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The Assassination of Anna Lindh

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Anna Lindh was attacked while shopping in the ladies' department at the Nordiska Kompaniet department store in central Stockholm on 11th September 2003. She was stabbed in the chest, stomach and arms and died later that day. Lindh was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs but at the time she was not being protected by bodyguards from the Swedish Security Service.

On September 24, Mijailo Mijailović was arrested and charged with her murder. Two days later it was announced that the DNA-profile of Mijailović matched that of hairs found on the baseball cap, left at or near the scene of the crime. He also resembled the man filmed in the store where Lindh was attacked. Mijailović admitted to the crime and was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mijailo Mijailović might be guilty of this crime although no one has been able to suggest a good reason for the assassination. My main concern is over what has happened since Lindh's death.

Lindh was an extremely popular member of the Social Democratic government and was fully expected to become the next prime minister, replacing the lacklustre Goran Persson. The assassination stopped that happening.

The month after Lindh's death, Fredrik Reinfeldt, became the leader of the so-called "Moderate Party". On the surface the Moderate Party policies seemed little different from that of the Social Democrats that had moved to the right under Persson. However, the feeling was that Persson was outdated and Reinfelt, who was only 38 when he became leader, was the future.

Reinfeldt became prime minister following the large swing against Persson and the Social Democratic Party in the September 2006 general elections.

Since gaining power Reinfeldt has introduced radical welfare reform. Benefits have been cut and so have income-tax. The wealth-tax was abolished. National insurance contributions have been raised forcing lower-paid workers out of the system.

A large section of the health service has been contracted out to the private sector. Some state-owned industries have been sold off. Museums that have always been free now charge high entry fees.

Most disturbing is that the government has allowed anyone to set up schools and to claim the state’s per capita allowance for pupils. These schools have been allowed to adopt restrictive academic admissions criteria. This has resulted in segregated faith and class schools.

Reinfeldt’s government is extremely unpopular and is almost certain to be removed at the next election. However, the damage has been done. Like Margaret Thatcher, he has dismantled the country’s welfare state. Once this happens, it is very difficult to reinstate.

The great irony is that David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party in the UK, is promising to introduce Reinfeldt’s reforms when he becomes prime minister.

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Guest David Guyatt

Peter, I doubt whether we will very know who was responsible for either the Palme or Lindh killings. There are suggestions that there was a South African connection to the Palme assassination, although I suspect that this, if true, was simply a contracted-out arrangement. Chip Tatum said years ago that the truth would never come out -- and since he was in this line of work, one can imagine that his insight might have some relevance. The impression received was that the US had a hand in this, though.

I also have some doubts about the Israeli's being held responsible for these things. As often as not, I suspect they are useful scapegoats, as with the Robert Maxwell death. A close(and senior) colleague of his who I know believes those responsible for Maxwell were Anglo-American interests, because he worked for both countries intelligence services and had much sensitive information that he might have tried to use to leverage his failing business -- and that use of pressure got him killed. Makes sense.

Overall however, I am partial to the explanation for Lindh's "removal" (assuming it wasn't as told officially) was because of the immense changes in Sweden's social system that has been implemented since Lindh's death. One of the things Tatum insisted he specialized on was the implementation of combined operation of G7 nations to foster desired changes around the world, and I continue to wonder over the years if is the case... an increasingly fascist leaning world in other words.

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