Posts Tagged ‘political correctness’

Fear of political incorrectness is just cowardice

December 4, 2018

Every human has a conception of good and bad. It is the most fundamental value that underpins all other values. Not everybody agrees on what should be considered good or what should be labeled bad, but it is pretty clear at the level of the individual.

Taking cowardice to be the subjugation of actions to fears (and bravery then to be the subjugation of fears to necessary actions), it seems to me that since WW2, the discourse about human behaviour is dominated by cowardice. Judgements of good and bad are suspended or ignored for fear of being labeled politically incorrect. Bad behaviour is excused and even encouraged by the failure to hold to one’s own set of values. In fact, the cowardice is rationalised by the idea that bad behaviour is always excusable. It is conveniently forgotten that all so called “human rights” are, in fact, just privileges afforded by human societies to their members. Politically correct rhetoric will have it that these “rights” (actually privileges)  are not subject to behaviour – yet there is no society which does not, in practice, sanction members for their behaviour (but not always).

How Political Correctness Protects the Bad Guys

……. Today, police know that criminals’ rights will often be held above victims’ rights. As a result, police must cope with procedures specially designed to prevent criminals from admitting their crimes, with evidence procedures designed to prevent officers from looking where evidence might be, and with a virtual ban on profiling the characteristics of a likely criminal during the search. …….. 

The power of political correctness is especially evident in Britain, where a training manual instructed magistrates not to have prejudice against black youths who commit violent crimes but, rather, according to the Salisbury Review, to “think of them as quirky Lenny Henry characters”—referring to a black English comedian. The Sentencing Guidelines Council says teenage muggers should not be jailed. Those who defend themselves when criminals invade their homes, however, are regularly jailed. One woman was ordered to remove barbed wire from the roof of her house because an intruder could be injured. Dr. Ian Stephen gave the following advice at Glasgow Caledonian University: “If you attack the burglar, or react in an over-the-top manner … you will inevitably end up on the receiving end of a prison sentence that will far outstrip that imposed on the intruder in your own home …. Direct contact should be avoided whenever possible. If unavoidable, the victim should adopt a state of active passivity ….” One must show proper respect for the criminal!

A consequence of this cowardice in making judgements is that “bad” is equated to “good” in the name of equality. What is fair and just, which requires a judgement of good or bad, is subjugated to the politically correct notions of “human rights” or “equality” or “discrimination” or “sexism”.

  • For fear of being labeled racist, anti-social activities by “ethnic groups” are tolerated and even allowed to flourish.
  • For fear of being labeled “anti-religion”, brainwashing of children is permitted and encouraged.
  • For fear of violating “human rights”, vicious rapists and murderers are treated better than their victims.
  • For fear of violating “human rights”, being bad is privileged.
  • For fear of being labeled “discrimination”, the incompetent are equated with the skilled in the job market.
  • For fear of being labeled “anti-feminist”, incompetence is equated with experience or skill.

To allow a fear of being labeled “politically incorrect” to subjugate one’s own values is simple cowardice.

Bad is never equal to good.

We cannot keep making excuses for bad behaviour. There may be explanations for bad behaviour, but it must have consequences. An explanation cannot eliminate liability.


Related:

Why is there an ethical problem with capital punishment?


 

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A back-lash against “authority” and the “establishment”

April 13, 2016

I observe that “authorities” are becoming much more strident and self-serving than ever before. They have become more lobbyists than authorities. They increasingly resort to advocacy – which is inevitably political – rather than being the objective disseminators of sound analysis – as they claim to be.

It applies to the World Bank, the IMF, many parts of the UN and virtually every NGO there is (WWF, Greenpeace, Amnesty….). Advocacy inevitably brings “spin”, and that leads, as I perceive it, to a loss of their credibility and their “authority”. But I also perceive a growing back-lash to this perversion of “authority”. The “establishment” view is facing an unprecedented loss of credibility.

