Åsa Romson, the new Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and Minister for the Environment, has had a turbulent first day on the job.
She has been criticized for having committed two environmentally unfriendly -hence hypocritical sins.
The boat paint issue from this morning seemed to be nothing more than a sensational witch hunt. The environmental concern is valid and regards the copper content of the paint she used in 2011 when painting the hull of her boat.
However, a little digging easily produces a link showing that the paint Romson had used was banned from being sold by the producer in 2011, then banned from retail sales in 2012 and banned from usage in 2013. In other words, she was doing what was advised as environmentally safe at the time. Time to put down the pitchforks folks.
Yet, she did manage to get herself into a more reasonable quandary when she boarded a flight originating from Bromma Airport, just outside Stockholm. Romson and the Green Party have been critical of the airport and are strongly behind a move to close it. She was outspoken this summer during her speech at Almedalen saying Varför ska en man på affärsresa ha en egen central flygplats när den kvinnliga studenten inte har någonstans att bo? (Why should a man on a business trip have his own centrally located airport while the female student doesn’t have a place to live?)
This is a more valid criticism towards Romson’s political practice of her proverbial preaching. If your stance is that the airport is both an environmental problem and used for those in privilege then boycott the airport as the Minister for the Environment. Demand that flights for Green Party ministers only leave from Arlanda and require them to take the train to and from.
So far only her press secretary, Adam Bergsveen, has given a statement. According to him Romson had no other alternative because the government plane was booked before she took on her official role. “There isn’t much we can do about it.”
I say, poppycock. From the time Romson knew she would take her ministerial role she knew she would be the representative from Sweden to attend the meeting today in Milan. She could easily have arranged another way to get there not requiring the use of Bromma.
Let’s hope that this will be her last flight out of Bromma while she holds her post.