The Sweden Democrats: how did that happen?

Some years ago, Nigel Farage was struggling to form a political group in the European Parliament both in terms of numbers of MEPs and also the requisite number of nationalities. In desperation he turned to the far-right, writes Gary Cartwright.

My own role at the time involved persuading UKIP MEPs to leave Farage's group, and to sit as 'non-escrit' or 'non-attached' members, a role in which I had a certain amount of success during two legislatures.

In early 2010 I set about compiling an audit of Farage's rag tags and bobtails which read like a 'who's who' of right-wing extremism. In fact, it was well received not only by UKIP MEPs looking for justification for leaving their leader's orbit (and gaining control of their own budgets), but also by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre - that's how bad it was.

Sweden Democrats

One of the more extreme elements was the Sweden Democrats, a party co-founded by Gustaf Ekström a former Waffen SS volunteer. I'm not sure how Farage explained away images of Sweden Democrats in Nazi uniform to his membership in the UK, but to be frank his personality cult was strong enough to brush reality aside.

Fast forward to 2022, and the Sweden Democrats, now the third largest party in Sweden, have just achieved a stunning result in their country's general election.

This has come as a sudden - and totally unexpected - admission by the Swedish people that multiculturalism isn't working, and that almost a century of domination of the political agenda by the Social Democratic movement has failed.

The country is enduring an unprecedented crime wave, with record highs in gang related violence and almost daily shootings.

According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, Sweden has gone from having one of the lowest rates of fatal shootings in Europe to the highest: the electoral success of the Sweden Democrats is a direct result of the acceptance by the electorate that this is largely attributable to immigrant communities, in particular Iraqi Kurd, Somali, Afghan and Syrian economic migrants posing as refugees.

"It is more dangerous here than Somaliland," one lady, herself a migrant, is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

The violent crimes are getting worse. These used to happen in Stockholm and other big cities such as Malmo and Gothenburg. Now they have spread to small towns everywhere.

Former Swedish police chief Torsten Elofsson.

Could such a political earthquake occur elsewhere?

In 1995 the then Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Condon linked race with street crime, and in particular mugging. 80% of muggings in some areas of London were committed by young black men, he revealed.

At that time 11% of London's population was black. If we assume Sir Paul's "young black men" to be aged 15-25, this means that approximately 1.8% of London's population were responsible for 80% of muggings in "some areas".

This is where it gets interesting: "A large proportion of victims of mugging in London tell us that their assailants are black. These young people, a very small percentage of black youths, are not becoming criminals because they are black. It would indeed be an unacceptable slur to suggest that ..."

Sir Paul, in fact, appeared to be suggesting that very concept of diversity - and you would have to go a long way to find a more diverse population than that of London - is failing. In particular it is failing younger members of the black community.

"We reach out to them but they don't want to be reached..."

According to UK government figures published in December 2021, in 2020 32% of children in prison were black despite black prisoners accounting for only 13% of the entire prison population. This is a horrifying disparity that should not be ignored - but it is. In fact, police forces are under pressure to reduce the percentages of black males being subject to Stop and Search procedures.

In Britain's cities gang-related knife crime is at epidemic levels - and against this background police are being pressured not to stop and search the demographic group that Sir Paul Condon identified as being responsible for most muggings.

A lot of people would be horrified at the suggestion that police should revert to racial profiling when stopping youths in the street. But what is truly horrifying is the fact that, according to Britain's National Statistics Office, "During a three-year period, 38% of Black homicide victims were of age 20 or younger." By way of comparison, during the same period 13% of white homicide victims fell into same group.

Failure by society to address such issues - indeed to look the other way - is what led to the Sweden Democrats electoral success.

In Sweden,of 8,200 people counted by Swedish police as criminal gang members last year almost 15% were under 18.

The perception, if not the reality, is that the gangs are comprised largely of immigrants: "We didn't understand that some don't want to join our society; that they come here to live but not to work. They are not interested in Sweden or its culture. We reach out to them but they don't want to be reached," said the Social Democrat mayor of Eskilstuna, Jimmy Jansson.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

In October 2021 POLITICO described Gary as "the busiest man in Brussels!"

He is a of member the Chartered Institute of Journalists, a professional association for journalists, the senior such body in the UK, and the oldest in the world having been founded in October 1884

Gary's most recent book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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