The Murder of Anna Lindh

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Written by Jan Gillberg

The murder of the Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh is a tragedy of Homeric proportions, but it is more than so. So much of the future could be found in Anna Lindh. That is why the murder of Anna Lindh is also a political catastrophe.

 „An attack on democracy” and that „violence” shall not „prevail” has been mentioned. Therefore all Swedish citizens have been encouraged to go and vote in the EMU election on September 14. It was explained that this would be the best way to honour the memory of Anna Lindh. That would be her wish from heaven, have those that claim their priority of interpretation explained. Is this really so? Or does it mean that self-interest steers the political game even in this, the cruellest of realities? „Politics as usual.”

In spite of this appeal, Göran Persson and the Yes alliance were struck by a devastating defeat. The No side won with a 15 per cent margin. „The people’s victory over power” was the main theme of the post-analysis.
It has been said that Anna Lindh as politician and leading representative for her country, was something so unusual as a quite normal person. But not only that: She was honest, thoroughly genuine. And even more important: She had courage and the capacity to be honest, to be herself. With this combination of qualities, Anna Lindh was special, something unique in Swedish politics.
That is why there was so much hope and future associated with Anna Lindh. As the obvious candidate to succeed Göran Persson, Anna Lindh could have changed the political culture. Mainly, in Sweden, but also in Europe and perhaps even further afield. She was, in fact, in the process of doing this! It is this that makes the loss so unbelievably great.
Instead, there is now a risk that on top of the tragedy of the murder of Anna Lindh, we are made to experience how „the memory of Anna Lindh” is used to further cement the structure she could have transformed by being the greatest and most vital transforming factor - to transform to something new and fresh.
Instead of this new and fresh, that a long line of the world’s leaders found in Anna Lindh and had become accustomed to, they shall now be confronted by Göran Persson’s and his acting Foreign Minister, Jan O Karlsson’s explanations of how the Yes side with tremendously strong resources could firstly loose,  secondly loose so greatly and thirdly that no one in the Swedish government or those close could imagine that the loss could be as great as it proved to be.
What exactly does the power know about the Swedish people? In what condition is the so praised Swedish democracy - sometimes known as the people’s government