The Tidö party leaders. Photograph by Tom Samuelsson - Eget arbete, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=128410949
Marcus Larsson, with the think tank Balans, has recently published an audit that shows how elected politicians in Stockholm are simultaneously (!) employed by lobbyist firms - the core business idea of which is to influence politicians.
Society's capital mania has trickled down to the young via social media and influencers.
'An entire generation of young people has been shaped by gangsterism, materialistic worship and money obsession on the Internet without their parents' knowledge,' writes criminal investigator and YouTuber Luay Mohageb.
Are there any conclusions to be drawn for Sweden?
According to Statistics Sweden, the income differences were the highest since the measurements began in 1975.
The distribution of wealth is more unequal than in almost any comparable country in the Western world and more skewed than in El Salvador, Nigeria and Venezuela, according to Swiss bank UBS.1
During the year 2023, the Sweden Democrats (SD) have tested their wings more. By that I mean they are continuing to try out old techniques, something that one of the party founders, Richard Jomshof, has briefly described in secret Facebook groups: we are not allowed to write and talk that way yet.
He's referring to how SD supporters communicate regarding 'immigrants'2, about rights that should be taken away from them, and how the Swedish constitution should be changed so that people who are not 'loyal' to the party lose their citizenship (which currently goes against both the Swedish constitution and EU law). How Jews and Sámi should not be seen as Swedes3. About how the climate disaster that threatens to wipe out all life on earth should be handled by doing as little as possible, by simply sending some coin abroad6.
In other words, SD continuously push the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in order to make themselves the norm.
When Bengt Westerberg roughly two decades ago left a TV studio in protest4 against a couple of xenophobes—the founders of the political party New Democracy; the persons were Bert Karlsson and Ian Wachtmeister—who entered the studio, the Swedish commonplace view of normality has significantly changed; our current prime minister sees no problem in the fact that he lied to a holocaust survivor (Hédi Fried) that the Moderates will never cooperate with the Sweden Democrats5; today, the Moderates bleed voters that mainly leave for SD7. These days, SD doesn't even feel the need to distance themselves when one of their Riksdag members says that Jews are not Swedes3.
Jimmie Åkesson, the SD party leader, no longer bothers to comment that Ulf Hansen, drummer in Ultima Thule—Åkesson's favorite band—spreads far-right conspiracy theories online and openly supports a criminal network (Hells Angels) while for years he 'represents the party in the Nyköping city council and is an employee and columnist on the SD-owned news site Samtiden.'8 This is today considered by SD and the Tidö parties to be acceptable behaviour.
A Facebook post by Ulf Hansen where he shares a racist conspiracy theory. He writes 'A controvirsial [sic] video. The truth has many sides. Judge for yourself.'
The so-called Tidö parties is a collection of Swedish right-wing parties (SD, Moderates, Christian Democrats, and Liberals) that in 2022 gathered at Tidö Castle and created a dictat named the Tidö Agreement9, which shows the main goals for their four governing years. The Tidö Agreement contains near-Biblical passages, for example, 'An investigation must therefore be appointed to analyze the conditions for reintroducing the possibility of deporting foreigners of poor character.'10 Yes, morality is put into place, which is startling, not only because of the lobbying I described in the opening quote in this article, but also because several of the minsters have been found guilty of different crimes that put their own 'moralities' into focus, for example, how Ulf Kristersson (the current Swedish prime minister and leader of the Moderate party) illegally hired cleaners11, how Ebba Busch was sentenced for grave defamation12, how Johan Pehrson (leader of the Liberal party) lobbies for hundreds of millions of Euro to be spent on security guards while owning a security-guard company15, not to mention the history of SD13 and how they currently allow racism, homophobia14, and, as mentioned in this article, spreading of racist conspiracy theories.
The SD still see Hungary as a utopia16. This is why they vote against Sweden to stop funneling money to Hungary as long as the country is ruled by a pronounced anti-democratic and anti-scientific fascist power.
