Saturday, September 15, 2007

Swiss Doublespeak

Last week I reported on UN criticism of the People’s Party in Switzerland for its “racist” posters. It seems that the PP had committed the heinous un-PC crime of wanting to deport entire immigrant families if one member was convicted of a crime. The horror!

The Swiss Government has now responded to the UN accusations. It says that it is fully opposed to racism and fully committed to freedom of opinion…

Oh, wait; those are contradictory. OK, it’s against racism, but the courts have to decide. Or something.

It’s doublespeak, if not doublethink, in the service of politically correct behavior.

Yes, the Swiss government is doing that little dance, the PC Multicultural Two-Step, the one that elite functionaries everywhere do when confronted with the contradiction between free speech and Multiculturalism.

According to Swissinfo:

Government rejects racism accusations

Switzerland stands by the principle of freedom of opinion but rejects any form of racism, the government has stressed.

Security sheepResponding to United Nations criticism, it said that while racism was unacceptable, it was up to the courts to determine whether particular statements violated anti-racism laws.

“In a democratic society freedom of opinion must be defended, in particular in the context of political debate,” the government said in a letter responding to charges laid by two UN special rapporteurs.

Last month the rapporteurs complained about the controversial “black sheep” campaign by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, which calls for foreign criminals to be expelled from the country.

The posters show three white sheep standing on a Swiss flag kicking out a black sheep with the slogan “Create Security”.

Doudou Diène, the UN special rapporteur on racism, and Jorge Bustamente, the rapporteur on the rights of migrants, asked the Swiss government for an explanation.

The campaign has aroused considerable debate within Switzerland. Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey, a member of the centre-left Social Democrat Party, said it “stirs up hatred” and “disgusts” her.
- - - - - - - - -
Roman Jäggi, spokesman for the People’s Party, hit back, saying the campaign was “completely fair”.

“We have a big problem with violence and in particular youth violence, and foreign criminals are a big factor,” he told swissinfo.

Over the last few months the Swiss have discovered the wonderful advantages of UN membership. In addition to special parking spaces and reduced prices at hotels, they are subject to repeated charges of human rights violations from Doudou Diène:

Diène’s complaint about the poster campaign was not the first time he had expressed concern about racism in Switzerland.

In March this year he submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council in which he accused the Swiss authorities of lacking a “coherent and resolute political strategy against racism and xenophobia”.

In his 2006 report he had noted that racism, xenophobia and discrimination were “trivialised” in political debate in Switzerland and also observed strong evidence of institutional racism, including within the police.

Now that Libya, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela have all been reformed into models of civic perfection, it’s time for the UN to clean up human rights in Switzerland.

And what does the Swiss government say?

The government rejected the conclusions of both reports, but said it would step up efforts to combat racism and discrimination.

So it says it will do something. Or nothing. That it can’t do anything. But it will fix the problem. That black is white and up is down and freedom is slavery.

Doublethink and doublespeak to fix doubleplus ungood racism.

Double time!

Hat tip: insubria.


Unknown said...

An advice to Swiss PP party.
Use the same poster but just switch colors.
Three black sheep kicking a white sheep. And add a legend "certified by UN multiculti censure division"
You even got a medal from racist Doudou Diène.

Anonymous said...

Well said Geraldo.

I wonder what's the riot about. Deport foreign criminals? Oh my, what a concept!

The irony of this, I think I once read that Switzerland actively deports foreigners who drive too fast (fast as in more than 40 km/h above the speed limit). They throw them out. I told my parents, when they went to Switzerland on vacation earlier this year "be careful, the Swiss aren't as lenient as our cops".

In Japan too many traffic violations may hinder you to become nationalized (as in getting the citizenship) if you are a foreigner. Or so a certain Arudou Debito (nationalized American) claims on his little website. However, he's the guy who's been bitching and moaning over the "no foreigners" signs on a few bars in Japan (most famous the one used by a bar on Hokkaido, a bar where they had massive problems with drunk Russian sailors), usually establishments where I wouldn't set my foot into, often connected to the yakuza and what not, so I do have some second thoughts when it comes to his accounts (personal experience: never had any problems with being a foreigner over there myself).

