Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blogger Bildt

Carl Bildt, who became Sweden’s foreign minister in October last year when Fredrik Reinfeldt’s centre-right Moderaterna party came to power, has recently come in for criticism because of his blogging activity. Some time ago, Bildt stopped posting to his English-language blog, Bildt Comments, and started a new Swedish-language one, where he now makes his own personal observations on issues of Swedish foreign and domestic policy on a day-by-day basis. Bertil Torekull, former editor-in-chief of the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, has published a long article in the other main Swedish daily, Dagens Nyheter, criticizing Bildt’s blogging activity, and asking whether it’s right for a government minister to lead a “double life” in this way, making official statements and then, in Torekull’s view, at least partly undermining them by private ones. Torekull even draws an analogy with the “off-the-cuff” statements and activities of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez (an analogy that seems a little far-fetched, it has to be said). Today Bildt responds in his blog, remarking [my tr.]:

And in the last analysis everyone can choose, after all. Those who don’t want to read this or other blogs can refrain from doing so. Those who don’t want to read a newspaper don’t need to.

Freedom of choice. And openness.

It will truly be interesting to see how this discussion develops…
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