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1400 sÞmil. Havhingsten ankommet til GershÞj v. Roskilde Fjord. Den sejlede hjem fra Dublin, rundt om Lands End op ad den engelske kanal og gennem Limfjorden. Spottet af Kirsten Damgaard,   Havhingsten.dk

ExtremvÀnstern störde sd:s UmeÄmöte

Grundlovsstridigt berufsverbot

nÊvnte  jeg igÄr. Det forgÄr stadig uden stÞrre opstandelse . En mÄnedslÞn i erstatning for ulovlig afskedigelse. Business as  usual:

En Sverigedemokrat fick lĂ€mna sin praktikplats pĂ„ svenska ambassaden i Israel nĂ€r hans partifĂ€rg kom fram.  – Det stred mot grundlagen, sĂ€ger justitiekansler Göran Lambertz, som nu beslutat att mannen ska fĂ„ ett skadestĂ„nd pĂ„ 30.000 kronor. I september 2006 antogs mannen som praktikant pĂ„ ambassaden i Israel. I slutet av oktober fick ambassadens ledning reda pĂ„ att han var aktiv Sverigedemokrat. Mannen har bland annat kandiderat för partiet till kommunfullmĂ€ktige i Lund. Han fick dĂ€rför omedelbart sluta sin praktik.  – Beslutet togs pĂ„ grund av att han var Sverigedemokrat och att han inte hade berĂ€ttat om det.

Sparkad Sverigedemokrat fÄr 30.000

Elegi for  et tabt  paradis: »Fishing in Utopia«

“Sweden and the future that disappeared”  –  (boganmeldelse)
 

“Sweden, when Andrew Brown arrived there in the 1970s, was as near as any country has come to a socialist paradise,” said John Carey in the Sunday Times. Egalitarian, peaceful, prosperous and healthy, it had full employment and excellent schools. “Its people were bonded by a firm sense of civic duty and shared values” – co-operation, modesty, political neutrality. The prime minister, Olof Palme, lived in an ordinary house, and desired not money nor power but “the admiration of decent people”.

After years of “hippie-ish” wanderings, Brown met a Swedish nurse, and returned to her home country with her. There, he worked in a factory making pallets and became obsessed with fishing. The marriage failed and he left for London, but recently he went back, and found Sweden changed beyond recognition: the welfare system dismantled, the shipyards closed, and crime up by 80 per cent. “Fishing in Utopia is a lament for a lost Eden. But it is more than that. Essentially it is a story of modern rootlessness and the search for something to believe in. I can see it becoming a cult book, and not just among anglers.”

 [..] He has written a “beguiling account” of his obsession with Sweden, which is “peppered with pithy observations and memorable characters”.

He is an acute observer of the conformity that underpinned Sweden’s social miracle, said Roland Huntford in the Literary Review: it depended on “a pervasive state apparatus, a collective way of thinking, the suppression of individuality” – or as Brown puts it, “a belief that herds are good”. The explanation for all this lies in its history. Sweden, one of the first modern bureaucratic states, was always efficiently run from the centre, while until recently, most of its people were only a few generations away from living off the land, so the disciplines of frugality and solidarity were still ingrained. Nowadays, social cohesion is wilting under the pressure of consumerism, mass immigration and globalisation; obesity is a problem for the first time. “Deftly weaving rhapsodies of fishing in Swedish waters and political observations, Brown has written an idiosyncratic and highly enjoyable memoir of the fall of the New Jerusalem of the Left.”

FIRST POSTED AUGUST 7, 2008

Fishing in Utopia: Sweden and the Future that Disappeared by Andrew Brown

The Sunday Times review by John Carey
Sweden, when Andrew Brown arrived there in the 1970s, was as near as any country has ever come to a socialist paradise. Its people were, he found, bonded by a firm sense of civic duty and shared values. Everyone knew what it was acceptable to think. Society, it was agreed, would benefit more from co-operation than from selfishness. Affluence was bad for people. Failure to want social equality was regarded as a handicap to be pitied and, if possible, cured. Armed conflict was seen as wasteful and to be avoided. Sweden had avoided it for 150 years, remaining neutral in the second world war. Drunkenness was an obvious evil, so teetotalism was encouraged. Alcohol could be bought only at government stores, which were ringed with health warnings and made as unalluring as possible. It was assumed that, as time went on, the world would become more peaceful, more egalitarian and more like Sweden. That was what progress meant.