This week it was the IMF coming out against Brexit. But it is so strident that it sounds more like scare-mongering than any reasoned analysis. The IMF has not covered itself in glory with their forecasts. They have been wrong in about 3 times as many cases as they have been right. I suspect that itself suggests that the Brits have much more to gain from Brexit than the “establishment” would have them believe.

Perhaps the “authorities” are turning strident to make themselves heard. But I suspect they are bucking a global “anti-establishment” phenomena that is just getting started. It was visible with all the various Arab spring events and it is increasingly visible in Europe and the US today. The EU is facing unprecedented opposition to its “establishment” positions; from Ukraine to refugees. Both the Democrats and the Republicans in the US are facing waves of ant-establishment protest. The stridency from the “establishment” or from “authority” is becoming counter-productive. The louder they shout, the less they are heard. When the ultimate establishment figure, the POTUS, attacks Trump, Trump’s numbers rise. When he supports Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders’ numbers rise. When the IMF attacks Brexit, the number in favour of Brexit increase.

I think the phenomenon arises from a resentment in being told what to think, by “establishments” and “authorities” trying to impose their politically correct beliefs (not analysis) onto others. The World Bank and the IMF write their conclusions before starting their analyses. Greenpeace and the WWF routinely exaggerate and Greenpeace even makes up facts. They have become no different in their tone to the Grand Mufti declaring that women who drive are exposed to evil or the Shankaracharya Swaroopanand warning that women will suffer rape now that they have entered forbidden parts of the Shani Shingnapur temple.


 

 

 

John Cleese – “Political correctness creating 1984”

February 2, 2016

That “political correctness” is oppressive is self-evident. It is the tool that the liberal left have been using – with some success – to shut down opposing views by stifling them. Political correctness is nothing more than trying to control other people’s behaviour (and sometimes even their thoughts). More often than not, for the mob applying pc to shut others up, it is a sign of their abdication of thought. It is a shame that so many young people on college campuses just follow the herd rather than thinking for themselves. But nearly always, the instigator of a pc campaign will be a left leaning activist who would deny others the freedom of thinking.

Now even John Cleese has been moved to attack the political correctness that so dominates university campuses.

EntertainmentBritish actor John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, says the enforcement of political correctness has come at the expense of comedy. 

In a video for Big Think, Cleese speaks specifically about college campuses, where he says he’s been warned not to perform because “any kind of criticism or any individual or group could be labeled cruel.”

Cleese also recalled something said to him about the issue by London psychiatrist Robin Skynner, with whom he’s worked on two books about psychology and psychiatry.

“[Skynner] said, ‘If people can’t control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people’s behavior.’ And when you’re around super-sensitive people, you cannot relax and be spontaneous because you have no idea what’s going to upset them next,” says Cleese.

He adds, “The whole point about humor, the whole point about comedy, and believe you me I”ve thought about this, is that all comedy is critical … All humor is critical. If you start to say, ‘We mustn’t; we mustn’t criticize or offend them,” then humor is gone. With humor goes a sense of proportion. And then as far as I’m concerned, you’re living in 1984.”

Jerry Seinfeld made the same point last year:

…. “I hear that all the time,” Seinfeld said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. “I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC.’”

Seinfeld says teens and college-aged kids don’t understand what it means to throw around certain politically-correct terms. “They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist;’ ‘That’s sexist;’ ‘That’s prejudice,’” he said. “They don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”


 

In Sweden, “pc” now stands for political cowardice

January 27, 2016

I am an immigrant in Sweden. I suppose I was, like any expat, an “economic migrant” when I was recruited into Sweden 32 years ago, since I accepted the economic package that was offered then to move to Sweden. But an initially expected 3 year stay has now become 32 years. Our children grew up here and though I have lived in five countries over the years (India, UK, Japan, Germany and Sweden), we have settled here and made Sweden our home. It is the most open country I know. And as the Swedish national anthem puts it Ja, jag vill leva, jag vill dö i Norden (“Yes, I wish to live, I wish to die in Norden”).

