On December 10 the yearly ceremonial Nobel banquet is held in the Stockholm city hall. It is broadcast in full length in Sweden and watched by 1 million viewers. This year the board of the Nobel Foundation has, after a meeting, come to a historical decision. One of the 8 Swedish party leaders, Jimmie Akesson (leader of the Sweden Democrats) will not be invited. Normally all the party leaders are invited, so this is a new approach, i.e. to read political values into the will of Alfred Nobel.
The following words in the will:
It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be a Scandinavian or not.
The chairman of the Nobel board, Michael Sohlman, interprets the word “nationality” in his own way and says that it is not compatible with Jimmie Åkesson’s values and hence excludes him from the banquet. Sohlman states that the banquet is a private party, so they can decide themselves which ones to invite.
As regards nationalism, Sohlman seems to have forgotten that the regulations themselves are particularly nationalistic. The board must only consist of Swedes and Norwegians. So what else could then be behind this spiteful interpretation of the will?
To begin with, Sohlman is a former Socialdemocrat. He was part of the Sociademocrats’ parliamentary party and has been State Secretary in several social democratic governments. Since the leader of the Socialdemocrats, Mona Sahlin, during the election campaign stated that she wouldn’t event touch Jimmie Åkesson with a pair of tongs, she set the agenda of how to treat the Sweden Democrats.
During the Stockholm Pride Parade, the political parties were invited to a panel debate. But the then parliamentary parties issued an ultimatum: “If Jimmie Åkesson will come, we refuse to come”. Consequently, Jimmie Åkesson was forbidden to participate. Who knows what ultimatum our prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has issued this time?
It would also be interesting to know if the leader of the Norwegian Progress Party Siv Jensen is invited to the Nobel Peace Prize banquet in Norway.