The Coming European Civil War
"What do you think, Madame Mayor?"
Respectfully, the Lady Editor of the 'Malmo Folkblad' laid out her latest masterpiece. The Lady Mayor, frowned seriously, pursed her lips, and read with a quiet focus. The editorial room was silent. The occupants, mostly young College age student types, held their collective breath. When the shadow of the redoubtable Mayor of Malmo crossed their threshold, (which was an increasingly frequent event), the entire Newspaper came to immediate attention. There was no need for somebody to announce: "Officer on deck!" It was as if every room in the building, from the basement printing presses up to the top floor archives, was instantly suffused with an aura of foreboding.
Lovisa Lindqvist sighed quietly to herself. She thought of her contribution to what the Mayor was now perusing. She had written the bulk of it, in fact, but was perfectly at ease with the Editor laying out the groundwork for claiming all the credit. Assuming, of course, that the Lady Mayor approved. If this leading editorial got published it would carry the Editor's name, and there would be no mention of a twenty two year old Malmo Hogskola student majoring in Sociology. That was only proper. Her role in this awesome crusade for a better humanity was trivial. If only people would open their hearts! It was hard to imagine the horrors these poor refugees had endured. Lovisa had been present at many interviews with asylum applicants, and had wept tears of grief at the endless tales of rape and murder. Family members missing or shot, homes destroyed, and ancient communities torn apart forever. It was her calling in Life to render some succour to these poor souls. She had therefore poured her heart and soul into her writing, and ended in a tearful, heart wrenching plea for her community to come together in support for these people.
The Editor, who was closely observing the Mayor, tried not to think about the next large invoice due to go out the following day. Advertising was their life blood. They couldn't possibly make it from mere subscriptions. And the Mayor's Office alone accounted for thirty per cent of revenue. If you added to that all the other income from Government agencies, directly or partly under the thumb of the fearsome Lady Mayor, you arrived at about fifty per cent. Fortunately, she and the Mayor were close. Maybe not friends (she wondered if anybody could be friends with such an acidic character) but they most definitely had a good working relationship. Inclining her head forward solicitously, she enquired:
"It's not too sentimental, is it?"
For the article did indeed contain a trace of maudlin, weepy pathos. Well. It was drowned in it actually. But as long as the Mayor approved, that was all that mattered. She pushed the thought of the large invoice out of her mind, and listened earnestly to the brilliant suggestions from the Mayor.
* * * * *
Hjalmar Mardh strode purposefully down the broad Kopenhamnsvagen, and tried to wrap his mind around the two hour long interview he had just suffered through. It had been utterly humiliating. The three officers from the Police Authority had dragged his feet across the hot coals, and then, for good measure, heaped more burning coals on his head. His Facebook posts had somehow been twisted and promoted into an all encompassing scathing attack on the Swedish Police. And an invocation to mutiny and disobedience by his fellow Officers. When he had angrily protested that he had been a Police Officer for nearly forty years, and had -proudly- upheld the highest traditions of integrity anybody could possibly demand, he had been stunned to find himself dismissively cut off mid sentence by, of all people, Agnes Sandberg.
He sat down on a park bench, and allowed his tired mind to play back the incessant drama that Agnes Sandberg had always personified. From her first days as a cadet, some eighteen years earlier, she had been an unfit, overweight, and somewhat contentious personality. Hjalmar had been her training officer, and had tried to mould the young lady into an effective member of the Police Force. In this effort he had been greatly hampered by the lady's aversion to physical exercise. Trying to turn the wheezing, protesting blob into an effective Crime Fighter had proven to be an almost insurmountable obstacle. Even in the prevailing, all powerful equality culture. Agnes had consistently scored in the bottom fifteen per cent of her classes. Somehow dragged successfully through the curriculum, courtesy of very patient instructors and a strong feminist support network, Agnes had performed no better in her early street patrols. Hjalmar had soon suspected a streak of Yellow as well, and a tendency to make up for slinking away from potential danger by beating up unmercifully on the hapless. Thus an unfortunate citizen caught speeding four miles an hour over the limit would be the object of the most stern, angry lecture. But a group of menacing young thugs, loitering suspiciously on a corner, would result in a quick turn down a side street. She reminded him of Lord Nelson. Peering through his telescope with his blind eye.
"I see no ships..."
But even roly-poly Agnes had found her forte. Somehow, she had inveigled herself into the Police Board. Now, astonishingly, the Officer who had spent minimal hours on Street Patrol, and who had dodged every detail that might expose her precious (and ample) persona to the slightest risk, had been promoted -many times - and now she sat -regally - in judgement of real Police officers who faced risks and dangers every day.
Increasingly so. Especially in Malmo.
It was her who had decided to tear him off a strip...
* * * * *
Lovisa Lindqvist exited the building with a mixture of relief and anxiety.
At least the article had been published. She had poured her heart and soul into it, and it was essentially hers. Albeit without any acknowledgement. The name of the Editor - and her photo - were proudly displayed, and there was no mention of the lower ranking intern, who might just conceivably have had a minor -delicate - hand in it. She sighed. Her position was probationary. She could be let go on a curt nod. How she longed for a secure, established career! To be able to spread the light! To convince people to be kind, and care for one another! The world was full of Darkness. Tears sprung in her eyes. It hurt.
