By Nordstjernan columnist Ulf Nilson, November 2010

Now is such a time.
We came to Stockholm a few days ago. And found that media—and people—are deeply involved in matters that don't deserve … well, read on, please, and form your own opinions.…


Big headlines about a certain Sofia Arkelsten, executive secretary for the ruling party, Moderaterna, say she has, lo and behold, accepted a journey paid for by Shell. CORRUPTION screamed media (although the horrible C-word was not used).
Not to be outdone, other media, of course led by the evening papers, revealed that the social democratic leader, Mona Sahlin, had seen fit to let herself be invited to a tennis tournament. Invited, meaning that she did not pay for her ticket—again: wild screams!
But both Arkelsten and Sahlin and their respective transgressions, were soon forgotten. Bigger ones came up—games so big that Expressen (a paper I love and have worked with for more than 47 years)—found it fit to devote more than 20 pages to a scandal story built on a book that at the time had yet to be published.
As you must realize, it was about the King himself, Carl XVI Gustaf, the chief of state.
What has he done?
According to media he visited a nightclub owned by a convicted criminal imported from Yugoslavia (when it still existed). Some reporters mentioned that the gangster owned the club through intermediaries, which makes it possible that the King didn't know. Others forgot this possibility and each and every one made a big deal out of the fact that there were, indeed, many young and good looking females present at the same time as the King. Even if nobody said so out loud it was made clear that the King—how should I put this?—had availed himself of certain, shall we say, unconventional services performed by certain ladies.…
Well, well, unconventional, I just wrote. Wrong, of course. The fact that boys and girls do, hm, certain things together might in all honesty be the most conventional thing there is and any man, King or not, married or not.…
Well, well, no, no, I can go no further. Let me stop by saying that the big question in Sweden right now is:

Let me inform you here that Swedish media have hardly asked such straight questions. You, Americans, are the first to have a chance to really ponder the full implications of the scandal.
I, myself, citizen of Sweden (even if I lived more than half my life in the USA, France or traveling), have but one reaction to all this:
The beloved country must have gone mad. As dozens of bloggers remind us every day, Sweden has grave problems with criminality, weak healthcare and, above everything else, the 1.7 million immigrants (out of the slighty more than 9 million inhabitants), who are not integrated. The newcomers very often don't speak the language, commit crimes much more often than the “natives,” live on the dole and get no jobs, etc., etc. In fact, all things considered, the country is in a grave crisis. That's what should be exposed and debated, but no, no, no. Better gossip about tennis tickets, trips paid for by oil companies and of course, the King and the ladies he did or did not … well, what?