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The Day Competence Rained Down on Sweden
A textbook case of media manipulation and perfecting the old game of propaganda.
FILIPSTAD, SWEDEN (Rixstep) — One might think it hard to catch Sweden's propaganda bullhorn 'SVT' (Sweden's Television) in a direct lie, but sometimes it works.
One of the most far-reaching and destructive of SVT's propaganda campaigns involved duping the people into really and truly believing that the orchestrated flood of migrants in 2015 - first called 'refugees' and then 'migrants' - was going to do them well, that they'd benefit.
And as with so many of these campaigns, the technique concentrates on a key phrase with slight variations, repeated over and over again. SVT used the primary phrase (meme) 'rain of competence' ('kompetensregn'). It was repeated over and over again.
It was a carefully constructed lie, as Pelle Zackrisson of Nyheter Idag reports.
The recent report from Uppdrag Granskning on the town of Filipstad was highlighted in social media because it exposes the issues with uneducated and even illiterate migrants in the workplace.
But back in 2015, SVT sang a different tune - they said that the migrant flood represented a 'rain of competence', a 'massive skills import', and finally 'the greatest rain of competence our country has ever experienced' [sic].
In the summer of 2015, SVT published a series of articles about how well educated the new migrants were. In an article published 3 June 2015, with the headline 'Thousands of Well Educated Migrants Arriving in Sweden', the reader was told that 'there is a growing rain of competence'.
'There is a massive import going on in Sweden - an import of skills. Of the migrants coming to Sweden, many of them have diplomas from universities and technical institutes.'
That was a deliberate lie, carefully constructed to lend an air of legitimacy, as shall be seen.
Only 10% of the Syrians, the largest migrant group in 2015, had any education beyond high school, as revealed in a report from the National Statistics Bureau (SCB).
This is something that independent journalist Rebecca Uvell noted in an article from 2015.
In another article in the series, SVT again lied when stating 'one in three Syrian migrants has higher education'. The article states that 37% of those who arrived in 2014 had higher education.
But the definition of 'higher education', according to the National Statistics Bureau and as SVT are well aware, is having at least three years of education in addition to a high school diploma. According to this official definition, only 15% of those in the age group 25-64 actually had higher education.
So here's what SVT did to fudge the statistics: instead of using official definitions, they inflated their numbers by including, as higher education, Koran schools, barber training schools, and other forms of simple low-level training, including those of the military.
Tino Sanandaji, Sweden's well known economist, pointed this out.
Four Years Later...
Now it's four years later. And those articles still have not been corrected. But, on the other hand, SVT recently reported that the number of illiterates in the migrant flood continues to grow...
Reporter Pelle Zackrisson tried to reach SVT for comment.
Appendix - Table: Average Years of Education for Migrants
This table, with a collation of official statistics by 'Ekonomifakta', a Swedish employers association, seems to be not for higher education, but total education in general, including elementary school and above.
Appendix - SVT Excerpt: 'Syrians come with sought-after professions'
More than half of the Syrian refugees who come here have occupations that are in demand in Sweden, SVT's review shows. Despite this, many have to wait several years to get to work.
Competence is raining down on Sweden right now. Years of study, doctoral dissertations, and impressive degrees. This is seen clearly in statistics from the Employment Service. Every third Syrian who comes to Sweden has higher education, the SVT review shows. Now add on those who don't have a university degree but a profession in demand in Sweden, such as automobile repair.
When SVT took a closer look at the professions and education of the Syrian refugees, they found that 66 percent of those enrolled in establishment projects have professions for which there is demand or high demand in Sweden.
'So it should go pretty fast for these highly educated refugees to get jobs.'
'It would be terrible if our society could not benefit from the contributions of these people.'
'Lucie Raid thinks this is a defining moment: how will Sweden deal with the biggest rain of skills that has ever fallen onto this country?'
Nyheter Idag: Kompetensregnet - så ljög SVT