Wednesday, 22 February 2017

We have to talk about Sweden

 

There have been more modern fairy tales peddled about Sweden than even Hans Christian Andersen could dream up – and I don’t just mean whatever the American president thought he was talking about the other night.

The far-off place has become a convenient political talisman for the misinformed of both sides of the statist coin: both left and alt-right. The former insist that Sweden is that exception, a welfare state that doesn’t eat itself. The latter tell stories about “no-go zones” and “rapefugees.” Neither has much basis in fact.

The first myth is intended to tell the story that welfare-state socialism works better than markets. But, as Johan Norberg thoroughly and repeatedly demonstrates, Sweden's history in fact points to the opposite conclusion: that it was laissez-faire that delivered the riches, on which the looters are now feeding.

The second myth is supposed to tell us that immigrants and refugees are bad news, and Sweden’s crime statistics are supposed to show that. Politicians, commentators and internet trolls of the alt-right variety tell stories of crime exploding under a refugees engulf the country’s towns and cities, citing alleged crime statistics from fake think tanks showing, they say, that Sweden’s once-lovely places are now so teeming with these nasty people that rape has rocketed and violent crime has exploded.

Trouble is, that’s that not what actual Swedish criminologists citing actual Swedish crime statistics actually tell us. Is “the country's welcoming approach to refugees and its alleged effects on crime rates a warning sign”?

“Absolutely not,” said Felipe Estrada, a criminology professor at Stockholm University. His response was echoed Monday by multiple other experts who are familiar with Swedish crime statistics.
    Overall, Sweden's average crime rate has fallen in recent years, Estrada said. That drop has been observed for cases of lethal violence and for assaults, two of the most serious categories of crime.
    Moreover, an analysis by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, conducted between October 2015 and January 2016, came to the conclusion that refugees were responsible for only 1 percent of all incidents.

Sweden1-1024x758

Screen-Shot-2017-02-20-at-15.48.56

Clear enough.

Support also comes from “Germany, the other European country that took in similar numbers of refugees per capita in 2015.” Here also claims that the influx led to an increase in crime are unsupported by actual evidence.

“Immigrants are not more criminal than Germans,” an interior ministry spokesman said in June. Overall, crime levels in Germany declined over the first quarter of 2016, officials said last year.

So why, apart from the obvious reasons that rabid anti-immigration types might dream up rabid claims, does the myth persist? Say criminologists:

Reports about alleged police coverups of refugee crimes might have contributed to distrust in official statistics. Criminologists also say that a handful of cases have received disproportionate public attention, creating a distorted perception among Swedes.
    “What we’re hearing is a very, very extreme exaggeration based on a few isolated events,” Jerzy Sarnecki, a criminologist at Stockholm University, told the ‘Globe and Mail’ newspaper in
May, when coverage of refugee-related crimes reached a peak.

Read that line again: “Very extreme exaggeration based on a few isolated events.” Just part of the logical fallacy subsumed under the principle understood by the phrase “a picture is not an argument.”

There is however “one statistic in which Sweden does indeed lead international crime statistics, though: reported cases of rape.” So does this support the alt-right myth, then? No, say criminologists, only if you don’t understand (or don’t care to understand) how the statistics are gathered.

“The [definitions] of rape differ between countries,” Estrada said. “In Sweden, several changes in legislation have been made to include more cases of sexual crimes as rape cases.” Sweden's definition of what constitutes rape is now one of the world's most expansive. Varying figures, as well as other Swedish measures to facilitate rape complaints, might have affected statistics, as well.

This has been pointed out several times in the comments to my regular alt-rights trolls, so I have no expectation of any increase in understanding this time. But just understand when you do hear the claim that this would be just another form of the fake news the alt-right keyboard warriors claim to revile.

So what about these alleged no-go zones like Malmo? What about that then? Sorry, say criminologists, that too is another fairy tale.

Swedish crime experts also do not agree that immigrants have created so-called no-go areas in Sweden — areas that allegedly are too dangerous for native Swedes to enter and are effectively run by criminals. “This perception is fabricated,” Estrada said. But he and others pointed out that the refugee influx poses challenges to Sweden, just not in the way it is being portrayed by some.
    “Even [though] there are no 'no-go zones' as alleged in the propaganda, there are problems around crimes and disturbances in several suburbs of Swedish cities, where immigrant groups tend to be over-represented,” said Henrik Selin, director of intercultural dialogue at the Swedish Institute.

