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Let's Tell the Press

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10:00, 06. June 201_. Riksdagen. Press room F.

Present: Fia Andersson (candidate, Liberal People's Party) David Holst (Liberal People's Party), Martin Kovac (Social Democratic Party).

Chapter Text

  1. Expressen

 Crown-Prince Frederick to divorce? Rumours swirl around the Danish royal couple.

                                                                            

  1. SVT

IKEA announces record profits * Riksdag press conference: Andersson and Holst to join the Social Democratic Party? * Forestry worker attacked by bear * Zlatan 'arrogant' claims

 

  1. Dagens Nyheter

It is rumoured that this morning's joint press conference between former Liberal People's Party leader David Holst and Social Democrrat Martin Kovac will announce a cross-party defence initiative in response to growing concerns about Russian incursions into Swedish territorial waters.

 

  1. OMGRiksdagen.tumblr

OMG! It's happened!!! Martin is finally coming out as bi!!! Martin+Fia forever! I guess David's there to show he's OK with it. He can't really object since he's been fucking Johnny P for years :-)

 

  1. Norran

Norrland awaits! This morning's press conference is tipped to launch a government commitment to the North Bothnia Rail Link. Both David Holst and Martin Kovac are known to have taken a personal interest in the project, which will require cross-party co-operation to succeed.  

Chapter Text

  1. Expressen

David Holst and Martin Kovac made their first public appearance as a couple attending the gala dinner for the Danish royal couple. Holst wore a muted Tuxedo with black tie, while Kovac swapped his familiar sweaters for an impressive display of evening wear with winged collar. They were warmly congratulated on their relationship by Crown-Prince Frederick. Perhaps they could share some of the secrets of their evident happiness with the royal pair, who sources close to the palace have said are working with a marriage counsellor.

 

  1. SVT

INTERVIEWER: Welcome, Martin Kovac and David Holst! All of Sweden was taken aback by your announcement this week that you are romantic partners. I know that you've received congratulations from many, many Swedes and we at SVT would like to add our own.

HOLST, KOVAC: Thank you.

INTERVIEWER: David and Martin, you've both said that nothing in your lives had prepared you for the last couple of years and where you find yourselves now. It must have been an emotional rollercoaster at times.

KOVAC: Emotional rollercoasters are part of life in politics. It's the same in love: it's not always easy, but it's worth it. And if you don't think it's worth it you shouldn't be doing it.

INTERVIEWER: And you, David?

HOLST: Well, obviously things haven't worked out as I'd imagined before the election. Of course, I'd rather have won and become Prime Minister, but as I didn't things haven't worked out too badly.

KOVAC: Absolutely.

INTERVIEWER: What's it like to conduct a relationship when you're so much in the public eye?

KOVAC: It's something we've had to consider from the start. It I think Sweden's quite relaxed about allowing politicians to have a private life, I've had many relationships in the past and there hasn't been an issue. But there's a point where it gets more difficult and dating a member of an opposition party is definitely that. Of course, David's situation was more difficult.

INTERVIEW: Because you were married at the time?

HOLST: In part, but also because when I first got to know Martin my political situation was very challenging and very public. A party leader is under a different kind of spotlight, and a party leader who has just lost an election he was expected to win... It felt as if every aspect of my life was in turmoil. I feared letting down people who had given me their support - I'd already let them down by losing the election, how I could turn everything else upside-down as well? I'd not set out to live a lie, I'd never consciously chosen to deceive my wife or the Swedish public, but I knew it would be seen as that. I'm not making excuses, but it wasn't easy.

INTERVIEWER: Deceive is a hard word.

HOLST: It was hard. I didn't mean to deceive Fia, but that's what happens when you deceive yourself. If I'd realised that I was gay earlier in my life, some things might have been very different.

INTERVIEWER: I don't think that that was a problem you had, Martin.

KOVAC: [laughs] No! I was pretty sure  that I was gay from when I was about twelve, but I really knew it from the SSU youth camp when I was sixteen.

INTERVIEWER: Really?

KOVAC: Of course! I'd been looking forward to it for years. If David had gone there instead of Christian summer school he'd have found things become clear a lot sooner.

INTERVIEWER, HOLST: [laugh]

KOVAC: Politicians are normal people. We all know that if you get a bunch of teenagers together, a lot of them are going to be horny and some of them are going to do something about it. Just as the Riksdag has as many 'office romances' as any other workplace. And some of those people are going to be gay. I've been fortunate that I've always been able to be open about my sexuality and I hope that that maybe that has encouraged some young people to see that they shouldn't be afraid that their personal life will hold them back professionally.