One aspect about life in Sweden that I find frustrating though, is the amount of servile conformity I find in the supposedly “free press” and among the main-stream political parties. Conformity and “political correctness” have religious overtones here. I suppose the media are free to apply self-censorship if they so wish. But their fear of deviating from “political correctness” borders on cowardice. It becomes interesting when one “political correctness” conflicts with another. In the wake of the mass sexual harassment of girls and young women by gangs of “asylum seeking youths”, the sexism narrative is pitted against the multiculturalism orthodoxy. We now have the ridiculous statements of Swedish feminists (and the conforming media), claiming that the harassment is just about gender and not about culture.

Normally the media are so sanctimonious and correct about “feminism” versus “sexism” (TV even more than the press), as to be positively embarrassing. I cringe at the banality of some of the programs on Swedish TV. They end up as religious ceremonies to the glory of the pc gods (and LGBT is the name of one such god). But it is apparently even more divinely correct to pretend that ignoring problems with immigrants (which are cultural rather than race or ethnicity issues), will make the problems go away. This fear is in turn based on the misguided assumption that culture and ethnicity are the same (or could be mistaken to be the same).

The media (and political parties) have lived in the belief that reporting problems with certain groups of immigrants will only play into the hands of the right-wing, anti-immigrant, Sweden Democrats. Yet the backlash to this intentional hiding of reality has only helped propel the Sweden Democrats to record highs in support. If the intentional self-censorship was meant to prevent that, then it has been spectacularly counter-productive. After the refugee crisis, the immigration policies of the Red/Green government are now almost identical to those proposed earlier by the Sweden Democrats. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is that hiding a problem or pretending it does not exist, always precludes addressing the problem. Craven compliance with political correctness has become political cowardice. Integration of immigrants in large numbers can never be easy. There are different things to be done for integration depending upon whether the newcomers are from Somalia or Afghanistan or Morocco. But these things can be done. But not if the the press and authorities pretend that the problems don’t exist.

Why is it, for example, that it is only the right-wing web-sites and the foreign press which reports that the 15-year old asylum seeker who allegedly stabbed a young asylum worker to death was of Somali origin? There cannot be many people in Sweden who do not now know that – but yet the authorities and the mainstream media will not mention the fact. They persist – in a denial of intelligence – in pretending that the origin of the alleged murderer is not pertinent to the case.

Why is it that no part of the mainstream Swedish media has the courage to publish anything along the lines of these two recent articles in The Spectator. The Spectator in the UK may support the conservatives and is certainly right of centre, but it is hardly a fascist rag.

Spectator 1:

It’s not only Germany that covers up mass sex attacks by migrant men… Sweden’s record is shameful

…… The answer can be discovered in the reaction to the Cologne attacks. Sweden prides itself on its sexual equality and has even pioneered a feminist foreign policy. When hundreds of women were reported to have been molested and abused in Cologne — at the hands of an organised mob — the reaction from Swedish politicians and pundits ought to have been one of outrage.

Instead, we were told that the events in Cologne were not unusual. An article in Aftonbladet, Sweden’s largest tabloid, argued that it was racist to point out that the perpetrators in Cologne had been described as North African or Arab, since German men had carried out sexual assaults during Bavaria’s Oktober-fest. Another Aftonbladet article said that reporting on the Cologne attacks was bowing to right-wing extremism. Over the last week, we have been told over and over that the real issue is men, not any particular culture — that Swedish men are no better.

Then last week Sweden’s own stories began to emerge.

And then The Spectator had this article about the murder of Alexandra Mezher by the alleged 15-year old Somali asylum-seeker.

Spectator 2:

Why can’t the Swedish authorities be honest about crime and immigration?

…. Yesterday, a 15-year-old at an immigration centre stabbed and killed one of its female employees in Mölndal, near Gothenburg. It’s the kind of story that shakes the country to its core. Sweden has taken a staggering number of unaccompanied children – some 20,000 in the past four months – so the government has to act in loco parentis. To keep them out of trouble, as well as educate and accommodate then. It’s a very tough ask, a job that many Swedes fear is simply beyond the competence of government. In such circumstances, appalling things can happen.

