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Swedish man claims disability for heavy metal addiction

Just as George Osborne’s axe falls from 23 different directions on benefit claimants in the UK, and entitlements are squeezed ever further, this story pops out of Sweden.

Sweden has always been known as a sort of model social democracy where public services go above and beyond expectation and embrace the populus in the cotton wool of generous statism. Schools, childcare and healthcare all come as close to perfection as those not actually living there can imagine and the contract of high taxes for bounteous benefits holds strong.

But what will the Swedish taxpayer make of 42-year-old Roger Tullgren who cannot find employment due to his heavy metal addiction. Obviously a desperately serious syndrome and not to be taken lightly, he has consulted his three psychologists to establish a professional underwriting of what at first glance seems like a joke. But apparently being compelled by his brain chemistry to attend over 300 moshpits a year has rendered him a broken man and unable to hold down any job that doesn’t involve going to heavy metal concerts.

“I have been trying for 10 years to get this classified as a handicap,” Tullgren told the Swedish newspaper The Local. “I spoke to three psychologists and they finally agreed that I needed this to avoid being discriminated against.”

“I signed a form saying: ‘Roger feels compelled to show his heavy metal style. This puts him in a difficult situation on the labour market. Therefore he needs extra financial help.’” added Tullgren. “So now I can turn up at a job interview dressed in my normal clothes and just hand the interviewers this piece of paper.”

Tullgren, who has long black hair, numerous tattoos and is generally drenched in skulls now apparently has a part-time job as a washer upper in a restaurant in the town of Hasslehom, which is being supplemented by disability benefits. His new boss has allowed him time off to go to gigs, and indulges his love for sonic assault as long as it doesn’t disturb the guests.

What would Norman Tebbit say?

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