Porn pictures derail timetable

Occasionally, one is given the impression that Swedish journalists wished they lived somewhere just a little more scandal-ridden. With such a well-behaved populace, it's sometimes difficult to find something to get worked up about. Nonetheless, this week a train timetable and Bosse Ringholm, the finance minister, gave them something to get their teeth into.

The scene of Bosse Ringholm’s supposed crime was Sweden’s European Championship football match against Italy in Portugal. The minister, being a patriotic sort, thought that it would give a real boost to the team’s morale to see him cheering them on. Unfortunately, his diary was packed full of important things for him to be getting on with, including attending the conference of LO, the Swedish trades unions congress. Taking the government’s Gulfstream jet must have seemed like a cracking idea.

DN, however, wasn’t sure that Ringholm’s attendance at the match was so indispensable. “The question is whether the Swedish people think it’s so important that he makes it home in time for the opening of the LO conference, and whether they are happy to foot the 70,000 crowns for it.”

Ringholm, however, was in no doubt about the importance of his visit to Portugal. “I believe that the Swedish people understand that the Swedish national side should have the support of the government when it’s making sterling efforts in Europe,” he told DN.

Not everyone, it seems, shares Ringholm’s view, and he’s now been reported to the Swedish parliament’s constitutional committee. Suddenly, budget airlines must look so much more attractive to the country’s top bean-counter.

SL, Stockholm’s transport company, were also in the dock last week, accused of using ‘child pornography’ in their summer timetable. The offending pictures, which show young teenagers in states of partial nudity, attracted around three hundred complaints from members of the public.

SL was quick to distance itself from the pictures. “They are inappropriate and should never have been published,” said SL’s Charlotta Volgsten Forberg, and went on pass the buck to Kazakoff Design, which SL hired to produce the timetable. “We knew nothing about the pictures, and won’t be using the designers again,” she said.

Not a version of events that designer Igor Kazakoff recognises. He claims that the pictures were approved by SL before being put into the timetable.

Much ado about nothing? Perhaps, but SL revealed that the timetable was the cause of even more complaints for another reason: many of the train times listed were wrong.