The EU Parliament has determined that Hungary can no longer be seen as a democracy, something that SD opposed17. The Sweden Democrats are biding their time until they have complete power. So far, they thrive on being a party of discontent that blames the rulers; it absolutely includes the other Tidö parties. This has caused internal friction between the Tidö parties, somewhich which will likely occur more frequently in 2024 as the parties need to seriously engage with politics instead of trying to bow to SD demands.
If we set SD aside and consider how their politics are infecting other parties:
The party's stance on the climate crisis is extreme. But the most frightening thing about the Sweden Democrats' 'climate policy' is not that it is so life-threateningly lousy, so sabotaging - but that in a blue-brown coalition it is fully compatible with the Moderates and the Christian Democrats18.
Instead of caring about what can end all life on Earth, SD and M care about trying to stamp out immigration; remember that most people who immigrate to Sweden are from the north; I mention it because it makes clear how anti-intellectual and anti-scientific SD (and their cronies) really are: they care about being against people based the darkness of their skin; just look at how people who immigrated from, for example, Saudi Arabia are treated compared with immigrants from Denmark. Back to how SD and the Tidöparties want to attack organised crime: Gunnar Strömmer, Minister of Justice, cares about confisc ating clothes from gang criminals19, while he has not commented on how we should act against the gang criminals who cause the most harm to the economy of Sweden: people in the world of finance.
In Swedish, I have previously written about how economic crime in Sweden is estimated to cost the country at least 5% of our GDP20, compared to the fraction that immigration costs; do note that economic crime (naturally) only costs society money; immigration not only generates money but is mandatory for Sweden to be a functioning state, for many reasons; economic crime doesn't really matter to the Tidö parties.
The fact that our economy is predicted to be the worst in the EU this year is a direct consequence of the high loan levels. In order to reach this less-than-enviable position, we have paid dearly.
According to forecasts from the Economic Regulatory Agency, the bill for the interest deduction will land at 57 billion [Swedish crowns, around 5.7 billion Euro] this year and 59 billion the next year.
Add the fact that companies are allowed to deduct interest expenses up to a certain limit and the cost becomes even greater.
The banks are also, unlike many other industries, exempt from VAT, which further lowers the price for private customers and stimulates the selling of loans.
In a government investigation in 2016, the cost of the financial sector's VAT exemption was calculated at around 19 billion [SEK, around 1.9 billion Euro] per year in unpaid taxes.
For 2023, it is estimated to be around 30 billion per year.
The interest deduction and VAT exemption therefore mean that the state subsidizes the banks with over 100 billion [SEK, around 10 billion Euro] per year.
That is more than what the banks contribute in Swedish corporation tax. According to annual reports, Nordea, SEB, Swedbank, and Handelsbanken paid a total of 21 billion [SEK, around 2.1 billion Euro] in taxes in Sweden in 2022.
The figure includes the new special risk tax that was introduced last year and which the banks protested against wildly.
Here is also a likely explanation for why Swedish politicians engaged in what looks like economic self-harm.
Someone has whispered in their ear.21
In other words: the Riksbank—the central bank of Sweden—have failed the Swedish citizens and our politicians are lobbyists.
Ulf Kristersson, our Prime Minister, runs politics with the aim of schools being run as capitalist companies: profit comes before everything else in such companies, anything else would harm the shareholders. I have written about this in detail in Swedish22. A brief summary of Kristersson's lobbyist situation:
- The Prime Minister is married to a person who sits on an private-school board.
- The Prime Minister owns a summer cottage with a board member of the school group that is owned by a Moderate.
- The Minister of Education is a board member of the school group owned by a former Liberal-party member of government.23
In 2023, Björn Söder was kicked from the SD leadership24. Several sources point out that this is not only due to internal strife—notably in the 'gang of four' (the four founders of modern-day SD)—but also in the relationship between SD and their youth organisation. When Söder got fired, he found out via a call from the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. Good communication, anyone? This is usually a sign of chaos within a party, especially considering that Söder has long been among their four main persons. On the other hand, SD is built on hatred which still is a guiding party force.
