The iconic Grand Hotel in Stockholm – where the Nobel laureates stay – is hosting a gathering today in order to confer what are called ‘European Freedom Awards’ on some lucky people. It has been organized by the far-Right Sweden Democrat Party. Among the speakers – and possibly the recipients – is Nigel Farage. Amusingly, the event has provoked thousands of people to give the Grand Hotel single-star reviews on hotel booking sites. I thought of turning up to heckle, but the weather’s pretty awful, so I’m staying in. So much for political principle.
Next weekend an even further-Right party, overtly neo-Nazi and ‘Nordic’, has planned a meeting and march nearby, explicitly against immigration. A flyer for it appeared in our mailbox. They have a website, in English as well as Swedish: https://www.12november.se/information-in-english/. I’m sure it will be very small, but the anti-Nazis have been forewarned, so there may be clashes. I’ll be back in the UK by then.
Is there any support in Sweden for leaving the EU? I thought so at one time – see https://bernardjporter.com/2016/04/22/brexit-swexit/ – but my impression now is that our (British) Brexit, and its leaders, largely ridiculed in the press here, have had the opposite effect. Those single-star reviews are significant. But then, living as I do almost exclusively among educated Swedish Lefties, what can I know?
Fascism, or a twenty-first century form of it, is certainly in the air – in most of Europe, in Trumpite America, and in Daily Mail Britain: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/04/enemies-of-the-people-british-newspapers-react-judges-brexit-ruling. But it’s weaker in relatively rational Sweden, I think, despite its ‘Aryan-ness’. I’m still waiting for my (alternative) Swedish citizenship to come through, by the way.
PS. (later). Here’s an English-language report of the Grand Hotel meeting. It also confirms my sense that any ‘Swexit’ feeling has fallen away recently: http://www.thelocal.se/20161105/farage-tells-swedes-he-will-return-with-a-pitchfork.