I was in Stockholm last Friday, an eyewitness on the great night that nothing happened. Donald Trump gave a speech in Florida the next day, asking his audience to look at what had occurred “last night in Sweden”. Something appalling, apparently, involving asylum seekers. The Swedes “took in large numbers,” he said. And now “they’re having problems like they never thought possible”. But he was wrong: nothing of note had happened that night. His mistake was used by much of the Swedish media (and politicians) to slate him, as if he concocted the whole idea of an immigration problem.
The mockery lasted for days: what event could he have been referring to? Were some meatballs burned in Uppsala? Did an Ikea run out of Billy bookshelves? “What has he been smoking?” asked Carl Bildt, a former prime minister. He could almost have asked: Crisis? What crisis?