According to the establishment media, the right-wing League party did not do well in the recent regional election in Italy, but these were not accurate accounts. In another part of Europe, Swedish media have reported that Greta Thunberg was not the first Scandinavian to worry about the climate. The Vikings did, too, according to a new interpretation of a famous runestone. On closer inspection, though, it turns out to be a case of fake history.
In the Emilia-Romagna election, Matteo Salvini’s nationalist-populist party, The League, did poorly because the left was able to mount a countermovement called the Sardines who pushed back. At least this is what you are led to believe if you read the mainstream news.
However, if you instead looked at the actual election results, your conclusions would have been the opposite, namely that Salvini had his best regional election ever, and the only reason the League did not manage to gain even more momentum was due to the dramatic rise of The Brothers of Italy, which criticizes The League as too soft on immigration. Combined, the two parties gained 36% of the votes.
How can the opposite be reported, then? The establishment media compared the regional election results to the European Union parliament election, where The League did extraordinarily well. However, there is a long tradition of parties doing much better in E.U. elections than in local or national ones. One famous example is the U.K. Independence Party, which got 27.5% of the votes in the 2014 E.U. parliament election, but only 12.64% in the 2015 U.K. general election.
Second, by ignoring the surge of The Brothers of Italy, which surely stunted the growth of The League, the media could make it look like there is mounting opposition to E.U.-skeptic anti-immigration populism.
Recently, the media also reported that Swedish climate anxiety didn’t really start with Greta Thunberg. A re-interpretation of a 1200-year-old runestone showed that the old Vikings were concerned about climate change.
That sounds cute until you look at the details of the story. The literal translation of a segment of the runestone reads: “Then, Theodoric the Brave, the sea warriors’ king, ruled over the Reid ocean’s coast.” Previously, this was assumed to refer to Theodoric the Great, the king of the Ostrogoths, who descended from Scandinavians living by the Baltic Sea.
One should think that this is a straightforward interpretation, but professor Per Holmberg at Gothenburg University believes this is too simplistic. When taken literally, the runestone tells tales of protection of the borders of ethnic tribes and nation-states, but surely no-one in Sweden has ever been concerned with protecting their homelands from invaders, so the obvious interpretation must be that it is an allegory for climate concern.
The new translation now reads: “The brave warrior, king of the men, rode his horse over the horizon in the east.” Clearly, the warrior is a metaphor for the sun, so, therefore: climate change! Or it may just be a politically correct rewriting of history to suit the agenda of the day. You be the judge.
That the politically correct feel the need to rewrite historical and current events is a sign of weakness. Fake news implies they know that they don’t have sufficiently strong arguments to win on truth alone.
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