Wednesday, 1 November 2017

"Peter Sweden", Hate Crimes and "British Police"

First point to make is that there is no such thing, yet, as "British police." There is such a thing as "Police Scotland" and also "The Police Service of Northern Ireland" but there is no police force for the whole UK, because the England and Welsh electorates wouldn't buy such an idea. The Scottish electorate is apparently beginning to regret doing so, as much local accountability (and operational efficiency) has been lost. 

Guernsey Police, for example, are smaller than a typical English County Constabulary and this is so for all the Crown dependencies.

Europeans use the term "British Police" usually, but not always, in a derogatory way. They really need to specify what actual police force they are talking about, if anyone is to help them, perhaps by writing to the relevant Chief Constable and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Anyway, in a recent video, the You Tuber "Peter Sweden" states that, while he is in Norway, his family in the UK have been repeatedly harassed by "British Police" from the "Hate Crimes Unit" ostensibly seeking to protect him because of an intelligence tip off, but actually seeking to locate him on behalf of the Swedish government, so that he can be arrested and prevented from posting videos. Having reviewed Mr Sweden's work on You Tube, some of which has been demonetized (this happens, at the behest of an automated algorithm and apparently at random, to nearly everyone at times, so is no indicator of guilt), it is clear that he has not actually breached You Tube standards (his videos are still published), much less the criminal law. Certainly, none of his output would be seen as criminal by an English or Welsh court -and probably not in Scotland or Northern Ireland either. Some of the viewer comments on his videos are pro-Nazi, but this is an indicator of how widely neo-Nazi groups spread their comments rather than on the nature of Mr Sweden's videos. You see similar extreme remarks, probably from the same people, on most historical educational videos on You-Tube.

This means that the police, if he can identify which force he is talking about, and if they are acting as Mr Sweden says, are almost certainly acting in breach of the Constitutional Settlement of 1688, which some European laws may require them to do. This is an argument for proceeding with Brexit in a timely and concession-free manner so far as repressive EU attitudes to free speech are concerned.

The video of his that Medawar thinks has triggered these ham-fisted attempts at repression, is this one. In it, Mr Sweden documents seven bomb attacks in Sweden in twelve days, of which the Swedish media and authorities have admitted only one. If the Swedish government was forced to admit to the true number of bomb attacks occurring in Sweden, which is more than for a fortnightly period in the UK at the height of the IRA mainland bombing campaign of the seventies, then the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office would have no option but to alter its official advice on traveling to Sweden, and they would have to advise Britons not to make any non-essential trips to Sweden. The EU would throw a tantrum if the FCO actually did this, so it's probably seen as more acceptable to extinguish Mr Sweden's right of free speech than admit to the truth, which appears to be that bomb and grenade attacks in Sweden are a part of everyday life and that the Swedish government has rendered itself powerless to deal with this, because it values image over substance.

British readers should consider writing or e-mailing to their MP at the House of Commons, asking that Foreign and Commonwealth advice on the safety of travel to Sweden should be based on the number and frequency of bomb and grenade attacks that British intelligence knows to be actually happening in Sweden, rather than the much smaller number which the Swedish authorities are willing to admit to.

See link for interactive list of contact details for local constituency MPs. This blog has a large number of American readers, too, and they might write to Senators or Congressmen asking that State Department advice on travel to Sweden should be based on intelligence estimates of the danger rather than by taking official Swedish statements purely at face value. Citing Mr Sweden's video about the seven bombs in twelve days as appropriate.

Update 3/11/17  The wave of bombings continues, and Mr Sweden has posted another video. One of these attacks, which he says was a "big firework" actually sounds like a big display shell in a confined space that did structural damage to the entrance area of an apartment block. He uses the British term "banger" but this normally means a small firecracker, incapable of the sort of damage that he describes. However, there clearly is an ongoing stream of attacks, using both improvised explosives and commercially-made military ones, such as grenades.

This appears to be a "turf war" between rival gangs, and the Swedish government and media are unwilling to admit that this is what is happening. Police officers and their families are being targeted for gun attacks at their homes and even kidnaps, and still the Swedish government is trying to address the problem with jackbooted censorship and denial, rather than action against the bombers, shooters and kidnappers.  As things stand, it seems more likely that a blogger or You Tuber such as Mr Sweden will go to jail for speaking out, than that an actual bomber will go to jail for destroying property and endangering life. It definitely is not safe for foreigners to visit Sweden and do business there!

Update 16/3/18  Mr Sweden hasn't said so in as many words, but Medawar believes that Mr Sweden's parents live in the North Yorkshire Police area. This is not a highly politicised force like the Metropolitan Police Service. He should try communicating with the Chief Constable instead of posting videos on You Tube: the police cannot react to the latter, they always respond to the former.