Pining for the fjords

The Accused

Ingvar Kamprad

The charge

That he deliberately and wittingly lures feeble-brained victims to his lair and there wrongfully imprisons them for a very long time, robbing them of their money and throwing them back out onto the street clutching unwanted low-quality items of furniture.

The case for the prosecution

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, the crimes committed by this evil monster defy belief and rightly deserve our vituperation, condemnation and disgust. Had he killed a small child, raped a puppy or defrauded an elderly lady out of her life savings, I might be standing here before you today pleading some mitigating circumstances. Perhaps an unhappy childhood or a traumatic early moment. Perhaps a doomed love affair that had left him sad and bitter. But no. This man, this Ingvar Kamprad, has stepped beyond the pale. Beyond anything that is good and true and decent. Beyond the very boundaries of all we hold dear, of the things that form the very glue and fabric of our society. He is the founder of IKEA.

Let us consider, for a moment, this Ingvar Kamprad.

This is a man who has systematically relieved his victims of not only their hard-earned money but also their taste, their hard-earned leisure time and, most significantly of all, their self-respect. And the pickings have been rich ones. Such has been the extent of this execrable crime that Kamprad was recently announced as the richest person in the world. Just contemplate that for a moment. Feel your very sinews and tendons being wrenched and wrest asunder like an uncooperative little black bolt by the Allen key of Swedish deception. The richest person in the world.

This is a man who traps his victims, countless thousands of them every day, with promises of domestic respect, enhanced storage capabilities and quality workmanship only to herd them around a giant blue and yellow cowshed full of tat with no visible means of escape and sell them things they don’t want and which their house cannot accommodate. The only way out is to go on. And on. And on and on and on. Until the very life essence is sucked out of them by inane babbling about how good that lamp would look on that table we got the last time or how clever that way of storing all of those little things inside that big plastic and canvas cupboard thing is! Subliminal advertising compounds the felony. Half a dozen wine goblets made by a Slovakian lesbian kibbutz from unattractively nasty recycled glass that you know will last two washes in your dishwasher, if you are lucky, suddenly seem like a must-have item. A circular blue rug with less build quality than the brown one that adorns Andrew Neil’s head looks ideal to complement the new wooden floor and outlandish colour scheme in your teenage daughter’s bedroom.

This is a man who is not content simply to rob his victims of their cash. Oh no. He must toy with them, torture them and play tricks with their minds until they succumb to his evil wiles. Announcement. “Customers please note that the average wait at our checkouts is now 40 minutes”. Oh, that’s not too bad, you think. I’ve been here for six hours already and although I’m only buying a bag of twenty tea lights that cost half this in Woolies, well, I’m here now so what’s another 40 minutes.

This is a man who, for every male over the age of forty, has spoiled the very essence of the idea of Sweden. Now I’ve never been to Sweden. And I freely admit that three years ago if I had undertaken a small ad hoc word association experiment involving that country then the words tall, blonde, water, fjords, naked, sex, free, and snow would probably be the first to spring to mind. But oh no. Undertaking that same ad hoc word association experiment in the present day elicits the altogether less attractive epithets of tedious, painful, meatballs, wasted, Sunday and afternoon.

This is a man who flagrantly, and with scant regard for his fellow man, sells cheap and nasty furniture to the lowest common denominator letting her believe that it will gain the respect of her fellow denominators. What is the point? Does any right-minded person really, really think in their heart of hearts that anyone outside of Dennyloanhead is in any way going to be even remotely impressed by a TV and video corner unit that looks like it was made as part of an evening-class woodwork project by Jeremy Beadle or by an art-deco mirror that has all the look and feel of a piece of shiny foil fashioned by an orang-utan with motor-neurone disease? Particularly when, following assembly instructions that were clearly written by a half-wit who was having a bad day, the item in question bears little or no resemblance to the one displayed in IKEA-hell twelve hours previously. Does a burberry cap say “class” anywhere but Coatbridge?

Anyone who has had the misfortune of having to endure the unutterably dull and tedious blue and yellow hell that is IKEA must surely be ruing every stomach-churningly noxious mouthful of plastic Swedish meatball and every buttock-clenchingly agonising pine splinter that have helped line the considerable pockets of this domestic war criminal. Let us mete out to him the justice he so clearly deserves.

The case for the defence

Students could furnish a flat at a reasonable cost.

Verdict

Guilty!

Sentence

That he be taken from this court to a place of execution, commonly known as the IKEA restaurant, and force fed Swedish meatballs in gravy with jam till dead. And may God rest his soul.

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