First New Zealand, now Sweden? A reader has alerted me to a rather interesting twist in the Swedish election: A British group of Exclusive Brethren (known as "Plymouth Brethren" over there) have spent millions of crowns on a series of anonymous advertisments in support of the centre-right Alliance for Sweden:
The Brethren have paid for ads in some of Sweden's biggest newspapers, they have done direct marketing in mailboxes in many parts of Sweden, they have been leafleting and put flyers on cars in many places. Among other things, the flyers say that thousands of Swedes die every year due to mistreatments in hospitals.
Aftonbladet have tracked the company that the Brethren money is channelled through - Nordas LTD - to the backstreets of Knowlsley Industrial Park in Liverpool. One of the founders, Maxwell Kevin Haughton, have been tracked down by Aftonbladet but he refuses to answer to why a British company spends millions on a Swedish election.
Or why they're going to such extreme lengths to hide their involvement...
That's at least five elections the Brethren have involved themselves in, each time using smear tactics combined with fronts and false names to hide their involvement. Is anyone seeing a pattern here...?
Correction: Edited to make it clear that the Brethren in question were UK-based. At least our ones could argue that as new Zealand citizens, they had a stake in the outcome - but in Sweden, we have effectively a foreign religious group trying to buy an election in another country. Many countries have laws against that sort of thing, though I'm not sure whether Sweden is one of them.