A police spokesman had this to say:

‘It was messy, of course, a crime scene with blood. The perpetrator had been overpowered by other residents, people were depressed and upset. These kinds of calls are becoming more and more common… We’re dealing with more incidents like these since the arrival of so many more refugees from abroad.’

What makes this worse is that in Sweden, the police refuse to say if the suspect was an asylum seeker or not. This happens time and time again: a weird and unusual crime (say, a stabbing in Ikea or a rape on a ferry) and the Swedish police (and press) refuse to say whether the perpetrator is an immigrant – as if admitting as much would somehow feed anti-immigrant sentiment.

In fact, the refusal to level with the Swedish public is having the opposite effect. News of an attack brings grief and outrage, but the sense that the authorities are not telling the whole truth brings a new level of anger and suspicion. All of this further undermines public support for immigration, and hands votes to the Sweden Democrats.

….. And, in this way, a xenophobic populist backlash is being incubated in the most open country on earth.


 

If Executive Action is the President’s prerogative, why has it taken 7 years?

January 6, 2016

If the theatrically announced Executive Actions yesterday by Barack Obama have always been available to him, and if he feels so strongly about background checks on those buying guns, why, then, has it taken him 7 years to implement?

If gun control is the objective then it is very little and much too late. Personally I think that the issue of gun control is just an excuse used to avoid having to deal with the much greater malaise. The availability of guns may be of some consequence, but is not the root cause of the existence of the mass killers. I see that as the inexorable rise of permissiveness – the doctrine that encourages bad behaviour to be excused (not just explained) for “extenuating circumstances”. And upbringing, culture, laziness, lack of intelligence and poverty are all considered extenuating factors. Just being a member of a “minority” is taken to be extenuating. The incompetence of parenting is considered extenuating but the genes of the parents are not. The mass killings in the US are not going to stop with cosmetic gun control measures. My point is that the blind, almost religious, deference to political correctness has contributed – and may be the primary cause – of a permissive society generating mass killers. It is the same religion which has led to the failed doctrine of multiculturalism in Europe.

“Deference to political correctness” occurs when a theoretical dogma overrules evidence and reality. It starts with the belief that “I know best what is good for you”. It includes increased government regulation to protect groups and individuals considered to be “disadvantaged” from being held responsible for their actions. It is 50 years (3 generations) of “affirmative action” where one unfairness is imposed to try and correct some other perceived unfairness. It is the illogical belief that the poor are poor because the rich are rich which makes a god of “wealth redistribution”. It focuses on levelling down rather than levelling up. It tries to impose a lack of values. Individuals are no longer allowed to – or even considered able to – decide what is “good” or what is “bad”. It is a denial of the fundamental ability of a human to be able exercise judgement on the basis of his values.

I am more than a little suspicious of Obama’s “tears on demand” especially when it was at a carefully stage-managed performance which took weeks in preparation.

Mail&Guardian:Obama’s executive order is an attempt to bypass this legislative deadlock.

The executive order has been carefully crafted to survive a court challenge. It does not erase the distinction between business and private firearms sales. Rather, it broadens the definition of a business and provides for stricter enforcement of restrictions on business sales by hiring additional personnel to conduct background checks.

Yet, even the president has admitted that the executive order is “not going to prevent every mass shooting”.

There is evidence that unregulated private sales – over the internet and at gun shows – are a source of guns for individuals who are ineligible to purchase or possess a firearm. However, the weapons used in recent mass shootings in San Bernardino and Umpqua Community College in Oregon were acquired legally at federally licensed gun stores or through private transactions that likely wouldn’t be affected by Obama’s new rules. In other words, the president’s executive order would not have stopped these shooters.

The president’s executive order and its focus on the “gun-show loophole” is largely political theatre. Act II will be his upcoming town hall meeting on CNN.

Assuming Obama’s actions are of some value, why have they taken 7 years?

