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Stockholm 'upper-class safari' under fire

Stockholm 'upper-class safari' under fire

Published: 30 Jan 2012 16:23 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Jan 2012 16:23 GMT+01:00

“Everything for Everyone” (Allt åt alla) is the organization behind the venture, which aims to give tourists a peek behind the curtains of the rich and famous living in glamorous parts of Stockholm.

“The trip is a way of learning about Stockholm’s history and seeing what the segregation really looks like,” said Shabane Barot, a spokesperson for the organization, to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The tour has proved popular, and eager spectators have filled the 65 seats on the coach, which soon sold out since it was first advertised a few weeks ago.

The tour starts in central Stockholm, travels through Fisksätra, giving a glimpse into a "lower class" area of Stockholm, before heading in the direction of Solsidan, Saltsjöbaden, an ‘upper class’ suburb of the capital.

Solsidan has shot to fame recently as the setting (and the name) of a popular sitcom, based on the lives of the upscale residents of the waterfront area.

Protests against the idea, however, have been strong, and the mayor of Nacka has referred to the tour as ‘childish’.

Some Solsidan residents have even shown their distaste by throwing eggs at the tour bus as it passes.

"It is sad that adults use their time and money to come out here and look," said one teenage resident to local paper Nacka Värmdö Posten (NVP).

"I don't understand what those communists are doing here. It is hardly our fault that they are poor," another said, eggs at the ready.

One angry resident filed a complaint to the police, citing intrusion of privacy.

The group behind the venture calls on prospective sightseers to develop their "hate" of the class system, which has in effect, led to Solsidan residents showing a hate of their own.

Though aware that the tour in itself is a provocation, and that their talk of "nurturing one's class hatred" also could induce bad feeling, Barot told DN she felt that the reaction was "unproportional".

“We have unfortunately received racist, sexist and hateful comments from young people who live in the area. It is terrible to read what they write, but it also shows that it is important to raise this question, for their attitude comes from somewhere,” Barot said to the paper.

On the company’s website, a selection of the hateful comments that were posted on their facebook page has been published, which include threats, as well as racist slurs against minority groups.

Meanwhile, the mayor of the exclusive suburb, Erik Langby, is unimpressed with the tour.

“To use a comedy series as a starting point for political activism is a little childish, but we do live in a free society,” he told DN.

Similar trips have been arranged in Gothenburg and Malmö and have proved to be highly popular.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

17:13 January 30, 2012 by RobinHood
These sad and unpleasant people belong to a self-confessed hate group, and I wouldn't want them anywhere near my home and family either. Anyone who celebrates the hatred of anything really needs to rexamine their values and receive counselling before they hurt somebody.
17:13 January 30, 2012 by Brtahan
"I don't understand what those communists are doing here. It is hardly our fault that they are poor,"

Its your fault that they are poor because you fool the working majority that one day they might become rich by tax cuts etc who actually benefits from the tax cuts? afcourse the rich ! A normal working family are decieved with tax cuts that they can save money for the future infact while tax are reduced , other things are increased like going to the dentist ,hospitals,schools etc are becoming expensieve , you the Rich supporting financialy political parties financially or we can say The rich owns these parties in the background!!! can become richer and exploit the poor with low salaries , while you earn billions who are ? you are not the majority ! but why are you ruling the whole country ? Giving lots of false promises before elections etc. Its your fault when your factories manufactures weapons and sell to developing countries etc all the world problems are because of money and religion . The world recession is because of the Rich !
17:14 January 30, 2012 by seborga82
hmm...how can people like Shabane Barot claim to want Allt åt alla? Is that even the case in where she's coming from. Too bad if Mrs. Barot belongs to the lower class. Who made her dear country becomes a war zone in the first place. Now after a couple of decades of civilization, she is now demanding more equality with the Wallenberg and Hult?
17:15 January 30, 2012 by Great Scott
Ah, the rich making themselfs the laughing stock again. And remember from now on if you don't live in the nobs area you are a communist. It would be nice if someone could video the event, then we can laugh at them on YouTube.
17:36 January 30, 2012 by Kevin Harris
^ It seems those motivated by envy and hate can be found here at the Local too.
17:56 January 30, 2012 by Gletta
Congratulations to the bus company for providing a popular and profitable tour.
19:07 January 30, 2012 by Svensksmith
How nice of those rich people providing a free breakfast for the tourists.
19:21 January 30, 2012 by engagebrain
Its a free country - as long as you don't look at the rich
19:36 January 30, 2012 by dimi73
Well it does not matter whether one is rich or poor when the question is about tolerance and good manners.

