A few thoughts on the passing scene to start the week:
~Nine years ago I was interviewed on Danish TV by one of the country’s most eminent media bigshots, Kurt Strand. I well remember the look of astonishment on his face when I gave my assessment of Malmö, the first Christian city in what was then Denmark and now on course to be the first Muslim city in Sweden. I in turn was astonished that he appeared to be entirely unaware of what was happening just a half-hour train ride across the Øresund Sound from where we were sitting:
Just shy of a decade on, thanks to the invaluable Gatestone Institute, I learn the following:
“Since 2015, 32 people have been shot dead in 30 separate acts in Malmö’s latest murder wave. Our survey of the murders shows that more than 120 young men are linked to them in different ways”, according to a recent series of reports about gang violence in the Swedish mainstream newspaper, Sydsvenskan.
That might not sound a lot to some of our readers, but Sweden was until recently a very peaceful society: In 2006 there were eight gun murders in the entire country; by 2017 that total was up to 43. And, as the Malmö statistics suggest, those murders are concentrated in certain, ahem, southern cities with certain, ah, distinctive demographic features. For example, a third of all murdered women in Sweden are the victims of “honor” killings. The majority of convicted rapists are of foreign birth – and, in the case of rape where the victim does not know her attacker, the proportion rises to over eighty per cent.
And then there are the bombs:
Analyst Ylva Ehrlin said that between January and October, the southern region of Sweden had seen 71 separate explosions, more than double the number from the previous year’s 34 incidents, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
“We have ten million people in Sweden, but I have not found any equivalent of this level of explosions in any industrialised country,” Ehrlin told the broadcaster.
The cultural stereotypes of other nations are invariably lagging indicators: North Americans still think of Sweden as a land of svelte blond pacifist swingers lounging in an Ikea hot tub listening to Abba and (if you’re a “democratic socialist” like Bernie and his young acolytes) enjoying the benefits of the most enlightened welfare programs in the world. In reality, Swedes will be an ethnic minority in their own country within three decades – or the distance from 1990 to now.
Still, perhaps things will have settled down by then:
Flera intressanta slutsatser kan dras av materialet i denna studie…
För första gången begås numera fler brott – räknat i absoluta tal – av personer med utländsk bakgrund än av personer med svenskt ursprung…
Den mest brottsbelastade befolkningsmässiga undergruppen är inrikes födda av två utrikes födda föräldrar.
Which means, more or less:
Several interesting conclusions can be drawn from the material in this study…
For the first time, more crimes are now committed – in absolute terms – by persons with a foreign background than those with Swedish origin…
The most crime-prone population sub-group is native-born to two foreign-born parents.
That last will be used to argue that the problem is not “immigrants” but “native-born Swedes”, and that therefore the fault lies, as usual, with the host country. That’s if it’s ever mentioned at all. One reason why Kurt Strand was so bewildered by my assertion nine years ago is that the Swedish media – which is the worst even by Scandinavian standards – sees its principal responsibility with regard to this topic as being the avoidance of all mention of it.
The first requirement of statecraft is prudence. We – Scandinavia, Europe, the west – have been stunningly imprudent. And in Sweden of all unlikely once-blessed places they are about to reap the whirlwind, and they have not a clue what to do about it, or even how to broach the subject honestly.
More from me here.
~On a related theme, an epidemic of hate stalks Connecticut:
Police and federal agents are investigating “hate-filled flyers and inscriptions” left around Western Connecticut State University’s campus Thursday night in Danbury…
One flyer read “It’s OK to be white” and the other read “Islam is right about women,” Steinmetz said.
University officials immediately reported the flyers to Danbury and state police and referred the messages to the FBI office in New Haven, all of whom were investigating who made the flyers on Friday, Steinmetz said.
Well, obviously it’s not in the least bit “OK to be white”, and one can see why the white guy with the waspy name (Clark) who serves as president of the university has called in no fewer than three police agencies to investigate it. But I’m curious to know why the pasty-faced Clark regards it as “hate-filled” to say “Islam is right about women”?
