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Sweden: The Moderates Must Apologise

'They need to admit they made a mistake.' Translated from Paulina Neuding in Göteborgs-Posten.

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Paulina Neuding, born in Farsta, a southern suburb of Stockholm, in 1981, is a journalist, working 2009-2015 for Magasinet Neo and as a columnist for Svenska Dagbladet and Göteborgs-Posten.

Neuding's 2012 interview with Ilmar Reepalu renewed discussion of antisemitism in Malmö.

Neuding has been editor-in-chief of Press Judicata, the periodical for students of law.

Few can have missed the crossfire this spring when 1) Donald Trump made reference to Sweden; 2) politically correct Sweden tried to ridicule him for his remarks; 3) roaming reporter Tim Pool traveled to Sweden's 'no go zones'; and 4) politically correct Sweden waited for Pool's departure to systematically smear.

But there are serious issues in Sweden today, and people from the previous government are today prepared to admit they saw things coming years earlier - and then chose, for an undisclosed reason, to do nothing about them.

Paulina Neuding sounded off on the matter in Göteborgs-Posten.

[Note: in Sweden the 'Conservatives' are called the 'Moderates'. Ed.]

It was possible to predict the refugee crisis, admits former minister for migration Tobias Billström, yet prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt chose the path of open hearts and laid the grounds for today's immigration and integration issues. For the Moderates to be more believable when they now chart a new course, they must first apologise.

There's a 'low frequency crisis' in Swedish refugee policy, and immigration must be reduced from today's levels, says Tobias Billström, Sweden's former minister for migration, in an interview with Sydsvenskan.

It makes an interesting read if you want to understand the crisis of the Moderates.

Billström admits that the 'Alliance' government already in 2012-2013 were aware there'd be a wave of migrants to the EU, as more and more Syrians and Iraqis began gathering in Turkey. And he says he tried to convince PM Fredrik Reinfeldt to change course before the 2014 elections. But Reinfeldt instead appealed to voters to 'open their hearts' - and laid the groundwork for today's crisis in refugee processing and in the political helplessness when more and more voters abandon traditional parties for the Sweden Democrats.

Tobias Billström admits that it was possible to predict the migrant wave, as it was possible to predict a great number of today's issues with immigration and integration. None of today's serious issues - gang shootings, antisemitism in Malmö, sectarian conflicts, honour violence, and professional begging - were impossible to predict years ago. And the Moderates contributed to a high degree to a social climate where these issues weren't discussed.

Beatrice Ask, Moderate spokesperson in judicial matters, talks today of taking on gang violence. But gang violence is an example of a greater issue with the high crime rate amongst immigrants. When I met then-minister for justice Ask for an interview in 2010, I asked her if the high immigrant criminality worried her. She didn't only say it did not, she went on to question the question. 'What are you trying to do?' she replied back then, with palatable moralistic indignation.

It's not easy for a budding journalist to stand her ground when challenged like that.

The Moderates have so far indicated in an obtuse way that they plan on changing their migration policy. But to keep their credibility, they need to admit that today's issues with immigration and integration were predictable. And they need to admit they made a mistake, not only in their public bullying of those who warned of today's developments, but also in their dismissal of the warnings they heard.

And for that they need to apologise - and apologise in such a way that their apology is clearly the result of honest and uncompromising soul-searching.

Paulina Neuding
Journalist and jurist

See Also
Spectator /Neuding: Sweden divided in wake of Stockholm attack

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