The New Swans Gazette, issue 8

Issue 8, 2016-06-06

 The path to a Swedish national day

Why are we crazy Swedes celebrating our national day the 6th of June. Unlike many other countries we just picked a date from history and said “Lets make this our national day”.

So what we are celebrating is the inauguration of Gustav Vasa as king of Sweden, 1523, on the 6th of June and Sweden became a sovereign state.

Now we did not really celebrate this until 1983 when Parliament made this the national holiday. It was not even a free day until 2005.

So what is this day for me, well not that much to be honest. It is hard to bridge 400 years of history and after that just say that this day, this should be our day.

A day more in tune with the Swedish party spirit would be midsummer, now that is a day of celebrating. But as this is our national day I can only say, “Happy Birthday Sweden,” may you have 500 years more of prosperity.

Written by JMS

The New Swans Gazette, issue 7

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Issue 7, 2016-06-01

The evolution of corruption

lobbying-161689_640The top down approach

A politician takes some liberties with public funds, to put it mildly, gives a project to a friend, embezzle some money.

His/her subordinates see that our manager, boss, elected official, is creating a cosy life for themelves, why should I not be able to do this also. The person does a little underhand dealings, maybe put some pressure on other people, use the power that has been entrusted to him/her, they get a piece of the cake.

The cakes grows smaller, the people under him/her see a diminishing cake and of course they want to eat some, so they do some smaller things. Smaller because this is what they can get away with, and the cake grows even smaller.

Finally the people see what is happening, they complain, “THIS IS NOT RIGHT, BUT WHAT CAN WE DO,” and with a shrug of their shoulders the present situation remains as it is, status quo.

The bottom up approach

You wait in queue to get some documents, the queue is so long, it is warm, you have no energy to wait, and then you see your friend. “Hey can you just help me out with this?” you might ask.

Of course your friend helps you out, he/she is a good friend, and another person has to wait in the queue that much longer.

Your friend, a congenial fellow, a likeable person, needs some help, like we all do.

The bureaucracy is such a hassle, so he checks with his friend, a small favour. He gets it, just a returned favour, nothing big, maybe help to get rid of a staff member that has been bugging him, write a petition, nothing big.

Finally we are at the top, you are ahead of the pack, ruler of the land, for 4 years or so. Of course you have had a lot of help, and you must return the favours, what kind of person would you be if you did not do at least that.

So you do, give a project here, help a friend out there and for this you deserve some cake, after all you are at the top. Now the cake looks a bit scruffy, hardly more than crumbs, so you scoop up what you can, so little after all.

In the basement

Here we are, the friendless few. We stand in queue, like we should, don’t want to get in front of some other person, they are after all waiting too. We pay our taxes, we like what they can bring, we get schools, roads, healthcare, the things that should help the poorest, the masses and not just the few.

It is a bit scary to see the cake go bad, smaller at every step, but what can we do? Maybe we have a friend that can help us out after all.

by JMS