Just as you’d expect. We’re not talking utopias here, we’re talking about real places with real human problems – problems made harder, not better, by gross exaggeration.

Fascinatingly, an Alt-right editor has challenges journalists to visit Sweden to discover for themselves the facts he alleges about the place. Paul Joseph Watson (he’s the alt-right Brit conspiracy theorist who isn’t an apologist for paedophilia) has offered to personally stump up the fare for them to Malmo– an offer already taken up by one enthusiastic punter, and responded to by Malmo’s deputy mayor, who promises any and all visiting journalists a warm welcome and to go with them on any jaunts to the zones to which Mr Watson alleges they can’t go.

Malmo

Sure, all is not well in Malmo, but neither is it the war zone alleged by the fetid fringe. “Seeing Scandinavia’s largest country, with its reputation for high living standards, good governance, and low crime, thrust into a sort of police line-up of multicultural Europe’s failures felt,” says Irishman Feargus O’Sullivan who’s already visited and researched the place for himself, “a bit like seeing your neighbour’s lovable pet guinea pig being ducked as a witch.”

Is there any truth in the accusations? The short answer is no. Malmö is actually a likable, easy-going kind of place. Facing Denmark and Copenhagen across the Oresund Strait (a distance spanned by a bridge since 2000), it’s a historic, faintly gruff port city of 342,000 residents—think Liverpool to Copenhagen’s Paris. Or to make an American comparison, an Oakland to the Danish capital’s San Francisco. By Scandinavian standards, it’s ethnically diverse, bustling, and ever so slightly unkempt. By the standards of just about anywhere lying southwards, however, its streets come across as trim, orderly, and, peaceful.
    Certainly, Malmö is a city whose urban (but not greater metropolitan) population has been substantially reshaped by immigration. A third of its population was born outside Sweden, with the largest groups coming from (in order) Iraq, Serbia, Denmark, and Poland. Rates of arrival have gone up in recent years. What hasn’t risen, however, is crime.
    In fact, Malmö’s violent crime figures would make the mayor of an average American big city weep with longing. With 12 murders in 2015 among a population of 342,000, Malmö’s murder rate is two thirds that of Western Europe’s real murder capital of Glasgow, and half that of Los Angeles. By contrast, Washington, D.C., has a murder rate almost seven times higher, while the rate in St. Louis, Missouri is just under 17 times higher. In relatively safe Sweden, those 12 murders are still cause for rightful alarm, but as
this piece makes clear, Malmö’s crime figures aren’t just low compared to most American cities—they’re not even the highest in Sweden.

Read that sentence again, please: “Malmö’s crime figures aren’t just low compared to most American cities—they’re not even the highest in Sweden.”

So all is not utopic in the Scandinavian paradise, and journalists and the commentariat will continue to use its occasional incidents to cherrypick, but if this really is the best place anti-immigrationists can dredge up to support their argument, then they ain’t got one. And as far as intelligent debate about immigration goes, let’s (please) look at actual evidence, not the manufactured stuff of Machiavellian commentators and think tanks.

“Sweden definitely, like other countries, [faces] challenges when it comes to integration of immigrants into Swedish society, with lower levels of employment, tendencies of exclusion and also crime-related problems,” [Henrik Selin at the Swedish Institute concluded]. There is little evidence, however, that Sweden has turned into the lawless country it is at times being described as abroad.

[Quotes and pics from Washington Post, BBC News and City Lab]

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48 comments:

  1. There is this police officer who claims different things from the front-line:

    "They were five rapes, three counts of assault - including one against police - two drug offenses, multiple threats, extortion and attempted murder.

    Then he offered a list of 'suspected perpetrators': 'Ali Mohamad Mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed Ali, again, again, again..."

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    1. A picture is not an argument, nor are one-off anecdotes. Did you read and exorbe the statistics quoted above or not??

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    2. Don't be naïve Mark. The official response in Sweden to Muslim migrant offences was initially to ignore the ethnicity of the perpetrators, then leave such crimes off the record altogether.