If the wealthy could be more open minded and with more social sense that would ennoble him beyond any doubt.

If the poor would be less envious and would understand that the only way to succeed is to work hard, that would contribute to the balance , I guess.

Not to mention that in this way both groups would feel happier and will retain their dignity.
20:07 January 30, 2012 by Greysuede
This kind of trespassing is really bad taste. Mr Borat should go to the USA and provide these services over there! Sweden is Sweden!
21:39 January 30, 2012 by Emerentia
I dont think the people on that bus was especially poor, it's usually students from the middleclass. who engage in these kinds of protests. Shabane Barot lives in Östermalm, which isn't the poorest part of Stockholm.
00:07 January 31, 2012 by johnny1939
If you work enough you might become rich too. Get a life please.
02:36 January 31, 2012 by SecondGen
And those throwing eggs at the buses aren't arrested because?
03:36 January 31, 2012 by volvoman9
Ok! Ok! Next time I'm in Stockholm I'm going! This has been going on in L.A. for decades. Tour the homes of the stars. This is an interesting twist on the behavior displayed by the rich for centuries. My wife's mother used to regularly take her daughters on a tour of the "black part of town" when she felt they didn't appreciate what they had. This is priceless theater and only made better by the reaction of the rich. What Fun!!!!

Oh and we forgot the immigrant factor.
04:50 January 31, 2012 by acidcritic
Becouse of the neoclassical economic policies adopted in Europe, very rich people are more and more scarce. Therefore, they are a rare stuff, strange animals that live inside a buble. Therefore, they deserve close scrutiny from normal people
08:05 January 31, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
Jealousy is a terrible thing to be afflicted with, it eats into the soul.
09:06 January 31, 2012 by djmarko
Is there a penalty for sucess??? I am quite sure some of the residents in that exclusive area thought outside the box, think spotify, skype and a host of entrepreneur who have done well for themselves, cant really see anything wrong in the bus tour, it's a free country afterall, maybe as part of that bus tour, they should organize talks with the residents to give them a few tips how they started out with nothing and worked their way right up to the top, whiles people are sleeping, some other people stay up late to device ways of success, these people should be celebrated, not made an object of ridicule
09:52 January 31, 2012 by johan rebel
Hilarious!

One the one hand a bus full of nuts dumb enough to PAY for the opportunity to stare at the villas of the affluent, on the other hand a bunch of spoilt kids hell-bent on living up to the expectations of the envious so-called poor.

Opera buffa on the streets of Stockholm
10:02 January 31, 2012 by Localer
Fisksätra is immigrant area, of course they are poor since they are too lazy to find a job and just stay home waiting for monthly allowance , even worse get pregnant all the time and waiting for child allowances !
11:03 January 31, 2012 by BrittInSweden
"I don't understand what those communists are doing here. It is hardly our fault that they are poor," another said, eggs at the ready.

Hahahahahahaha, how did they come to the conclusion that they are communist? Seems you don't need intelligence to be rich.
11:33 January 31, 2012 by engagebrain
20:07 January 30, 2012 by Greysuede This kind of trespassing is really bad taste.

There appears to be no trespass - public roads, pavements.

However throwing eggs would seem to be breaking the law, why are they not prosecuted ?
13:19 January 31, 2012 by Greysuede
Because those rich people aren't monkeys in Zoo to be stalked and stared at.
13:39 January 31, 2012 by GeeHan
Nothing wrong here from the perspective of a Canadian.

It is only natural that people are intrigued (not necessarily jealous) of those in different positions or classes as themselves. I often will take sunday drives and walks through various neighbourhoods where I am from in Canada as I find various parts of the urban environment very interesting. So naturally, the areas where predominantly rich people conglomerate are interesting to most due to the concentration of wealth, variety and styles of houses etc. I do this just as much in neighbourhoods of lower socio-economic status as well. It's all very interesting to myself and others obviously as well.

