Liberals Are Tolerant – As Long As You Agree With Them
By Dr Phil Edwards—All over Europe, liberals are panicking as anti-immigration parties make steady progress. How predictable, that as soon as one such party in Sweden — the Swedish Democrats — enjoys success under a traditional democratic system, the liberal luvvies are, just as in the UK, out in force.
Henning Mankell, a Swedish crime writer, occasional children's author and dramatist, best known for a series of mystery novels starring Inspector Kurt Wallander proclaimed in the Guardian that the “rise of Sweden's far right has clearly shown that trying to silence them will backfire...we should have argued them into oblivion.”
That’s right — "argued them into oblivion."
But with about 100,000 immigrants entering a country of almost 9 million every year and Malmo, Sweden’s third most populous city, having about 38 percent of its 300,000 population of foreign background (from Asia, Africa, and Arab countries, with a particular problem with Somalis, Lebanese, and Palestinians) one wonders just how or what sort of argument would have prevailed.
The good news is the Sweden Democrats party (SD) has made it into parliament, with nearly 6 percent of the vote and 20 MPs.
According to Mankell this creates "an uncertain situation in parliament" — Sweden will get a "weak government" since all the parties have spent most of the post-election debate guaranteeing that they won't in any way co-operate with the SD.
So much for "strength through diversity."
Mankell asks "Who are the more than 300,000 Swedes (out of a population of 9 million) who voted for the SD? Why couldn't this be stopped?"
With echoes of the situation in the UK, the SD was pushed out of the election campaign, the other parties refused to engage in a dialogue with it. The SD was forbidden to come and spread its "message" in some schools.
"This was, of course, a completely mistaken and counterproductive strategy; it was, in fact, idiocy. The only way to deal with people with racist, xenophobic and generally populist views is through a determined dialogue" says Mankell belatedly, going on to compare the Sweden Democrats with the German National Socialism of the 1920s, asserting that "it was precisely the refusal of the other parties, from left and right, to debate with the SD that allowed them to grow from nothing to 6 percent of the vote.”
Shamefully, Mankell even admitted that "...in Sweden we have until now been able to keep these ultraconservative groupings out of play. They have had a few representatives in local government but not much more than that.
“The difference this time was that the SD was much better organised, that they made their views much clearer, and that they were pushed out. At one stage a television channel refused to show their party political broadcast. It was thought too xenophobic" — sounds familiar.
The problem for the likes of Mankell is that were parties like the SD and the BNP allowed a genuinely free and open discussion by the media, we would soon be in government — and that's the paradox for the perverted minds of the media and political elites.
Europe versus Intolerance: Proceedings of the Seminar [Held Strasbourg, Palais De l'Europe, 3-4 March 1994]