INTERVIEWER: Your father was as committed to Swedish political life as you are. Did he also know about your feelings for David?

KOVAC: Oh yes. Of course, he thought I was insane to date a Liberal, but I think he'd approve of where I am now. I only regret that he never saw how happy we could be together.

INTERVIEWER: But your relationship with a member of the Liberals means that for the moment you are surely out of the running for the most senior offices in the party? That can't have been easy for him to accept, after his own experiences.

KOVAC: My father had a lot of flaws, but he was devoted to his party and he was devoted to me as his son. His death meant that I had less opportunity to talk to him about my choices for the future than I would have liked, but he had a profound influence on me. I remember he said once, when someone asked whether he wasn't bitter about the damage to his own career caused by his relationship with a member of the Conservatives, 'You can sacrifice your life for your party, but your party will never sacrifice itself for you and you should never ask it to.' Every politician should remember that.

Besides, you should never say never. If things don't work out with David I'll probably want to console myself with work! For now, I'm happy to serve the Social Democrats and Sweden in the best way that I can.

INTERVIEW: And how have your parents reacted, David?

HOLST: It's been very difficult for them. They're ordinary people with views that many of us would consider a bit old fashioned, and they're deeply committed to the Liberal People's Party. I'm not sure that the idea of Martin's being in the Social Democrat wasn't harder for them to grasp than the fact that their son is gay. But he's much better at fixing the roof than I am, so I'm sure he'll win them round.

 

  1. Dagens Nyheter

Editorial: Too close for comfort?

We in Sweden often pride ourselves on consensus politics. But can consensus become too close? The announcement of a relationship between David Holst and Martin Kovac can only be met with congratulations to the couple. But personal happiness aside, does it also cast a disturbing light on the Swedish political system?

Observing the extreme and unruly behaviour of parliamentarians in other countries, we Swedes may congratulate ourselves that our representatives behave with civility to one another, and that friendship can flourish across party lines. But while friendship between ordinary Swedes of different political allegiance is a vital part of a cohesive society, there are those who have raised the question as to whether it is less benign when it comes to MPs. Should politicians be able to be friends with their opponents? Can issues of principle be put aside not only to be polite to relatives over the Christmas dinner, but in a sustained friendship between people whose job it is to fight for those principles in the most vital arena in the land? Such intimacy can be all too suggestive of the Riksdag as a cosy club, where politics is a game of ambition and no-one takes principles too seriously. An unfair assumption in most cases, no doubt, but understandable. And if friendship presents challenges, how much more so a romantic partnership? The Prime Minister seems to have his own reservations, and it seems certain that Kovac will not now take up the post of Party Secretary for which Social Democratic Party sources say he had been tipped. An unfair penalty, some would say, though less harsh than that suffered by his father, Bent Kovac, whose hopes of the post ended with the revelation of his affair with Lena Hallevarsson.

That two such senior politicians as Holst and Kovac are able to be open about their relationship is a tribute to modern Swedish society, and it would be wrong to cavil at the evident happiness of both men. Acknowledging that romance across party lines raises questions should not be a cover for homophobia. But nor should fear of being perceived as old-fashioned prevent the necessary questioning of the culture of our political institutions.

Perhaps we should be reassured by Holst's words at the press conference: 'Martin and I are united in our appreciation of Ratata. Everything else is up for debate.'

 

  1. OMGRiksdagen.tumblr

>>Wow. David is like the most pathetic beard ever. He should get some self-respect and let Martin and Fia be free.

>This seriously only makes sense if Edward's fucking him.

>David, I mean.

I can't believe we didn't see this before! If Edward were the one dictating what they do it would all make sense. I mean, David/Martin is such an obvious lie. Look at their dress sense, they're totally incompatible. David looks like a sad teacher in those suits, no way would he date a man with Martin's wardrobe.

#believeinmartin+fia!

 

  1. Norran

BETRAYED! Once again the hopes of northern Swedes have been raised only to be dashed by the self-obsessed politicians of Stockholm. After over a year of rumours that finally the government was engaged in cross-party talks intended to lead to a commitment to railway infrastructure in northern Sweden, no announcement has been made. Once more misleading information and the self-interest of those in power have won out over the lives of ordinary Swedes outside the Greater Stockholm area and the west.

No doubt the story of Holst and Kovac's romance is a heartwarming one for many people, and we at Norran applaud the open society it represents. But no love story can excuse David Holst's wilful misrepresentation of his support for railway infrastructure. If human decency is to mean anything in politics, he must put his voice behind investment in the north and join the cry to make the North Bothnia Rail Link happen!