These rich nobs need to get over themselves and lighten up a little bit. It's not as if these bus tours are trespassing on their private property or such. If they don't like what is happening, grow a taller hedge or turn a blind eye, but don't become so childish as to call interested people communists and hurl eggs at them. Instead, try growing up!!
18:35 January 31, 2012 by Emerentia
@ Gletta. I don't think this is done by any regular bus company, and I think they did this without any profit. I think that bus is owned by some organization or something like that. The same bus was used in another manifestation called "Medborgarbussen" (Citizen's bus).
19:21 January 31, 2012 by Bumblebeetuna
This is a funny story!

The bus tour is practicing democratic rights not communist. The rich are a strange bunch,
17:10 February 1, 2012 by sarah02
Throwing eggs does not exactly scream upper class. Funny story though!
12:39 February 2, 2012 by planethero
@sara, ahh, but they were quails eggs.
19:53 February 3, 2012 by james_g
for example - "If the poor would be less envious and would understand that the only way to succeed is to work hard..." - not quite true; let's not forget about exploitation, crime including 'white-collar crime' - fraud etc., bending the rules, breaking the rules, tax avoidance (legal, well legal-ish), tax evasion (not legal), being ruthless, amoral, callous... Yes, I'm sure that many - probably most - successful people work hard, and for many none of the above are applicable, but... Anyway, I'm more or less happy the way I am - I believe in working to live rather than living to work, and many of the trappings of success (what IS success, btw?) ain't worth the candle/aggro/effort/whatever!
20:33 February 3, 2012 by tadchem
There is an entire industry that provides maps and tours that shows off the homes of Hollywood stars. It goes back to the early 20th century. Stars who don't want their homes on the tour can move away.
05:08 February 4, 2012 by LagomUser
Hahaha thats why i love reading this newspaper. Good for the Local to publish this kind of news.(Thumbs up).

I agree with GeeHan the Canadian Guy, I don´t see anything wrong with "touring the city", i do the same in the city.Actually I have done it in every city and country i have gone. I like to have a overview of the situations happening in the place i live. As you Local readers probably ignore. Colombia is ranked the 3rd country with the highest inequality in the world. When one travel the city, one discovers the true faces of inequality. Colombia is divided in 6 social classes that resembles the Indian Castes System, on some places there are shanty towns with houses made of tin,going trough middle class average houses of brick and on the other side,a small group of neighbourhoods with mansions and apartments pricing several millions dollars. They way people behave, they way people talk, they way ppl interact. Is like living in different countries within the same city. Of course there are dangerous zones or no-access neighbourhoods, only policemen or NGO personnel are allowed into those places. But the more one travels and opens the mind, the more one understands the world in which we live in. I would love to have that kind of tours in my city, they allow people to know their place.

I thought Sweden was a classless society of bombshell Blonds living in the organized utopia, but after reading this article, I can see that I was wrong. :'( Anyway, It seems Swedes have a better social system that most of the countries out there. Which make me guess, how have you made it to reach that far?

From Colombia with love
12:03 February 6, 2012 by Prestonrobsun
My daughter and family live in Saltsjöbaden. They are not rich. Both have to work hard to pay for admittedly a very nice house. They also pay plenty of taxes to take care of the unemployed riding on the 'Solsiden bus'.

They are now very afraid that this 'envy tour' will lead to direct action by those of a more extreme view. From both ends of the social spectrum.

Interesting how The Local confused 'Solsiden' with 'Saltsjöbaden' at least twice in its report.

It was yobs from the latter throwing eggs at the bus with those from the former on board.
20:18 February 6, 2012 by bethrichardson
Ugh - I have better things to do with my time/ money, but if that's what people want to do it doesn't look like they are breaking any laws.

And as GeeHann #23 said, I do like to wander through older neighborhoods and look at the amazing architecture of the houses - rich or poor doesn't matter to me. Though often it's the nicer areas that have the nicer houses, I think it's even more interesting to see the old glamour in areas that have since declined. I don't know why, but it kind of gives me a feeling of hope, like maybe we can get those areas back where they once were.
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