Goodbye 2005! And welcome election and World Cup year 2006…
[Up-dated] It is time to put on a suit, go to a party, get tipsy and say farewell to 2005. Before that, here is a summary of what happened - from the perspective of a Fred Perry progressive based in Stockholm.
Most positive development in 2005: According to the yearly report from Freedom House, more than three billion people (almost half of Earth’s population) live in 89 countries where they enjoy free elections and the respect of human rights. That’s better than ever before. And let’s continue to do something for the remaining half!
Most terrible news in 2005: Earthquake in Pakistan, terrorism in (for example) London, hurricane in (for example) New Orleans, and so on. And silently, underneath the surface, some 3 000 000 people died of aids and 9 000 000 of hunger.
Remarkable individuals who left us in 2005: Rosa “she refused to sit and a whole generation stood up” Parks (1913-2005), Hunter S “Fear and Loathing” Thompson (1937-2005), Arthur “Death of a salesman” Miller (1915-2005), Zhao “Gorbachev of China” Ziyang (1919-2005), Rudolf “Swedish model” Meidner (1914-2005), Robin “Point of departure” Cook (1946-2005), George “the fifth Beatle” Best (1946-2005). And John “Leo McGarry” Spencer, of course.
Best night of 2005: Watching the Champions League Final in a bar with fellow Social Democratic students in Norrköping. AC Milan is up 3-0 in half time, the rest is history.
Best concert of 2005: Bruce Springsteen, nothing beats tickets in the middle of the seond row (thanks again, Henrik). Also: Sofia Karlsson at Mosebacke and Patty Griffin singing “Long ride home” at Debaser.
Best records of 2005: “To die alone” (Moneybrother), “Svarta ballader” (Sofia Karlsson), “Fair&Sqaure” (John Prine).
Best retro in 2005: The Bruce Springsteen “Born to run” DVD-box. And “Sjutton sånger” (LeMarc sjunger LeMarc).
Best wedding of 2005: Jeff’s and Holly’s two-day wedding in Woodstock, Virginia. Food, music, and loads of friends.
Best party of 2005: The crayfish-party we had at Victor’s parents house.
Best weekend of 2005: Andreas’ bachelor’s party in Copenhagen. That set up (hotel, dinner, nightclub, brunch, top-class football) will be very difficult to beat.
Most interesting travel of 2005: The Kurdish parts of Iraq, of course.
Nicest vacation of 2005: South Africa (Xmas and New Years 2004-2005) with mum, my sister Anna and her boyfriend Per-Erik's family.
Best meal in 2005: At my friend Fyda’s house in Iraq. Just look at the picture above!
Second best meal of 2005: Bushman's kebab at a restaurant somewhere between Cape Town and Cape Point.
Am I dreaming I am having this conversation of 2005: Discussing Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, and England’s World Cup team with Nick Hornby.
Best read in 2005: “Why Europe will run the 21st century” by Mark Leonard.
Winning elections in 2005: Campaigning in key London-constituencies with Labour Students, contributing to Blair’s historic third term.
Actually having elections in 2005: Iraq!
Wings of history in 2005: Visiting Robben Island (South Africa) with mum, and Halabja (Iraq) with Kurdish and Social Democratic Students (i.e. Shoresh with crew, and Emma and Claes).
Continuing disappointment in 2005: How the US (i.e. the Bush-administration) is mishandling “the war on terror”.
Some political events in 2005 I will remember: Gleneagles, putting focus on development and debt. The SAP-congress, of course. The ECOSY-bureau meeting in London (so well organized). And my last action as chairman of Social Democrats Students; introducing Margot Wallström to our congress in Uppsala.
Best thing that happened in 2005: Meeting my girlfriend Emma, of course.
Got to put that suit on now, thanks to y'all who visited this blog in 2005. Welcome back in 2006!