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Swedish press: scandal shows 'true face' of Sweden Democrats

The Local · 15 Nov 2012, 14:47

Published: 15 Nov 2012 14:47 GMT+01:00

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The film clip, recorded in 2010 and published this week by the Expressen newspaper, shows prominent Sweden Democrat members Kent Ekeroth, Erik Almqvist and Christian Westling scuffling with a drunken man, shouting at a woman, and then arming themselves with iron bars.

The independently liberal broadsheet Dagens Nyheter (DN) calls the film a “depiction of the true face of the Sweden Democrats”.

The editorial writers question the statement made by party head Jimmie Åkesson that he was unaware of the existence of the film and of its content.

“As the fight and the documentation of the incident already has been subject to crisis management it is rather unlikely that no one else in the party leadership knew of Almqvist’s actions," the paper wrote.

“Such a revelation would be Åkesson’s nightmare scenario; it would rock the Sweden Democrats to their core.”

According to DN, the massive support shown for Almqvist by fellow party members on his Facebook page only goes to show that there is widespread acceptance of this kind of behaviour, despite the party leadership's lofty promises of a zero-tolerance policy for racism.

The independently Social Democrat tabloid Aftonbladet argues that the future of the Sweden Democrats now rests on how Åkesson handles the situation and whether he manages to convince Sweden that he knew nothing of Almqvist’s and Ekeroth’s escapades.

“If it turns out that Jimmie Åkesson knew – and covered up – the attack on Kungsgatan, he ought to accompany Ekeroth,” Aftonbladet wrote.

The consequences for Åkesson and the party could potentially be disastrous, argues the paper.

Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), Sweden’s independently liberal-conservative broadsheet, questioned why society was surprised over the latest scandal rocking the Sweden Democrats.

“These kinds of incidents are as old as the party itself,” SvD wrote.

“Despite party head Jimmie Åkesson’s big clean-out of the more shady elements and despite the zero-tolerance policy against racism that Åkesson announced last month, one racist party member after another has been exposed. This last time within the very inner core of the party.”

However, the paper said that the party may see out this latest scandal and come out of it almost untarnished if Åkesson manages to distance the party from these prominent but now disgraced figureheads.

This being said, SvD argues, the party's future is far from safe, as there is a big difference between getting in and staying in the Riksdag.

The independently liberal tabloid Expressen wrote that there are two layers to the Sweden Democrats and that the inner and the outer layer are completely different parties.

“Within the party there is a broad understanding that the anti-racism is a front meant for the rest of the world. That’s why serious racist expletives cause very little consternation. Lies that are for the good of the party are good lies; that’s why they respect that Almqvist lied,” the paper wrote.

Indeed, leaders of the party's youth wing, the SDU, slammed Åkesson in an opinion article published in DN on Thursday, arguing he was wrong to oust Almqvist.

"To impulsively take away the responsibilities of a prominent representative of the party isn't taking responsibility, it's succumbing to a witch hunt by the media," SDU chair Gustav Kasselstrand and vice chair William Hahne wrote.

Expressen argues further that Åkesson has sacrificed his “crown prince” to keep up appearances but that he will suffer the consequences from within the party:

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“Many will find the play to the galleries has gone too far when one of the most important politicians was forced away for expressing opinions that not too long ago were seen as uncontroversial within the party.”

The paper questions how Åkesson will be able to keep up his zero-tolerance policy without leaving the majority of party members by the wayside.

“The front has once and for all cracked and the Sweden Democrat’s inherent brutality is plain for all to see.”

Rebecca Martin

Follow Rebecca on Twitter here.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:15 November 15, 2012 by Rishonim
The independently liberal tabloid Expressen wrote that there are two layers to the Sweden Democrats and that the inner and the outer layer are completely different parties.

I think we could go a tab further and claim that there are two layers to the Swedish population in general with regards to the treatments of foreigners as well as Swedish born of foreign origins. And I am not talking about refugees..