Political correctness is based on fear and a lack of values

January 5, 2016

Offense is ultimately in the minds of those who take offense.

A female (but far from androgynous) MP in the UK wants passports and driving licences to exclude the gender of the holder. “Gender – neutral” is apparently the politically correct term. I suppose a photograph which could be taken as an unflattering or gender-defining image could also be banned.

Maria Miller (Getty)

Maria Miller (Getty)

Passports and driving licences should not state if the holder is male or female to avoid causing issues for transgender people, a former Tory cabinet minister has said. Maria Miller, the former culture secretary and chair of the new women and equalities committee, said the Government should “strip back” talking about gender unless it was necessary.

Even the Washington Post actually finds something half-good to say about Donald Trump

Why Trump may be winning the war on ‘political correctness’
Cathy Cuthbertson once worked at what might be thought of as a command post of political correctness — the campus of a prestigious liberal arts college in Ohio.
“You know, I couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas.’ And when we wrote things, we couldn’t even say ‘he’ or ‘she,’ because we had transgender. People of color. I mean, we had to watch every word that came out of our mouth, because we were afraid of offending someone, but nobody’s afraid of offending me,” the former administrator said. ……. One thing is clear: Trump is channeling a very mainstream frustration.In an October poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University, 68 percent agreed with the proposition that “a big problem this country has is being politically correct.” It was a sentiment felt strongly across the political spectrum, by 62 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 81 percent of Republicans. Among whites, 72 percent said they felt that way, but so did 61 percent of nonwhites.

“People feel tremendous cultural condescension directed at them,” and that their values are being “smirked at, laughed at” by the political and media elite, said GOP strategist Steve Schmidt.

In Stockholm, the Managing Director of the Kulturhuset City Theatre overruled his Cultural Director to ban the title of a work by an artist (Makode Linde) called “The Return of the Negro King”. 
The gender axis of the human species may be a continuum but it is bimodal. Gender is part of an individual’s identity – like it or not.
Bimodal gender Blackless et al

Bimodal gender Blackless et al

I find nothing wrong in using “negro” as an adjective or in stating that women are attractive (mostly). No doubt that is sexist. “Mongolian” and “Eskimo” and “Chinese” or “Indian” are descriptive. The word gora (pink) is used in Hindi to describe white people and is primarily descriptive. Tall people remain tall and pink people remain pink whether the adjective is politically correct or not. Adjectives describe. As long as the description is not false, offense can only be taken in the minds of those offended. I am not supposed to express my convictions that while most religions can be twisted to give support to the use of violence, Islam today does that better than most. Feminism is (or should be) about combating the unfairness of prejudice not about denying femininity. Gender difference exists and cannot be legislated away. “Affirmative action” and “reservations” try to use unfair practices to try and compensate for some other unfair practice. (In actuality they only entrench either the original unfair practice or the compensating one). It is not correct to admit that intelligence is affected by genes (race) but it is perfectly acceptable to state that running the 100m is.

Political correctness is colourless, sexless, emotionless and without values. Not referring to race and gender and religion may avoid thin-skinned and frightened people from taking offense, but it does not remove the realities of race and gender and religion. The point of having values is to use them to make judgements. Political correctness is mindless. It is censure. It displays fear not courage.

 

Obituaries of the Trump campaign are wishful thinking, premature and exaggerated

August 10, 2015

That most of the US media want the Trump campaign to die is fairly clear. That the Republican party establishment are in a little panic about Trump becoming the Republican nominee or – even worse – being an independent third candidate is also fairly clear. In fact, for the Republican party an independent Trump could be worse than a Trump nomination. There has been more than a whiff of wishful thinking in the headlines over the last 3 days. But the latest NBC post-debate poll shows that the anti-Trump spinning and even the Megyn Kelly hullabaloo have done nothing to dent his commanding lead in the polls.

TPM:

Despite a debate in which Fox moderators repeatedly attacked him and three days of hostile press coverage which came after it, Donald Trump remains in a commanding lead in the race for the Republican nomination, according to a poll released Sunday evening by NBC News. The results confound weekend press coverage suggesting Trump’s campaign was foundering.

