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Broadcaster agrees to air new far-right party ad

AFP/The Local · 2 Sep 2010, 07:22

Published: 02 Sep 2010 07:22 GMT+02:00

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The commercial network said in a statement it "decided Wednesday to broadcast the new campaign ad that the Sweden Democrats have sent in ... after deciding

last week not to show an earlier version."

The initial version, which appears on the party's website, shows a race in the dark between an elderly woman and women in burqas pushing prams with a slogan promising to safeguard pension funding at the expense of immigration.

In the new advert, which TV4 has agreed to air, the whole race sequence is blacked out and covered with the words: "censured by TV4."

"We stopped the last film because it breached both (our) guidelines ... and our constitutional freedom of speech law banning incitement to hatred," TV4 Group's communications chief Gunnar Gidefeldt explained in the statement.

"This new film, in our opinion, does not do that," he added, insisting it posed no problem to air an advert accusing the broadcaster itself of censorship.

"It is up to SD (Sweden Democrats) to choose what message they want to give with their film. If they choose to accuse us of something that is incorrect, we can definitely take that," he said.

The Sweden Democrats, which according to recent polls could enter parliament for the first time after upcoming September 19 elections, complained of censorship last week after TV4 refused to air its initial advert and said Monday that private radio station SBS had also backed out of a deal to broadcast a radio version.

On Wednesday, however, the party said it was pleased the revised version of the film would be aired.

"We have done our best to remove all the elements in the film that TV4, with a huge amount of imagination, felt was politically offensive," Sweden Democrats spokesman Erik Almqvist said in a statement.

Story continues below…

"We are sorry that political censorship occurs in Sweden, but we now look forward to seeing our new advert on TV4 from September 6th-17th," he added.

According to a survey published Sunday, the Sweden Democrats were polling at 4.6 percent of the vote, enough to enter parliament.

If they manage to pass the 4.0-percent threshold for the first time, political analysts believe the party could be in a powerful position with the two main blocs on course to split the vote.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:42 September 2, 2010 by reason
Aaww, poor SD, having to dig so deep for sympathy votes.

Populist parties are usually more amusing than this.
08:49 September 2, 2010 by Nemesis
I will say one thing.

They got more publicity with an advert that was not even shown, than the rest of the parties with there deluge through our letterboxes.
08:56 September 2, 2010 by Fajitas
Absolutely right, Nemesis. Political correctness backfires.
09:39 September 2, 2010 by Texrusso
Yeah, they can get attention from racist add that was never shown. But the question is, who is really care about SD? The racist add publicity only goes far to dent the image of SD further.... The only thing that comes to my mind when I think of the Sweden Democrat is "RACIST"!
09:59 September 2, 2010 by seagull
While I sit firmly in the opposite direction of nationalism and far right policies in general, I do find the blase claim of racism a bit tiring. Of course any nationalist party will have it's share of racism, because of the cross-over in interests, but actually parties like this are important. They do highlight the very real need to do something about almost unrestricted immigration, extreme religious groups etc.

I would never want to see such a party in power, but I do hope they cross the 4% threshold, just to give the other parties something to think about.
10:35 September 2, 2010 by qbeek
This channel is genius to do huge buzz for the far-right party !
10:37 September 2, 2010 by Bostonexpat
@Texrusso ...Enough people may care about SD to give them a legitimate voice/representation in government. Will their policies be implemented? No, but I would assume they will be able to influence some policies and at a minimum, as seagull alluded to, will highlight the need for immigration reform. I may have missed it, but I have yet to hear immigration mentioned in the barrage of debates or literature sent via post...
12:57 September 2, 2010 by here for the summer
I am only there for the summers but am always confused about the Swedish concept of racism. Isn't racism about what you are genetically not your religion or culture? Almost all Swedes seem not racist in the classical sense but also seem to think that not liking a culture is racist. Why being anti immigration or even against immigration from cultures vastly different than exist in northern europe was racist. It seems logical that given a choice immigration should be kept to levels where they could be integrated into swedish culture and law and that it is much harder to get very different cultures to adapt to European values like women's rights and respect for freedom of expression.
13:19 September 2, 2010 by Tiddler
Divide and conquer, bread and circuses (or fast food and the Big Brother show if you are historically challenged), and the use of issues that stoke up emotions.

