Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Swedish Government Apparently Doing a 180° Turn on Compensation for Victims of Foster Care Abuse

Well, well, I'm not surprised.... 

As previously reported, the Swedish government this weekend decided not to implement the recommendation by a governmental committee to economically compensate the victims of a deeply repugnant pattern of abuse and mistreatment within the national foster care system. And I was far from the only one reacting against this uncommonly ill-considered decision and the so obviously empty rhetoric with which it was presented. On the contrary, it would appear that ministers Maria Larsson and her colleagues in the government were the only ones in the country actually being in favor of the decision. The storm of criticism has been massive and coming from all angles, from grass-root voters of all political shades to important and influential national politicians of all parties besides the ones presently trying to run a minority government.

It's not very surprising, therefore, that the responsible minister yesterday (joined by the prime minister today) went public expressing her willingness to reconsider the decision. Larsson couldn't quite entirely face up to the fact that she and her mates had made a colossal political blunder – surrounding her statement with conditions about "the entire opposition" having to present an alternative proposal. But these are just empty words. Larsson and her boss Reinfeldt know very well that if they don't roll over, they will be humiliated by parliament and will have to go back to square one to do the job that parliament had decided to have them do in the first instance.

In comments in the Swedish media, representatives of the opposition either laugh off this childish behaviour, or express surprise at the so obviously politically stupid formulations by a responsible minister. So, as it looks right now, the compensation will be forthcoming, regardless of how much that hurts the pride of a minister who should indeed have known better in the first place.