The online poll was conducted by the Analytics Unit of NBC News and the University of Pennsylvania’s Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies over a 24 hour period from Friday evening into Saturday, thus coming entirely after the debate on Thursday evening.

According to poll, Trump has the support of 23% of Republican voters, followed by Ted Cruz with 13%, Ben Carson with 11%, Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina tied at 8% and Jeb Bush and Scott Walker at 7%. The poll showed Trump essentially unchanged from a poll taken one week ago in which he garnered 22% support.

Numerous commentators speculated over the weekend that Trump’s public spat with Fox News host Megyn Kelly might finally spell the end of his surge in the polls. Top Republicans openly cheered his apparent downfall. But NBC’s weekend poll suggests that assumption was misplaced.

The media headlines were quite clear in their hopes. For some reason the UK Guardian is very perturbed about Trump and is quite openly anti-Trump in its wishful thinking (though it is schizophrenic in its views about the UK’s very own left-wing clown in Jeremy Corbyn):

  1. Washington Post – GOP leaders say erratic attacks hurt Trump
  2. New York Times – Donald Trump Remains Defiant on News Programs Amid G.O.P. Backlash
  3. CNN – Donald Trump’s ‘blood’ comment about Megyn Kelly draws outrage
  4. CNBC – Trump dumped from conservative event
  5. CBS News – Republicans chastise Trump
  6. The Guardian – Donald Trump jab at Megyn Kelly may be beginning of end for GOP frontrunner

But a formally “recognised clown” – as Trump clearly is – has an “authorisation” to be as politically incorrect as he wishes. He is now capturing the attention of a large section of the disaffected Republican electorate and attacking him for being politically incorrect can only be counter-productive. Any candidates who wish now to displace him need to create their own independent story-lines which can live their own lives.

As in any show, a clown is not necessarily just a B-act. An accepted clown is not susceptible to ridicule. I suspect that Trump cannot be shot down by the conventional bullets of political correctness. He now can only be over-taken by a “faster” candidate with a better story.

Pro-fracking health report suppressed by New York Governor

January 7, 2013

When a report produces a conclusion you don’t like, political correctness has a simple solution. Suppress the report and commission a new report to reach the “correct” conclusions because the original report “is out of date”.

WNYC NewsA document from Governor Cuomo’s Administration assessing the health impacts of hydro fracking, written in early 2012, says the gas drilling process is likely safe if proper precautions are taken by the governor’s environmental agency. ….

While the report says there are potential health risks involved in hydro fracking, it concludes that in each instance, proper mitigation measures that will be required by the state Department of Environmental Conservation will minimize any potential harm and reduce risks. The report, written in February of 2012, says “significant adverse impacts on human health are not expected from routine HVHF (hydro fracking) operations.”

…… The report appears to have been intended for inclusion in the state’s ongoing environmental review of fracking. It also advises against trying to do a site specific quantitative risk assessment of fracking, saying there are too many variables and that too many assumptions would have to be made.

The Administration did not like the conclusion and now a spokeswoman for the DEC says the report is “outdated,” and that no conclusions should be drawn.

“The document is not a health assessment, is nearly a year old, and does not reflect final DEC policy,” said DEC spokeswoman Emily DeSantis in a statement. “The final SGEIS will reflect the review currently underway by DOH and its outside experts. No conclusions should be drawn from this partial, outdated summary.”

Goodness gracious! A year old!

I suppose the required conclusions have already been written and the review will continue until the desired conclusions are reached.

It’s only politics.

Political correctness shifts away from wind in the UK

June 21, 2012

I have a theory that political correctness is transient and driven by electoral advantage. But common sense – over time – provides the restoring force.

