It is this kind of thinking…and compassion…that makes me proud to live in Sweden
Saturday, April 22, 2017
excuse me Sweden, but you know that place you say is safe to repatriate refugess/asylum seekers
I think you should re-evaluate your assesment as it appears the Taleban (who already control 70% of the country) spring offensive
and in case you didn’t manage to read this, I post it for your illumination.
But coercing registered refugees into returning home against their will violates the international legal prohibition against refoulement -- not to forcibly return or pressure anyone into returning to a place where they would face a real risk of persecution, torture or other ill-treatment, or a threat to life.
“No Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
“…coercing registered refugees into returning home against their will violates the international legal prohibition against refoulement --
not to forcibly return or pressure anyone into returning to a place where they would face a real risk of persecution, torture or
other ill-treatment, or a threat to life”.
Just a gentle reminder to my much loved Sweden that some things…just ain’t Swedish!
Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Friday, March 31, 2017
I love Sweden. It is an amazing place. It is always trying to improve things.
It is, therefore, with some childlike disappointment that I must face a truth about a legal
system that is either being abused or really needs some better oversight and investigation.
So many times I am hearing reports of how asylum seekers, some who would rather
take suicide than return to war torn lands where genocide has been the norm for years,
for whatever seemingly politically motivated reason lose their first court case to decide if they can stay.
I am not here debating the rights or wrongs of immigration policy, that is a
wholly different issue.I am debating the failure to maintain the standards of the law.
However, so often the asylum seeker is not even notified by their Mirgatiobnsverket employed lawyer
of the date – or even decision- of an appeal court case. They are denied the right to appear, denied
the opportunity to present additional information and it would appear that such information that is
presented excludes or circumvents changes in law and government policy within the last 8 months.
If you are going to throw people out, OK. But please do not do it in breach of their rights as specified
within the UN Charters, the EU rules, the actual law of Sweden. Please do not do it under a facade of legal
pretence. It diminishes Sweden.
Such a kangaroo court system is deserving of the Taleban – not Sweden
Friday, March 10, 2017
The problem of ‘economic migration’
There are some who object to the tragic influx of immigrants on the basis that they are
So just to gain some perspective on this, let us define an ‘economic immigrant’ as someone who is
not escaping a war/terrorist zone.
How then would we feel about 1.3 million ‘economic immigrants’, persons seeking to come here
who are not escaping war/terrorism?
In context it is to be noted that, per capita of population, Sweden has taken in more immigrants
since 2001 than any other European country.
Something for which Swedes should be justifiably proud and generally are. There is just a small
percentage whose apparent grasp of history conveniently omits this:
in the 19th century 1.3 MILION ‘economic refugess’ emigrated from Sweden to the USA. They did not leave
because of war or terrorism, nor because of violent religious oppression.
So, where is the logic of the argument presented by that small minority who oppose accepting refugees from war zones?
It is, after all, no more than pay-back!
photo from The Guardian and an article here
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Friday, February 24, 2017
There seems to be some myths going around about no-go areas, increased violence and riots in Sweden.
Well, I’m an Englishman with a Norwegian wife so I have no ‘nationalistic flag to wave. Nor am I involved in politics in any way, so I have
no ‘fear-mongering agenda’ in an attempt to cover my otherwise crappy policies and get near to the ‘honey pot of power’.
I don’t recognise this Sweden that a certain foxy pres from USA talks about (I can’t write his name because I have an app that blocks any article in the media
with his name in it from appearing in my pc. This is called ‘Freedom’.). But I do recognise, being an elderly man’ that standard blame game to deflect people’s
attention from what is really going on.
However, perhaps before looking at the Sweden glass house,Americans would be wise to look at their own. In Sweden we
do not have cases of cops killing 12 year olds and not even having a trial by their peers! Nor do we have cases of cops killing a 17
year old (while he is unarmed and lying on the ground – ps. this guy was whjite) for flashing the cop car to tell the officer his
lights are on main beam and dazzling road users.
Now, if the media wants to get excited about something, why don’t they get excited about these 2 cases which are symptomatic
of the problem the D could tackle at home, instead of trying to buy and throw s’’t at a country with far higher standards than his own!
And as for Jimmy A, hope he gets his green card. And if by some mistaken hallucination you think Jimmy A represents anybody’s interests but his own, then welcome to the real world! The real world is that most Swedes care about people less fortunate than themselves – and it does have it’s benefits: in my small town (about 3000) there are now 42 languages, but our high school has just been voted the 2nd best in the whole of Sweden. The influx of desperate refugees has, on balance, been beneficial in terms of employment in the area and a boost to businesses. Cultural changes, of course there are: Sweden is not the same as it was 50 years ago – but, just look at the media, look at the tv, look at the internet – all these things have had a profound effect on the Swedish culture in the last 50 years. Is Jimmy A protesting about that? Is he protesting that Gothenburg has just been voted the most sociable city…in the world!
