Sweden’s Surströmmings-politics (fermented herring politics).
November 24th will go down in history in Sweden as the day this Great Humanitarian Power’s wet dream became no more.
To understand what happened on this day it is necessary to understand the surströmmings-politics leading up to it. Many Swedes herald surstömming as this great product of Sweden even though they full well know it is rotten at its core. And so it is with the current Swedish politics – many herald it as this great example for the world to follow but it is just the same, rotten at its core.
Sweden’s current government is run since the election last year by a coalition between the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterna) and the Green Party (Miljöpartiet).
On November 24th the prime minister announced measures to restrict immigration rules to essentially that of a minimum by European standards. This is from having had Europe’s most liberal and generous refugee and asylum policies as evidenced by Sweden taking in more refugees per capita than any other single nation.
One blogger listed out various aspects of this politics, each of which could deserve an article of its own. Yes, they are generalized but contain enough undisputable truth to serve as a quick summation of this surströmmingspolitik (as it was prior to Nov 24th):
- Sweden has a population of roughly 9.83 million people. Between 1980 – 2014 1,867,953 people were granted residence permits. In 1980 Sweden had 8.3 million people. 97,000 babies were born. 39,000 immigrated. 30,000 emigrated. In 2014 Sweden had 9.7 million people. 115,000 babies were born. 127,000 immigrated. 51,000 emigrated. Just this year alone (Jan – Oct) Sweden has had 112,254 requests for asylum). This number doesn’t include any other category of immigration and by the end of the year the total figure for number of immigrated foreigners to Sweden will exceed 200,000. At the end of 2014, 1.6 million or 16% of the population was born outside of Sweden. At the end of 2015 this number will exceed 18% or almost 1 out of 5 will have been born outside of Sweden.
- Swedes pay more in taxes than the majority of other country’s citizens. After 2011 when the Swedish government at that time changed the rules and regulations and created refugee benefits rivaling any other European nation and the current wave of refugees started coming to Sweden, the Swedish government has used hundreds of billions of taxpayer’s money to pay for those coming every year. Not for bare-minimum asylum protection but for social benefits, healthcare and living costs rivaling the rest of the world.
- However, instead of being frank with the Swedes what these refugees cost the taxpayers, the government issues statements through “experts” in the media stating how profitable the wave of refugees really is.
- When real economist present undisputable facts that the refugee intake is indeed very costly and not profitable, the Swedish government through its “experts” tries to assure its people that it may not seem like it now, but for sure will become so in the future.
- The politicians argue that the refugees will get the trade and commerce rolling when in fact it is the ability to earn/make money and pay tax which contributes to these factors.
- When people questioned the measures taken by the government they answered that regarding refugees and their humanitarian needs, cost is not a factor.
- As the pressure on the government increased through media and social media, the politicians and their media spokespeople told the Swedish people that these refugees are the solution to taking care of our elderly, which is highly unlikely as the majority of refugees happen to be young Muslim men and neither them nor our elderly may consider interacting.
- When opposition parties pressure the ruling parties to tighten the control and restrictions on refugees coming to Sweden, the ruling party tries to convince Swedes that it is simply bound by UN-conventions on Human Rights as part of being an EU-member and there is nothing they can do.
- Despite every parentless refugee child (under 18) costs the Swedish state roughly between 1 – 3 million SEK a year per person, since March of this year the Swedish Migrationsverket (immigration bureau) ceased any form of age verification so as to not appear discriminatory??? This is despite surveys done in Sweden’s neighbor countries showing that half of the people claiming to be below 18 were in fact older.
- The politicians and their hired “experts” assert that 40% of the refugees have an academic education, or even that every third Syrian has a degree whereby actual statistics show that only 10% of Syrians has an education higher than high school. The discrepancy being that these “experts” redefined “academic” and “higher education” as including such things as Koran-school or a 6-months vocational training program as a mechanic.
- The problems arising from the fact that the large majority of granted asylum seekers have never lived in a democratic or even workable societal system is never mentioned or considered publicly.
- Pro-government opinion leaders assure the Swedes that no terrorists or Islamists exist within the stream of Muslim refugees.
- The government’s top slogan is “allas lika värde” which in essence means “everyone’s equal worth or value”. It has been used to justify in essence an unhindered stream of people entering Sweden for years as one shouldn’t categorize any “us and them” (Swedes and non-Swedes) but everyone on earth are apparently “WE” and therefore have the same rights in Sweden as a Swedish citizen. This slogan is claimed to have come from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but that one states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Despite this the Swedish government promotes that everyone has equal value, which becomes an almost bizarre statement when one tries to put it into application. This slogan has become the holier-than-thou-mantra in Sweden despite that its equivalent doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.