      Or do you really believe that Sharia law and Swedish blonde women can coexist in harmony?

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    3. "The official response in Sweden to Muslim migrant offences was initially to ignore the ethnicity of the perpetrators, then leave such crimes off the record altogether."

      Well if that were the truth and it was contaminating the statistics being quoted, I'd certainly agree that's reason to doubt the conclusion. But where's the evidence for that?

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    4. There is no shortage of evidence. You could spend all day researching different instances:

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/13/sex-assaults-sweden-stockholm-music-festival

      Same thing happens in Germany due to "lack of public interest" in rape stats.

      http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/world-economy/cologne-is-every-day-europes-rape-epidemic/news-story/e2e618e17ad4400b5ed65045e65e141d

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    5. Ben - The evidence required to cast doubt on the statistics is to show that violence by Islamic immigrants, in Sweden, is being widely under-reported relative to violence by non immigrants. The 2nd link you posted is about Germany, so hardly qualifies as relevant. The first link suggests "mass gropings" by immigrant gangs at a particular concert (not actual rape), was not reported for fear of scaring people away from the concert. So just like Richard's "facts on the ground", this is one case of immigrants acting in an uncivilised manner , and authorities making a call not to pursue incidents that were probably marginal in terms of being a crime, possibly for commercial reasons.

      Whether that call was right or not, there's no suggestion it was done for PC reasons, nor any reason to think it's indicative of widespread bias in under-reporting crimes by immigrants. In fact nothing in this suggests bias of any sort. I could with equal validity post an anecdote of drunken soccer hooligans at an English football match not being pursued, and if I was so inclined, claim its evidence of under-reporting crime when it involves young white male men.

      I know that Islam generally holds women as lesser than men, so I don't doubt that all other things being equal, groping a woman is a particular behaviour more likely to come from Islamic man. But I could equally list certain uncivilised behaviour that is more likely to come from a young white male (eg: getting pissed and getting involved in a street fight).

      Do you have anything else or is that it?

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    6. Like I said Mark - those are just a couple of instances. You could spend all day on Google reading about other ones. There's an awful lot of smoke despite the official figures denying any Islamic fire.

      And here's some food for thought: Sweden has gone from being the most generous refugee nation per capita, to accepting the bare minimum mandated by the EU. Join the dots.

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    7. Well Ben, if there are countless examples as you're claiming, it should be possible to give me one at least? Your first two attempts certainly don't qualify.

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    8. If you have an "immigrants can never be a problem" mindset like Peter then of course you'll find arbitrary excuses to dismiss each & every incident. But why do you think Sweden has drastically reduced its refugee intake if there's no problem?

      It's not my job to educate you, but you can't say I haven't tried.

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    9. My apologies, Ben, if the actual crime statistics don't match your talking points.
      May I recommend better talking points?

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    10. As you're aware PC, in NZ negative Maori statistics are glossed over as "society's fault" rather than blaming the individuals, parents or the culture within Maori communities.

      In Sweden they take the political correctness a step further - to media reports and statistics featuring Muslims.

      It's interesting how you forget your contempt for academia every time a university publishes something that seems to support your worldview.

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    11. "Glossed over"? No, I'm not aware of that. I seem to recall that we see the statistics thoroughly collected, and the argument is generally about on whom to pin the blame for those bad statistics.
      You're suggesting something totally different, that the Swedish statistics themselves are wrong, for which you have adduced precisely zero evidence apart from your wishes that it be the way you would like it to be.
      Amongst real men, that is called bullshit.
      So please either cite evidence, or piss off.

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    12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    13. No, Ben, we are not posting your links to your favourite conspiracy sites. Raving lunacy from the John Birch Society is not evidence of anything, except of what you think constitutes evidence.
      Good to know..

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    14. The testimony of a named Swedish police officer is lunacy, and government statistics are gospel. Never thought I'd hear that from a libertarian.

      I'll say it again for the nth time: Why has Sweden drastically reduced its refugee intake in the last couple of years? Take your "immigration is always good" dogma cap off & put your thinking cap on.

