Monday, 29 August 2016

The Swedish cop Beck was battling anti-gay "Terrorists for God" on on the BBC last night - guess which religion they represented

I enjoy Beck. The detective show is based on characters created by two communist writers, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, in a series of ten very readable crime novels published between 1965 and 1975.  Martin Beck, the main character, is a tediously compassionate, achingly decent, somewhat dithery, procedure-following, middle-aged liberal wet, who is far less interesting than his younger assistant, Gunvald Larsson, a tall, super-fit, snazzily-dressed, blue-eyed upper-class cop who has a tendency to menace suspects, cut corners, and beat people up a lot - Larsson is the true hero of the series. In real-life, Larsson would, of course, be a right-winger, but, as this is a Swedish cop show, he's as left-wing as everyone else: in Swedish drama, everybody, apart from criminals, is left-wing. (The same is, of course, true for practically every TV cop drama being shown on TV anywhere right now - the second most right-wing profession in the world, after soldiering, is now seemingly entirely populated by Guardian-reading compassionistas, only with muscles and anger-management issues.)

Crime writers used to be found mainly on the conservative/right-wing end of the political spectrum. Fictional detectives - whether police, private or amateur - have generally been concerned with creating order out of chaos, of ensuring that punishment is meted out to the guilty, and with seeing that victims are accorded justice: insofar as writers and their main characters have been concerned with the social order, they've wanted to leave it pretty much as they found it, warts and all. As crime writers have moved leftwards, however, they've become increasingly exercised about the iniquities of the existing social order, and have therefore begun to cast those who would seek to maintain the status quo as the true villains. The Forces of Conservatism are the true enemy, whether they be Christians or businessmen or aristocrats or  politicians or anyone who has any doubts whatsoever about the unalloyed benefits of mass immigration, multiculturalism, gay marriage and socialised medicine. The detective's job is now to thwart the machinations of anyone foolish enough to attempt to evade the therapeutic state's great, clunking fist.

So, last night found Beck and Larsson up against a bunch of vicious, violent religious zealots who were both preaching a message of hate against homosexuals and murdering a few pour encourager les autres. Now, which particular group of vicious, violent religious zealots who hate homosexuals and regularly kill them do you think we're talking about here? If you guessed Islamic fundamentalists, you'd obviously be wrong. No, the "terrorists for God" were, of course, Christians. Worse, they were conservative Christians. And we all know how serious a threat they pose to our fundamental liberties these days. Why, some of them are so deranged that, in certain parts of America, they're even trying to deny the right to use women's toilets of people who just happen to be men! Monsters!

Somehow, Beck's female boss (who was getting a bit long in the tooth in any case) was murdered by these  Christian nutters. This galvanised Larsson, who'd been off work suffering from burn-out (or depression, or being a Scandinavian... or something), into storming back to beat up and torture conservatives, who retaliated by kidnapping his daughter, and... well, it all ended happily, with a bunch of Christian maniacs dead or in custody. Phew!

Larsson arrests a suspected Brexit voter
To be fair, last night's episode -  I Guds namn (In God's Name) - dates from 2007, and maybe it was slightly less obvious back then that the main threat to the liberties enjoyed in Western democracies was from Muslim immigrants and the multiculti Nanny State authorities who tie themselves in knots trying to accommodate the incomers' illiberal attitudes rather than insisting they get with the programme (which is what the Nanny State does with the rest of us). But back in 2007, even the most mealy-mouthed, culturally-cringing, hand-wringing liberals must have known that Islam's attitude to homosexuality was even more out of kilter than evangelical Christianity's with Sweden's ultra-liberal orthodoxy: after all, the only country in the Middle East where it's safe to be openly gay is Israel - the region's only non-Muslim state. And if left-liberals seriously imagined that moving to a non-Muslim country would result in young Muslim men sloughing off non-progressive attitudes, the sharp rise in Sweden's rape statistics in areas with a high number of Muslim immigrants should have scotched those hopes. How likely was it that a genuine threat to homosexuals would emanate from conservative Christian Swedes rather than from Muslim immigrants, many of whom had recently arrived from countries where gays are routinely persecuted? It often seems as if left-wingers - especially those involved in the creative industries - inhabit a strange parallel universe in which the act of recognising the bleeding obvious and acting accordingly has been outlawed.

When I was looking up Swedish crime statistics just now (as one does), I came across an interesting article by Andrew Brown in the Guardian, which demonstratesas I mentioned above,  another strange affliction suffered by many intelligent lefties - i.e. the habit of talking sense, and then, suddenly, right at the very end, drawing the wrong conclusion.  Sweden has suffered an explosion in violent crime over the past two decades.  In particular, there has been a truly shocking increase in reported rapes - Sweden now has the highest rate of reported rapes in the world. Granted, Swedes are probably more willing to report rapes than victims in other countries, but still, the rate is horrendous. Much of this has been blamed on young Muslim migrants. But it's been hard to make the charge stick because, according Andrew Brown, "the police do not record the ethnicity of either criminals or victims, and the press is extremely constrained over reporting identifying details about either the victims or the perpetrators of crimes."  This all came to a head at the start of this year, when it emerged that "the Swedish authorities covered up widespread sexual assaults by immigrant gangs on teenage girls at a Stockholm music festival, and possibly other incidents too." Just as the German police have been doing. Andrew Brown is upset by this deliberate obfuscation:
It is absolutely clear – with the publication of internal memos by the newspaper Dagens Nyheter – that the Stockholm police failed to report the sex assaults at the festival for fear of worsening ethnic tensions. And it was understood by all parties that this would lead to an electoral advantage for the Sweden Democrats.
The organisers, who also allegedly knew what was going on, were concerned for the success of the festival and did not want to frighten away the teenagers who were its target audience.
So teenage girls were systematically assaulted and robbed by gangs of young foreign men because too many powerful people found their suffering was inconvenient. The result of this cover-up will be far more damaging than the truth could have been.
Why? Well, as the headline puts it, "This cover-up of sex assaults in Sweden is a gift for xenophobes". What an odd - but typically left-liberal - reaction! I suspect the rest of would be more concerned that covering up the facts meant that teenage girls - and their parents - were left with no warning of the dangers they faced. If the message of the "xenophobes" gets across, and, as a result, Swedish parents and their children are made aware of the potential danger posed by some young male immigrants, why is that not a very good thing indeed? It strikes me that the liberal left constantly exaggerating the threat from the "far right" - as Andrew Brown is in effect doing here - is one of the key factors preventing honest debate about race, religion and immigration.

I'll leave you with and example of what I mean.  My son went with some friends to the Notting Hill Carnival yesterday. There was a report that four men had been stabbed at the event. As the parents of a young white man, we'd have been grateful for some more information. What colour were the victims? What colour were the suspected perpetrators? Did it appear to be the result of a black-on-black gang fight? This morning, we discover that a total of four people - all young men between the ages of 15 and 20 - were stabbed, and that a 14-year old boy has been arrested. We still don't know the colour of the victims or of the alleged attacker. I assume they're all black - but, because the authorities refuse to tell me, I don't know if they are or not. Now, what possible justification could there be for not revealing the racial identity of those involved? I have no idea. Maybe the Met Police are concerned it might fuel support for the Far Right.

It really is time we all grew up.


  1. Many suspected of terrorist acts here and abroad are described as British. This used to worry me, as I would be thinking that it was very strange for one of us to be involved in such a thing. Then I would realise that they meant British but originating from somewhere else. The Americans make it easier by calling people African-American etc. Perhaps our police feel this identification might cause a backlash, so no doubt I will continue to be momentarily confused.

  2. Helen, I share your sentiment completely.

    At the beginning of this month a poor American woman was butchered in Russell Square by a 19-year old male. He injured a further 4 people. He was described as a "Norwegian" of Somali origin and it was very quickly established by the police that the attack was not motivated by terrorism, but that the assailant was mentally ill.

    This "Norwegian" had left Norway when he was 5-years old and settled in North London [can you become a national of a country at age 5?]. His neighbours reported that he appeared normal.

    Police both here and on the European mainland are quick to disclaim the actual national origins of suspected terrorist assailants and are quick to play the mental instability card [they cannot track thousands of illegal immigrants, but seem to have immediate access to their medical records. Hmmm...] And then the story gradually disappears without follow-up.

    So, nobody comes from where they actually come from and "mental illness" is the new "Jihadism". Did they teach you that at Police College, Hogan Howe?

    1. Possibly not during his time at Hendon, if that is where he went, but almost certainly on a Common Purpose course.

  3. This was in the Evening Standard in February:

    "Scotland Yard plans to roll out a pilot training programme to help officers recognise unconscious bias in a bid to challenge prejudices about race.

    All 32,000 officers are to expected be trained in how to spot signs of their own prejudices, in particular when using stop and search powers.

    So far, all sergeants and inspectors in the Met have taken the course, which focuses on how officers handle encounters with the public."

    Personally, all I require of police officers is that they're heavily and consciously prejudiced against criminals - and, if certain races commit more crimes than others in the areas they cover, surely it makes sense for the police to be keenly aware of this.

    Using some sort of portmanteau term which encompasses a person's current nationality and their racial origins/country of origin in news reports which seem bizarre without both bits of information seems a good idea, Helen. It obviously isn't needed for the vast majority of stories, but the initial description of the murderer of Darlene Horton as a "19-year old Norwegian" - while strictly accurate - was frankly baffling: it just didn't compute. "Norwegian of Somali origin" or "a Somali man with a Norwegian passport" or "Somali-Norwegian" would all have been helpful. Similarly, the initial report that an 8-year old British boy had been killed in a gang-related grenade attack in Sweden a few weeks ago was frankly mind-boggling. Learning that his parents were from Somalia and that he had been visiting relatives didn't make his death any less horrifying or tragic - but it made it easier to grasp what might have happened, and why.