All simple tactics employed by the owners of this country, and every other country, to prevent real discussion and debate about the real issues of governance and our economic system.
13:30 September 2, 2010 by salongsvaenster
Luckily, most people know what the SD "stand for" and seeing their representatives will probably scare off more voters than they will attract.

Pandering as they do to the backwoods, xenophobic fear of anything different, such parties and the voters they attract do not inhabit the world of ordinary political debate, but rely purely and simply on emotion (fear) to get support. In this respect they are worthy successors to the Nazis in Germany and all the other white power (or whatever) groups that use the bully-boy tactic of picking on those least able to defend themselves.

Whatever group they pick on today (seems to be Muslims now), we can be sure that they will find another one tomorrow - Jews, E. Europeans, Gays - no-one is safe from their small-minded intolerance. That such a party could get into a parliament in a civilised country beggars belief. Before ticking the box for them on Election Day, people would do well to look at photos of Auschwitz and Buchenwald - the Nazis too started off as a fringe party.
13:36 September 2, 2010 by Iraniboy
@here for the summer

The problem with the SD is not their opposition with immigration or religion. You should look at the ad more carefully. Not all immigrants are dark skins with Burkas and not all elderly Swedes are White!! I can't believe it was just an accident that it turns out like this!!
13:55 September 2, 2010 by calebian22
I look forward to seeing the Sweden Democrats in the Riksdag. A counter weight to the extreme left is needed (who interestingly are represented in the sitting Riksdag). Maybe they will be a wakeup call to the major parties that immigration reform is needed.
16:40 September 2, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Is it possible to have a grown up discussion about immigration in Sweden, or anywhere else, without the word "racist" being used? I don't think so.

Whether to increase or decrease immigration is as valid and important political issue in Sweden, as is whether to increase or decrease taxation, or welfare, or interest rates. But anyone who even hints that immigration be reduced is immedietly painted as a racist. Someone with that opinion might, or might not, be a racist, but just having that opinion shouldn't make him/her fairgame for mindless name calling.

None of the above includes my own opinion on imigration by the way.
17:14 September 2, 2010 by seagull

I'm sure the number of people who actually wish the SD to be in power is far less than those who vote for them. It is generally a protest vote. Their concerns are real though. Freedoms are being eroded every year, Swedish culture is being eroded constantly. There are ghettos where certain races/ religions cannot walk around (see Malmo). This is the result of excess immigration, and of the badly failed multi-cultural ideal. If I moved to another country I would respect the local traditions and culture, not demand change for my personal ideals. Sweden (and every other European country) should do likewise.

I have no problem with muslims on a personal level, but they are slowly increasing in numbers, and I for one would not like to see a Sweden where the disgusting Sharia law becomes a distinct possibilty due the numbers and herd mentality of the religion.

I wouldn't personally vote for them, as I consider myself a liberal socialist, but that doesn't stop me worrying about the very visible influx we are seeing. If it carries on at this rate, a headscarf on women will be the norm rather than the exception.
17:51 September 2, 2010 by reason
"Is it possible to have a grown up discussion about immigration in Sweden, or anywhere else, without the word "racist" being used? I don't think so."

I've had several. Ranging from the cost of providing a safe haven for refugees and the moral cost of not doing so, through the difficulties of integration to the amount of immigration necessary for continued economic growth. There are frank discussions of immigration and the consequences of incompatible cultural views in the media if you care to look. The issue is not so big that it'll get very many first pages, but for example there was a balanced and thought provoking article about the wearing of burkas and the banning thereof in last Sunday's Svenska dagbladet.

The R-word does come up on occasion, sometimes without good reason. On the other hand, when someone tries to start a debate with "the burka clad islamists are stealing our pensions!", they're not trying for a grown up discussion and it's hard to find a milder word than xenophobic to describe it (or, perhaps more likely in this case, profiting from other people's xenophobia).
19:40 September 2, 2010 by manrush
To the Sweden Democrats: cry me a damn river.

Well, it looks like they'll get their pity votes.

