They should do even worse in the next election.
22:56 February 15, 2011 by miss79
ur right Mochatter...the socialist have been too long for the people who lives on welfare but now things are getting worst in sweden..rising of unemployment year by year, Swedish Nazi in the parliment,economic crisis with things getting expensive, suicide bombing in stockholm-like wat u said START LOOKING AT REALITY...
23:48 February 15, 2011 by loudasthunder
SD You're blowing a good thing man.

Sometimes You just have to DIY : )
19:35 February 16, 2011 by buschmann
The social democrats will never change their ways, so lets hope they become an insignificant party.
11:22 February 21, 2011 by HYBRED
It sounds like the Social Democrats are trying to win people back with sympathy, rather than a game plan with substance for the future.

Just crying and whinning over spilled milk.
20:13 March 4, 2011 by munched
Who was in power when all those schools and hospitals closed in the 90's? SD. As for welfare, the daily benefit was dropped every year for the last fifteen years they were in power. Keeping pace I might add with the pay raises they voted themselves in parliment. Who were they actually helping besides themselves? More of that? No Thanks.
Today's headlines
Gothenburg preschools end school photography
Moments like these are a thing of the past for Gothenburg preschoolers. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Gothenburg preschools end school photography

Preschool managers in Gothenburg have decided to ban class photos at preschools in their municipality, citing the different economical situations of families as one reason for the change. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
This is Stockholm. Don’t worry - be happy. File photo: ASIFE/iStockphoto

Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm

Many consider Sweden a pretty safe place to live, but what if an icicle pierces your little toe or a ray of midnight sun sets fire to your kettle? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered when it comes to sorting out insurance in Sweden. READ  

Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
The cast of The Cold Swedish Winter.

Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show

The Local chats to UK funnyman Danny Robins about his new radio show The Cold Swedish Winter, which is making waves on BBC radio. He talks elk, moose, and what it means to be a Swedophile. READ  

Allergic Swedes demand separate metro carriages
Peanut photo Shutterstock

Allergic Swedes demand separate metro carriages

A Swedish allergies association has asked Stockholm public transport officials to set aside certain carriages on the metro for those with allergies - banning nuts, animals, and strong fragrances in transit. READ  

Most Swiss want Sweden to be next door
Flag photo: Shutterstock

Most Swiss want Sweden to be next door

Who said there were hard feelings between the oft-confused Swiss and Swedes? A new survey shows that Swiss people would rather have the land of Abba as their neighbour over anyone else in the EU. READ  

What's On in Sweden
Photo: TT

What's On in Sweden

Plenty of events around Sweden to get your teeth into this weekend, with Sunday capped off with a free visual-music concert in central Stockholm. READ  

Elections 2014
Red-greens stay way ahead of Alliance in polls
The Allliance party leaders. Photo: Mats Andersson/TT

Red-greens stay way ahead of Alliance in polls

While the gap between the red-greens and the Alliance is decreasing, the opposition is still far ahead, scoring 48.8 percent of support in a fresh poll. The Alliance came in at 37.7 percent. READ  

Malmö end 14-year Champions League wait
Striker Magnus Eriksson sprints onto the pitch at the end of Malmö's 3-0 win over Salzburg in a Champions League qualifier. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö end 14-year Champions League wait

Malmö overpowered Salzburg on Wednesday night to become the first Swedish team to reach the Champions League since 2000. READ  

Swedish royals boycott Chuck Berry's ceremony
Queen Silvia. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish royals boycott Chuck Berry's ceremony

Members of Sweden's royal family have revealed that they boycotted the Polar Music Prize ceremony on Tuesday, due to Chuck Berry's past conviction for human trafficking. READ  

Swedish Tetra Pak factory to shut down
Photo: TT

Swedish Tetra Pak factory to shut down

A Tetra Pak factory in southern Sweden is set to shut down due to a decrease in demand, meaning 250 Swedes risk losing their jobs. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

744
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se