Many young people in Europe and America felt this kind of optimism in the 1960s, but somehow it translated into reality only in Sweden. The explanation, Brown suggests, may lie in the country’s history and class structure. Scarcely anyone in Sweden was more than three generations away from subsistence farming. The disciplines of poverty had taught them frugality and solidarity, so that when prosperity came they were determined to make it communal and not to squander it. Under the leadership of prime minister Olof Palme, Sweden became one of the world’s richest nations. There was full employment and no housing shortage. In the early 1970s, Palme’s Social Democrats had built 1m new, affordable, modern homes for workers, more than satisfying demand. Selective schooling was abolished, and the last powers of the Swedish monarchy removed. Lack of ostentation was a Social Democratic tradition. Palme lived in an ordinary terrace house, and what he most desired, Brown thinks, was not money or power but the admiration of all decent people. It is hard to think of any recent British politician of whom that could be said.

Brown landed up in Sweden more or less by chance. His father, a diplomat and the director of a shipping line, had sent him to a “rather grand” school, from which he was expelled for some undisclosed offence at the age of 16. After several years of “hippie-ish wanderings”, also undisclosed, he worked as a carer in a Cheshire Home, thinking that, even if he had failed his parents’ expectations, he was being useful. Among the nurses was a young Swedish woman, Anita, and in 1977 they hitch-hiked to Sweden and set up house together. It was the start of a struggle to find some meaning in life and in himself. He got a job in a small factory making wooden pallets. The work was exhausting, but gave him time to think. He read a lot of philosophy, learnt Swedish, and became seriously interested in fishing. He had fished for pike and perch in nearby lakes when they first arrived, simply to put food on the table. But it soon outgrew practical considerations and became, in effect, his religion. It was inseparable in his mind from the freedom he felt when he was alone in the wild, surrounded by silence and the smell of trees. He graduated to fly fishing and became expert at making his own flies, and at guessing which of the innumerable varieties of insect available in Sweden the fish he was pursuing would prefer. […]

Meanwhile, he and Anita married and had a son, Felix, with whom he tried, in vain, to share his piscatory obsession. It was not fishing, though, that put an end to the marriage but Brown’s ambition to become a writer. He wanted to be “one at whom the whole world marvelled”, and the likely way to achieve this, he thought, was writing for The Spectator. He started sending the magazine pieces about Sweden in the 1980s, and fairly soon he abandoned Anita and Felix and moved to London. They tried joining him for a while, but quickly went back home. […]

Much later he went back to Sweden and found it had changed beyond recognition. When the Social Democrats lost power their ideals had been speedily abandoned and their welfare system dismantled, to be replaced by a dogmatic distrust of state control. The railways and postal service had been privatised and private schooling encouraged. By the end of the 1990s, Sweden was no longer the safe, prosperous, tolerant country he had known. Violent crime had increased by 40%, rape by 80%. Obesity and drunkenness were common. Heroin smuggling and organised crime had created a new breed of super-rich gangsters. A large immigrant population, with a crime rate at least double that among native Swedes, was fomenting resentment and racial hatred.

Fishing in Utopia is a lament for a lost Eden. But it is more than that. Essentially it is a story of modern rootlessness and the search for something to believe in. The fact that that something turns out, absurdly, to be fishing only makes it more tragic. I can see it becoming a cult book, and not just among anglers. You do not (I can personally guarantee) need to have the slightest interest in fishing to be caught up in his rapt descriptions of reels and lines and casting and flies and the enormous quiet of Sweden’s uninhabited places. In the last section he drives up into the Swedish arctic to be alone and write. It is a journey into the past. At a lonely farm he comes upon an old couple, and finds that the wife not only believes in trolls but has seen one, a little grey man about 2ft high. Trolls are, he learns, benevolent spirits, quite likely to take milk from a cow at night, but happy to do humans favours in return. Further on, he joins in a traditional midsummer festival. A maypole is decorated with birch branches and flowers and hauled aloft. Girls and men dance round it through the white summer night. The music comes from an instrument, special to the locality, with 11 steel strings and three banks of keys, which sounds “like an accordion on the verge of tears”. That is not a bad description of the tone of this book.

Fishing in Utopia by Andrew Brown
Granta ÂŁ16.99 pp264 Buy the book from Books First ÂŁ15.29 including free delivery

 (DesvÊrre er Roland Huntfords anmeldelse i Litterary Review ikke tilgÊngelig)

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Johansen
Johansen
13 years ago

Hvordan kan man gĂžre sig fortjent til Theodor Herzl prisen? Hvor kan jeg lĂŠse noget mere om denne tildeling?

