Sunday, September 19, 2010

Guardianista Schizophrenia

In the Guardian, of all places, I read this by Andrew Brown:

"... people here believed Sweden was the best country in the world because it was the most internationalist. This led to a fantastically generous policy on asylum and integration. Nearly a third of Sweden's population today are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. There are more Iranians living in Sweden than there are Danes. In 2007, one small town outside Stockholm took in more Iraqi refugees than the whole of the US. Professor Jan Ekberg at Linné University has calculated that unemployment among immigrants means the excess cost of their welfare payments over the tax they pay is at least as high as the defence budget, and possibly 50% higher. "
Hmm. Sounds a vaguely familiar scenario, although I don't know where Andrew Brown's getting those population stats from. A/c/t Wikipedia :

As of 2008, 18% of the population had foreign origins (13% if excluding Finns and 9% if also excluding other Scandinavians), with 14% foreign-born and another 4% born in Sweden of two foreign-born parents.
And while I can't find the relevant info on the Swedish stats site, 44,000 immigrants pa in a population one-seventh of the UKs makes for a pretty high immigrant number, but probably not (yet) 33%. Like the UK and Spain, the birth-rate has been increasing following decades of decline - what on earth could be responsible for that ?

The BBC, in its report on 'far-right' (i.e. anti-mass immigration) election gains, puts the immigrant percentage at 14%. Back to the Guardian. Apparently the far-righters have new policies and new image - sound familiar ?

He moved the party away from Nazism and some forms of racism, but they were still pariahs. "No one would vote for them because they were seen as fascist yokels," says Niklas Orrenius, a journalist who has studied the movement for years. To be a known member was to risk sacking from any kind of job. Far-left activists beat them up, on one occasion breaking into a party gathering with iron bars. Last Friday two masked men attacked David von Arnold, a party candidate in Malmö, outside his flat and carved a swastika into his forehead. The respectable media largely ignored this as it ignores the party as a whole.
That sort of thing sounds familiar, too.

Andrew Brown is I think the Guardian's religious affairs correspondent. There's definitely one religion he subscribes to :

If you believe the international rightwing press, the answer is simple, and has been since 2004, when Fox News made a special report on the subject: Sweden, and especially Malmö, has become a laboratory for the creeping Islamisation of Europe. The most common child's name there is now Muhammad; police dare not go into immigrant districts, where only sharia law is respected; and soon all the Jews will be driven from the city. All this, flecked with varying amounts of spittle, is recounted as fact on the net and in US papers.
So Andrew gives us the evil rightie worldview - what's his actualite ?

A 2008 government report (on the massive Rosengard estate), which drew entirely on the experiences of teachers, police and social workers, described a place where Islamic orthodoxy was enforced by young thugs; women were forced to wear headscarves and children segregated in religious free schools. There was a small riot after one of the 20 or 30 unofficial mosques in cellars was closed when its lease was not renewed, and nastier riots when the Israeli tennis team played a Davis Cup match in the city last summer.
I like Mr Brown's methods of refudiating those right-wing, spittle-flecked slurs, with his "33% immigrants" figure and his 'young Islamic thugs' - you can read the article to see his refudiation of rape statistics. But with friends like Andrew Brown, who needs enemies ?