Scandinavia

Sweden in the 1930s: a “shithole country”

Author

Barrie Hardy

“It’ll be a pleasure to leave this impoverished shithole of a country behind,” says the main character Harry Kvist in the Stockholm Trilogy of historical crime novels by Martin Holmen.

Sweden is now reckoned one of the top ten of countries in the world for quality of life, but eighty years ago much of the population lived in abject poverty.

Holmen’s three novels — Clinch, Out For The Count and Slugger — paint a grim picture of the life of the urban poor in 1930s Stockholm. Most of them suffer flea bites, their bedsheets doused in strong vinegar to keep the pests away.

The kids are coming (don't say you weren't warned)

Author

Alan Simpson

Occasionally, just occasionally, there are weeks full of silver linings. The one that saw Britain's first nationwide schools climate strikes was definitely one of them.

When Greta Thunberg began her lone climate protest outside the Swedish Parliament last August she was not to know that, within 6 months there would be 70,000 pupils a week, across 270 towns and cities worldwide, who would be joining her. Their message was simple: "Wake up! There's a climate emergency."

If you had followed the week's debates in Britain's Parliament you wouldn't have guessed.

Far right on rise in Sweden

Author

Will Sefton

The success of far-right populists across Europe continued in Sweden with a surge in support for the Sweden Democrats who took in 17.6 percent of the vote, coming third against the left and right blocs.

Both blocs have refused to form a coalition with them but with a motion of confidence due for Swedish Prime Minister and Swedish Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven, Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson believes Löfven will have to negotiate with him.

Ryanair must change

Author

Charlotte Zalens

Ryanair pilots in Ireland, Sweden and Belgium will strike for 24-hours on Friday 10 August.

The strike is part of an ongoing dispute as pilots are demanding a fair and transparent approach to transfers between different bases. On 25 July Ryanair escalated the dispute by threatening to sack 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew, or transfer them to Poland.

The right to be cool

Author

Simon Nelson

June 2017 was the hottest June for 176 years. Across Europe temperatures went up to 38°C, and groups of school children and workers defied instructions and wore skirts to school and work to try and keep cool.

UK school system bad for children

The Programme for International Student Assessments (PISA) rankings were published on 6 December. These put UK schools in the 20s among the 72 countries surveyed.

Socialists don′t put great store by the PISA ratings, which measure different nations academic achievements by testing 15 and 16 year olds in maths, science and reading. However, the UK’s poor results do demonstrate that, even by their own standards, the Tories model for education is failing.

Industrial news in brief

On 8 November, the Dockworkers’ Union started industrial action, including a ban on overtime, at the Gothenburg terminal which handles 60% of Sweden’s container trade. It has also called for a blockade on traffic redirected from Gothenburg.

Denmark to seize refugees' property

Author

Lisa Lindstrom

Refugees seeking asylum in Denmark will have their belongings confiscated by the police, in order to finance their own asylum process.

This is the result of the new “asylum package” bill, or the so-called “jewellery law”. The broad parliamentary agreement was proposed by the Danish right-wing liberal party Venstre, the right-wing parties in parliament including the Danish People’s Party and the Conservatives, and the Social Democrats.

Feminism is for sex workers too!

Author

Kelly Rogers

London’s annual radical feminist-led demonstration against sexual and domestic violence, Reclaim the Night, which took place in London on 28 November, is under fire for its sex worker-exclusive approach to feminism.

Reclaim the Night have a long history of making sex workers who continue to work in the industry and sex worker blocs very unwelcome. This year, the coalition which organised London RTN publicly condemned Amnesty International’s decision to support the full decriminalisation of all aspects of prostitution.

An Eyewitness Account of Norway's General Strike Against the Nazis

Author

Norweigan Worker / Labor Action

We present a day-by-day diary of the greatest strike movement which has yet taken place in the Nazi-occupied countries. It was written by a man who. Escaped from Noray. We think that this diary in its simplicity gives a better picture of Europe than ever-so many elaborate articles.It should be remembered, however, that events like this are as yet the exception and that in general the class struggle has not yet taken on such acute form.

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.