• This topic has 50 replies, 30 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by GEDA.
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  • Sweden turning to the right wing?
  • MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    News reports seem to be suggesting that the latest election in Sweden is another example of a country moving to tbe right.

    Seems to contradict all we usually hear about Sweden, so curious to hear the views of the locals on here

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Not local but enjoyed an evening in Swedish company recently.

    Very normal conversation until right at the end when somewhat out of the blue one of them suddenly brought up the immigration problem in Sweden, in a tone which left no doubt as to his feelings. We were all too drunk by this point to really engage and it just fizzled out, but surprised me.

    Sounds like very fertile ground for the far right over there at the moment…

    dissonance
    Full Member

    Its been happening for the last ten years or so.
    Most of what is said about Sweden is mostly stuck in a timewarp.

    ernielynch
    Free Member

    Surely it’s more than turning to the right – isn’t the party with the most MPs in Sweden now far-right?

    Edit : Apologies, no the far-right party received the second largest share of the vote, it’s the largest party in the winning right-wing bloc.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    There’s certainly been a vocal right wing minority there for a while, it’s just the gradual shift in vote share across the left-right spectrum that’s caused the change.

    csb
    Full Member

    The spectrum of politics is apparently (mentioned in a BBC article I think) calibrated differently over there, so what they consider right wing is basically our liberals.

    MSP
    Full Member

    I would be interested to see what the definition (or framing) of far right is in Sweden. Is it like the UK whare anti immigration fear mongering has been used to bring in right wing economic policies and erode freedom, or is it still the same political environment with anti immigration rhetoric thrown on top.

    mert
    Free Member

    Yup, going to be a rough time for the foreseeable future.

    Really don’t know what else to say, i mean, there are most definitely issues around the vast influx of immigrants and how they function, or more importantly are allowed to function in Swedish society. But this is very much *not* the way to deal with it.

    If anything, it’s going to make it worse. It’ll encourage the meatheads, anyone who doesn’t pass for Swedish is likely to get aggro on a more regular basis (my girlfriend already does, despite speaking Swedish like a native AND working for the government). And that will likely exacerbate current issues. Budgets for schemes that are designed to help are likely to be cut. It’ll become harder to get visas or residency, they’ve already been talking about citizenship testing in some form.

    So, yeah, it’s going to be unpleasant for many people, including dozens i count as friends.

    nickc
    Full Member

    so what they consider right wing is basically our liberals.

    The Swedish Democrats were formed from violent from neo-Nazi groups. – There’s a long history of  anti-communist rhetoric in Sweden’s political history that spills over to ultra right wing populist nationalism. While they have made efforts to rid themselves of some of their more extreme members, I think they still have questions surrounding their funding and support. I don’t think the Lib Dems would be happy to be compared to them TBH.

    mert
    Free Member

    @MSP @csb

    TBH, yes, that is something to bear in mind, the far right in Sweden are more like racist liberals with a touch of several other isms and phobias than actually having anything like Tories or UKIP policies on how to run a country.

    I mean, they are looking at increased funding for the NHS and generally support other social security systems etc etc

    Worst thing i’ve seen is a colleague at work who has become something of a poster boy the the local SD party supporters.
    He’s from Iran. And will find his countrymen and quite possibly his family being impacted by this.

    oldmanmtb2
    Free Member

    Most of Scandinavia is quite right wing, people get blindsided by its social care/responsibilities approach.

    supernova
    Full Member

    There’s always been a dark undercurrent to Sweden’s Nordic liberalism – see eugenics, biker gangs etc.

    They have excelled at some things, like keeping society relatively flat economically as opposed to the extremes American hyper-capitalism has imposed on us, equality for women, childcare etc. Immigration from far flung cultures is a fairly new thing for their society and they’re not very good at accepting and integrating it yet – just like we weren’t when it started in earnest here. It has been a painful learning process for us and it will be for them.

    The far right will disgrace themselves as they always do and people will return to the middle ground, as they always do. Not much fun if you’re a brown person in Malmo at the moment though.

    gobuchul
    Free Member

    Most of Scandinavia is quite right wing,

    This.

    I spent 3 months working in Norway a few years ago.