The move away from wind power euphoria is becoming all more evident in the UK. It is a shift that is inevitable since – eventually – common sense does prevail. And as with all such shifts of political correctness it is accompanied (or is it caused) by a change which appears to provide some electoral advantage for somebody. Causes which once provided electoral advantage to the Greens across Europe – because they were seen (partly) as being the “minority” view being suppressed by the establishment – are now themselves part of the establishment view across most parties. But these views are now perceived as being suppressive and coercive and the backlash is beginning to move us back towards common sense.

No doubt the coming Age of Gas will be supported by all the political parties as reduced energy costs provide electoral advantage. And being cynical, it will also – just like wind power – be exploited to excess, to the point where it becomes coercive and suppressive of other alternatives and then political correctness will shift again.

Benedict Brogan writes in The Telegraph:

A government re-think on costly green energy resources is a winning statement of intent. .. 

(more…)

Håkan Juholt – A Stalin with a smile for the Swedish Social Democrats?

March 15, 2011
Swedish papers size up Håkan Juholt

Håkan Juholt. photo Bertil Ericsson / Scanpix

The Social Democratic party in Sweden have been choosing a new leader to replace Mona Sahlin who resigned after the party’s debacle in the last general elections. To the surprise of many the Nomination Committee has proposed Håkan Juholt, a member of Parliament for 15 years and chairman of the parliament’s defence committee but a relative unknown.

Though I am no expert, I find the Social Democrat’s selection process for a new leader a remarkable example of old-fashioned politburo machinations masquerading as a democratic and open process. A secretive nomination cloaked by an apparently open vote of approval at a party convention — but where the the Nomination Committee’s proposals are always adopted. The Nomination Committee itself works in some unknown fashion where “consultation” with all the party districts is carried out through some mysterious and  secret channels. The surprise expressed by so many Social Democrats at the committees  final choice of Håkan Juholt also demonstrates that there was no obvious choice by a majority. Traditionalism and back-room deals by a small cabal still controls the Social Democrats. Their so-called “democratic selection” is just a sham.

The nomination of Juholt is considered a coup for the left wing of the party. The Local:

According to a poll published on Friday in the Metro newspaper, nearly two thirds of Swedes surveyed said they had no idea who Juholt was, while an additional 22 percent said they only knew his name.

Metro went on to compare Juholt to Super Mario of the eponymous video game. Both have mustaches and both are heroes, although Super Mario fights “flame-throwing turtles” while Juholt’s main enemy is a “centre-right Alliance that stole his voters”.

The Social Democrat-supporting Aftonbladet praised Juholt’s folksy appeal and the fact that he had “visited every Social Democratic association between Ystad and Haparanda”, two cities in the far south and far north, respectively.

While concluding that the choice of Juholt “could very well work”, Aftonbladet cautioned that “despite Julholt’s many years in national politics, one can’t find a single political idea that he’s promoted”.

The independently liberal Expressen labeled Juholt “a compromiser’s compromise”, adding that the choice of Juholt, along with Carin Jämtin as party secretary, was a “major victory for the party’s left”. ..

The independently liberal-conservative Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) lamented that those who hoped for a “dynamic and future-oriented fountain of ideas behind the mustache” will likely be disappointed.

The paper points out that Juholt is no fan of “renewal”, but that he was approved because he has a “sufficiently weak profile so he can’t challenge the traditionalists”.

Interestingly the previous party secretary resigned his post one day before the nominations were announced and while he gave family reasons it was obvious that he had to do so only because he was male. The balance of the sexes had to be maintained with a female party secretary, Carin Jämtin, having to be nominated to balance the nomination of Juholt as party leader.

Political correctness in the shape of maintaining an equality of the sexes in Sweden sometimes goes to extraordinary lengths and often leads to the downgrading of talent and competence as selection parameters.

In any event the leftward lurch of the Social Democrats is a knee-jerk manifestation of the longing for the “good old times” of a party which has lost its way. It is hardly likely to lead to a rejuvenation of the party which is badly needed.

And Juholt is not , in my opinion, going to be a Super Mario. He is likely to prove to be a smiling Stalin.

I now expect a purge of right-wing and centrist members from the Social Democrats.



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