- If a Swede insists on questioning this “allas lika värde” or other such basic principles it may cost him his job or being refused a new job.
- The Swedish government has ensured refugees get priority in finding an apartment or place to stay. The Swedish property market is already extremely limited and Swedish youth get the last opportunity to find affordable accommodation and a chance to start their own home and family – refugees swoop up every available dwelling.
- They call every asylum seeker “refugee” even though the large majority of the “refugees” have travelled through 5-8 European countries prior to Sweden without applying for asylum and hence per the Dublin Regulation these asylum seekers are not in fact refugees but rather migrants seeking better social welfare.
- Up until the 24th of November showing a passport or any proof of identification at the border was deemed unnecessary by the Swedish government. They only needed to claim verbally that they were fleeing from a war.
- In most countries applying for asylum means you get temporary shelter and means of survival until such time when the conditions one was fleeing from cease. But not in Sweden. In Sweden the main concern is how to INTEGRATE asylum seekers into the Swedish system with benefits equaling (or in some cases supersede) that of a Swedish citizen. Instead of bare minimum the Swedish politicians have been talking about integration, permanent residency and a full future in Sweden for the refugees.
- If you are the “moderate” type and consider that Sweden’s level of immigration of refugees should match the European average or at least that of Sweden’s Scandinavian neighbors, then you are considered a racist, xenophobic, in league with the Nazis and generally a rightwing extremist, at least according to the leftist parties…
- If you express concern about the Swedish citizens and their welfare and protecting the Swedish society, you are a fascist, ultra-nationalist and generally “bad”.
- It is never a concern to the government that 80% of the current refugee-wave consists of single, young Muslim men and that 90% of refugee youth aged 13 – 17 consist of boys. With the present flow of 90% male refugee children to Sweden, the Swedish Teen-Sex-Ratio will in 4 months be like in China: 120 boys/100 girls.
- The results from Swedish schools have worsened every year according to international statistics. Even though Sweden’s education level was among the top-10 in the world during the 80’s the government refuse to acknowledge that its immigration politics has something to do with the lowered results.
- More than 14,000 refugees have disappeared in Sweden after they found out their asylum application was not granted. Thousands have gone missing from entrance points upon arriving in Sweden of which 1,500 are children.
- There is a rather clear connection between increased immigration from North Africa and Sweden’s extremely high statistic of rape cases but this subject is taboo for politicians to mention and the official bureau for reporting rape statistics (BRÅ) ceased reporting ethnicity of rape offenders in 2005. Since that time only “Swedes” commit rapes…
- The Swedish prime minister announced that Sweden has the world first feminist government, but oddly enough he hasn’t made one single statement about the extremely high frequency of gang rapes in Sweden? Why not? Perhaps because it is connected to refugees?
- The majority of Swedes have not requested “feministic” foreign affairs policies, but that is what they get…
- The unemployment statistic is manipulated as people who only work a few hours a week are counted as officially “employed”.
- The Swedish government has repeatedly issued statements regarding the necessity of immigration to handle the low birthrate in Sweden, despite the Swedish birthrate being higher than many other European countries and over the average needed to sustain its population.
So what were the major changes that occurred on November 24th?
- Swedens “utlänningslag” conformed to EU’s minimum requirements starting latest in April
- The changes of the law valid for a maximum of three years
- Time-limited, temporary residence permits apply to ALL refugees except quota refugees
- Families with children and children (under 18 years of age) will be exceptions to the new rules
- Time-limited residency permits will be valid 3 years for refugees
- Those with granted residency will be able to unite with their core family members
- For couples it requires a minimum of 21 years of age to be eligible for reunion
- Proof of financial support will be required for relatives seeking residency within 3 months after refugee status has been granted
- Residency status will no longer be granted for non-core family members
- Medical age verification will be reinstated
- ID verification will be implemented on busses and trains entering Sweden
From the aspect that Sweden has had the most liberal and beneficial immigration/refugee rules and policies in all of Europe, these new changes are rather drastic, but the question that remains to be answered is whether or not these measures will stem the current flow of refugees enough to enable the Swedish migration bureau to cope with the daily influx, which has been over a thousand new refugees every day since September. The numbers did decrease from over 10,000 per week to around 8,500 last week.
