Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fired For Supporting Israel

We Americans are used to being scorned, sneered at, and condescended to by the elites of European culture. It’s normal; it’s business is usual. If you’re an American, four out of five Europeans of the upper and middle classes will look down their noses at you.

The Swedes and the French are in competition to see who can loathe America more. Based on today’s example from The Local, the Swedes are winning:

Swedish Nobel Committee supremo Horace Engdahl has shocked the global literary establishment by denouncing the cultural “ignorance” of authors from the United States.

[…]

“The US is too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining,” said Engdahl.

None of this is new or surprising. It’s a dog-bites-man story.

But until recently I had no idea that a Swede could actually lose his job for being supportive of the USA and Israel. That’s what happened to Lennart Eriksson, who committed the grave crime of keeping a private website which expressed conservative opinions. In 21st-century Swedistan, such behavior is simply unacceptable.

Here’s a press release about Mr. Eriksson’s case that was sent to me by several Swedish readers:

Court Case for Swede Exercising Freedom of Expression

The Swedish Migration Board is in court pursuing a claim against an employee charged with being a Conservative who also wrote favourable comments on his private website about the US and Israel as pillars of democracy. The Swedish Migration Board feels that Conservatives and people who express themselves favourably about these two countries are not fit to hold a unit management position.

Lennart Eriksson, 52, has worked at the Swedish Migration Board, Göteborg, Sweden in various capacities for more than 20 years. In October 2007 he was ousted from his job as unit manager. The reasons are twofold: because he ran a website on the Internet in which he gave his opinions on various issues, and because he is a Conservative in his personal political affiliations.

Political views dictated to employees

On his website, which his employers knew about for many years, Eriksson voiced appreciation of the US and Israel as examples of thriving democracies. He also praised US general George Patton as a hero of World War Two. Eriksson has never spent work-time on his website and he has never used his work computers for this purpose. Neither do his employers contend that he ever did so.

Lennart Eriksson sued the Swedish Migration Board in Mölndal county court, Göteborg. He maintains he has in effect been fired from his job as asylum assessment unit manager, camouflaged in the form of a demotion or transfer. Lennart Eriksson feels that whatever the terminology, there is no legal or justifiable cause for the move. The Migration Board confirms that Lennart Eriksson has been transferred as a result of the opinions he expressed on his private website.
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Trial venue and dates

The main hearing will take place on Friday October 10 and Monday October 13, 2008, starting at 09:00 on both days. The court’s address is: Mölndals tingsrätt, Södra Vägen 25, Göteborg, Sweden.

The case is of fundamental importance in a country that is nominally a democracy. The right to freely express opinions on political, cultural and social issues without risk of reprisal is the very foundation of a democratic society. The opinions that Lennart Eriksson expresses are based on a strong democratic foundation whose cornerstone is the unassailable affirmation of every individual’s equal human value. In the political perspective, Lennart Eriksson’s opinions are traditionally Conservative.

Political persecution

Political persecution is unfamiliar in a country where generations of citizens have been told that this sort of thing cannot occur at home. The Swedish Migration Board fulfils a vital social function. Protecting human rights and offering asylum to victims of persecution are among the Board’s central roles. However, with the Swedish Migration Board revealing that it will not hesitate to victimise its own employees for political beliefs that are at odds with those of its managers, its credibility and the public’s confidence in its operations risk irreversible erosion.

On trial: freedom of expression in Sweden

This trial follows hard on the heels of another high-profile case in which a Swedish intern working at a Swedish embassy abroad was summarily fired and sent home when his political affiliations were discovered. That case was taken up by Sweden’s Chancellor of Justice who ordered the Foreign Ministry to pay the sacked intern compensation for wrongful dismissal. The verdict against the embassy was remarkable for its particularly brusque wording.

That case bore an uncanny resemblance to the situation in which Lennart Eriksson finds himself: the freedom to have political beliefs and to express them privately resulting in a state-run institution terminating an employee’s tenure.

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For further information, please contact:
Ilya Meyer, Göteborg, Sweden
Phone +46 31 690450
Mobile phone +46 708 690450
Email: ilya.meyer@transtext.se


Hat tip for the Local article: TB.

8 comments:

spackle said...

"The Migration Board confirms that Lennart Eriksson has been transferred as a result of the opinions he expressed on his private website."

Unbelievable. It is so bad that they feel perfectly comfortable to say this out in the open. Yet they see nothing wrong with this. The next logical step will be to label conservatism as a mental disease worthy of being forcibly committed.

This reminds me of something that happened to me recently. After the ANTIFA attacks in Cologne I cruised (out of curiosity) youtube for ANTIFA videos. I left a comment on one asking the ANTIFA types who or what did they consider a Nazi or Fascist? And shouldnt even a Nazi be entitled to free speech? The answer I got was that some ANTIFA members are a little paranoid and see Nazis everywhere (Duh!) and that anyone who doesnt respect "human rights" (what those rights are no one told me) has no right to free speech.

It seems these Swedes and ANTIFA are cut from the same cloth.

Steen said...

Horace Engdalh - hmm - provinsial ? Elfriede Jelinek, Harold Pinter ?

It´s no wonder there has been political fights in the committee, and empty chairs. Engdahl ought to be more humble, an impossible wish I guess.

christian soldier said...

Isn't socialist-democratic-fascism fun!
We're headed that way here in the Republic of the U.S.A.
We do still have the second amendment and are willing to fight to keep it!

sioe said...

Whereas Swedish literature, unlike American literature, is outgoing international - and unknown.

An overreaction to Engdahl's pseudointellectualism.

randian said...

What credentials does Horace Engdahl bring to his evaluation of the supposed ignorance of Americans?

Skalman said...

Well. Hold your horses guys. We´re not talking the average Joe in Sweden here. What we´re talking about is the medial and political elite and that´s a completely different issue.

The average Joe here, or perhaps the average Sven, is not generally hostile to, negative to or looking down on the average US citizen.

Sometimes we may pull a joke or two about the US hillbillys and the sometimes apparent ignorance of some US citizens. That´s just about the same kind of jokes we make about danes or norwegians and we mean no offence, rather the contrary. We see in you a reflection of ourselves even though the mirror is sometimes looking like it has been made by a person with bad eyes.

The elite is as I stated previously a different issue. Most of them being socialists in one form or another they take every opportunity to spill their manure on everything connected to the US including any swede who dare to be rude enough to even open their mouths in sympathy of the US.

The results you have read about in the Baron´s text above but please, I beg you, do not believe that those opinions are shared by the average swede.


The lack of real democracy in Sweden become apparent to more and more people every day as they are exposed to the consequences of the current situation.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Skalman is right to point this out. I communicate with a few people in Sweden and at worst they're ambivalent toward America. One of them wants to move over there for the better work.

I'd have to say we Brits are more anti-american in general. Don't mention America to my brother, for example. He hates the place, viscerally, and refuses to see anything positive about it no matter how I try to explain. Compared to him the average swede is positively enraptured with the USA.

1389 said...

These days, "asylum" is granted only to those who have no use for Judaeo-Christian civilization.