An official for Sweden’s Christian Democratic Party has been slammed for calling for an “underclass-safari” – complete with “people on social welfare” and “vicious screaming teenagers” – in response to an “upper-class safari”, which is causing controversy in a wealthy Stockholm suburb.
Patric Rylander, the right-hand-man to Christian Democrat party secretary Acko Ankarberg, suggested on his Facebook page this week that tour group Allt åt Alla (Everything for Everyone), which is running coach trips to the affluent Saltsjöbaden suburb, should instead go to ”Miljonprogram” areas, which contain Sweden’s run-down homes built in the 1960s and 70s.
”Among other things there should be a high rate of people on social welfare, vicious screaming teenagers, only feature-rented apartments in the ‘Miljonprogram’ suburbs, closed down shops, destitute social services. [It should] be run down and overrun by graffiti,” Rylander wrote on his profile, according to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).
Rylander, who has over 800 friends on the social networking site, received various suggestions of other places the tour could visit. His comments have however sparked outrage with others, even his party allies.
”It is not okay to speak this way about any place, anywhere. This is about people. People who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and not made fun of,” Sävsjö Christian Democrat politician Stefan Gustafsson told Sveriges Radio (SR).
”Regardless of whether it was ironic or not, I think it is inappropriate to say these things. It does nothing for the Christian Democrats,” another Jönköping party member, Mia Frisk, added.
Rylander has since admitted that his post was “phrased inappropriately”, but said he did not expect it to attract so much attention. “I tend to write foremost for my friends and often with a little irony and sort of tongue in cheek. Perhaps it is phrased slightly inappropriately at times and perhaps it was this time,” he told SR.