Yesterday I came home from the Social Democratic Youth (SSU) congress. After half a year of scandals and internal battle the organisation came to terms with itself. For the first time in more than ten years the leadership was elected with the support of all the congress.
The new leadership showed its strength during the last days as the new general secretary succeeded in doing the impossible - to make the fighting factions agree on a centralised register of the SSU's members.
Politically, this congress was a clear move to the left. Six hours working day, 90 per cent of former income in unemployment benefits and the abolition of the first unpaid day (karensdagen) in the health incurance were all decided quite early in the congress. Good texts were taken on for example class analysis and feminism. And when the congress decided to abolish private schools, some of the right wingers who were used to be able to control the congress' decisions in detail, freaked out and someone wanted to tear up the decision.
This congress marks a start of something new in the SSU history. Young social democrats can now decide for themselves on what they think, instead of being forced to think it by some leading officials in the leading districts. The paralysing conflict can now be overbridged, and the energy can be used on external work instead.
Göran Persson paid an unannounced visit to the congress on the last day. This was commonly seen as a receipt on the success - he wouldn't have come if the congress would have been in turmoil and hard internal fights.
The right wing papers are still bashing the social democrats and try to spin that we will lose the election. But the SSU has shown that we can come together and rebuild ourselves.
They can spin - we will win!