Monday, April 14, 2014

Olof Palme interviewed by David Frost

The Internet has remarkable treasures. In this wonderful interview from 45 years ago, the late British TV journalist David Frost talks to the Swedish politician Olof Palme, who was tragically assassinated years later. Towards the end of the interview, Palme is asked about what we are on earth for, what is the purpose of our presence in this life. He says that "leaving aside the metaphysics of the issue, as we are doomed to be in this earth, we should try to make life as decent as possible. To achieve that we need some common values, such as equality and community. That is the basis of my political ideology." It is difficult to come up with a better definition of social democracy. Besides this, the interview uncovers a very honest politician, very different from the artificial characters that have led western politics in the recent decades. It is not that I subscribe to the idea that politicians are always worse (Obama is clearly better than Bush, for example), but one cannot avoid thinking that some authenticity has been lost.

1 comment:

  1. I first came across that question answered by Palme in a clip of the recent documentary, and now I have just watched the interview in full. Frost really was a masterful interviewer, leading Palme down an alley into morality and subjects which were not natural territory for him. Yet a truth emerges of a man who was a great visionary but still a curious mix of small towner and statesman. The quote you mention does however, seal the deal: Palme was the great force of European social democracy, sadly and senselessly taken from us far too young. Thanks for your post.