Anonymous said...

Nice to see how the Swiss learned from WWII

Anonymous said...

PIMF -- Posting a comment without concluding the thought is a true stroke of genius. ;-0

By engaging in the fine art of double-speak, the Swiss government is setting itself up for future attacks by either side of the issue.

The government is either supportive of the idea of tightened immigration and foreign residency laws, or it isn't.

During WWII, the Swiss were offically neutral, but were quite busy as Hitler's bankers and arms suplliers.

Anonymous said...

Indeed. Swiss was neutral.

France was supposed to be occupied territory and Germany was supposed to be their official enemy, yet there was a French SS unit. And a Dutch SS unit. And a Norwegian SS unit...

And the Swiss are pretty much everyone's bankers even today, democrat, pacifist or dictator. "Pecunia non olet" as the Romans put it.

Don Miguel said...

"During WWII, the Swiss were offically neutral, but were quite busy as Hitler's bankers and arms suplliers."

Actually they were quite busy as everyone's "bankers and arms suplliers." Have you ever heard of the Oerlikon autocannon? Used by the British and US Navy (and not until 1942) in WWII until replaced by Bofors guns. As for Swiss bankers, they will and have dealt with anyone as long as they're paid and ... ahem ... are not above ripping off clients if they can get away with it (something known long before the Bergier Commission).

Yorkshireminer said...

The Swiss have always said one thing and done another. If the definition is right that a Diplomat is someone who is hired to lie for his country then the Swiss diplomats are consummate liars. They can stone wall and dissimulate with the best. Have no fear this will be going round in circles for the next few weeks until the Muslim controlled U.N. Human rights committee find that they are getting nowhere and try another tack. Meanwhile back at the farm the Heides and the William Tells of that delightful land learn how to make computer games and post them on the internet. I don't know how many of you can read German, but I can assure you this is not a politically correct site. Please enjoy I have.

openplaza said...

What? Sometimes I wonder really where some people get such ideas from.
Swiss diplomacy is traditionally very well respected in the world. The Swiss are representing US interests in Cuba and Iran, because the US itself has no embassies there. The Swiss are also overseeing the ceasefire agreement between North- and Southkorea. Etc.
Switzerland has brokered negotiations and deals in regions such as Nepal, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Uganda etc. (just examples since 2000)

Switzerland and the US can be seen very much as sister republics, as they share many aspects of their constitutions. Around 1% of all Swiss citizens live in the US, while Switzerland is among the 6 biggest US Investors. US-Swiss relations are as important as EU-Swiss relations.

Switzerland is - like every other country – NOT perfect. So if you digg deep enough in its past you will always find aspects you don’t like. I have no doubt about that.

Something concerning the Swiss governing style:
Cicero would of liked Swiss democracy, there is no governing party and opposition party like we know from other Western countries. The government is made up from 7 People which are elected from the 4 biggest parties by the parliament. So the Swiss Peoples Party has two members in the government, the socialists have two etc. And while it is expected from them, to forget about their party membership, and act as one collegial body, the reality often looks different. The presidency, which is more a representative Job, rotates every year between those seven members. At the moment, the presidency lies with socialist Micheline Calmy Rey.
So of course, she/they are happy to use the support of the UN, in their efforts against the swiss peoples partys campaign. Outside this seven member governing body (Bundesrat), the parties continue business as usual – meaning, that they even sometimes oppose decisions which are supported by their own party member who is part of the Bundesrat.

CorporateCog said...

The swiss are being slowly "finlandized" by the eu. The SVP is party most strongly against joining the EU.

If you want to see how the eu softpower works, watch switzerland. Being small, landlocked and surrounded by the eu, it is the only country in the world that has to submit to this soft power.

We are getting the estonia treatment in a slow drip, drip fashon