John Derbyshire: Scandinavian Reserve on Immigration Is Breaking Down
The performance of Norway’s conservative/populist/classical-liberal Progress Party in that country’s September 9th election caused much shrieking and swooning on the multicultural left.
Nilsen’s column [sic] led off with a picture of fellow Norwegian Anders Breivik, perpetrator of the appalling July 2011 murders in Oslo and nearby Utøya Island. The connection here was that Breivik had belonged to the Progress Party in 1999-2007, resigning his membership because he found the party’s line against multiculturalism insufficiently stern.
For an approximate equivalent, you can imagine VDARE.com running a story about Democrats doing well in the 2014 congressional midterm elections, the story prominently decorated with a picture of Washington Navy Yard killer Aaron Alexis, a liberal Democrat. (We promise not to.)
Mr. Nilsen’s hyperventilating is even stranger in that the Progress Party’s performance in this election was not very good, their representation in Norway’s 169-seat parliament dropping from 41 seats to 29.
What disturbed Mr. Nilsen was rather the overall performance of the rightist parties, which together attained a wafer-thin parliamentary majority of 2 seats over the left-green coalition, which has been ruling since 2009 with a majority of 7. Some “lurch”!
Indeed, analysts discount the drop in support for Progress by noting that the Conservative Party, which did exceptionally well—from 30 seats to 48—has adopted some of the Progress Party’s ideas, leading Progress supporters to some strategic vote-switching.
The rightist majority will only be a majority if Progress is fully included in government. Everyone assumes they will be. Progress helped prop up a center-right coalition in 2001-2005, but the coalition parties did not bring them in to decision-making. Now, with less of a fjord to be bridged between Conservative and Progress policy positions, there is no longer any reason for the mainstream Right to keep Progress at arm’s length.
Progress is pretty much what VDARE.com urges our own Republican Party to be: low-tax, small-government, classical-liberal, culturally conservative, and immigration-restrictionist. It is led by 44-year-old, agreeably-Scandinavian-looking Siv Jensen (who, although a spinster, is not a strumpet: the headline “Siv Jensen har stumpet røyken” on that 2011 link translates as “Siv Jensen has quit smoking”).
Even more encouraging to us, Progress went through a schism in the early 1990s over open-borders libertarianism. The Paulites eventually decamped and formed their own party, which soon withered on the vine.
Other good news from Norway: two years ago the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), a mainstream-conservative business lobby, came out against unskilled immigration, noting that (via Google Translate):
Immigrants threaten the welfare state and [cost] too much. They work for a short time before they end up on welfare and [are] too little productive. [NHO will have fewer immigrants, ABC Nyheter, May 10, 2011.]
There are some slight qualifications to be made there. The immigration being spoken of in the NHO report, which it is now quite respectable to oppose, is of Muslims and Africans—“asylum seekers,” in the Euro-jargon of immigration. Immigration of Swedes, Poles, and Russians into Norway’s small (5.1m) population is quite high and not objected to by anyone much, certainly not by business groups.
And traditional Scandinavian xenophilia remains intense among Norwegian elites. It was Norwegians, remember, who gave the Nobel Peace Prize to just-elected President Barack Obama for . . . Well, let’s be blunt: for being black. And much harm has already been done to Norway by mass Muslim immigration.
Still, a friend in Norway tells me that the configuration on the political right over there is “somewhat as if we had had intelligent Republican politicians in the U.S.A.” We can dream.
Across the border in Sweden, meanwhile, the government has announced that it will give permanent resident status to all Syrian refugees who apply for asylum.
Since the United Nations has logged two million Syrians as being in a refugee status, with 4.25 million more displaced within the country, while Sweden’s entire current population is only 9.5 million, this may qualify as the most insane public policy declaration in recent years, anywhere in the world—crazier even than George W. Bush’s 2002 call for the trashing of rational credit standards in home-mortgage lending.
More astonishing yet, the government responsible for this bizarre decision is a center-right alliance dominated by the classic-liberal, low-tax, business-friendly Moderate Party. Though by no means VDARE.com conservatives, the alliance is well to the right of the Social Democrats who dominated Sweden in the post-WW2 decades and famously excited the disapproval of Dwight Eisenhower (antepenultimate paragraph here).
The nearest Swedish equivalent to Norway’s Progress Party is the Sweden Democrats (by no means to be confused with the Social Democrats), who, since first entering the Swedish parliament in 2010, hold 20 of the 349 seats there.
The respectability gap between the Sweden Democrats and the governing center-right alliance is far wider than the Norwegian equivalent, though—more a gulf than a fjord. All the other parties in parliament have declared policies of non-cooperation with them;
Some of the difference springs from the personalities of the two nations. Until oil began to gush in the 1980s, Norway was a poor country of isolated, windswept settlements. Sweden was wealthier and more cosmopolitan—for a while in the modern era, even imperialist.
A rough comparison would be the Scots versus the English. Through poverty and hardship Norwegians became flintier, more cautious, and more sensible. Their great burst of prosperity this past 30 years has been well managed. The oil-rich Gulf Emirates have vending machines to dispense gold bars, and import Pakistanis and Filipinos to do all the work; oil-rich Norway has salted away their oil profits in a national fund for future generations.
The Sweden Democrats, like the British National Party, also had difficulty shaking off actual (as opposed to merely MSM-alleged) Neo-Nazi sympathizers brought along from its precursor parties. This was far less of an issue in Norway, which, unlike Sweden or Britain, was actually occupied by the Wehrmacht.
We should not, therefore, expect the Sweden Democrats to be a key component of their nation’s government soon, as Norway’s Progress Party has become. They are there in parliament, though, one more European political party speaking up for patriotic immigration reform.
Someone needs to do it. The ten days of rioting in immigrant areas of southern Sweden this May showed how far Sweden has gone down the path of national suicide. The city of Malmö is now a byword for Muslim violence and intolerance. The city’s small number of Jews are particular targets:
One who has had enough is Marcus Eilenberg, a 32-year-old Malmö-born lawyer, who is moving to Israel in April with his young family.
“Malmö has really changed in the past year,” he said. “I am optimistic by nature, but I have no faith in a future here for my children. There is definitely a threat . . .
Mr. Eilenberg said he and his wife considered moving to Stockholm where Jews feel safer than in Malmö. “But we decided not to because in five years time I think it will be just as bad there,” he said. [Jews leave Swedish city after sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes, Daily Telegraph, February 21, 2010.]
I wonder if it is too late for Mr. Eilenberg to have a word with Barbara Lerner Spectre?
Ann Corcoran at Refugee Resettlement Watch has a valuable paper trail, going back several years, on the consequences of mass immigration into Sweden. I refer readers to that link for further hair-raising details.
(And while I think of it, some archives from the long-defunct blog by Norwegian “Fjordman” survive on the internet in defiance of Peter Brimelow’s glum prediction. Fjordman has also published a book, Defeating Eurabia.)
I shall have to leave the Danes, Finns, Icelanders, and Faroese for another time, but there is plainly a great deal to say about the future demographic prospects for Norway and Sweden. After years of conventional Scandinavian reserve, the peoples of those nations are at last beginning to say it.
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by VDARE.com com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.
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