So, what do the Swedish media have to say after these new stricter refugee conditions were announced?
Well, the opinions have been rather divided. Some has argued that the current ruling coalition has simple adopted the politics of the immigration-critical party, the Sweden Democrats. Others argue that this is not the case because the purpose behind the political decisions is different. In reality, no matter what one’s political views are and whether one considers they are doing “what is necessary” or if one considers that they are following in the footsteps of the Sweden Democrats, they are screwed if they don’t and screwed if they do. And the main reason for this is too little too late in my own opinion. But let’s review what some other people think about this from various perspectives.
Tino Sanandaji, national economist, points out that on the 9th April 2015 Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Löfven was asked. “Is there a limit to how many refugees Sweden can receive?” Löfven answered: ”No, there is no limit. We will receive according to the conventions we are bound by!”
Around 120,000 refugees later Sweden abdicates as an international humanitarian super power and Löfven states: “It pains me to announce that Sweden no longer can cope with receiving refugees at this current high level.”
Sweden’s leftwing state media Aftonbladet argued the very next day that is isn’t enough to defend the rhetoric that Sweden should adapt to EU’s minimum standards as that is equivalent to letting a country like Hungary decide over Sweden’s politics. It also argues that the medical tests to determine age have already been deemed unscientific and unethical by doctors and experts. It also deemed that changing the permanent residency status to temporary will in practice make integration much harder. (This was followed by a counter-article in Expressen the very next day arguing the complete opposite.)
The rightwing state media Expressen however concluded that “Finally Löfven has awakened!”
But one of the other rightwing state media papers (SvD) wasn’t as happy with the announcement. It concluded that that the new changes in immigration policy looks scarily similar to the Sweden Democrat’s politics but now cloaked in terms such as “necessary” and “responsible” but the question is: if this is now necessary and responsible, why hasn’t it been executed earlier?
Within the Green Party the opinions were extremely divided and many considered that these new changes from the red-green coalition were against the Green Party’s basic ideology and that the party should leave the government.
The more ultra-left newspaper Metro gave a pretty predictable opinion about the changes and summed it up with the government considers the welfare state more important than saving people’s lives.
On the 26th of November the IT Company Visma claims that every 4th job in the private sector is created by an immigrant. Well, it took only a few hours for a national economist to show this information to be false.
SIFO (a Swedish organization doing state-wide polls) concluded that 7 out of 10 Swedes agree with the new restrained refugee politics.
But despite the support of a majority of Swedish people, the leftwing Aftonbladet counters this information with arguments that the right to asylum and human rights are more important than worries about the condition of a welfare state.
But the very next day a new poll was done and 72% answered that the actions of the Swedish government were correct – restraining action on the current flow of refugees were necessary. It is interesting that only 30% of Swedes according to Dagens Nyheter in September considered that Sweden was receiving too many refugees. Or maybe this poll had a bad hair day…
Well, give it one more day and the leftwing Aftonbladet tries another angle – the rightwing people are now apparently (immorally) feeling “skadeglädje” (malicious-joy). Not sure how much that angle shed light on the situation…
Leftwing Expressen reacts to this too and addresses the apparently excessive use of tears for unnecessary drama by the Green Party leader.
But the greatest straw man argument must have come from Lena Mellin in an attempt to somehow defend the current government’s actions while at the same time blaming the Sweden Democrats.
I just wonder how come numbers such as 60, 52 and 61 percent doesn’t conclusively show that the majority of Swedish people have a complete lack of trust in the government as well as the journalists as well as state media.
But left-wing Aftonbladet fights back and announces that “the focus now needs to be on increasing the capacity to receive refugees and to continue to pressure the rest of EU to take responsibility for their part.”
Whatever one’s opinions may be, I just hope for the sake of the democracy in Sweden that Swedes can be a bit more self-critical and ask if there’s possible something wrong with the surströmmings-politics they are forced to endure every day and take for granted.
Is this really the only truth and do you have to put up with this?
My answer is: No!
PS. As I’m about to publish this I’m learning that the Swedish Soccer Association has decided that in order to achieve “equality” the soccer championships for youth aged 13 or below will NOT have any winner or losers as of 2017, so as to not galvanize competition among the youth.
Why then compete at all? I have literally lost track of all the things that I took for granted which are now considered politically incorrect in Sweden and I can only conclude that either it as a country or I must have become absurd. You judge…