Monday, June 25, 2007

Why do so many Labourites admire Sweden?

If you want to see proof of how much of the Labour party is living in the past, look at their admiration of Sweden.

They of course admire its high taxation, its welfare state, and its egalitarianism, except that their view of Sweden is rooted in the 1970s rather than the real world.

How many of them are aware of the fact that the so called "Swedish model" isn't working. Whereas it was once fourth-richest country in the world in 1970, it has now it has fallen to 14th.

As for equality, the Swedes are all for it, but it is a very different equality to the one that Labour MPs believe in. In Sweden, it's the parents who get to choose where their children are educated, not the State. Whilst Labour struggles to get even the mildest education reform past its MPs, the Swedes who have unleashed the widest ranging school voucher policy in the Western world, one that all parties and even the teaching unions support. Milton Friedman would have been proud. Along with school vouchers, there has also been a huge growth in private schools.

And would Labour MPs approve of Sweden's drug policies, which criminalise possession of even the smallest amounts of soft drugs? Their zero-tolerance stance has more in common with the United States than with the Netherlands (another country the Labourites admire).

Its about time that Labour MPs actually travelled to Sweden and got a dose of reality. These days, the Tories have more in common with the Swedes than Labour does.