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    15. Ben, as we say above, the story here is not that Sweden is utopia, it's that the story of Swedish crime stats proving your story is just not so.
      Further, the John Birch Society and their fellow travellers are not providers of evidence. So if you do have any to challenge what's laid out above, and you've argued this issue for so long that you surely must have plenty, then please adduce it.
      If you can't, and if bluster from John Birchers et al is all you can provide, then please allow the rest of us to draw the obvious conclusion.

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    16. Ben suggests that because the Swedish government has reduced its refugee intake, it proves that Swedish criminologists deliberately under-report refugee crime. Is this what you call logic??

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    17. Not so much under-reporting but a complete lack of relevant stats for this issue. Where are the rape & sexual assault figures broken down by ethnic group?

      We have these stats in NZ. They don't have them in Sweden (anymore).

      A mountain of anecdotal evidence, suspicious lack of relevant statistics, and a substantial reduction from what was previously the most generous country per capita for refugee intake. I think it's pretty logical to say that Sweden has a problem with Islamic immigrants.

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  2. "we have to talk about Sweden"

    Kinda ironic given the country's hate speech laws. Careful what you say Comrade. Well you would be ok in fact if talking about your post in Sweden you would end in a circle jerk.

    “expressing disrespect against groups of people with reference to race, color, national origin, ethnicity, confession of faith or sexual origin” can be sentenced to prison for a time of up to four years for inciting hatred."

    Sweden Democrat Michael Hess from Karlskrona was sentenced today to probation and fined for hate speech after having connected Islam with rape. According to the judgment, the statement is not part of an "objective and authoritative discussion" - and it does therefore not matter whether it's true or not.

    As proof of his innocence left Michael Hess, including a compilation of studies showing that men with ancestry from Muslim countries are very heavily overrepresented in the Swedish rape statistics. This included official figures from the National Council stating that the men from the North Africa and Iraq averages are involved in rapes 23 and 20 times more often than Swedes.

    Does not matter if it's true

    The district court noted that "the question of whether Michael Hess statement has been true, or at least for Michael Hess appeared true is irrelevant to the proceedings."

    http://www.friatider.se/sd-politiker-d-ms-f-r-islamkritik

    talk about Sweden? Not in Sweden at least, obedient and silent.

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    1. No argument from me that your Swedish politician is entitled, or should be, to peddle whatever untruths he likes. Because the official figures do not match your politician's lies about them (a politician lying? who would have thought).

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  3. Violence, looting, torching, and attacking police are not like a war zone?

    I believe the evidence on the ground ahead of some professor in some university with some statistics.

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    1. Right, so you on this side of the world believe your random stories about Swedish crime over the actual crime figures and the understanding of actual Swedish criminologists.
      Got it.
      It's now clear exactly where you're coming from, and what you're willing to evade.

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    2. "I believe the evidence on the ground ahead of some professor in some university...."

      This was not a professor spouting theory, or even evaluating what the facts mean, but quoting the raw statistical facts. Therefore what you're effectively saying is you will continue to use cherry-picked incidents to support your narrative, and ignore the wider data that contradicts it.

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    3. You made up your mind about me a long time ago, Peter. I care about the facts, and I dismiss the above in favour of facts. The facts are, the so-called no-go zones exist. The Swedish police acknowledge it. Criminal gangs act with impunity in these areas. The police fear to go there because they get attacked, and from time to time these areas erupt in rioting. All that is a fact. You can argue that it doesn't mean what the so-called alt-right (what the hell is alt-right anyway?) says it means, but you can't argue that doesn't exist.

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    4. Mark T, I don't trust the "raw statistical data". I care about facts on the ground, and they are not cherry picked. The problems with Islamic immigrants not integrating (and that doesn't just mean being violent) is well documented. You can present all the statistics laced with phrases such as "the experts say" etc, but what's happening on the ground is what matters to me. I don't trust anything the media says anymore. They have shown themselves to be extremely biased and dishonest.

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    5. This alone should be enough to raise alarm bells with you.

      "Is there any truth in the accusations? The short answer is no. Malmö is actually a likable, easy-going kind of place. "

      It wasn't so easy going for the Australian 60 minutes News crew who were assaulted within minutes of entering Malmo and had to flee for their own safety.