There are plenty of examples of how SD sweeps inconveniences under the rug. And it is precisely these inconveniences that destroy rational thought if swept away: if addressed, they can be dealt with in rational and reasonable ways. Otherwise, they will be swept under the rug. You can only have so many corpses in your closet until they stink up your whole life. And what happens when someone comes to visit? They will clearly and distinctly notice the stench and not want to stay at our house for very long. And so Sweden can become at a worse level than currently.
When SD last had problems with its youth organisation, a significant number of youth-organisation members resigned. Some of them formed Alternativ för Sverige25, a new political party that clearly stuck to SD's roots, i.e. clearly pronounced right-wing extremism. This is exactly what Jomshof (still) wants to avoid: don't yet behave in the way we want things to go. Everything has to run smoothly for now, so that our true colors can come out later.
In 2023, SD tactics were the same as before the last parliamentary election: to continue to be a party of discontent, sit back, and complain. SD blame the other parties for various kinds of failures even though their own policies are often not significantly different from what's failed; for example, SD has always been against Sweden joining NATO until recently26, without the party explaining their about-face in the slightest.
It might seem strange that SD are arguing with the Tidö parties, but stabbing your confidants in the back is a common thing in the House of SD. I could have tipped you to ask William Petzäll about how he was treated by his party...
Back to Jomshof. The best way to see through what he wants for Sweden in 2024 is perhaps to read about Victor Klemperer, a language professor in Germany, and most importantly his diary; he kept a diary during the Second World War. Klemperer's words told a tale of how horrific and antisocial language gradually became normalized. He wrote The Language of the Third Reich, a book about how the Nazis changed people's way of thinking through language.
Victor Klemperer. By Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S90733 / Kemlein, Eva / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5436779
Klemperer's diaries (three volumes) and language book go a long way in helping us understand how unscientific nonsense can quickly take over worlds of thought. When we start blaming ethnic groups or nationalities for things that we ourselves can remedy, we are behaving not only childishly, but inhumane: I believe a healthy human being is both empathetic and sympathetic: we want to help each other. It's one of the major human traits. Those who sow discontent and lie do not deserve trust. They can be helped and then trusted.
The people who vote for SD and the Tidö parties are not evil. They are not damaged nor beyond 'repair'. The parties are the problem.
Imagine a political party in human form. Would you trust that person? Would you let them take care of your baby for a week? Would you want to be friends with them?
If the answer is no, you shouldn't vote for them. Sure, no party is perfect, but who is? Nobody. If you feel small and lonely and start thinking that one person can't possibly make any kind of difference, remember people like Fred Hampton, Maryam Mirzakhani, Socrates, and members of the small White Rose group; they've all felt alone and lonely. If you do nothing, nothing will happen. Whatever you do doesn't have to be perfect. As long as it comes from a place of well-wishing for your fellow human beings, you're doing the right thing. You don't need me to tell you that; you know it to be true.
This is why we fight against injustice and oppression. People filled with hate, trying to hide behind the name of a political party. People who don't want the ones with the least to have a fragment of what they have. This is sick behaviour. To fight against that is only the right thing to do.
Like Howard Zinn said: 'You can't be neutral on a moving train.'
