Observing Sweden – Immigration 2

They’re all people on the bus
like us
some good ones
and some bad ones
just like always
Sweden’s unexpected guests
for better or for worse
they won’t be going home
this marriage hard to disavow
what now?
Europe waits to see what happens next.

*            *          *

“All I know is what I read in the papers.”

I had thought to write this post about the news, or lack of it in Sweden. First thought that comes to mind is, ‘I don’t know,’ in Swedish, ‘Jag vet inte.’ Who, or what, can we believe? The world’s mass media controlled by less than ten vast corporations, each with its own agenda, points of view. Facebook and Photoshop, exaggerated local color, pictures worth a thousand words – no more, or less believable than text.

“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”

A friend in Canada advises, “Swedish papers are controlled. Papers like Aftonbladet receive grants in addition to ad based revenues. He forwarded the article below, from FriaTider – 2013.  Fria Tider (Free Time) is a Swedish newspaper that takes a critical attitude to the Swedish immigration policy. It is detached but in ideological terms considered to be close to the Sweden Democrats.


Adelsohn-Liljenroth notes it was against this background (Nationell Idag granted a press subsidy) that she gave the Parliamentary Committee on Press Subsidies the directive to determine whether rules should call for “respect for the ideals of democracy” or otherwise ensure that subsidies are justified from a “democratic perspective.” The wordings denote the sharing of views on migration policy proposed by the Swedish government, most political parties and mainstream media. However, the ministerial directive to the committee resulted in an unwelcome conclusion. Adelsohn-Liljeroth: “The Committee concluded that such a requirement could be seen as a way to hinder the printed word. I disagree with that assessment.”

The Swedish government now threatens to introduce a political section in the subsidy rules nevertheless – even though all members of the relevant parliamentary committee oppose it. “I am now awaiting the respondents’ views on the proposal of the Press Subsidies Committee. I hope the responses provide a basis for imposing a democracy clause in the new press subsidy regulation,” Liljeroth concludes.

*           *           *

The Swedes are so politically correct, you don’t hear much about incoming problems, other than the recent arsons which are not so easy to ignore. Another housing facility was torched this week. More than a dozen here now.

This from the Danish newspaper – Berlingske, re-posting comments from a poll taken by Aftonbladet.

Sweden is worried about all the asylum accommodation fires and seeing reactions that are not only about asylum polices, but that Sweden has not allowed discussion of the difficult issues surrounding integration immigration. It is dangerous to put a lid on these debates. Here in Norway, it has been discussed it more openly. Hanne Skartveit, politcal editor – Norway.


What do you think about the way Sweden is handling the refugee crisis?

I have grown up with Astrid Lindgren (Sweden’ much loved children’s writer) and love moose. But now it seems the Swedes are about to devastate their country. Sweden can be changed until it is unrecognizable. I know it’s been done with good intentions, but the Swedes have become slaves of humanism. It’s hard to imagine that so many from Muslim countries will adjust to living in the same way as they. You cannot integrate so many people at once.  Anna Libak, Foreign Editor Berlingske.

Question: What do Danes think about the Swedish situation?

We think they are naive. Previously Sweden was an example of the Danish left wing, but now they’ve reached a point where even the left recognizes Sweden is about to fall apart. Everyone agrees that Sweden is going to have some very big problems.

WA Post

The people of Sweden are very good,” said a grateful 34-year-old from Iraq.“I want to make my life here.”

But behind the warm embrace, a very different reaction to refugees is brewing in Sweden. In this Scandinavian country famous for lit progressive politics and unfailingly polite citizenry, a party with roots in the neo-fascist fringe has surged toward the top of recent opinion polls with a defiantly hostile message to refugees: Those on their way to Sweden should stay out. Many of those already here should go home.”
The growing popularity of the far-right Swedish Democrats mirrors a backlash being felt across Europe as the continent reckons with a refugee crisis that has broken all modern records and shows no signs of abating. The impact can be seen in country after country, with far-right parties hammering away at authorities deemed too permissive in allowing those fleeing war and persecution to find a home in Europe.
Anger over the refugee influx is increasingly fueling violence as it appeared to do over the weekend when two Swedish schools that were being converted into shelters for asylum seekers burned down in what the police said we suspected arson attacks. In the German city of Cologne, a leading mayoral candidate and ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel was stabbed in the neck by a man who authorities said had “anti-foreigner motives.”

*           *           *

This post has gotten more verbose than I intended, but I felt the need of some established background. Next post will be concerned with media again, but with more personal, subjective, point of view.


About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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7 Responses to Observing Sweden – Immigration 2

  1. Another excellent offering, Bruce.
    Chances are i’ll never live in Europe again or even visit as my
    travelling days are over but i ‘see’ a less than satisfactory picture unfolding.
    Things will turn sour – i hope i’m wrong – and soon there will be ghettos
    as i believe integration is impossible.

    More posts on this, please.


  2. ShimonZ says:

    A very interesting post. All the more so, since Sweden has been exporting their super liberal approach to other societies, being an example of ‘politically correct’. In a few years time we will be able to discern if these ideas can work.

  3. Cindy Harris says:

    Thanks Bruce. My hubby and I have been wanting to do some traveling, however, with all the reports coming from every direction on violence, we continue to go to work and stay at home.

  4. “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”
    The media’s publisher/owner certainly decides what ‘goes on’ – some more liberally than others. But then it’s up to us – and our critically thinking faculty – to decide what to swallow…

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