No positive quality possessed by a false idea is removed by the presence of what is true, in virtue of its being true. Spinoza
16:22 November 15, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Sweden has gone PC mad! Who cares if some people were called names?! They need to grow some thicker skin and get over it.

Why is the mainstream Swedish media not reporting the teenage honor killing that is reported here in The Local? These crimes from refugees of "The religion of peace" are what Swedes should be worried about!
16:39 November 15, 2012 by calebian22
This will blow over for one very important reason. Non-integration of refugees is a huge problem that none of the other parties are discussing. 4 liberal rags calling SD finished, once and for all, is as laughable as the immigration policies of the parties they suck up too.
15:33 November 16, 2012 by Dan in Halmstad
Hang on a second. The footage is from Ekeroth's mobile camera??? If it was so damning how did it get into the hands of liberal Expressen? Maybe Ekeroth was proud that he got it on film and bragging about how these pipe wielding macho SDs took it to those lesser humans. The fact that it comes from Ekeroth's camera says more about the SDs than anything on the film itself.
15:35 November 16, 2012 by djmarko
2 wrongs surely dont make a right, of course they should do more about honour killing, i think murder is murder, they should not treat honour killings any different in the name of religion or culture, at the same time, there is no need for the SD to sex up their party to make it more appealing to moderates, people know them for what they represent, they will gain more respect if they can stay true to their values!!! no need for false representation, they clearly have a lof of riff raffs within their party ranks, more will get exposed soon!!
08:54 November 19, 2012 by rise

Yes the native Swedes are divided in two; the politically correct who aren't having the guts to speak with the voice of their own - afraid as they are of being called xenophobic racists, a fear that is quite understandable in this the sickly politically correct country - versus the more traditionally Swedes who do not care what they're being called. And whose only wish is to be left alone.
15:31 November 19, 2012 by prince T
I agree with u r@rise. The pc swedes believes that the world is a global village. The talk of new and old swede is racist and senseless. Sweden has lost her glory- other progressive country accept right people and not refugee with nothing to offfer. see obama, see british olympians or german football team. no wonder germany is the most stable economy in europe.

the funny thing with SD, is that most of the SD parliamentarian have left due to drugs, alcohol and otther issues. SD has dragged the honour of being an electeed officeer in the mud. ekeroth carrying rod in broad day liight, have wild parties that required police attention. I read about borås kommune that more than half of their SD ledamot have left. guess what SD, opinion poll is still high in borås. the traditional, backward and jobbless swedes illvote for them reegardess.
12:19 November 20, 2012 by Dyderich
The sad part @rise is that this is not only a Swedish problem but a problem all across Europe.

It appears that so many countries are now bloated with these PC politicians that they believe everyone will hold hands and sing Kumba Ya....when the reality is social programs being inundated with non-Swedes, cultural diminishment as more and more foreigners seek to place their culture over their "newly adopted" country's culture and will not instead adopt their new country's culture.

You always ask...why do people want to come here and then make it into some 3rd world country that the person just left??? If they so love their old country, stay there....It just boggles the mind
09:04 November 21, 2012 by Rap43
Integration is the answer?

Refugees, by definition, are people forced out of their native country against their will - why would they want to integrate?

Most especially, why would they want to integrate into the country the SD envisage - one where intolerance is a virtue, hate is a prized emotion and isolation from the rest of the world the highest national goal.
14:17 November 22, 2012 by Freedaysaregooddays
@Prince T.

"The pc swedes believes that the world is a global village. The talk of new and old swede is racist and senseless."

Correction: The PC Swede does NOT believe the world is a global village at all. Instead he believes that SWEDEN is a global village. And he believes that EUROPE is a global village. But he does NOT believe the WORLD is a global village. Because outside of Europe the average PC nut actually deplores the loss of a country's original culture and its inhabitants. And he usually vigorously defends the rights of people from non-European cultures to resist globalization if they don't want it.

Sometimes I wonder if the average PC person is even aware of the world hypocrite?
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