Ilya Meyer

Sweden: the new Donald Duck government

Sweden has had a new government for a week now.

So far the only public statement the new government has made has been its intention to recognise the fictitious State of Palestine. But not the very real (and beleaguered) State of Kurdistan.

Here are a few reflections on this new government, and what drives it:

  1. It is a Leftist government, a coalition of Social Democrats and Sweden’s hard-line Green Party.
  2. The Green Party in Sweden is not like the Greens in the real world. Here the Greens are not terribly concerned about the environment. Party leader and Environment Minister Åsa Romson paints her houseboat with a poisonous substance that is expressly banned by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency for its toxic properties, fending off criticism on the grounds that her boat is “too large” to be pro-environmentally washed clean instead of coated with poison to keep barnacles at bay. She heats this houseboat – which is moored in the heart of central Stockholm’s low-emission zone – with emission-spewing diesel fuel. In Sweden, the Green Party is concerned less with the environment and more with bucking the system. What system, you might ask? Answer: any system, just so long as there’s a system against which to revolt. Long live the revolution – any revolution. The Greens are simply here to be different.
  3. Another Green Party minister – Minister for Culture, no less – is Alice Bah Kuhnke. She is known, not least, for baring her breasts in the media, and for threatening to cut off funding to organisations that work against honour killings if any of the funding for that noble purpose goes to men working against this crime. She justified her position on the grounds that she is a feminist. As a feminist, she said, support should only be given to women. No, seriously. She demanded that funding only be given to women, thus effectively barring male members of immigrant communities from daring to take a stance against this horrific crime. Interestingly, she joined the Green Party just last week, AFTER being nominated for a ministerial post on behalf of the Green Party…
  4. Another Green Party government minister is Mehmet Kaplan, an ardent Islamist whose mission in public life is to “end the occupation of Jerusalem”. One might be tempted to ask if he is referring to Muslim occupation of the area overlooking Judaism’s holy Western Wall, from which boulders are routinely hurled by Muslims down onto Jews praying below. But he is of course referring to a “Jewish occupation” of Judaism’s holy sites in the Jewish capital of the Jewish state of Israel. Mehmet Kaplan is the new Housing and City Development Minister. Quite comical really – a Swedish Settlement Minister opposing what he regards as settlements in Israel… Mehmet Kaplan applauds young Western jihadists who travel to IS(IS)-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq for beheading tourism and says they are no different to other patriots fighting against invaders, such as the Finnish patriots who once struggled against the invading Soviet empire. No, really. And he is a key minister in the new Swedish government. Mehmet Kaplan was also a key agitator on board the infamous Turkish ship Mavi Marmara along with several dozen other terrorists who tried to break Israel’s weapons embargo on the Hamas regime in Gaza.
  1. Yet another Green Party government minister is Gustav Fridolin, Minister for Education. He is familiar to the Israeli scene for having been deported from Israel following his arrest for violent behaviour as part of his support for extremist militant terror organisation ISM, whose purpose is to undermine the sovereignty of Israel through military and other means.
  2. One might be tempted to laugh, but the new Swedish Minister for the Interior is Ardalan Shekarabi (Social Democratic party), in which capacity he is also responsible for domestic law and order. Yet he is a former illegal immigrant who defied a deportation order by living underground until a new government granted him amnesty. He has been found to have embezzled funds from the Social Democratic Party’s youth organisation to further his personal election campaign and was accordingly kicked out of the youth organisation. This year the Swedish Tax Office accused him of cheating on his income-tax returns and has ordered him to pay what he owes to help fund the public community that he has now been appointed as a Government Minister to serve…
  3. Anna Johansson (Minister for Infrastructure) was found to have fiddled her official expense account, trying to pass off a bill for ladies’ underwear as a legitimate bill for official entertainment. Perhaps she wasn’t straying far from the truth, after all…

The list goes on and on.

Drugs convictions, embezzlement, sex scandals, New Age flummery – there’s even a minister, Kristina Persson, Minister for Future and Strategy (aged 70 next birthday, one wonders about the longevity of Sweden’s future and strategy) who believes she has been reincarnated and remembers dying sometime in the 14th century…

It’s the stuff of bizarre comedy. A kind of Monty Python meets Jerry Seinfeld. Only it’s meant to be taken seriously.

With the exception of the old and ironically named Minister for Future, the new Swedish government is made up of remarkably young people. There is absolutely nothing wrong with youth. Their energy, their vision, their grasp of trending ideas and much, much more are all vital.

But this is not a scout camp for twelve year olds where Team Green has the task of putting up the tents, Team Red makes the fried eggs and beans on toast, and Team Blue organises a sing-song around the campfire. This is government. The ship of state that has to guide a population of more than 9 million souls to a better future. Yet most of the newly appointed government ministers are barely capable of putting together a shopping list for their weekly groceries. And many of them couldn’t be trusted to pay the bill anyway, if their previous behaviour is anything to go by.

Sweden no longer has a government. It resembles a scene from a Donald Duck comic where the Beagle Boys – all duly decked out in their striped convicts’ shirts – have been officially escorted from jail to the state bank and been given the keys.

Only, in Sweden, it turns out the Beagle Boys’ first move was not to fill a truck with cash and drive straight to their hideout. No, the first thing the Swedish Beagle Boys did was to announce that the cash in the bank would be spent on supporting a fictitious State of Palestine – while utterly ignoring the plight of the already existing and increasingly desperate autonomous State of Kurdistan, the plight of Christians in Syria and Iraq, the plight of Yazidis in the same area, the plight of Christians in Nigeria who are under constant racist attack by Islamist Boko Haram, the plight of Christians under attack by al-Shabab, the plight of Christians who are being decimated in the Gaza Strip by the Islamist Hamas terrorist group – the pattern becomes clear.

The new Swedish government: with one or two exceptions, it appears to have the collective brainpower of Donald Duck on a bad-feather day.

Talking of which, remember Minister for Culture Alice Bah Kuhnke in point 3 above? She rose to stardom as an on-screen hostess of Sweden’s Disney Club programme on children’s TV.

Very apt indeed.


The writer is the author of “Bridges Going Nowhere“, a thriller that underscores the complexity and often surprising symbiosity of Swedish-Israeli relations. It can be ordered either as en ebook or as a paperback from Amazon.

About the Author
Served as deputy chair of the West Sweden branch of the Sweden-Israel Friendship Association. Written three political thrillers about Sweden-Israel-Gaza in The Hart Trilogy: "Bridges Going Nowhere" (2014), "The Threat Beneath" (2015) and "From the Shadows" (2016), where the action switches seamlessly between Samaria, Gaza, Israel, Sweden and Iran. Work has started on a fourth book, "Picture Imperfect".