    They were very right wing, they still seemed to feel threatened by communism/USSR/Russia.

    ernielynch
    Free Member

    It’s not just a Scandinavian/Nordic thing though, the rise of the far-right is a Europe-wide phenomena. In ten days time the far-right Brothers of Italy, which ironically is led by a woman, are very likely to become the largest party in Italy and will be in power.

    It is a sad fact that in 2022 Europe is becoming increasingly racist – from Sweden to Hungary.

    imnotverygood
    Full Member

    They were very right wing, they still seemed to feel threatened by communism/USSR/Russia.

    How wrong can some people be? 🤨

    mrmonkfinger
    Free Member

    One or two countries near Russia might disagree with that.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    They were very right wing, they still seemed to feel threatened by communism/USSR/Russia.

    That makes them right wing? If you disregard the communism bit, I’d say that is pretty understandable. I know the USSR is no more, but Putin very clearly aspires to recreate it.

    Putin threatened ‘consequences’ hinting that they might be nuclear, if Finland and Norway joined NATO. I think that, and Russia’s territorial ambitions generally gives the Scandinavian populations every right to feel threatened by them does it not?

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Thank you for the comments and context to it all

    Poopscoop
    Full Member

    Deeply ironic that Putin will applaud the rise of the far right in europe!

    hatter
    Full Member

    Sweden’s economic model of being prosperous whilst maintaining a system of high taxes and a strong social safety net has always made it a target of certain (usually American) groups as it stands as a clear rebuttal of their ‘Free Market and low taxes = better” ideology.

    For over a decade now it’s not been hard to see a steady drumbeat of memes and fear mongering over crime and immigrants targeting Sweden, convincing wealthier people that all their taxes are going to undeserving ‘others’ is a proven effective technique for undermining an existing public consensus on paying for a state safety net,

    If you want to be depressed just google image search ‘Sweden Meme’, it’s a pretty much unending torrent of racism, fearmongering and homophobia. Most of it in English, again the US alt-right are very active in all this and as always with divisive social movements, I wouldn’t discount a Russian factor as well.

    Sadly over time all this seems to have had the intended corrosive effect.

    Hope those tax cuts are worth it guys.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    I’m glad someone else has mentioned the American influences, it saved me typing up a far less coherent comment on that side of things.

    ernielynch
    Free Member

    Deeply ironic that Putin will applaud the rise of the far right in europe!

    I’m not sure why, Putin has always enjoyed the support of the far-right in Europe and the US. For obvious reasons European far-right politicians, such as in France, are now a little less supportive of Putin since the invasion of Ukraine.

    MSP
    Full Member

    I’m not sure why, Putin has always enjoyed the support of the far-right in Europe

    I think he has funneled a fair bit of funds into their campaigns.

    His aim has always been to disrupt and weaken the west, he see’s that as a victory he can sell to Russia rather than actually improving the lives of Russian citizens. I think in that way he is quite well aligned to the far right in Europe, who also want to sell a false victory and distractions rather than doing the work to improve their respective countries.

    ernielynch
    Free Member

    I think he has funneled a fair bit of funds into their campaigns.

    Well the Russian oligarchs that back him have certainly pumped money into the Conservative Party, so I’m sure he must have applauded the Tory victory last election.

    Especially as unlike many UK politicians the then leader of the Labour Party was and had been an outspoken critic of Putin. No doubt Putin felt that it was money well spent back then, although now, belatedly, UK politicians across the political spectrum have come to realise the dangers of Putin.

    howsyourdad1
    Free Member

    hi from östersund. As usual, it’s a fairly complex issue!  Swedes, both left and right , many feel that sweden is in decline. Schools and health service isn’t what it was,  crime and gangs has certainly become more visible,  and the right have succesfully coupled this to immigration .

    I’m as lefty as they come, and work in local government, but i think everyone acknowledges that mistakes have been made with the immigration policy, especially post arab spring when 150,000 immigrants arrived (1.5% of population at the time) and this had led to parallel societies.

    SD have no power and possibly sit in government with a 3 seat majority. Social democrats are still the biggest party by a long way, but yeah block politics mean the centre right are in.   it is rare that a government holds power for more than two mandates here, so a loss was perhaps expected, but the shift from the centre left to the centre right has surprised people.

