Monday, June 9, 2008

What a witty answer

Sorry in advance to any English readers but this just doesn't work in English.

Well, the congress for Vänster (the Swedish Socialist Party as I call them...Why? Well, simply because that's what Vänster is ) ended at the weekend. Or The Left Party of Sweden as they call themselves

But everytime I read or hear The Left Party of Sweden, I think, "Someone's left the party and it's only 11 o'clock"

I listened to quite a bit of what was going on there on P1. And I just have to share with you what must be the wittiest response of the year by anyone to any question.

It was said by a party member when asked for his response to two of the motions put forward

motion: to accept file sharing, as it is impossible to stop, prevent or control.
motion: to re-opon contact with Cuba

His response was "Ja till fildelning nej till Fidel ledning"

What a witty answer, made even wittier by the fact that it contains all the facts and is a correct and clear response.

My socialist heart was also warmed by the fact that the congress voted NOT to stand on the same electoral platform as the Social Democrats and the Green Party at the next election. And by the continued call to leave the EU.

Coming from London, you see, I've always had a problem with this rödgrönröra in Sweden.
My view is simply this, that you're either a socialist(vänster) or a social democrat or a fruit-loop, green party, middle-class, hippy-liberal trying to save the planet, you can't be all three!

And I'm not.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Let's play doctors and nurses

Or at least let's play with their wages a bit.

In my opinion nurses are every bit as important as doctors. Okay, doctors and surgeons have a huge personal responsibility, which I imagine is often extremely mentally taxing. And of course there are fewer of them than there are nurses.

But their extra responsibility, extra training, and their scarcity do not explain the Grand Canyon like chasm between a fully trained nurse's wage and a doctor's wage in Sweden.

We all now know, thanks ot the strike, that nurses, depending on their particular role and skills and healthcare authority they work for, earn roughly between 18 and 25 thousand krona per month.

However, what the vast majority of Swedes don't know is exactly how much various types of doctor earn.

Well, I can tell you, in Sweden doctors and surgeons, again depending on their particular role and skills and the healthcare authority they work for, earn between roughly 25 and 70 thousand krona per month.

Don't be fooled by what various union and healthcare websites tell you about how much they earn, because those figures are only recommendations from unions for the minimum that an AT or ST should earn.

I know several doctors in Karlstad, some are personal friends. And while the nurses' strike was on I aksed three of them how much they earned. Being a foreigner I can get away with asking such questions ;O)

1. ST - hospital - 42,000
2. ST at a clinic (vårdcentral) - 55,000
3. AT - hospital - 32,000

So perhaps the association of local healthcare authorities could look to doctor's pay scales to find the extra money, for argument's sake let's say 5 thousand a month, that nurses so badly need but more importantly so rightly deserve.

After all, doctors on 55,ooo a month aren't going to miss 5 grand going to a just and good cause i.e into a nurse's wage packet, now are they?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Equal treatment from your council? Yes but only if you've got an expensive house.

Sometimes I get very angry at the behaviour of county councils etc. But not as much as last Wednesday 28th May, when I read in VF (local Swedish newspaper) about the open and blatant disregard of equal treatment for all by Karlstad Municipality. Treatment which they even admit to and which is based on saving money.

Basically, some houses in Vålberg (an area outside Karlstad) are at serious risk of subsiding into the ground and surroundning watercourses, so Karlstad Municipality wants to buy these six houses for a cheap price, forcing the families living in them to move, and then tear the houses down. BECAUSE the total value of those six houses is far below the cost of work to shore up the ground to make it safe for those families to continue to live there.

But one family is refusing to sell and move and the municipality can't do anything about it, unless and until the risk of building collapse is re-classified as imminent.

HOWEVER, and this is where I get really pissed off!

A few kilometres north of Vålberg is another area with the same problem, and by now, you've all guessed where I'm going with this.

But in this other area, each threatened property is worth approximatley 3 times as much as those in Vålberg. And the municipality is already planning the work to shore up the ground in this richer area.

Clearly again money talks!

But the houses of the poor can be bought cheaply then simply torn down.

Whatever happened to solidarity? Is that a dirty word nowadays, who's speaking up for these
people in Vålberg?

It seems that the happiness, quality of life, and fairness for all it's residents means absolutely FUCK ALL to Karlstad Municipality!

I really feel for those people in Vålberg.