      What kind of drugs is that Mayor on? And why are you so willing to just take what he says without any grain of salt?

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    6. Richard Wiig: I'm going to hazard a guess that you haven't been to Sweden and thus your 'facts on the ground' are as coloured by the sources you select them from as anyone else's.

      I've lived here for almost a decade now, and I can tell you that the supposed 'no-go zones' are a bullshit construction of that niche of the media that seeks to create a moral panic around immigration. The worst parts of the major cities (Stockholm - Rinkeby, Gothenburg - Angered, Bergsjön, Malmö - Rosengård) are no better or worse than any other low-income urban area in any other western country - Otara for example? To feel so threatened that you would avoid these areas says more about the individual in question than the actual character of the area.

      /DenMT

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    7. There are others who live there who say the polar opposite of what you have just said, so which of you should I believe, and why?

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    8. Here's someone there, who shows and says something different from you.

      https://youtu.be/bBfNXlBXmrQ

      Also, I have just read an article in which a resident of Rinkby, for 20 years, said that the last 10 years have been a catastrophe. No doubt he knows Rinkeby better than you do.

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    9. The riots in Rinkeby on Monday night apparently were in response to a man being arrested on drug charges. In response masked men attacked police and rampaged. Just the normal kind of stuff you get in any city, typically in places like Otara, according to Anonymous below. Anyway, I wonder how many crimes from Monday nights riots will enter the crime stats.

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    10. "I don't trust the "raw statistical data". I care about facts on the ground"

      The "facts on the ground" are that crime exists in every culture and nation that has ever existed. So focusing on isolated events tells us nothing. Statistical data attempts to sum those individual events and tell us if there's any pattern. You've dismissed that data on the basis you don't trust it, but given no reason why we shouldn't - nor can I think of any reason why the professionals you dismiss would want to distort the figures. The only correlation I'm aware of is between low income and higher crime rates, not between immigrants and higher crime rates as you're claiming.

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    11. I'm not claiming any link between immigrants and crime rates. I'm claiming a link between Islam and hostility to liberalism. And there is plenty of reason not to trust those stats. It's the same reason I didn't trust that Hillary would win hands down. The stories from the ground didn't match what was served up by the media, the "experts" and the polls. I don't place any trust in those stats for the same reasons. Peter has posted a link to a Johan Norberg who he says, has owned the Trumper's because he lives in Malmo. All he's said is that the lives there and he's happy to live there. I'd like more than that. If he goes downtown with a Bosch Fawstin Muhammad t-shirt on and makes a reasonable criticism of Islam and comes back with his face still intact, then I'll agree. There is no problem in Malmo.

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    12. "I'm claiming a link between Islam and hostility to liberalism."

      If you're talking Islam in general, of course there's that link, that's bleedingly obvious. Just as there was (and to some degree still is) a link between Christianity and hostility to science. But that's not what this post is about, it's whether Islamic immigrants contribute disproportionately to crime rates in Sweden, all other things (such as income) being equal. The evidence is clearly that they don't, not to any significant degree. As such it supports my contention (discussed in the past) that exposing someone from an inferior cultural background to a Western one weakens the inferior culture, and that over time they generally adopt superior values. That this pattern exists to some degree should be bleedingly obvious and beyond debate; the legitimate issue that's up for debate is at what stage, and in what circumstances does the positive effect I've described get outweighed by the threat that may come from those who still cling to their illiberalism.

      Back to the specifics, you've still provided no reason why we shouldn't trust the figures, or even a motive for why the sources would want to distort them. Ben alleged deliberate under-reporting of immigrant crime, but when I asked fir examples came up with nothing of relevance. The analogy you draw between predicting in advance what is going to happen in an election, from those who probably want to see one side win; versus reporting on what *has* already happened is completely invalid.

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    13. Mark: "If you're talking Islam in general, of course there's that link, that's bleedingly obvious. Just as there was (and to some degree still is) a link between Christianity and hostility to science. But that's not what this post is about, "

      Don't trivialise it. The massacres at Orlando, Paris, Nice, and all the rest are not a trivial matter. The link between Islam and liberty is exactly what this post is about. It's exactly what the problem is. If there was no rise of Islamic militancy, we would not be having this discussion. There would be no issue.