The biens pensants have spent the years since 9/11 assuring us that being a chattel in a body bag who can’t leave the house or feel sunlight on her face without the permission of a male relative is just the latest exciting evolution in “a woman’s right to choose”. After such a stunningly successful promotional campaign, why would you be surprised that the idea’s catching on?
~One more of those internal contradictions. Yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph:
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 2, 2019
As my old boss Boris Johnson has been pointing out, on December 13th one of only two men will be the British Prime Minister: him, or Jeremy Corbyn. The polls show 40 per cent of voters support Boris’ Tories, 24 per cent Jezza’s Labour.
But this is a multi-party system with huge and unpredictable regional variations. The Conservatives have to win on their own: their only allies the DUP – Northern Ireland’s biggest party – have abandoned them over Johnson’s new Brexit deal.
By contrast, in a hung parliament, Scotland’s biggest party – the SNP – would vote to put Corbyn in Number Ten. So would the Liberal Democrats, and Plaid Cymru and the Greens and everybody else.
Except, that is, Britain’s longtime Labour-voting Jews:
Shockingly, nearly half (47 percent) said they would “seriously consider” emigrating if Corbyn won. When it comes to perceptions about party leaders, 87 percent deemed the Labour leader to be antisemitic.
Oddly, as you can see from their headline, even The Jewish News buries the lede, perhaps because, as the chairman of the Jewish Leadership council observes, the new Labour Jew-hate is “now so deeply embedded into the soul of the party that it is infecting everyday political discourse” – and once something becomes “everyday” it’s barely even newsworthy.
Which is why flyers in Connecticut get investigated by local, state and federal police, but a man prompting Jews to consider fleeing en masse is the preferred choice of Scots, Welsh, Irish republicans and multiculti Londoners to be prime minister.
~My compatriot Bernard Slade died a few days ago, aged 89. He went from St Catherines, Ontario to Beverly Hills, California, via English repertory theatre. In Hollywood Slade wrote for “Bewitched”, and then created “The Flying Nun” and “The Partridge Family”. So he got to work with Elizabeth Montgomery, Sally Field and Shirley Jones, which isn’t bad for a boy from St Catharines. At the height of his telly success, he quit to go back to the theatre, and had a Broadway hit with Same Time Next Year, a high-concept comedy about an adulterous couple who cheat on their respective spouses on the same day each year across the decades, for reasons I forget. It was a whimsical conceit, so Slade was surprised to receive letters from philandering Americans, Britons, Frenchmen, Germans, etc, claiming to be in the exact same once-a-year-day relationship. The play was a global smash in the late Seventies, and Slade then adapted it for the screen with Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda.
Same Time Next Year has not aged well, but I have fond memories of two moments. When they consummate their relationship, “If I Knew You Were Coming, I’d’ve Baked A Cake” is playing on the radio, and they realize with horror that will ever after be their song. A generation later, George turns up for their annual tryst having gotten semi-hippified and full of the peace-and-love shtick. Doris is not impressed. “George, you’re full of sh*t,” she tells him.
He considers the accusation, and then responds, with his mellow unharshed: “I can buy that.”
As I’m sure Bernard Slade appreciated, casting helps. It’s a funny line. But it’s funnier with Alan Alda.
Slade’s other sitcom for Sally Field, “The Girl with Something Extra”, was not a hit. But it would make an excellent title for a TV pilot with Jessica Yaniv.
~We had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with the conclusion of our spooky tale for Halloween Week, The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood. You can hear me read the final episode here, or go right back to the beginning and have a good old binge listen. My Saturday column bade farewell to a lifelong legislator and Playboy “reader”, and our weekend movie date took in Renée Zellweger’s turn as Judy Garland. Our marquee presentation was a brand new video edition of my Song of the Week with rock legend Randy Bachman discussing and performing his worldwide hit “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet“. If you were too busy this weekend stapling your belly button in tribute to John Conyers, I hope you’ll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week commences.
Steyn’s Song of the Week and Tales for Our Time are made with the support of members of The Mark Steyn Club, for which we are extremely grateful. For more information on the Steyn Club, see here – and don’t forget this month’s exclusive members-only events.
See you tonight on the telly with Tucker.