Yes, seagull, from the content of your post, you are totally a socialist liberal.
20:06 September 2, 2010 by Mr. Puppy
Has anyone else noticed the irony of the fact that those burka-clad women in the ad would most likely be voting for a party with SD-like values? SD should be recruiting the very immigrants they are afraid of since those immigrants are the most likely people in Sweden to agree with their anti-gay, pro-one-kind-of-family, socially extreme conservative policies.
21:31 September 2, 2010 by here for the summer
@mr. Puppy . it is ironic that most of the west's socially conservative parties are against immigration and the cultures they wish to slow down immigration from tend to share some of the traditional values ( older and more conservative ) they advocate.

Even if they are wrong on gay rights and delivery they do have something good to say about the rate of immigration and the failure of current integration policy.
01:26 September 3, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
TV4 is now in the censoring business? Wow. This media outlet is more of a joke than I initially gave them credit for. This story gets jucier (or dumber) every day!
04:10 September 3, 2010 by glamelixir
are we still using the word immigration instead of refugee ?
09:59 September 3, 2010 by Uncle

The thing is that SD will not pick on Jews and gays. This role is safely in the hands of muslims. See the attacks on Jews in Malmö and their flow out of that city. But when MUSLIMS are xenophobic, it is discounted by democratic liberals of Europe, as well as muslims themselves.

Racism is when left wing is actually saying: "What is important, is that we, the white race of educated and rich europeans would not express any xenophobia. This is allowed however for muslim refugees, since they do not know any better".

Now tell me which of the following announced goals of SD is xenophobic:

1. Deport refugees who were convicted of serious (grov) crime.

2. Public Registration of convicted pedophiles

3. Invest into assisting refugees to escape into neighbouring countries

4. Increase assimilation requirements languagewise and workwise as were in Sweden up to the middle of 70's (under socialists)

5. Audit refugee flow and invest into quality assistance to less refugees rather than have no assistance for the large amounts.

What is racist here?
11:04 September 3, 2010 by voice of credibility
The Swedish democrats are kings of idiots. There is no point to mark your policy with racism and hatred in this 21st century so SD should rethink of all its policy.
13:13 September 3, 2010 by salongsvaenster
@ Uncle

The SD has tried to clean up its act to become more electable - this involves dropping some of the crude, Goebbels-style stereotyping of people who are "different" and rewording some of their "policy" statements to sound like some kind of sweet reason.

As with similar parties around Europe, however, the true nature of the beast becomes apparent in its attempts at advertising - picking on minorities and simplistically portraying them as being a monolithic group - today it's Muslims that are portrayed as crazed zombies hell-bent on "sponging" off the welfare state, wanting to introduce Taliban-style laws that will blast us all back to the Stone Age etc etc.

This kind of thinking might go down well on Fox News or any of the other chauvinistic media that care more about profits than actually getting at the complex truth that underlies most issues. It does not belong in a supposedly informed and rational debate.

Like most issues, there are usually more than two sides to matters like immigration or "integration" - it is better that all the grievances, imagined or real, get an airing, but in a reasonable, tolerant and unprejudiced way.

- You don't like Sharia law - neither do I, nor do most Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists etc etc

- You don't like criminality - neither do I, nor do most Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists etc etc

- You don't like people abusing the welfare state - neither do I, nor do most Muslims, Christians, Jews etc etc

To simplistically lump all Muslims together is as absurd as lumping all Christians together, with its range of characters from right-wing US TV evangelists to radical priests in Latin America. Instead of seeing Muslims as a group, why not try seeing people as individuals who happen to be Muslims - as in any "group" there are crazies, to be sure, but the vast majority are not and have no desire, other than to be left alone to get on with their lives with their families and friends - a bit like most Swedes or any other "group" you want to name.

Why shouldn't they be allowed to do so?

Why not live and let live?
13:51 September 3, 2010 by Uncle

So I believe that you agreed that the above campaign goals are quite humane and not racist. This is dealt with then.

Now, as a fair debater, I even will throw you a bone and wonder together with you what is up with the slogan "Swedish jobs for swedish citizens" which is on their agenda as well (note - not race, not religion, but citizenship). It is quite counter productive to complain that refugees are jobeless hobos and then announce that they should not take jobs from swedish citizens.

