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Anorak | Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm Syndrome

by | 11th, September 2003

‘IF you wondered why Tony Blair has been dragging his feet on the euro referendum, it’s not just because he knows he has no chance of winning it.

Anna Lindh, who died this morning

He will also be mindful of the fate of Sweden’s pro-euro foreign minister, Anna Lindh, who was stabbed in the stomach and chest as she went shopping in Stockholm yesterday.

Police say it is too early to know whether the attack was politically motivated, but both sides in the country’s euro referendum, due to be held this weekend, said they would stop campaigning until the picture became clearer.

As for Mrs Lindh, the Telegraph says she was operated on for five hours in hospital, where her condition is said to be serious. She has since sadly died.

‘The stabbing appalled Swedish voters, who are used to placid political consensus, with voices barely raised in television debates and good manners prevailing on the hustings,’ it says.

What effect the stabbing will have on the weekend’s vote is not clear, but you can be sure that Blair is keeping his beady eye on things.

If, for instance, there is a sudden rush of sympathy votes towards the ‘yes’ camp, Blair will no doubt be busy selecting a minister to take a bullet for the pro-European cause.

Home Secretary David Blunkett would be the obvious choice – he’s pro-European, he’s a Blairite loyalist and of course he’s blind.

That means not only would he not be able to identify the grinning idiot who shot him, but Blair could go for double sympathy points by plugging his guide dog too.

However, while we are looking to Sweden for political lessons, Blair should cast his mind back to 1986.

Olof Palme, then prime minister of Sweden, was gunned down as he walked home from a night at the cinema with his wife. The gunman has never been caught.’



Posted: 11th, September 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink