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Archive for February, 2010

Course programme before it was deleted.

Course programme before it was deleted.

On the 17 February late in the evening one of the Swedish blogs “of free information” posted a blog post on a course given by The Swedish Media Publishers’ Association (Tidningsutgivarna, henceforth the TU).

The TU is the trade association for Sweden’s daily newspapers and other media companies. In all it has around 240 members, of which the daily newspapers make up around 170. The TU is an association that alleges, according to their site, that they defend the Swedish freedom of speech and freedom of press.

Now, what was this blog post about? It appears that the TU organises a course for journalists and the name of the course is “How we handle the Sweden Democrats and other extreme parties – facts and practical training“. The picture above shows the deleted webpage. The text in English:

Many editors don’t know how to handle the Sweden Democrats up to the election next year. Is the party so extreme that it needs special treatment? How do we treat political arguments that are based on incorrect facts, or that can be incitement to racial hatred?

- What type of party is the SD? What similar parties are there in other countries?
- What voters are they aiming at?
- Could you say that the SD is “xenophobic”?
- How do the party’s values manifest themselves?
- How true are their statements?
- When is something a “permitted” view and when does it become xenophobic? When does the view become incitement to racial hatred?
- How do laws, press ethics and the editorial policy impact the coverage of parties that bring forward extreme, immigration critical or populist views?
- What can we learn from how media covered Ny Demokrati 1990-1994?

The afternoon vill be spent on practical training around the “new” situations that the media’s coverage of the SD and similar parties can entail, for example:
- What do you do if a politician states that the Muslims are the biggest threat? If a certain group of people is alleged to rape more than other groups?
- How extreme shall a view be in order to immediately answer to it?
- Among what views are you supposed to keep neutral? What can you as a journalist dissociate yourself from? What should you dissociate yourself from?

This embarrassing content was noticed and commented by many blogs. Thus, early the following morning the course programme had been removed. Now the webpage is more discreet. The TU does no longer show openly that the meeting is a downright attack on the Sweden Democrats. Under the surface, the content is most likely the same.

An interesting observation is that the TU gives another course, this time on the threat against the freedom of speech. Isn’t the TU itself one of the biggest threats against the freedom of speech? The TU is financed by the tax payers through subsidies from the European Social Fund. They receive 11,3 million SEK per year (1 130 000 EUR). Who audits how this sum is spent?

But this is not the only course in Sweden that is manifestly against the Sweden Democrats. There is a university course at Malmo University (course length equivalent to 5 weeks full-time studies) on the same subject. A course and discussions on xenophobia is not controversial. But when reading this course’s site further down the page you find that they cannot help mentioning the Sweden Democrats.

This is thus a state subsidized university course on how to prevent a fully democratic eligible party to participate in a (anyway alleged) democratic society, a party with representatives in many Swedish municipal and county councils and, according to many preliminary polls, probably a parliamentary party from September 2010.

Swedish media – and politicians – have apparently forgotten Voltaire’s saying:

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

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As I have written in an earlier blog post, there is only one opinion that is allowed in Sweden. The “7-party” (nickname for the seven different parties in the parliament, holding the same opinion on immigration) has no problem as regards how to propagate for this standpoint. The MPs have full support from the Swedish media. Both the press and the TV-channels support the official standpoint and do their utmost to function as the megaphone of the parliament.

How come that Swedish media is cringing to this degree before the authorities? First and foremost, there are the so-called Press Subsidies. This is a state subsidy available for newspapers. The aim is to promote diversity and competition among the daily newspapers. It is the Press Subsidies Council (Presstödsnämnden) that distributes the subsidies, which total fully 500 MSEK a year. This has been seriously criticized by the EU, that states that too high subsidies are given to two large city newspapers, that are granted three times more money that the smaller ones. The subsidy is not consistent with the EU competition regulations. Some debaters are by right critical and mean that this is the best way of the authorities to govern what to publish and above all what not to publish.

Secondly, there is another interesting Swedish phenomenon: the so-called Little Saltlake Bath Agreement (Lilla Saltsjöbadsavtalet, hereinafter LSBA). It contains just as incriminating details that the general public should not find out. The LSBA was established at the meeting of the Swedish Journalist Organisation (Svenska journalistförbundet) in Saltsjöbaden on 21 March 1987. The agreement clearly and explicitly decrees how news reporting where immigrants are involved must be performed.

“Especially point out and describe in a positive way Swedish citizens of foreign descent. Positively describe and bring out people of foreign origin. Bring out immigrants particularly as regards sporting and youth activities and cultural event. During a period of 5 years, systematically silence the negative effects, like pointing out a particular race in criminal activities, that can be the result for affected populations.”

This is probably the one and only agreement of this kind in the whole world, and the content of which aims at keeping the inhabitant unaware of what is going on. Just the fact that the agreement exists clearly shows that the journalists knew that they did something that they shouldn’t have done. Irrespective of the LSBA was a formal or an oral agreement, it still characterizes media’s (lack of) stating of the perpetrator’s ethnicity when describing crimes. Some weeks ago, I watched a discussion among certain journalists where they discussed the abolition of the LSBA. Now this video clip has disappeared from You Tube.

[Update! I got a tip from a reader that part of this video clip is embedded in this Swedish clip by Jan Milld. The discussion is to be found at the beginning of the clip.]

