• 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)

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
Politics
Nuclear freeze agreed by new government
A nuclear power station in Forsmark, Sweden. Photo: TT

Nuclear freeze agreed by new government

Sweden's Social Democrats and Greens Party have announced a coalition agreement to halt nuclear energy development. READ  

International
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' asylum
A Swedish soldier in Afghanistan. Photo: TT

Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' asylum

The Migration Court in Malmö has ruled that Sweden's Migration Board was wrong to reject the residence applications of seven Afghan interpreters without assessing their protection needs. READ  

The Local List
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
Speak Percussion will perform at Connect in Malmö in November. Photo: Connect

Top five winter festivals in Sweden

Autumn has swept into the country and chilly days lie ahead. But there are plenty of winter festivals where you can warm up in the coming months. With tickets already selling fast, here are The Local's top tips. READ  

Business
Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers
Workers at the Saab plant in Trollhättan. Photo: TT

Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers

Swedish car maker Saab has announced it has axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce. READ  

International
Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale
A Danish site is selling the works that the Swedish state wants destroyed. Screenshot: www.entartetekunst.dk

Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale

Work by controversial jailed Swedish artist Dan Park is on sale online and could reach a gallery in Copenhagen, despite a previous exhibition being pulled. READ  

Society
Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old
Pensioners in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old

Sweden has dropped to second place in an annual index measuring the quality of life of elderly people in 96 countries around the world. READ  

National
Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche
Andreas Fransson, left. Photo: Markus Alatalo

Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche

UPDATED: The bodies of two of the world's top skiers, Sweden's Andreas Fransson and JP Auclair from Canada, were found on Tuesday after they were reported missing in an avalanche in the Andes. READ  

Politics
Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs

UPDATED: The Social Democrats and the Greens have agreed to raise unemployment payments and promised to create more jobs in the construction industry, The Local has learned. READ  

National
Ikea recalls elk pasta
Two types of pasta are affected. Photo: IKEA

Ikea recalls elk pasta

Ikea has pulled two different types of elk-shaped pasta from its stores in Sweden. READ  

Presented by Regus
How to get your own great office in Stockholm
A woman using a Regus workspace. Photo: Regus

How to get your own great office in Stockholm

Stockholm's business climate is hotter than ever, which leaves start-ups and business travellers hunting high and low for flexible office space. The solution is easier than they think. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos
Politics
New coalition agrees on defence and migration
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Botkyrka
Education
New government to make school compulsory to 18
Politics
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
Blog updates

28 September

Spoiled Doyle (Blogweiser) »

"What you gotta watch out for in Sweden is the good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_EzUe6xpI In Sweden, it’s the good things you have to watch out for. Video on @TheLocalSweden http://t.co/rAb8eGFdTD pic.twitter.com/w37YYwMXy1 — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 29, 2014 " READ »

 

26 September

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Autumn swept into Sweden at the start of this week with snow in the north of the country and flooding in the south. As well as a change in the weather, Sweden’s change in political direction became clearer, with Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven formally announcing his party would work with the Greens as..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
National
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Lifestyle
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
Gallery
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Lifestyle
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
Politics
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Gallery
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
Society
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Gallery
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Society
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance 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

866
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
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN