WITH almost all the votes counted in Sweden’s general election, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson resigned when it became clear that her centre-left government had lost to a right-wing bloc by three seats in the 349-seat parliament.
A close result, but hardly the ‘right-wing takeover’ the media prophesied with dread in order to send shivers up the spines of latte drinkers in Notting Hill. The Times lamented ‘the rise of the Sweden Democrats, a hard-right party with Nazi roots’ who have become the second largest party in Sweden with 20.06 per cent of the vote. The Sweden Democrats replaced the Moderate Party as the leading right-wing party. This is a spectacular advance from the low of 0.4 per cent in 1998 or the 1.4 per cent they gained in 2002.
Every mainstream media outlet has denigrated the Sweden Democrats. They are ‘hard-right’ or ‘far right’, they have ‘neo-Nazi’ roots, they are that most dreaded of political creatures, ‘populist’. They have become the latest bogeyman of the establishment.
But just how radical are the Sweden Democrats and the other parties in the new ruling bloc? The Sweden Democrats are termed ‘radical extremists’ because they want to limit immigration. The Christian Democrats are ‘radical extremists’ because they oppose late term abortion. The Moderate Party are ‘radical extremists’ because in municipal authorities they have chosen to ally with the SDs and CDs rather than the parties of the left. Yet none of these parties are radical or hard right – it would in some cases be a stretch to call them right wing.
The Sweden Democrats are nowhere near being the neo-Nazis of establishment nightmares: they are a socially conservative party with a nationalist foundation. Far from being on the radical right, the Sweden Democrats support Sweden’s famed welfare state, wishing only to restrict access by non-Swedish citizens. They support same-sex marriage, civil partnerships for homosexuals and gender-altering surgery, they merely prefer children to be raised in a traditional nuclear family. Hardly the ‘far right’.
The are in fact a moderate centrist party which accepts the Swedish political consensus except in the case of a few hot-button social issues. The right-wing parties of Italy are much more right wing than the centrist parties of Sweden. When it comes to immigration, the most contentious issue of all, ethnographer Benjamin R Teitelbaum is of the opinion that ‘when compared with other nationalist forces in Europe, the Sweden Democrats appear relatively moderate’.
Why the hysterical campaign of vilification? Of all the hot-button issues the one which causes most pain for progressives is immigration. The European establishment may refuse to acknowledge it, but largely uncontrolled mass immigration into Europe has been a massive failure. This is nowhere more apparent than in Sweden, and the people who have to live with the results are growing increasingly unhappy with the cultural enrichment they are experiencing.
Such is the growing discontent that the Sweden Democrats have been making the political running for some time now. As far back as November 2015, the government initiated restrictions on immigration. The Green Party leader sobbed as she announced cuts to immigration at a press conference. The centre-right Moderate Party, whose leader just a year previously had called on Swedes to ‘open their hearts’ and allow large-scale immigration to continue, joined with a call for closed borders. Sten Widmalm, a professor of politics at Uppsala University, said that the Social Democrats ‘basically moved into the positions taken by the right-wing parties several years ago’.
The Sweden Democrats have been correct all along: mass immigration is destabilising the country. A few months ago Magdalena Andersson belatedly admitted: ‘Segregation has been allowed to go so far that we have parallel societies in Sweden. We live in the same country but in completely different realities.’ This experiment have emerged has had tragic consequences.
Already this year there have been 47 gun killings and 273 shootings in a country with a population of 10.4million. The previous annual record was 47 in total, about the same per capita rate as England and Wales. According to the police, murders are usually the result of score-settling by rival gangs, often controlled by immigrant clans. The clashes are increasingly taking place in public in daylight, with bystanders sometimes caught in the crossfire.
Sweden, one of the richest and most egalitarian countries in the world, now tops the European rankings for fatal shootings and posted the biggest increase in the past decade. So serious is the problem that Sweden’s National Police Commissioner Anders Thornberg told the Financial Times last year that rising gang violence could potentially be a ‘threat’ to its democracy if ‘certain groups’ continue to ‘stand outside’ of society.
It is not only gun violence. Recorded rapes in Sweden have increased dramatically since the gates were thrown open. Sweden is now number two on the list of rape countries, surpassed only by Lesotho in Southern Africa. According to researchers, almost half of the offenders were born outside Sweden (47.7 per cent). Of those foreign-born offenders, 34.5 per cent were from the Middle East/North Africa, with 19.1 per cent from the rest of Africa. According to the official agency Statistics Sweden, 19.7 per cent of the Swedish population are foreign-born. As this includes women it would appear that nearly 50 per cent of Sweden’s reported rapes are carried out by less than 10 per cent of the population.
Sweden Democrats are not the far-right crazies of the mainstream media propaganda. They are ordinary citizens with a well-founded concern for what is happening to their country.