Jeg er helt uforstÄende overfor, med hvilken begrundelse man kan sende en person hjem fra en ambassade, som passer sit arbejde.

Der er jo intet modsÊtningsforhold i at vÊre medlem af Sverigedemokraterne og sÄ arbejde for sit land i Israel. De fÄr mÄske ovenikÞbet en mand, som er meget pro-Israel.

Johansen
Johansen
13 years ago

Janne

Undskyld mig, men denne Mohammad Usman Rana ligner en islamist og taler som en islamist. Gad vide om han ikke ogsÄ er en islamist?

Jeg har tidligere lĂŠst udsagn af nogle af vore hĂ„rdkogte hijab-damer, som strĂžr om sig med de samme kedelige budskaber om “ekstrem sekularisme”.
Det er kun fundamentalistiske muslimer og medlÞbere, man hÞrer tale pÄ denne mÄde. Man vÊmmes!

Johansen
Johansen
13 years ago

Jeg er oprĂžrt og dybt rystet over, at man kan finde pĂ„ at hjemkalde en praktikant fra den svenske ambassade i Israel qua medlemsskab af et demokratisk parti. Jeg forstĂ„r det simpelthen ikke. Hvad skulle diskvalificere manden? Hvorfor mĂ„ han ikke arbejde pĂ„ ambassaden ligesĂ„vel som alle andre, hvis han nu gerne vil det? SĂ„ vidt jeg har forstĂ„et er Sverigedemokraterne ikke HolocaustfornĂŠgtere ligesom f. eks. Le Pen? Hvad er egentlig forskellen pĂ„ Sverigedemokraternes og Dansk Folkepartis politik? HĂ„ber ikke vi nĂ„r dertil herhjemme, at man ikke kan sige frit, hvilket parti man f. eks. er medlem af, af risiko… Read more »

Janne
Janne
13 years ago

OT

“Den skandinaviske kampen for ytringsfrihet er blitt et forsvar for vulgariteter, perversjoner og obskĂžniteter.”

Mener medicinstuderende i Norge:

http://www.aftenposten.no/meninger/signert/article2579669.ece

“…man mĂ„ minne seg selv pĂ„ at ytringsfriheten fortjener Ă„ bli drĂžftet pĂ„ et hĂžyere nivĂ„ enn Ă„ redusere dialogen til trusselberetninger.”

Nu skal vi rigtig have renset vores samfund for urene ytringer og generende kritik af trusselskultur.

Christian
Christian
13 years ago

jeg har forgĂŠves prĂžvet at downloade filen fra mininova.org, men der er desvĂŠrre ingen der “seeder” den. er det muligt, at du, steen, ville seede artiklen for en stund?

vh.

CMN

monse
monse
13 years ago

Havhingsten: PĂ„ udturen i 2007 sejlede de gennem Skagerrak til Sydnorge, derefter nord om Skotland og ned til Dublin. PĂ„ hjemturen nu her fulgte de den rute I angiver, dvs. i modsat retning.

Adde
Adde
13 years ago

Intressant lĂ€sning, detta. Subjektivt och personligt, naturligtvis – men Ă€ndĂ„ mĂ„nga knivskarpa observationer av det svenska samhĂ€llet. Fler texter “af samme skuffe” nedan:

Thomas Hylland Eriksen 1995: Sveriges tapte storhet
http://folk.uio.no/geirthe/Sverige.html

Ulf Nilsson 1998: Sverige: Sluten anstalt
http://gluefox.com/min/slutenanstalt.pdf

Alannah Eames 2008: Worlds apart: The Danish-Swedish culture clash
http://www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=11874&print=true

Bruce Bawer 2006: While Sweden slept
http://www.nysun.com/opinion/while-sweden-slept/44831/?print=7688218121

Roland Huntford 1971: The New Totalitarians (abstract only)
http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-6204759/Brave-new-world-in-Sweden.html

Jag ser fram emot fler kvalificerade jÀmförelser mellan Sverige och Danmark hÀr pÄ Snaphanen under kommande mÄnader!

Universalgeni
13 years ago

Berlingskes tegning er frastĂždende. Underlig avis…

Janne
Janne
13 years ago

Berlingske Tidende viser i “Til stregen” vores demokrati som et svin.

Rul lidt ned og kig til hÞjre pÄ Berlingske Tidendes forside:

http://www.berlingske.dk/