Besides the above and given the common sense, how SD wishes are not correct? They generalize muslim refugees. Given statistics they as nazis as insurance companies that increase insurance costs for motorcycle owners. "Why should these guys in helmets and leather be overcharged for insurance? What is this xenophobia?"

The fact of the matter is that this population is STATISTICALLY more inclined towards crime that statistical swedish citizens. They are even more inclined towards crime than refugees of christian or jewish religion from the same countries (Christian Lebanese, Christian Syrians, Iranian Jews etc). Muslim refugees are statistically less educated, they are statistically not inclined towards education like say, chinese, koreans and vietnamese.

They are statistically more unemployed than other socio groups. Those, who statistically get most help from the government per capita - are muslim refugees (close to 1 trillion SEK spent so far). This group is also most inclined towards crimes that did not end up in any specific conviction, like rioting, throwing stones, burning cars etc.

Statistically there are more complaints from this group on the Christian identity of Sweden, than from any other group (christmas is often not celebrated publicly, school visits to church are cancelled, priest speeches in kindergarten are audited, questions of Swedish flag, or the incorrectness of mortgage interest for a good muslim are raised more and more often)

Now, swedes could be as PC as a stone, but even they start to realize that something is STATISTICALLY wrong here. Statistics always not fair by definition, but if statistically I get robbed every week by SOME visitors, I may wish to stop inviting the entire group like Japan does, or ask for a deposit at the entrance, like Canada does. Or check the cridentials of the visitor, like Australia does.

What is racist about it?
14:52 September 3, 2010 by salongsvaenster
@ Uncle

First, the campaign goals you mention are ones which from a mainstream right-wing party (e.g. Moderaterna) could be, and in some cases, are proposed as policies - I am not taking part in this thread to argue for or against them - I have my own views on them which, as you might guess, differ from what you and other right-wingers hold.

My point is that when a bunch of racists like the SD present them they are not just the oversimplified knee-jerk responses which I hear from e.g. the Moderaterna - to me and many others who have seen and heard the true face of the SD and their fellow travellers, these statements are an attempt to sanitise their repellant message of provincial hate and small-minded, prejudiced bigotry. They are a smokescreen to lure voters that are disenchanted with the mainstream political parties - if you peer through the smoke, though, you can see, as in the original version of their attempted advert, the true colours of this sick party.

Millions died in WW2 to try and put a stop to the xenophobia and racism that is at the core of the SD - Sweden is, thank God, a long way from having anything like the historical or cultural conditions that could allow someone like Hitler and his mob of thugs to come to power, but vigilance is still needed to remind people what can happen when medieval thinking intrudes into 21st century politics.

(Re statistics, I've always believed that there are lies, damned lies and statistics - it all depends on what you want to prove with them)
15:26 September 3, 2010 by Uncle

Hold on, hold on.... So you are saying that the election slogans of SD (which hold for the past 2 years already, btw) are nothing, but slogans, and the actual face is something else.

Do you have a proof of that? Do you have a proof that they are hiding some monster that will come out of th cave the moment they get a mandate and throw all the foreigners into concentration camps, while shooting the muslims?

What are you basing your statements upon? What is it that is going to happen in Sweden? What awfully xenophobic laws are going to be accepted here? Did you even go to the site of SD? Did you even compare their proposals to those that are already implemented in most democratic and rich countries in the world?

Finally, why am I not hearing the same accusations towards the muslim population that (statisitcally) is treating beating children in the family, does not see rape of a wife as a rape, forcefully circumcise 12 y/o girls, sells girls at the age of 10 to old men, treats homosexuals with violence, expels convertees from family, forces women not to study or work, has poligamy, physically attacks Jews of Malmö for being Jews only? I mean, if you see so much behind the evil smoke of SD, how come you disregard completely the obvious that is not even covered?

Why are you so antagonistic towards europeans who express their dislike of the foreign, but totally ignorant towards known behaviour of other groups that is not far away at all from being defined as fascist?

Is it because you discount the above to "cultural differences" and to the assumption that we, as germanic/saxon/gaulic cultures should be above such a behavior?

What is the reason for such blind eye?
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