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'AMBASSADEN STÄNGD'

Too many good things on the telly.


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A bit of a breather from the bits and bytes. As most people are well aware by now, there's a crisis going down in Iran. Protesters are lining the streets - and they're getting hurt. And most embassies in Teheran have opened their doors to help these people. With one notable exception.

The BBC's Hotel Babylon opened her doors again two days ago. As with all dramas of this sort, the Babylon writers injected an extra bit of excitement to start off season four: a bombing in London closing one of the other major hotels and placing hordes of homeless people in the Babylon lobby.



After a bit of pushing and shoving management warmed up to the idea: maids were sent to the rooms to ask the occupants if they'd mind sharing the room for the night; staff set up sleeping cots for themselves in the cellar; a millionaire lent his credit card to bar staff when the hotel ran out of refreshments.

It's not so many years ago the big tsunami hit the far east. The foreign minister of this same Scandinavian country was contacted at the theatre by cellphone. One of her staff informed her what was happening and how critical the situation was. Her reply became a classic: she'd purchased those theatre tickets months ago and she wasn't going to let anything ruin the evening for her.

The ignominy didn't end there. This theatre loving lady didn't call in to work the day after either. In fact it was several days before she bothered calling in at all. And her prime minister didn't want to be disturbed on his holiday break either. None of them did.

A private tourist company organised relief flights instead, spending several million in the process. All the other countries rushed to people's aid immediately.

The little country in the north? They did nothing. They sent their foreign minister on a public relations photo shoot to the area. She got her picture taken with some of the hospitalised victims. Then she flew home. Still they did nothing.

The subject turned into a major national controversy and a formal investigation conducted by the constitutional committee. The sitting government tried to lie their way out of everything. And ultimately lost the national elections to the political opposition - the opposition who are in power yet today and do nothing about the injured people in Teheran.

It wasn't about parties after all.

Eldercato has a list of the embassies helping out in Teheran. They're the embassies of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Switzerland. But the Swedes are too busy with other matters.

Zaida Catalán is trying to organise people to pressure the Swedish embassy in Teheran. She's posting in English on her Twitter page so you can follow the developments more easily. Things are heating up considerably.

So what are the Swedes doing? There are several theories.

  • National television has a classic movie by Lasse Åberg on at 16:15.
  • National television has the documentary 'Metal - A Journey Through Hard Rock' later tonight.
  • Channel 3 has Everybody Loves Raymond, the Tyra Banks Show, and Paris Hilton's My New BFF at 17:05.
  • Channel 4 has SpongeBob SquarePants most of the morning and Ice Road Truckers in the afternoon.
  • Channel 5 has Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Gilmore Girls, the Bachelorette, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, Gordon Ramsay's the F Word, Mad Men, Mad Men again, CSI, CSI Miami, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. That's a whole day right there.

Or it could be that some of their children are having a birthday party and staff have spent weeks preparing for the festivities. As far as anyone knows none of them are expected at a local theatre today.

You can of course help.

Swedes around the globe are ashamed of them. Tell them you're ashamed too.

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