The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

If you think we’ve gone over the top about Jo Cox’s sad death, do you remember Anna Lindh?

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Somehow I am revolted by the political “concocted” grief about Jo Cox. They are making a real meal of a horrible tragedy.

Most people’s grief comes without fanfare. Ordinary people are not remembered with state recalling Parliament. Ordinary people have given their lives for our country too, or lost them during attacks of hate. Why are we making such efforts to make a saint out of an ordinary person like Jo Cox? My cynicism suggests to me her death just happens to be convenient to use to further the Government political campaign.

I remembered Anna Lindh from Norway who died just before THEIR referendum. The grief of the country seemed more refined than ours though, with less political capital being made out of it.

Here is some information about Anna Lindh.

Lindh died in the early morning of 11 September 2003 after a knife attack in Stockholm on the afternoon of 10 September. Just after 4 pm, she was attacked while shopping in the ladies’ section of the Nordiska Kompaniet department store in central Stockholm. Lindh was shopping for new clothes for a televised debate later that night on the referendum about Sweden’s adoption of the euro (which she supported). She was stabbed in the chest, abdomen and arms. At the time of the attack, Lindh was not protected by bodyguards from the Swedish Security Service; this proved controversial, given the similarity between Lindh’s murder and that of prime minister Olof Palme in 1986 (the first murder of a government member in modern Swedish history).


Lindh was an outspoken campaigner for Sweden to join the Eurozone in the referendum held on 14 September 2003. After the attack, all euro-campaign events were immediately cancelled. Television campaign advertisements were withdrawn, and all TV stations in Sweden halted commercials from the evening on the 10th through the 11th to help the public-service channels of SVT report news. TV3 merged its programming with ZTV and TV8, airing Efterlyst (a program similar to America’s Most Wanted) for people to send information directly to the police to help find the murderer. All campaign advertising on billboards was removed and advertising in printed media cancelled. The murder was seen as an attack on Sweden’s open society, requiring unity rather than political campaigning.

Following a midday meeting on 12 September by prime minister Göran Persson and the leaders of the other political parties in the Riksdag, the decision was made not to let Lindh’s murder affect the referendum. Information and resources on the referendum’s issues would be fully available, but no political campaigning or debate would take place. Party leaders unanimously pledged support for the ballot as planned, and to abide by its result. Despite speculation that sympathy for Lindh could influence the voting, the euro was rejected in the referendum. Following her death, junior foreign affairs minister Jan O. Karlsson was appointed acting minister for foreign affairs. In October of that year Laila Freivalds was appointed the successor to Lindh’s cabinet post.

A number of commemorative gatherings were held for Lindh throughout Sweden and abroad (through theChurch of Sweden Abroad) on 12 and 13 September. One gathering, in the centre of Stockholm, attracted tens of thousands of mourners. A more formal commemoration was held at Stockholm City Hall on 19 September, at which King Carl XVI Gustaf, prime minister Göran Persson, Chris Patten, Margot Wallström, European commissioners and the Swedish-speaking Greek foreign minister George Papandreouspoke. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was unable to attend due to travel difficulties, but sent condolences. Lindh was buried privately on 20 September from the Church of Ersta in Stockholm; her grave is in the cemetery of nearby Katarina Church. Thousands of roses and candles were placed at Rosenbad (the government building) and outside the store where she was murdered. Abroad, hundreds of thousands of flowers and candles were left at Swedish embassies and consulates by mourners.

In April 2004 Lindh posthumously received the “Statesman of the Year Award” from the EastWest Institute, a trans-Atlantic think tank which organizes an annual security conference in Brussels. Room 50.4 on the fifth floor of the Justus Lipsius European Councilbuilding in Brussels was named the Anna Lindh Room in her honour, and committee room 1A 002 in the Paul Henri Spaak building of the European Parliament in Brussels was also named the Anna Lindh Room in her memory.

The Anna Lindh Professorship of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, was established in her honour. Human rights advocate Samantha Power was the inaugural appointee in 2006.[3] The library at theSwedish National Defence College(Försvarshögskolan) is known as the Anna Lindh Library in her memory. On 11 September 2013 the tenth anniversary of Lindh’s death was commemorated in Sweden.


Author: Elizabeth

I'm someone also pounding the Path, just like you.. I'm retired, going into Old Age and loving my life. I'm hoping to remain happy and well for as long as possible. Old Age is not SO bad - yet!

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