Do read this blog posting on The Spector’s Coffee House blog.
In an earlier blog posting, they had accused Ed Balls of lying, and for once the government didn’t send out its spin doctors:
Ed Balls has just called me up about my post from this morning, hopping mad. He instructed me to “take that post down now”. I thought he was joking: has there been some change to the constitution where ministers now have power over the media? But he was deadly serious. […]
Charlemagne is quoting Johan Norberg for wondering whether the Swedish model is restricted to Sweden: “If countries don’t already have a tradition of an efficient, non-corrupt bureaucracy with an impressive work ethic a larger government only means more abuse of power and more waste of money. I often try to convince Americans, no, more government in the US would not get you a big version of Sweden, it would get you a big version of the US Postal Service.“
It’s an interesting point, and I think it’s at least partly true.
I do think Sweden in this context can be replaced by a much larger area, at the very least Scandinavia and parts of Germany, but living in Scotland, I can see that many things are just not working because of different attitudes.
For instance, buses are regularly late, but people just shrug their shoulders and use their car the next time. In Denmark, people would be very upset and it would eventually become a priority for the government to sort out.