Sunday, March 13, 2005

A look in her own back yard

Responding to Margot Wallström's recent intervention in the Irish referendum campaign, Anthony Coughlan, Secretary of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, Dublin, has written to Pat Kenny of Radio Telefis Eireann in Dublin, who interviewed the fragrant Margot when she was in Ireland.

In his letter, Coughlan observes that Wallström spoke about contributing to the Irish debate on the proposed EU Constitution and the role that she and her fellow commissioners were anxious to play in providing "objective" information on the constitution.

In the lead-in to one of his questions, Kenny implied to his listeners that Britain was really the only EU country where people were so innately "euro-sceptical" that they would reject the Constitution.

As he listened, Coughlan confides to Kenny, "I said to myself it was a pity that you did not ask Commissioner Wallström why they are not holding a referendum in her own country, Sweden."

"The reason is of course that if Sweden did have a referendum," he continues, "its citizens would almost certainly vote 'no', just as they decisively rejected the proposal to abolish their national currency and replace it with the euro in
September 2003."

The mainstream political parties there do not want a repeat of that experience, even though there is considerable popular demand that Swedes should have a say on a Constitution which would have the effect, inter alia, of abolishing the existing European Union and Community and replacing them with quite a new European Union in the constitutional form of an EU Federation.
However, as with other countries, the Swedish political élites may be conscious that a referendum could not be confined to just the EU constitution and would spill over top become a more general vote of confidence on the conduct of the government.

In this, one of the issues that dare not speak its name in Sweden is Muslim immigration which, according to a correspondent to an internet discussion group, is by far the most significant concern of ordinary Swedish people.

Going under the name of "Mary", this correspondent writes that Sweden is one of the worst hit countries in Europe of Muslim immigration and political correctness. Now, she writes, the police themselves have publicly admitted that they no longer control one of Sweden's major cities.

To support her argument, she presents a selection of links to recent Swedish media coverage, with rough translations of the copy. The material actually comes from Dhimmiwatch, a site worth looking at, and we have not seen it in the British media.

For instance, Aftonbladet from today, dateline Malmö, the lead story describes how the police are now publicly admitting what many Scandinavians have known for a long time: They no longer control the situation in the nations's third largest city. Says the paper:

It is effectively ruled by violent gangs of Muslim immigrants. Some of the Muslims have lived in the area of Rosengård, Malmö, for twenty years, and still don't know how to read or write Swedish. Ambulance personnel are attacked by stones or weapons, and refuse to help anybody in the area without police escort. The immigrants also spit at them when they come to help. Recently, an Albanian youth was stabbed by an Arab, and was left bleeding to death on the ground while the ambulance waited for the police to arrive. The police themselves hesitate to enter parts of their own city unless they have several patrols, and need to have guards to watch their cars, otherwise they will be vandalised. "Something drastic has to be done, or much more blood will be spilled" says one of the locals.
The Malmö newspaper Sydsvenskan recently reported that the number of people emigrating from the city was reaching record levels. Swedes, who a couple of decades ago decided to open the doors to Muslim "refugees" and asylum seekers, are now turned into refugees in their own country and forced to flee their homes. The people abandoning the city mention crime and fear of the safety of their children as the main reason for leaving.

In another article, the paper describes how all of the 600 windows at one of the schools in Malmö had been broken during the summer holiday. Window smashing alone, it reports, costs the city millions every year. City buses have been forced to avoid the immigrant ghetto, as they are met with youths throwing rocks or bottles at them if they enter. Earlier this year, a boy of Afghan origin had made plans to blow up his own school.

One more article describes how people working at the emergency ward at the major hospital in Malmö receive threats every day, and are starting to get used to it. Patients with knives or guns are commonplace. They have discussed having metal detectors at the emergency entrance, but some fear this could be seen as a provocation.

The paper also tells the story of Lisa Nilsson who had lived in Manhatten, New York City, for 25 years. After moving back to Malmö, she now missed the safety of New York. She never walked anywhere in Malmø after dark, but took a taxi everywhere she went.

Today's Expressen adds to the litany of woes, recording how papes in Sweden as a whole have increased by 17 percent just since the beginning of 2003, and have had a dramatic increase during the past decade. Gang rapes, usually involving Muslim immigrant males and native Swedish girls, have become commonplace. Two weeks ago, 5 Kurds brutally raped a 13-year-old Swedish girl.

And today’s Aftonbladet retails how a 22-year-old Swedish woman going out for fresh air was gang-raped by three strange men. They only said one word to her: "Whore!"

The editorial comments that stories like this are in Swedish newspapers every week. Swedish media usually take great care not to mention the ethnic background of the perpetrators, but you can usually read it between the lines.

As in the UK, it appears that much of this influx is now being associated with the breaking down of borders and the freedom of movement brought about by membership of the European Union. A constitution referendum, therefore, could run the risk of becoming a plebiscite on immigration policy.

No surprisingly, therefore, the likes of Wallström would prefer to ignore that fact that her own country is avoiding a referendum while, in between interfering in the Irish campaign, she devotes her time to anodyne postings on her Blog concerning "International Womens' Day".

It might perhaps be better, therefore, if Wallström had a closer look at her own back yard.

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