The news wires are making headline news on the fact that Prime Minister Göran Persson won't attend the Social Democratic Youth (SSU) Congress August 1-5. If someone wasn't already convinced that Sweden is completely dead during the end of July when everyone's on vacation, the fact that this becomes headline news is the ultimate proof. (The Scandinavian climate is the main reason for this standstill - it's all about maximize the time out in the summer sun as the rest of the year is so dark and cold. But unfortunately for the people on vacation, summer is on halt right now.)
Göran Persson has been to the last SSU congresses. Or, to be honest, he has come, held a speech and then left again. If he would have stayed, he would have needed to discuss with the delegates on the issue on everyone's mind in SSU the last ten years - the hard and bitter faction fights. Fights that originally took shape during the days when all the social democratic project was questioned from inside during the early 1990's, and that exploded during the days of dramatic cutbacks and deregulations in the middle of the 1990's.
The party leadership chose to stay out of the faction fights. Or if you want to put it that way, they chose to let the right wing keep the control by not interfering. The result was that the fair deal to make the organisation use its resources on agitation, education and organisation instead of on internal fights never took place.
Until now. The scandals surrounding the chairman's funding of his "election campaign" to beat the left candidate and fake membership figures has forced the sides to come together for the organisation's survival. A "future commission" led by people who have united a split SSU before have come to conclusions on how to overbridge the conflicts and the proposed board seems to be elected unanimously by the congress.
Too bad for Göran Persson he's not going to the congress. Persson has taken courtesy visits on the splitted congresses of 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003, but he's not going to the presumed unity congress 2005. Thereby he's not meeting young social democrats with hopes and visions for the future, even though I think he needs some inspiration to be able to fight the right wing this autumn.
I won't make Persson's mistake. I'm going to Linköping! Just need to work a bit first, but I'll be there Monday night. Can someone get me a ticket for the congress party on Thursday?