Thursday, October 14, 2010

Failure to Look Immigration Policies in the Face Caused Right Swing in Swedish Elections

Gunnar Sandelin wrote an interesting opinion piece last week in the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), one which followers of this blog will note is unexpected—both for someone of his background and for the mainstream Swedish press. In his article he claims that the “politically correct” enforced silence regarding problems which arise from Swedish immigration policy is the main cause of the right-wing Sweden Democrats’ success in the recent elections. This stance is especially surprising as Sandelin worked for a decade as social worker in the Swedish welfare system, and then followed that with a career change, working as a reporter with Swedish Television for eight years. 
In his most recent piece, Sandelin remarks that the ordinary Swede in the street feels that he or she is being “deceived” by the “political and media elites”. In his view, the conceptual ideal of a democratic society where ideas are freely expressed has been lost. Instead, Swedes have been intellectually brutalized into political correctness—and now find themselves in a situation where there is almost no room for freedom of expression. Sandelin writes:
- “During the last four years I have been interested in asylum immigration and its consequences. Among other things, I have traveled around with policy makers and activists to several refugee camps, but rarely have I met so many people who are afraid to speak their minds as here at home [in Sweden]. People fall silent when it comes to criticizing the impact of Sweden’s asylum reception policy which has crashed in numerable areas.”
He then cites a number of examples of people who disagree with the politically correct take on immigration issues, or have suffered as a result of not being able to protest the way these issues are handled. In each case the individual has chosen to remain anonymous –all fear that open discussion will result in job loss, social alienation, or make them a target of their ideological opponents.  One doesn’t have to look too far to see that those who buck the system—such as Lars Vilks, for example—pay a heavy price for speaking their minds publically.

Sandelin observes that when “the picture conveyed in the public domain does not match with what you are experiencing in your daily life this creates doubt, frustration and a feeling of being deceived.” This in turn results in a basic distrust of the powers that be, namely the Social Democrats and their political allies.  As a result, the population in Sweden has for the first time voted a party into the government which is defined as “far-right”.  Sandelin does not sympathize with the Sweden Democrats’ agenda; rather, he blames left-wing suppression of ideas for driving a segment of the public into the arms of the opposition.  He feels that open discussion of the critical failures of Sweden’s liberal immigration policies would have prevented the Sweden Democrats’ accession to the government coalition. Inter alia, Sandelin cites a number of  worrying statistics which include the high cost of immigration, the fact that only 7% of immigrants are actually refugees, and that most immigrants have practically no education (nor job skills). As a result, today in Sweden the rate of employment for individuals of working age is about 50%.
Also, almost none of the immigrants reaching Sweden today have valid identification papers.  As noted last week, the recent terror scare in Europe brought to light the fact that Sweden has “a handful” of citizens—immigrants from Muslim countries—who have been training in terrorist camps in Pakistan.  

Sandelin remarks that, “Instead of questioning and listening to what is a big part of people's reality, the political and media elites strenuously sought to educate citizens to ‘correct’ values. That any criticism of multiculturalism and massive immigration, and asylum, relative to population has been dismissed as xenophobia means that we have an almost totalitarian climate where more and more people are scared and thus probably also more prone to dissatisfaction vote.”
In the meantime, the burden which falls on the taxpayer continues to increase as less than half the population supports the rest. And, as we have discussed in numerous prior posts, violence and unrest among immigrant population continue unabated. These things are obvious to the Swedish public, but the political Left and its collaborating friends in the media continue to sugarcoat reality and celebrate multi-culturalism as a utopian ideal.
Unless Sweden’s elites decide to open a dialogue in government and society and really deal with these issues, Sandelin fears that, “Sweden in the future risks becoming an increasingly torn, divided and poor country.” We have to agree—when people spit at you, there’s only so long you can pretend it’s just raining.

By: Chanah Shapira


  1. En bra och tankeväckande artikel som dessutom väcker allvarliga funderingar hos en Israel (född i Sverige).

    Nyckelbegreppet i Saras bloggpost och Sandelins artikel i SvD 101006 är "politicaly correct". Enligt Sandelin och Sara har begreppet används på ett sätt som allvarligt skadat yttrandefriheten vilket förde med sig att SD kunde skrapa i hop inte så få röster från svenska väljare som ansåg att att rösta på SD var den enda utvägen att framföra kritik mot den rådande invandringspolitiken och dess följder.

    När jag läste bloggposten slog det mig att vi bitvis här i landet hade och har en parallell företeelse. Nämligen synen på de israeliska araberna och i viss mån även de palestinska araberna i de ockuperade områdena.

    Var inte Avigdor Liebermans och Israel Beiteinus valframgång åtminstone bitvis en följd av det politiska- kulturella och massmedia etablissemangens ovilja att allvarligt ta upp och pröva vad Lieberman och hans parti förde fram?

    Hans och hans partis valframgång berodde definitivt inte enbart på en uppslutning från invandrarna från det forna Sovjetunionen.

    Jag kom i kontakt med många forna stödjare av Mapai och Achdut Avoda före det sista valet som tyst förde fram kritik mot den officiella linjen och frågade sig "vad har hänt med iden med det hebreiska judiska samhället?"

    De var förvånade över de starka inslagen av iden om ett mångkulturellt samhälle och oviljan att diskutera vad som ideologiskt skedde i det israeliska arabiska samhället och speciellt inom dess politiska ledning.

    Inte så få av dem röstade på Lieberman!

  2. Dear Ariye, Thank you for the positive feedback. Please note that the post was written by Chanah Shapira.