      Mark: "it's whether Islamic immigrants contribute disproportionately to crime rates in Sweden"

      Contribute disproportionately is nothing but weasel words. Islamic immigrants bring jihad with them, regardless of what the crime stats are.

      Mark:"The evidence is clearly that they don't, to any significant degree."

      As I said, Government statistics that I do not trust. I have every reason not to trust them, given the all the stories on the ground that paint a very different picture.

      Mark: " As such it supports my contention (discussed in the past) that exposing someone from an inferior cultural background to a Western one weakens the inferior culture, and that over time they generally adopt superior values."

      This will be the case under certain conditions. The superior culture, for starters, must assert itself as superior rather than apologise for itself, and the person from the inferior culture must be overwhelmed by and integrated with the superior culture. This is not what is happening in Europe. Whole areas are becoming Islamic where Western culture is next to non-existent. You can also not over-look the power of faith. The most faithful to Islam will not give up Islam. They won't see Western culture as superior but rather, as inferior. Sayyid Qutb, for instance, a figurehead of the modern Jihad movement, lived and studied in America for two years and came away more disgusted with the West than when he went there. He went on to dedicated the rest of his life to destroying the West in order to replace it with Islam.

      Mark: "As the legitimate issue that's up for debate is at what stage, and in what circumstances does the positive effect I've described get outweighed by the threat that may come from those who still cling to their illiberalism."

      Fuck! Probably half of all Westerners are hostile to Liberalism. It's going down the plughole without even importing mindsets that are even more hostile to it.

      Mark: "Back to the specifics, you've still provided no reason why we shouldn't trust the figures,"

      I have given you a very good reason. All the stories from the ground that contradict the figures.

      Mark" " or even a motive for why the sources would want to distort them. "

      That I haven't done. I would put it down to just wanting to look good, to the politically correct not wanting the Multiculturalist dream to unravel on them after having invested so much time and energy into creating it. But A is A. You can avoid reality, but not its consquences. It is unravelling on them.

      Mark: " The analogy you draw between predicting in advance what is going to happen in an election, from those who probably want to see one side win; versus reporting on what *has* already happened is completely invalid."

      It isn't irrelevant at all. It's the same thing. The ground floor spoke more truth to me than all the talking heads, "experts" and polls combined.

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    14. Richard, that you think what political pollsters and the compilers of crime statistics do are in any way similar speaks volumes.
      That you do so without citing any evidence beyond your feelings about it tells us, I'd suggest, all we really need to know about your standards.
      So unless you have actual evidence to cite about the gathering of these statistics, on opposition to which your whole case hinges (such as it is), I'm going to suggest you keep your mouth shut.
      Better just to be thought a fool than to come here and keep proving it.

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    15. That isn't what I've said. I realise the difference and I didn't equate them. I said that I'm faced with a contradiction. In the face of that contradiction I trust stories from the ground ahead of the government collated statistics. My mistrust is entirely rational. As for my standard, it is human life. My position on restricting immigration doesn't stand on the crime stats, and I alluded to that in my response to Mark. Crime stats are not a reason to limit immigration at all, even if immigrants did bring more crime. The answer to that would be to be tough on crime. Revoke the visitor visa of any immigrant criminal and send them back to where they came from. That's the proper answer to ordinary crime.

      Ordinary crime isn't the issue. Islam's war against the non-Islamic world is. Importation of Jihad into the West is the issue. In the face of that threat I will never support a loose open-door policy on immigration. The lives of Westerners are too important to sacrifice to blind ideology.

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    16. You know, Richard, that's just several levels deep of horseshit.

      For years now this has been the only issue that animates you, that excites you -- not about liberty, oh no, that passion is clearly long dead, but about the single issue of *keeping out Muslims.* That's it. And you've commented over and over every time it seems remotely relevant to you, as if you know what you're talking abuot, as if you're a kind of authority, yet it turns out that of actual facts about the single issue that inspires you, you've know nothing. Not a thing. Facts and you and your issue, it turns out, have always been strangers. It's as if you like it that way. It's as if you don't care.