    Excuse my spelling, swedish keyboard and spellcheck !

    kelvin
    Full Member

    His aim has always been to disrupt and weaken the west,

    Nationalist sentiments, especially anti-immigration ones, have been fertile ground for Putin all across the world. Helping to divide, disrupt, and weaken democracies everywhere.

    onewheelgood
    Full Member

    Deeply ironic that Putin will applaud the rise of the far right in europe!

    Putin himself is about as far right as you can get, so I don’t see any irony in this at all.

    ernielynch
    Free Member

    it is rare that a government holds power for more than two mandates here

    How things have changed!

    Was it 40 completely uninterrupted years that the Social Democrats ruled Sweden post World War 2?

    howsyourdad1
    Free Member

    Yes indeed, that was almost 40 years ago mind.

    hatter
    Full Member

    Putin himself is about as far right as you can get, so I don’t see any irony in this at all.

    Not only that, his online outriders (Paid Russian trolls and Western ‘useful idiots’) have long aggressively pushed him as the true defender of Christian Ayran culture and masculinity, surely I wasn’t the only one who saw all those ‘Obama Vs Putin memes 10 years ago, they were everywhere.

    To those scared by change and diversity he offered himself up as their ‘white knight’ (sic)

    And it worked

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FMXdmUbXsAMY9ee.jpg:largeTrump supporters

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    If only we could have a centre right party!

    willard
    Full Member

    Another Swedish resident here, also working for the state, but also one of the ones that SD are likely to class as “the right kind of immigrant”.

    I never really thought of sweden as being very right wing, what with the large left voting block, good workers’ rights and pride in social infrastructure, but there is no doubt that some of the parties are looking to follow the Us and the U.K. down the route of privatising it. Liberalarna have a rep for wanting that, same with Moderatarna.

    I’m glad that Stockholm has swung back to the left, but was shocked to find that my local post area had SD (aka the racists) as the highest voted for party. Not by much, but they were. With SD, if you overlook the racism, just leave that bit out for a moment, some of their headline policies kind of look like they might possibly be good for the average person. You know, like cheaper fuel (so the Raggare can drive their shit old American cars a bit more) or tougher sentences for criminals (written on posters with a plane in the background suggesting that they will be “sent home”).

    I hope, really hope, that the next term shows how much of a one trick pony the racists are and that they are ruined in the next election.

    Note: I have a vested interest in this… one of their people whinged about my employer being nothing but liberal propaganda because we reported on someone saying that SD had links to nazism (https://svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/bjorn-soder-sd-kritiserar-svt-propagandainslag). Oddly, the guy doing the complaining has actual history in nazism, meeting former SS members and being photographed wearing a KKK t-shirt (https://twitter.com/crehbinder/status/1393497517086683136)

    modig
    Free Member

    Another Swede here 🙂
    Yes, I also find this shift saddening. But maybe not very surprising, given the general discourse in many forums. The Sweden Democrats are true populists that thrive on painting a grim picture of the state in the country, and using simplified explanations (=blame everything on the immigrants, fake news media and the lefties), claiming to be the true voice of the people. Unfortunately (as seen also in many other places) this is a very potent recipe for attracting votes (Trump, Orban anyone).

    And their arguments are almost always based on emotion rather than facts or logic. They appeal to our lowest neanderthal instincts, “non-swedes are the bad guys”, “harder punishments”, “more deportations” etc. Unfortunately, as they grow and this gets traction, “traditional” conservative parties are forced to move in that direction as well (very clearly demonstrated by Moderaterna and Kristdemokraterna that will likely be the ones forming a government fully relying on the support of the Sweden Democrats in parliament).

    Sweden Democrats are also opposing the Paris agreement so Sweden’s focus on fighting climate change will likely lose momentum. The argument here being, why should we as a small country be forced to save on fuel/energy and adjust our way of living to cut emissions, when China plans to start X number of coal fuelled power plants.

    Our hope (and this is a view held and discussed by many) is that they will f-ck up so badly now when they have more power and fail in actually “saving” our country. This would, as the theory goes, send them into decline. It’s hard to be the truth-talking, swamp-draining, anti-establishment party when you get to be part of the establishment. This is somewhat supported by development in other Nordic countries where national conservative parties have lost many voters after terms of office. Maybe Sweden i just a bit behind the curve.

