In recent years this newspaper, along with the entire British left, may have given the impression that we viewed Sweden as a peaceful, egalitarian paradise which should be emulated by politicians around the world. Articles such as 'These riots would have never happened in Sweden', 'Everyone trusts each other in Sweden' and 'Swedish socialism is the way to get out of recession' may have unwittingly given readers the impression that we thought that the Swedish model of high taxation and cradle-to-grave welfare provision had produced the most harmonious and socially cohesive nation in the world.
We now realise, in the light of recent events, that there is no truth in any of the above. With Stockholm going up in flames and hordes of angry youths smashing everything in sight for seven days and nights, we would like to assure readers that Sweden is, in fact, a neo-liberal hellhole where pictures of Milton Friedman hang from every town hall and plutocrats rub the faces of the poor in the dirt. Contrary to what some may have inferred from our many articles on the subject, Sweden is actually a racist, intolerant and desperately unequal failed state run by right-wing ideologues which suffers from endemic police brutality. The recent riots were the inevitable consequence of the low-tax, low-spend free market fundamentalism with which we have always associated Sweden.
We are happy to set the record straight and apologise for any confusion. We trust that more recent, hastily written articles such as 'Right wing Sweden gets it comeuppance' and 'We always said this would happen' will cover our arse and reassure readers that we have always seen this country as an accident waiting to happen. With regards to articles published prior to last week, we would like to issue a mass clarification: when we wrote 'Sweden', we meant 'Norway'. Or, if it kicks off in Norway, 'Finland'.
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