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EU Politics

Bäst i världen: The BBC?

Continuing their series about Sweden, BBC News Online has published a new article about Swedish public health. Read it here. This article is more detailed than the other ones they have posted on the website. It looks in depth about how the decentralised nature of Swedish healthcare might be better […]

Euro kick
EU Politics

More budget hypocrisy from the Brits

Facing the possibility that no budget deal will be agreed at the European Council 15-16 December, the UK Presidency has woken up to the fact that the European Parliament should also agree to any deal. The response – complaining about their democratic mandate! From this article from EUObserver: "Own resources […]

EPP star leaving
EU Politics

First test for Cameron: Europe [Updated, 08.12.2005]

The dust has barely settled after his leadership victory and David Cameron has already walked into a storm on that old issue that has blighted the Tories for so long: Europe. Prior to his victory, Cameron had pledged to withdraw the Tory MEPs from the European People’s Party / European […]

UK and Swedish Leaders
EU Politics

Sweden and the UK – tired leaders and new upstarts?

An entry at Eric Sundstr√∂m’s blog started me thinking about the comparisons between the leaders of the UK’s two main parties now David Cameron has taken over as leader of the Tories, and the situation in Sweden where Fredrik Reinfeldt is up against Goran Persson. Other than giving the opportunity […]

EU Politics

Inspiration from Sweden

I think there is some common theme emerging on this blog… The more I get concerned about issues in the UK, the more I look elsewhere, and especially to Sweden, for optimism! The good news from yesterday is that Maryam Yazdanfar (pictured) was selected at position number 10 on the […]

Jacqui Smith MP
UK Politics

Getting turned off by UK politics

May 1997 and the euphoria of Tony Blair’s election victory feels a very long time ago. Blair suffered his first parliamentary defeat a few weeks ago over 90 day detention of terror suspects, and it seems that the tensions inherent in that debate are likely to burst forth still further […]

Bodmin Moor snow
UK Politics

The Brits cannot cope with snow

It has been quite a cold week, and in Cornwall and Wales there was even some snow – see the picture to the right – a road on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. But as ever, the British have proven to be totally incapable of coping with it. The snowfall was […]

Merkel Chirac
EU Politics

Angela Merkel’s charm offensive

I find myself a bit shocked to be saying this, but I was actually quite impressed by the way that new German Chancellor Angela Merkel approached her first visit to London. The approach was cooperative and practical, and above all else, non-macho. Her approach is summed up quite well by […]