    My two cents from Uppsala
    /J

    ernielynch
    Free Member

    Thanks for the Swedish contributions, I found them all really interesting – particularly the comment concerning the post Arab Spring immigration being 1.5% of the Swedish population, that is a massive amount, for the UK that would represent over a million people.

    I don’t know anything about Swedish national politics but I do know that fascism/far-right need three ingredients to thrive – an economic crisis, a minority to scapegoat, and established political parties not to take the threat seriously.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    This has been a very educational read. Thanks all. Ernie s post above mine is true and frightening. When will we learn from the past.

    willard
    Full Member

    Probably when the last tribe has finished bludgeoning their neighbours to death with a rock for the last water on the planet.

    Although I hope it will be sooner.

    The people I know in Stockholm seem confident that, with the exception of input into immigration and energy policy, nothing much will change. Jimmy knows that his party has no real policies, so he’s happy to let Uffe take the top job and (probably) accept a few key positions. We’ll see.

    Ernie. You should probably pay more attention to us. Instead of populism in true opposition politics, this is open racism and populism in coalition politics. The election was dirty, really dirty, so seeing if that continues, if the blue bloc can hold together and if SD can retain their strength over this term might be interesting for you.

    I’m not looking forward to things. I’m been the victim of racist abuse once here (early in my first year), and really don’t want to have that again. I had to explain to friends from Göteborg why I gave a specific house the finger and they were quite shocked.

    GEDA
    Free Member

    I just voted in the national elections in the first time. PR so the first time I got to vote for the parties I wanted and it made a difference.

    – as with all western countries there is a lot of change and the right parties are promising to roll back that change. For example the Moderates party had adverts saying “no to reduced speed limits and yes to building more roads. “
    – there is a panic about crime and shooting. Basically I feel Sweden is very safe and crime free but there are a lot of robberies of youths and my daughter said a lot of working class youngsters vote for the far right. Then there is a lot of really blatant gangland violence with hit men and bombings. It feels like the police just don’t know how to cope with it and a lot of immigrants are locked out of Swedish society because it is based on who you know and employing people like you.
    – nuclear power. For some reason a big issue in this election was building more nuclear. I just could not get my head around this as In the government statistics Sweden has been shutting old nuclear power plants but exporting more power to Finland for example. Finland needs more more as their new nuclear plant has gone way over budget and suffered multiple delays. It was strange watching a political debate where the Green Party was suggesting the market led approach of cheap, quickly implemented wind power and the right wing was suggesting expensive state run nuclear. And Denmark is next door producing so much power from wind.
    – none of the other right wing parties want to be in government with the right wing populist party the Swedish democrats and they don’t want to be in government (with ministers). I am guessing so they can keep pretending that they are not in power and they get the blame when things don’t work out.

    From my point of view the changes that are happening to our life styles are so big. We cannot consume and travel as we know the consequences We cannot expect to have stable populations when it is so easy for people to say F this when they are getting bombed, starved, being poor in their country when it is so obviously 1000x better in the west and so easy to travel. These are big issues and even if the right wing solutions logically either will be counterproductive (climate change=more migration, less focus/money for integration =more crime) they are selling something that is simple and easy for people to understand and agree to.

    Mugboo
    Full Member

    I know the Wallander books are fiction but I remember reading them and thinking that if you changed the names of the people and places it was the same general themes as Britain. Came as quite a suprise.

    scandywag
    Free Member

    The Sweden Democrats have been very successful in moving from a small protest party (with neo nazi roots) to the second largest party in the country. The populist, simplistic policies that they promote don’t stand up to much scrutiny, but if enough people aren’t bothered by realistic compromise solutions, there you go. As previously mentioned, emotions rather than facts and figures are used which are harder to argue against (Brexit anyone?)
    My worry is that they will have a huge influence on the inside of government but will still maintain their ‘outsider’ status when it inevitably all goes to shite.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    A rise in populist right immigration-fueled discontent has seen a shift to the right. What’s not been mentioned is that the largest party by seats was the previous left of centre party. But a collaboration of the right has more seats and hence will form the government. Think ukip-conservative alliance. Was an excellent interview on R4 10 o’clock news the other night. Wait for Swexit 😉

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