Another organisation for the journalists, The Swedish Publicist Organisation, has had a chairman, Jan Guillou, that once was a KGB agent. An intriguing piece of information, the source of which is the Swedish Journalist Organisation itself, is that 70% of the Swedish journalists vote Socialist, 30% non-Socialist. There are several theories why this is the case. But could this possibly influence the way news is angled in Sweden? An obvious lack of pluralism?

There are examples of the LSBA every day in Swedish media. Here are only two examples: Recently a young woman was raped in Karlstad. The newspapers omitted the rapist’s description since it could be racist to write it out. The newspapers apparently prefer to save their own reputation in the politically correct climate, instead of helping the police and the people to find the man. The newspapers also risked other women’s safety by omitting the rapist’s detailed description.

In Denmark a Somalian stabbed a female social worker to death. The Danish press mentioned the man’s nationality. The Swedish press did not. When asked why, the newspaper Aftonbladet stated that it is more democratic to conceal the truth. This shows a deep difference between the Danish and the Swedish press.

A few days ago, we were informed that Swedish newspapers’ editions are declining. Perhaps the newspapers have themselves to blame for this.

[Update 7 March 2010: There seems to exist a similar British inofficial agreement to be found here:

http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=3680]

[Update 9 APril 2010: This link (in Swedish, though, indicates the proof of the existence of the Lilla Saltsjöbadsavtalet:
https://www.flashback.org/t621664p2]

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Malmoe (Malmö) is Sweden’s third biggest city in the very south of Sweden. The Jews in Malmoe are about 700 people and they have been living there for over a 100 years. They now sound the alarm that they are being harassed by the muslims. The children’s day nursery is surrounded by surveillance cameras and the entrances are bombproof. A Jewish youth was threatened with being halal slaughtered. The Muslim population in Malmoe amounts to about 45 000, and in the whole province of Skåne, where Malmoe is situated, is inhabited by almost 100 000 Muslims.

Malmoe’s mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, thinks that the Jews of Malmoe in some way are to blame themselves that they are harassed. “They ought to more obviously have dissociated themselves from Israel’s politics towards Palestine.

He states that not only the politicians are responsible for the situation of the jews in Malmoe. Jewish individuals and the community also have a possibility to influence how the world around regards them.

“I would wish that the Jewish community dissociated themselves from Israel’s violations of the civilian population in Gaza. Instead, they choose to take part in a demonstration in the Stortorget Square, which can give the wrong signals”, Reepalu says in the interview in the Skanska Dagbladet.

If the Muslims of Malmoe would be harassed, does then Reepalu think that the Muslim themselves are to be blamed to some extent, since they haven’t more apparently dissociated themselves from Muslim terror (in any place in the world)? No, he is not saying that (luckily enough), but why should then Swedish Jews who have lived for generation in Sweden be forced have a certain point of view regarding Israel’s politics?

More from the interview in the article:
“Did you consider stating publicly that Malmoe doesn’t accept anti-Semitism. Or is that controversial?” the reporter asks.

“We do neither accept Zionism or anti-Semitism. They represent extremes that position themselves over other groups and stand for the opinion that that other groups are inferior”, Reepalu answers.

It is interesting how Reepalu, when asked about anti-Semitism, feels forced to include Zionism in the discussion. When the subject of the interview is harassed Jews och bullied Jewish children, he cannot keep to the subject. On the contrary he unconditionally has to implicate the Muslims.

“Children of Jewish origin shall of course not be pestered. It is neither okay that the imam in a mosque is being shot at,” Reepalu says.

It is of course NOT okay that an imam is being shot at. But when did this happen? What reveals Reepalu’s standpoint most is his compulsive inability to keep to the subject and his will to insert another subject matter. He thinks that harassed Jews is not much to grumble about. The situation among other groups is much more important to him.

Israel has created a dilemma, according to Reepalu. But a new piece of information is that Israel is completely alone in the conflict and is fighting itself and that the other participants in the conflict have no responsibility whatsoever. But Reepalu! It takes two to tango.

Let’s suppose that Israel has created the conflict. Shall the responsibility for the conflict in Malmoe be put on Israel? Isn’t Swedes able to be responsible for their own cities?

Here is a link to the debate on this subject on Newsmill (in Swedish, though).

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This is a piece of additional information of my blog post on Sharia laws in Sweden. I have been surprised that no media, i.e. no newspaper and no TV channel, have reacted or at least reported on this thesis, since it involves a fundamental change of the basis of the Swedish cornerstone: everyone is equal before the law.

Today a Swedish debater and journalist, Dilsa Demibag-Sten, has a long article in the Svenska Dagbladet called “Legal Contempt in the Name of Multiculture“. One of her standpoints is that we must stop treating people as a part of a group, and instead begin seeing them as individuals, something that I pointed out in my Swedish blog post on the book “Ayatollan“.

It will be very interesting to see if Dilsa, with her non-Swedish ethnical background, (in fact the only persons in Sweden that are allowed to criticize these kind of issues without being condemned) can be the person that removes the stopper in the debate in Sweden on mass immigration and our multicultural society.

A change of the debate climate is absolutely necessary. First of all the debate must be accepted, and then carried out in a way so that people won’t be insulted as soon as they dare to present something that resembles some kind of evaluation or assessment of the multicultural policy that is pursued in Sweden.

Let’s hope that Dilsa is the person that causes the die to be cast!

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