HERE’S TO A LESS CONFUSING 2019

Christmas is almost upon us and I hope that it will bring a bit of peace and sanity to the world.  I know I write about the chaos that murder can bring but it’s nothing to what is going on around us.  America is having its well-publicised problems, while the United Kingdom is no longer united as the politicians try and sort out the gigantic tangle that is Brexit.  And while we’ve had our eyes on other things, the Swedes still haven’t got a Prime Minister.  This extraordinary deadlock has been in place since the general election of September 9th.  I wrote about this impasse exactly three months ago.  Neither of the blocks (right and left) have enough parliamentary seats to form a government – 175 are needed.  And nobody seems to want to work with the right-wing Sweden Democrats.  I always thought that pantomime season was a very British institution, but Sweden’s politicians seem to have taken their cue from us.  Oh, yes they have… the story so far:

Sitting Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of the Social Democrats is asked to stand down the day after the election.  He sticks it out until September 25th when parliament votes for his removal.  Löfven hands in his resignation but the parliamentary Speaker asks him to stay on in a caretaker government.  On October 2nd, the Moderates leader Ulf Kristersson is tasked with forming a government.  He gives up on October 14th.  The next day, Löfven is given the same mission.  He gives up on October 29th.  With me so far?  It’s Kristersson’s turn again on November 5th.  The Speaker also announces that Kristersson is the proposed candidate for the post of prime minister.  Parliament rejects this on November 14th.  The following day, it’s Centre Party leader Annie Lööf who is given the job of breaking the deadlock.  She abandons the task on November 22nd.  Five days later, Lööf says her party is open to the idea of Löfven returning as prime minister!  A vote is scheduled for December 5th.  The vote is then delayed.  On December 12th, Löfven is formally nominated as PM.  December 14th sees parliament turning down Löfven’s candidacy.  I suspect a lot of Swedes have now lost the will to live.  And I thought Brexit was getting confusing!

All one can hope for is that the world’s politicians go away and have a relaxing festive season and then return and sort things out in 2019.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to work on the next Anita Sundström novel, Mourning in Malmö.  I plan to build in some twists and turns but I’ll never be able to compete with the convoluted machinations of the British and Swedish parliaments.

I wish all my readers a very happy Christmas and a less complicated 2019.