Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
[Swedish translation here]
SPOTLIGHT: The Swedish media is a disgrace.
BIG PICTURE: In The Strange Death of Europe, Douglas Murray discusses Expressen, a Swedish tabloid newspaper. Back in 1993, Erik Månsson, its editor-in-chief, “broke one of the great taboos of Swedish politics and published a rare opinion poll on the country’s actual views” about immigration.
The poll said 63% of Swedes had had enough. They wanted immigrants to go back to their home countries. “The Swedish people have a firm opinion on immigration and refugee policies,” Månsson wrote. “Those in power have the opposite opinion…That is why we are writing about this, starting today. Telling it just like it is. In black and white.”
Within days, Månsson was fired by the owners of the newspaper. Sweden’s population was nine million at the time. 25 years later, it has risen to 10 million, and the Swedish media continues to reflect the views of the cultural elites rather than ordinary people. The national conversation is shepherded in certain directions. Some ideas are never uttered aloud.
Murray accuses the Swedish media of covering up the rape of “girls as young as 14…by gangs of immigrants, particularly from Afghanistan” at a music festival in the summer of 2014 – and of doing so again in 2015. He points to a gang rape on a ferry that the media falsely attributed to Swedish assailants “when they were in fact Somalis.”
Eight political parties sit in the Swedish Parliament. The smallest bloc of seats is 16, the largest 113. Sweden is normally governed by coalitions, since the magic number is 175.
Murray reports that in 2016, the party at the top of public opinion polls was the Sweden Democrats – which is sharply critical of current immigration policies. In 2014, it placed third in Parliament after winning 49 seats. But politicians from all the other parties refuse to have anything to do with it. Murray says it’s “reviled” by journalists who never miss an opportunity to smear it with labels such as neo-Nazi and xenophobic.
When it was founded in 1988, Murray says it was a racist organization that “never had any meaningful voice in politics.” But that was 30 years ago. The racists were dislodged in the 1990s. A struggle for the soul of the party took place and the good guys won. The current leaders of the Sweden Democrats weren’t responsible for the bad old days, they were children then.
But the party receives no credit for cleaning up its act. The double standard is breathtaking. The same media that declines to report on rapes happening right now has only negative things to say about a political party because of attitudes it held decades ago. On the one hand: no harsh judgment is permitted. On the other hand: nothing but harsh judgment, forever amen.
In 2015 alone, 163,000 migrants applied for asylum/refugee status in Sweden. The cost of providing housing and other services to these people is 50-60 billion Swedish krona per year. Murray invites us to compare that to the 48 billion budgeted for Defence in 2016, and the 42 billion budgeted for the Justice Department.
TOP TAKEAWAY: In Sweden, as in other countries, the media is in league with the powerful. It no longer defends the common man and woman.
|The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam
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