Tag Archive for Princess Viktoria

Won’t someone think of the children?

Blinds down. Curtains drawn.

Only visiting sites that end in .ie or .com – nothing with a .se that could ruin it.

Still it gets in.

The news that Sweden has a new royal baby. And the country’s media embarrasses itself.

Aftonbladet – at times one of the greatest newspapers in the free press, at other times guilty of the worst tabloid excesses- actually has the noise of a baby when you visit their site.

On Twitter, our good friends at Radio Sweden’s English-language service are asking me what I think.

As I don’t have a bag packed and standing in the hall I can’t answer (if I tell them, I doubt I’ll be allowed to stay)

But here goes.

I don’t care.

The reason I don’t care is because hundreds of thousands of kids are born into less-privileged circumstances every day, and I’d prefer to spend my time thinking abou them than a child who, by an accident of birth, will have little to worry about for the rest of its life.

I don’t care because I’d prefer to think about how Ireland, despite the Celtic Tiger years, still failed its children, and cannot now agree on where to build a new national hospital for them as the egos of politicians once again – and as always – take precedence over their rights.

I don’t care because I want to reserve my anger for the idiots who perpetuate this situation, putting themselves ahead of the needs of children in what is surely the ultimate act of selfishness.

I don’t care because I prefer to think of the Irish families who, in the absence of a properly-equipped hospital, are forced onto aeroplanes in their darkest hours and sent to Great Ormond Street or Astrid Lindgrens to get the treatment their children need.

I don’t care because I prefer to think about how we can help these people – dumped in a foreign country with little or no support and a very sick child – to cope with the shock of it all.

I don’t care because I prefer to think how the Irish community in Stockholm this year will support Stiftelsen För Astrid Lindgrens Barnsjukhus, where many seriously ill Irish children have been treated over the years.

Some made it back to Ireland alive. Others didn’t. This is not a fair world we – or they – are born into.

In supporting Astrid Lindgrens, we are supporting a charity also supported by princess Victoria, who this morning gave birth to her own little girl.

In that moment, when they handed her her baby for the first time, I hoped she realised that she can use her position of privilege to make the world a better place for all our children, and not just hers.

And I hope anyone reading this will realise that they can do their bit too, whether it be buying a badge in Stockholm or lobbying a politician in Sligo, or simply holding out a hand of friendship to someone having a tough time.