Odds and Ends
4 3, 10:24am
Thanks for your nice words - those are always appreciated. :-)
Yes, the Sweden Democrats or SD is the third largest party in our parliament today. They first came in to parliament in the second to last election and then gained further seats in the last, so their have been growing - yes.
But it's also the fact that every other party in Sweden before the last elections all repeatedly promised to never cooperate with SD so they wouldn't gain influence over Swedish politics, and those other seven parties got a combined 87% of the votes, while SD can in just shy of 13%.
Since nobody is cooperating with SD that means they have no real power in parliament.
Well, the south of Sweden or Skåne as it's called where you where is rather different in this regard to the rest of Sweden.
Just an in the US the Swedish south has always been more racist then the rest of the country.
You have to view Skåne as a more civilized Alabama or Mississippi - our own redneck territory.
I'm not saying their not Swedish - I'm just saying that like the American south they have traditionally have their own way of looking at issues of race down there.
Since SD's support has been growing they now have voters all over the country but the percentage they receive keeps getting lower the further north you get. So your experience from Lund is likely not representative of the whole of Sweden.
Well, the steps to curb immigration that ALL Swedish parties support since 2015/16 is not actually "some success on the right side of the political spectrum" as you put it.
SD would really like to portray it as such - claiming that every other party "had to accept" their stance on immigration, but that's not actually what happened. To be able to explain that we have to go back about 20 years:
Sweden last had a massive influx of immigrants in the 90's - with the civil war on the Balkans in full swing.
We had taken in refugees from all over the world before that - from military dictatorships in South America and from the Islamic revolution in Iran for instance, but never before had we taken in so many refugees as then. 84,000 in the year 1994 was the peek number.
SD was still openly neo-Nazi back then, marching around in uniforms, burning books about the Holocaust and was of course vehemently opposed to these Balkan refugees with their "violent genes" coming to Sweden.
And they where not alone - a lot of white power immigrant hate-groups sprung up at that time.
But the war in the Balkans eventually ended and the flow of refugees with it.
However the rhetoric of SD didn't change even as the numbers of asylum seekers decrease. They were still screaming about how Sweden was being "swamped" by immigrants and how native born Swedes would soon be a minority in Sweden and things like that.
Now none of that was true of course - the number of people seeking asylum was far lower then in the 90's - but that reality made no difference to SD. Because they of course needed this scare mongering to attract voters.
And begun as they had a neo-Nazi party they as a party and their representatives repeatedly kept spouting anti-Semitic and racist sentiment - even if they by now claimed they where just "concerned" about the level of immigration.
So SD kept claiming the situation was a disaster and that Sweden was in mortal danger - and ever other party didn't see a problem, because the facts didn't support SD's claim.
Met with this opposition from all other parties, the media and the academic world who all said that SD's rhetoric didn't match reality SD declared that every one disagreeing with them was part of a giant conspiracy.
The goal of which was to destroy Sweden by immigration. All the other parties in Sweden, all government agencies, the entire media and the academic world in fact knew that SD was right - they just all suppressed this truth to the Swedish people because they hated their own country and wanted to see it destroyed.
Now this was of course ridiculous to most Swedes - and still is. The other parties from left to right can't agree on anything else - but they all want to destroy the nation? But that was SD's claim - everybody know we're actually right, but they are traitors and want to see Sweden destroyed by immigration.
Well then came the massive wave of refugees in 2015 that smashed anything we had ever seen before. Remember that peek of 84,000 in 1994? Well in 2015 we took in almost the double of that - 163,000 refugees.
And then - for the first time - civil authorities and municipalities charged with taking care of the refugees reported that they couldn't cope with the pressure. There where simply too many people coming to find shelter for them in accordance with Swedish regulations. We can't put people in tents in a climate like ours after all.
So then, every party in Sweden said "Ok, then we have to put a break to this" - and they did.
SD of course tried the old "We told you so!" - but the reality was of course the opposite.
SD had been crying wolf for years - claiming Sweden couldn't possibly take in as many refugees as we did and that all the other parties where deliberately trying to destroy Sweden.
But when the numbers for the first time grew so large that it ACTUALLY became too many for our resources to handle and the authorities in charge of handling the issue raised the alarm to our politicians, all political parties were fine with stopping the influx.
Which shows that while SD had overstated the issue for years, the rest of our parties reacted in a rational manner - both before when they didn't see a problem and later, when there actually was a serious problem. Now if they had been out to destroy Sweden by immigration, they would of course never had stopped the influx.
But they did - because they, unlike SD, operate on actual facts and not scare mongering.
I think this move is entirely in keeping with Swedish tradition. We did our best - better then any other nation in Europe per capita - but when we actually where swamped by the huge numbers coming all at once we had to put the brakes on.
We pride ourselves on our social welfare state and we don't want to see refugees living in tents. We had to take some time to sort things out - it's just a practical fact.
I see no signs of a change in popular opinion on the core issue. Swedes still don't want a complete stop to immigration - they just want us to be able to take good care of the people who come here.
The passport checks on the Öresund Bridge was a necessity to flow the influx. It might be a hassle for those living in the area who travel there often, but it was unfortunately necessary. I don't live down there so I haven't seen it in praxis and maybe it could be handled in a better way, but some sorts of checks had to be enforced to halt the influx - that's the bottom line.
Yes, Sweden is by no means the worst regarding Nationalism and anti-immigration sentiment and I and a large majority of Swedes are very happy for that. Swedish surveys regularly show that Swedes are in fact more concerned with the rise of neo-fascism ad racism in Sweden then they are with immigration.
Regarding the shared postal services the right-wing government we had 2006-2014 did some really, really, really bad deals with government owned companies. The worst of which was when Swedish energy company Vattenfall bought some German energy company and lost several tens of billions. That's the worst deal in Swedish economical history ever according to economical journalists who's written about it.
This is probably no where near as bad and most of the problems seems to be on the Danish side.
Basically they joined the two state-owned postal offices into one in the hopes that it would save money. Unfortunately it seems the Danish side for some reason embarked on an aggressive digitization campaign, where they actively tried to get Danes to switch from sending physical letters to having them delivered electronically.
Apparently they never realized this rather seriously cut into their own business model as they of course get their revenue from delivering physical letters. So now they are loosing money fast and there is discussion in Sweden if the joint company should be broken up again so the Swedish taxpayers don't end up being forced to save the Danish part of the company.
But in Denmark they seem to want to keep the company together and are instead talking about putting up billions of their taxpayers money to save their part of the company.
As it seems the crisis is on the Danish and not the Swedish side I don't think most Swedes care that much. We had to suffer through that Vattenfall deal with the last government lying their asses of, trying to avoid blame for their bad deal, so we're in no mood to hear any more about bad deals. As long as we don't have to see more billions wasted of our money we're happy to just ignore it and get on with our lives.