by Martin Odoni

As we all know, Nigel Farage, ex-leader of the UK Independence Party, and Donald Trump, President of the United States (seriously?! Boy, did I get that prediction wrong…), are firm friends. They are both part of the ‘Alt-Right’ – which is of course a politically correct nametag for “Nazis-who-grail-against-political-correctness” – they are both anti-‘Big-Government –  which is of course a politically correct nametag for “rich-people-who-don’t-like-the-Government-making-them-give-money-to-anybody-else” – and they are both deceitfully xenophobic.

This last week, they have both tried to use Sweden as a platform for spreading paranoia about refugees from the Middle East. Trump initiated it in a typically risible fashion at a rally last weekend, and made himself look even more stupid than usual in the process. He invoked an ill-defined ‘atrocity‘ that he thought had occurred in ABBA’s homeland the previous evening. Of course, there was no such atrocity, and Trump was rightly skewered on social media over the next couple of days.

Attempts have subsequently been made by the right wing media to present statistics that, at first glance, suggest Trump had a point (although it is very clear that he had not seen any such statistics before making his gaffe). Political Scrapbook has done a very comprehensive job of explaining why these stats have been completely distorted, so I shall not bother reproducing someone else’s sterling work here. But I do wish to draw attention to a startling irony, from when Trump’s dear chum Nigel got involved. It shows that Farage is not nearly as clever as some people like to think.

Farage, while speaking on LBC Radio, was another to use those same stats to give the idea that Malmo is the ‘rape capital of the world’. No doubt, he thought he was defending his dear friend manfully by making this claim.


Awww, look at those cute little’uns together like that. But enough about Trump’s hands.

Now, the stats that saw an upswing in recorded rape in Sweden are taken from the years before the surge in refugees from the Arab Spring arriving in Europe, so their relevance to immigration is doubtful in the extreme anyway. But more significantly, they are a reflection on the unusually broad definitions of rape and sexual assault in Sweden.

Rightly or wrongly, activities that are classified as rape in Sweden are not so-classified in other countries. As Doug Saunders of Canada’s Globe & Mail put it in May last year; –

If your boss rubbed against you in an unwanted way at work once a week for a year… in Canada, this would potentially be a case of sexual assault. Under Germany’s more limited laws, it would be zero cases. In Sweden, it would be tallied as 52 separate cases of rape. If you engaged in a half-dozen sex acts with your spouse, then later you felt you had not given consent, in Sweden that would be classified as six cases of rape.

(Italic emphasis mine.)

In other words, Swedish official crime stats actually include many forms of non-consensual touching. (Just to make clear, I am expressing neither agreement with nor disapproval of this definition, I am merely establishing what the Swedish definition is.) Nigel Farage, by using these stats to encourage the notion of sexual offences being out-of-control in Sweden, is endorsing that definition. A definition that includes any non-consensual contact upwards of rubbing up against another person.

In that light, it is hardly a surprise to learn that, just for instance, grabbing another person without their consent by the genitalia, is also classed in Sweden as rape.

If this definition were extended to other countries, then of course the rate of sexual assaults and rapes worldwide would massively increase. But that is not my immediate point. Instead, let us consider the following. With this Swedish definition in mind – the definition that Farage has had to endorse in order to make his argument workable – other than refugees from the Middle East, who else can we think of Farage is effectively accusing of rape? Who can we think of, say, who not only grabs unconsenting women by the genitalia, but then even boasts about it to his friends? Who is classed by Nigel Farage, therefore, as a rapist?

Need a clue?

With friends like Nigel, eh?