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Monday, February 20, 2017
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Thursday, February 09, 2017
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Let me explain. It seems to most people I know that the Government is paying out vast sums of money…not to the refugees seeking asylum…but to orgs who offer support services (accomodation,etc) to these desperate people. You see, it was decided that a certain standard of care be provided as a prelude to integration and that standard is quite high and expensive.
This is the most common complaint I hear from Swedes about this situation. It is not a complaint about skin colour. It is not a complaint about religion (although there is a media reinforced misunderstanding of the amount of say, muslims, in the land…it is actually less than 5%)..it is about the ‘lavish treatment’ the refugees ‘appear’ to be receiving. A treatment that is not, so I repeatedly hear, handed out to indigenous Swedes. In my local small town, population now a little over 3000 (2016) there are 42 different languages. Can you imagine. the problems in the schools that that can create – but even in this small town there has been an incredible effort to deal with those problems. Caring and compassion are reflected in many different ways, just like the beauty of a diamond.
That having all been ‘necessarily said’, I have the utmost respect for what the Swedish nation has managed to do in the past 2 years. For a nation that only last week reached the 10 million population milestone, the Swedish heart has been overwhelmingly open to the desperate needs of others. Here is just one more – of many,many – stories about that heart.
published in the guardian.com you can read the full story here (please note: the trial is for helping ONE refugee)
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Sunday, January 15, 2017
His parents had grown up in a war torn country – the Russians went in in 1979. He, being only 17, had never known peace in his land.
Can we imagine what it actually feels like to be able to walk in the forest, or drive down a road, without being blown up?
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Monday, January 09, 2017
It is to be hoped that in the struggle to find a balance the Immigration authorities can take into account the reports from the local Swedish population as to the desirability of allowing young people refugees to remain in Sweden where such persons are considered, by their personality and character, to be a welcome asset in the community. In such difficult matters of policy it would be wise for the authorities to take this into consideration. There should be a scenario where if a substantial number of people in a community wish to have that person remain amongst them that such a scenario will weigh heavily in favour of a positive decision.
In matters of compassion a rule book is not a cover all blanket!
Sunday, January 08, 2017
So, Friday last was a very rare event for me – I actually went to a live ‘pop performance’ given by famous folk. Rare? Yeah, probably about only the 3rd time I have ever done it in my life!!! Had it not been for a singer guy I know, Dick Johansson who so kindly invited me along, I would have missed one of the best nights I have ever had in my life.
like many englishman, I fell in love with Abba and their melodic ‘make sense lyrics’ songs still sit close to consciousness in the memory.
It was an evening of incredible highlights and following the show the highlights just increased in luminescence – for what could be better than a good meal in good company in a place with a good ambience? Totally by accident – or as I prefer to think by destiny – we tumbled into a place called
translated it means ‘Golden Monkey’. As well as being an award at the Swedish Hit Music Awards the monkey has an incredible tradition in the cultures and mythology around the world. One meaning/significance is found in astrology signs – where it means ‘ fun, activity,charm and an energetic nature’. The Guldapan restaurant was all of these – plus a lot more.
Amongst a varied menu we found such “mundane” items as sausage and mash and a beefburger with gruyere cheese. However,to describe what we recieved as mundane is an abuse of language. I always love it when you think you have ordered a ‘run of the mill’ thing and what you get turns out to be – well, an extraordinary feast for the mind as well at the palate.
The sausage? Home made…and the best I have tasted anywhere in 30 years of being in Scandinavia.
The beefburger? Home made – pure lean beef, no fat (and I’m really fussy about that) very thick.
I also had --- chips (well,I am English). For me you can judge the standard of a place by the chips it makes, because chips are regarded so much as just an ordinary thing most places don’t really bother to produce good ones. NOT GULDAPAN, even the chips were amazing!
An incredible range of drinks, amazing range of beers and when I asked for a low alcohol beer the very friendly guy behind the bar rattled off a list so fast I couldn’t count them all. So I simply asked what he recommended (not always a good question to ask,huh?).With a refreshing honesty that matched the superb refreshing quality of the beer I got, he told me that he drinks Mikkeller Drink’in the Sun. So I had one, then I had another. It was a totally enjoyable taste experience.
This is a restaurant where the staff are..and I mean this…super friendly and exceedingly diligent. It has a friendly ambience….and food that ranks in my top 5 experiences for excellence in Scandinavia in the last 30 years.
The only problem with telling you this is…I might not be able to get a table next time I want to go! But then, the good things in life just get ‘gooderer’ the more they are shared, huh?