      You've claimed that immigration is *the* issue with jihad, even though it's not even immigrants themslves who are the terrorists. (And we've talked about this, so don't pretend it's news.) And you've banged on with your stories and videos about refugees and crime and your stories and bullshit about Swedish crime rates as if it all proves your point just by claiming crime rates going throgh the roof ... and then when it's shown that none of the above is true and you now say that "ordinary crime isn't the issue" (and this here is not even a hard-hitting piece, simply pointing out something anyne would know for the downloading of some actual crime stats), you just move on like it's not important and you say you'll just believe whatever you want to believe, thank you very much.

      AS if evidence is just something you download in bite-size stories from the 'Daily Mail,' and bugger everything else. As if you're happy that you know nothing, and you want to know less.

      You know what, Richard, you are a complete fucking fraud, and I'm done with you. I'm sick of you clogging up these threads with your fantasies; with what's worse even than just spam; with what amounts to complete garbage.

      You may never post here again on my watch.

      Go back to your cesspit and soak in it.

      PS: I will give you one right of reply, no longer than this, and with no links. And then do us all a favour and fuck off.

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    17. "For years now this has been the only issue that animates you,"

      The only issue you see that animates me. Plenty of issues animate me, from animal rights to the war on drugs and freedom of speech and much more. It always amazes me when people see a very small slice of time on the net and broaden that into a whole singular life. But anyway, why would any of your other posts animate me in such a way? The majority of what you post I agree with. We are perhaps 98% on the same page, just not when it comes to Islam and immigration. And I am animated because I consider it to be a grave issue.

      "not about liberty, oh no, that passion is clearly long dead,"

      If I didn't care about liberty I wouldn't care about the threat that Islam poses to liberty.

      " And you've commented over and over every time it seems remotely relevant to you, as if you know what you're talking abuot as if you're a kind of authority, yet it turns out that of actual facts about the single issue that inspires you, you've know nothing. "

      I know quite a bit about Islam. I made a point of reading about it after 9/11. It is because I know a bit about it that it concerns me so greatly.

      "Not a thing. Facts and you and your issue, it turns out, have always been strangers. It's as if you like it that way. It's as if you don't care."


      Facts matter to me, and I can be persuaded by facts. I'm not sure what you want the above facts (if they are indeed facts) to move me to though. To support for open-immigration? Sorry, but in the current context I cannot support it no matter what the stats on crime say.


      "You've claimed that immigration is *the* issue with jihad, even though it's not even immigrants themslves who are the terrorists."

      It isn't true that no immigrants have turned out to be jihadists. There's plenty of instances of this. A quick google is all it takes to find instances of immigrants having gone jihad. But it is really irrelevant. Islam is the motivator for these attacks, not the place of ones birth. The place of ones birth is a straw man.

      "And you've banged on with your stories and videos about refugees"

      I've hardly posted any stories and videos about refugees. The last link I posted was to a very long but excellent essay on immigration by Ed Powell, which you didn't allow through for some reason.

      And one more thing before I go. You said that it's egregious of opponents to say that advocates of open-immigration stand for open-borders. If it truly doesn't mean open-borders then, unless it is an honest error, it is egregious to say that. It's also equally egregious of you to keep claiming that those who have a concern about Islam's jihad are anti-immigration.



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    18. The issue Richard is not that you have concerns around Islamic immigration. It's your complete lack of perspective when arguing this issue, and the fact you jump to conclusions based on anecdotes. In this case you've dismissed what appears to be comprehensive data that we have no objective reason to doubt, entirely because it doesn't support your position. This has been all this particular discussion has been about, despite your attempts to broaden it. It's exactly the same mentality as a climate-change catastrophist, who when you show them worldwide data over time showing overall warming trends are mild and managable, responds with "All I care about is that we just had a bloody hot summer and I nearly died from the heat - therefore the data must be wrong". That's an invalid approach because valid conclusions derive from all the relevant facts, not just the ones that support a negative (or positive) conclusion.

      Yes Peter has been less than civil to you, but I can't blame him when he's had to endure years of this approach from you. The rational response when presented with facts that contradict your position is not to assume they must be wrong. By all means check if they are wrong, but if they're not, you need to integrate that new information into your conclusions in a non-contradictory way.

