After Polly Toynbee’s “The Most Successful Society” piece in the autumn, The Guardian has tempered its tone about the Nordic model in this piece by Nicholas Watt. The analysis is not too bad – Sweden does, without doubt, have a problem with its integration of ethnic minorities and I suspect that, rather than his qualifications, are the problem for the Iraqi asylum seeker quoted in the article.
Further, the old issue of absenteeism in the Swedish workforce is mentioned yet again – such a hot potato at the fortcoming general election. But once again there is a failure to mention the flip-side of that coin: among the highest percentages of the working age labour force actually in work of any European country, and the highest labour force participation of women in the EU-25.
As for the man quoted in the article complaining about leaving hospital after just a week: this is actually a good thing! It enables many more operations to be conducted, and prevents bed-blocking, something that has proven a problem in the NHS.
Plus there’s the whingeing stock quote from that damned commentator from Timbro – Johnny Munkhammar – who seems to appear in almost any English language article about Sweden. Maybe I need to open a Nordic Model thinktank in London and give the socially responsible response to any UK government proposals? 🙂