Personally, I believe this word is nearly always a misnomer; one may immigrate somewhere, but unless you do it for a living, you're probably not an 'immigrant'; this is a pet peeve of mine. ↩
Glaad, Erik. ‘SD:s riksdagsledamot: ”Judar är inte svenskar”’. Expo. Accessed 21 December 2023. https://expo.se/2023/11/sds-riksdagsledamot-%E2%80%9Djudar-ar-inte-svenskar%E2%80%9D. ↩↩
Mattias Mächs, ‘Bengt Westerberg lämnar studion’, Svenska Dagbladet, 15 September 2014, sec. Sverige, https://www.svd.se/a/2fbe3ed3-5a26-360a-ba76-059808bca83b/bengt-westerberg-lamnar-studion. ↩
Naturskyddsföreningen. ‘Vi Granskar Partiernas Miljöpolitik: Sverigedemokraterna’. Accessed 22 January 2024. https://www.naturskyddsforeningen.se/artiklar/granskning-sverigedemokraternas-miljopolitk/. ↩
Torvalds, Patricia. ‘Moderaterna tappar väljare till SD – Lars (M): Eldar på en’. Sveriges Radio, 27 October 2023, sec. P4 Halland. https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/moderaterna-tappar-valjare-till-sd-lars-m-eldar-pa-en. ↩
Vergara, Daniel, and Jonathan Leman. ‘Ultima Thules trummis sprider fascism i SD:s tidning’. Expo. Accessed 22 December 2023. https://expo.se/2019/07/ultima-thules-trummis-sprider-fascism-i-sds-tidning. ↩
‘Tidö Agreement’. In Wikipedia, 16 January 2024. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tid%C3%B6_Agreement&oldid=1196119449. ↩
Anna Gustafsson, ‘Kristersson köpte svart städhjälp’, Svenska Dagbladet, 7 November 2007, sec. Sverige, https://www.svd.se/a/ad7062d4-c07b-3fea-a65a-88c9e07274af/kristersson-kopte-svart-stadhjalp. ↩
Sveriges Radio. ‘Kristdemokraternas partiledare Ebba Busch erkänner brott’. 2 July 2021, sec. Radio Sweden på lätt svenska. https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/kristdemokraternas-partiledare-ebba-busch-erkanner-brott. ↩
Bridge Initiative. ‘Factsheet: Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna)’. Accessed 22 January 2024. https://bridge.georgetown.edu/research/factsheet-sweden-democrats/. ↩
Nyheter, S. V. T. ‘Björn Söder (SD) menar Pride legitimerar pedofili – möter kritik från regeringsföreträdare’. SVT Nyheter, 3 August 2023. https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/bjorn-soder-sd-menar-pride-legitimerar-pedofili-moter-kritik-fran-regeringsforetradare. ↩
Finnsjö, Morgan. ‘SD står fortfarande på det ungerska tyranniets sida’. Expo, 2022-09-16. https://expo.se/2022/09/sd-star-fortfarande-pa-det-ungerska-tyranniets-sida. ↩
DN.se. ‘Synen på Ungern splittrar högerblocket – SD röstade emot fördömande’, 15 September 2022. https://www.dn.se/sverige/synen-pa-ungern-splittrar-hogerblocket-i-eu-sd-rostade-emot-fordomande/. ↩
Gustavsson, Andreas. ‘SD:s klimatförnekelse är ett existentiellt hot’. Dagens ETC, 3 August 2021. https://www.etc.se/ledare/sds-klimatfornekelse-ar-ett-existentiellt-hot. ↩
Aagård, Martin. ‘Ut med packet från NK’. Dagens ETC, 20 December 2023. https://www.etc.se/kommentar/ut-med-packet-fraan-nk. ↩
Larsson, Marcus. ‘Https://Twitter.Com/Skolinkvisition/Status/1582289453749792775’. X (tidigare Twitter). Accessed 22 December 2023. https://twitter.com/Skolinkvisition/status/1582289453749792775. ↩
SVT Nyheter and Markus Botsjö. ‘Björn Söder petas ur SD:s partistyrelse’. SVT Nyheter, 7 November 2023. https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/uppgifter-till-svd-bjorn-soder-petas-ur-sds-partistyrelse–01x4zz. ↩
Expo. ‘Alternativ för Sverige (AFS)’. 13 October 2022. ttps://expo.se/fakta/wiki/alternativ-f%C3%B6r-sverige-afs. ↩
Dalsbro, Anders. ‘Sverigedemokraterna och Nato’. Expo, 10 May 2022. https://expo.se/2022/05/sverigedemokraterna-och-nato. ↩