At least her country was pulling for the Light. At least Sweden was a beacon for the homeless. She smiled sweetly at a young African Eritrean male, who responded coyly. He lowered his gaze, and marvelled at how beautiful Swedish girls were. He felt vulnerable and shy, too aware of his lack of fluency in Swedish, and his lack of job skills. How he would love to have such a girl as his. He would treat her like a queen. Lovisa, picking up on his shyness, felt a rush of tenderness, and had to resist the urge to embrace him. It wouldn't do. He might get the wrong impression. All she could do was smile, and be friendly.
A gang of rowdy Africans passed by, whooping and hollering, and creating all too much of a racket. They leered openly at her. Making side comments, in a secret, foreign language. Instinctively, she flinched, and checked her surroundings. It was daylight, and there were plenty of people about.
* * * * *
Hjalmar dropped wearily onto a park bench. He realized he had spontaneously taken a detour, and had been wandering aimlessly through Pildammsparken Park. Lost in his troubled thoughts, worried about everything, he stared sullenly for a while into the mid distance. Past the fountains, and the medieval towers, the contented ducks and the carefully manicured hedgerows and flower beds, dream-like, he saw only a Looming Shadow. The coming Catastrophe. His career now on the line was bad enough, but the collapse of Law Enforcement was simply terrifying. He stared woodenly at the park visitors strolling casually by, with seemingly not a care in the world. How, he wondered, could you make people understand? Especially those self-important people in positions of real power, who sat imperiously behind desks. In secure, well protected buildings. Who lived in secure, well guarded, gated communities. Who, most importantly, arrogantly assumed that they knew exactly what they were talking about, and knew exactly what was best. For everybody. The cynical face of Senior Police Officer, Agnes Roly-poly Sandberg floated in front of him. The smugness of her, who was useless for anything, except to sit behind a desk and haughtily lecture others on integrity and loyalty. Her, who would run a mile, or lock herself into a squad car, before she ever faced some of the undiluted hell he and his colleagues had. What did she know about the no-go zones that expanded daily? At most, she had driven through them a few times, with three other officers in the car. The most she had ever done was maybe rolled down a window - an inch and a half - and threatened arrest. Quickly rolling the window back up when faced with defiance. To his knowledge and bitter memory, she had never been witnessed bravely launching forth with baton in hand to confront hysterical rioters, setting up burning barricades and smashing store fronts. Openly dealing drugs and taunting Police. Invoking their war cry "Allahu Akbar" and brandishing sticks and clubs. Oh. no. Not Agnes Sandberg. That was beneath her level. Instead, hysterically over promoted in an extremely feminist environment, way above her level of laughable incompetence, she now sat in judgment of men who put their lives and careers on the line every day.
Was it any wonder good Policemen were quitting the Force? Simply giving up?
But where would all this lead? What was the end game? Societal collapse? Now even the electricity workers were refusing to enter vast areas of the city. Following the examples
of fire fighters and ambulance personnel, they too were now demanding Police protection. But who would protect the Police? Those who sat sternly behind their comfortable desks, sitting in supreme judgement, had no idea what it was like to be outnumbered ten or twenty to one. On a good day. On a bad day, a hundred to one. They had no clue what it was like to try and deal with aggressive, ever mouthy Muslims, who relished confrontation. Who had exactly zero respect for anybody. Police, Fire fighters, ambulance drivers, electricity workers, ordinary citizens. All were targets. Of bricks and fire bombs. Rapists, drug dealers, thieves and rioters.
There had been a time, once before, that the Police enjoyed respect. Those days were long gone. Your very uniform now made you a target for abuse. No matter what you did, or said, the Liberal judges upended your work. The perpetrators were set free the same day they were arrested. Regardless of the severity of the crime. They would walk out of court literally laughing. To enthusiastic supporter cries of 'Allahu Akbar'. As for being ordered to call the local Imams to humbly request their permission to enter certain Shariah Zones, that was a humiliation and a humiliating de facto surrender.
A newspaper page fluttered beside him in the mellow breeze. Left behind carelessly by a former reader, the headline caught his attention.
"MAYOR OF MALMO CALLS FOR UNDERSTANDING AND COMPASSION"
Despite himself, he started reading.
"In an impassioned speech, the Mayor of Malmo yesterday received a standing, three minute ovation for her moving and deeply insightful appeal to the rallying cause of multicultural harmony. Members of the Chamber of Commerce unanimously stated afterwards that the Mayor had once again worked miracles for understanding and tolerance with her wise, well chosen words. Speaking with eloquence and feeling, and a burning passion, she clearly painted the haunting background that so many of these unfortunate fellow humans are escaping from. With exquisite sensitivity, and deep understanding, she took the enthralled audience members on a whirlwind tour through darkest Africa, past minefields and slums, into the hearts of the suffering humans who dwell in crime and disease ridden townships. Whose only dream is to come to a country where they too can aspire to human happiness..."
Hjalmar groaned, and tried not to think of the burning barricades, the rocks and the hate. He tried not to think of frightened young officers, hopelessly outnumbered, wanting run, turning to him for guidance...
Last edited by Francis Meyrick on February 18, 2017, 9:26 pm
We little humans, hurtling through the Universe on our tiny, pale blue dot, will find few answers to Life's great mysteries. But we should at least find many of the questions. To write is to ask. To seek. To grope. With humility, and humor. Peace.