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  4. This debate is full of hyperbole and half-truths exacerbated by the need of certain politicians to have a scapegoat country to use as a counterexample for the evils of immigration/refugees/Islam etc. Put a bunch of marginalised refugees in already economically underprivileged and underserved city suburbs and it is a no-brainer that there will be an overrepresentation in the crime stats.

    What always gets me is the armchair experts who know everything about the 'situation' in Sweden. Not perfect, but nowhere near the chaos that certain niche elements of the media really hope you would believe.

    DenMT

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  5. "...refugees were responsible for only 1 percent of all incidents". It would be useful to know what percentage of the population refugees made up, otherwise this statistic is a bit meaningless, which is a shame because it's pretty much key to the whole article. That and the accurate gathering of statistics, which, as we know, isn't necessarily reliable just because it's done by someone paid by the government.

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    1. Conceptually I'm perfectly fine with acknowledging that if refugees are responsible for 1% of incidents, they're not a particularly compelling cause of the incidents. You're looking at the assessment wrong--they're not trying to determine if refugees are more violent than the rest of the population, but rather if what the causes for these incidents are. A subtle but important distinction.

      If refugees coming into Sweden were a major cause for increased violence we would expect the number to be significant--at least 10/15%, but I'd prefer to see 25% or more (determining this cut-off is more art than science). 1% means that refugees are an insignificant contributing factor.

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. No, Richard, you don't get to post your off-topic spam here.

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    2. It was in response to your dig at Milo above, so entirely pertinent.

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  7. This is not an attempt to post on your blog, but for your eyes only, Peter. You accuse me of giving up on liberty, and of only being animated by Muslims. Your accusation is not objective. The first letter, my letter, was published on Friday in the Nelson Mail, and Mr Glover's response was published yesterday. He mentions the Libertarianz. He may have googled it, or he might a long memory. But anyway, I won't give up on freedom till the day I die.
    Sir,

    Like a character from George Orwell's, 1984, Gary Glover (Mailbox, Feb 22) claims that "it is crucial that everyone responsibly expresses our right to free speech lest hate speech laws which criminalise views and disrespectful behaviour viewed as ugly, immoral or dangerous are introduced." In other words, don't exercise your freedom of speech or it will be taken.

    Mr Glover pretends to be a free speech supporter, when clearly he is not. The purpose of the freedom of speech is to protect the offensive, the immoral, and the ugly. Or, in other words, to protect the right of people to say things that other people do not want to hear.

    A society mature enough to handle that, is civilised. Those who can't handle it are like children tossing their toys from their cot, only exceedingly more dangerous. The Nazis, and more recently the Berkeley rioters, are testament to that.

    Not so free speech
    Nelson Mail27 Feb 2017

    Hate speech laws which criminalise free speech deemed harmful, hateful or hurtful would very quickly curb Libertarianz campaigner Richard Wiig’s advocacy of an absolute right of free speech with no limits (February 24). Richard, our right of free speech is already limited. Even unknowingly publicly promoting any falsehood is libel or slander which right now limits our right to free speech. So does assaulting another with abusive or offensive language and speech which lacks insight into another’s race, culture or religion, as the ‘‘Huntly harpy’’ learnt. With his anything is allowed libertarian ideology Mr Wiig upends my approach of responsibly using free speech because his anything goes approach is the very thing that will hasten in hate speech laws that would greatly limit his and everyone else’s right to analyse, criticise or oppose aspects of another’s race, culture or religion. For our democracy’s sake I will implacably oppose hate speech laws, even if this means a slight limit on our right to absolute free speech. But first our free speech must be responsible speech.

    Gary Glover
    Richmond, Feb 25

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  8. And one last thing that sticks in my craw, Peter. This passing myself off as an authority bollocks. Another straw man from you, this time in order to knock it down. I'm just a bloke with concerns and opinions, nothing more and nothing less. I didn't agree with Lindsay Perigo when he said that you're evil, but you certainly are a prick. Someone who cares about justice, not. And Ben is right. If the ever increasing financial cost to the French taxpayers for security between them and the Islamic immigrant community isn't evidence of a problem with Islamic immigration, then you've crossed the line from the world of principles to the world of dogma.

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