First of May is an important day!
1. Thanks to globalization, the world is getting better. Wars and bloody conflicts are down by 60 percent since the end of the Cold War. 60 percent of the world's population now lives in (more or less) democratic states. The world average life expectancy is now above 60 years. But the world is still full of injustices and poverty, and I took Africa, the Middle East and Iraq, and Russia as examples.
2. In the EU, political activism and cooperation between social democratic parties and trade unions have shown that the left can score victories in Brussels (I took the conflict in Vaxholm and the services directive as examples). Also, 13 out of the EU:s 25 governments now have governments including social democrats. And on the 9th of May, the PES is launching its PES-activist initiative. A more progressive Europe can and shall be built bottom-up.
3. The election on September 17th is about the Swedish model and the three pillars it is built upon: a sound, market economy; a progressive trade union movement that accepts a flexible labor market; and a generous welfare model. We social democrats want to develop those three pillars; they all fit good together (i.e. market economy works better with progressive trade unions and an active welfare state). The political rights wants to attack all three pillars (250 billion in tax cuts, a war on trade unionism, and lower welfare benefits).
I made a point of not mentioning any other party than the social democrats until the last five minutes of my speech. It is our day I wanted to talk about the state of the world and our ideas!
I hope the speech was interesting, and I say thanks to all of you who came just in order to listen to it (mum, sister, girlfriend, Gunilla, Bitte, Lennart, Tord, and Gudrun).
After that I went to the main demonstration in Stockholm where I listened to speeches held by our "mayor" of Stockholm (Annika Billström), and our party leader and Prime Minister (Göran Persson). I think both their speeches were very good, and you can tell that Göran Persson is ready to fight in this election. I liked his speech, especially the section on sustainable development, even though he did not devote that much time to international issues.
Anyway, a fun and busy day, and I am off to a party now. Why not read Billy Bragg's version of The Internationale and feel proud to be to the left of center!