Bono was seen making a Nazi salute during a U2 concert in Paris, as he mocked the leader of the far-right Sweden Democrats party in the wake of the country’s general election.
By – Sara Malm
Performing as his ‘evil alter ego’ Mr MacPhisto, Bono shouted the name of SD leader Jimmie Åkesson while throwing his right arm out, after congratulating Sweden for discovering their ‘Aryan potential’.
Åkesson’s anti-immigrant SD party won 17.6 per cent of the vote, leaving Sweden in political deadlock with neither mainstream block strong enough to form a government.
The country is now facing weeks – if not months – of political uncertainty and complex coalition talks, as all other parties have refused to govern alongside SD
Video footage shows the U2 frontman making the unmistakable Hitler-comparison in between songs during the band’s Experience + Innocence Tour gig in the French capital on Sunday.
Bono is seen speaking into a camera which applies a digital clown mask onto his face on the big screen behind him, transforming him into Mr MacPhisto – a devil parody character he first invented during U2’s Zoo TV Tour in the 1990s.
In character as Mr MacPhisto, Bono says: ‘I’m just back from Sweden. I didn’t know how much I’d like the Swedish.
‘Tall, blond, blue eyed… boring. But now the Swedes are beginning to discover their Aryan potential.
He then shouted: ‘Akesson! Jimmie Akesson!,’ while performing a Nazi salute.
‘I like him, I like him, he has done so well in the election today,’ he added. ‘I love elections. I love balloons. I love parties that get out of hand.’
Bono’s Mr MacPhisto appeared to mock not just Akesson, but the rise in support for the far-right in Sweden, where SD – which has its roots in neo-Nazi organisations – was the most popular party among male voters.
One in four Swedish men voted for SD, compared to just 14 per cent of women, according to the VALU exit poll.
The VALU exit poll has been carried out by Swedish public service TV since 1991. In the 2010 VALU, SD won five per cent of the male vote and in 2014, 16 per cent.
This year, 24 per cent of men said they had voted for SD, compared to 19 per cent for the Moderates and 23 per cent for the current ruling party; The Social Democrats.
With 143 versus 144 seats in the 379 seat Parliament, neither the centre-right Alliance – made up of the Moderates, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats – nor a centre-left coalition – Social Democrats, the Greens and Left Party – have mandate to rule.
The Sweden Democrats’ gains, up from 12.9 per cent in the last election, has left them with 62 seats in parliament.
Had any of the parties been willing to co-operate with them, they could have been the ‘kingmakers’, however all other parties stand firm in their refusal to govern alongside them.
Formal invitations from SD leader Jimmie Åkesson, who has tried to move the party away from its neo-Nazi origins, to the Moderates and the CD to discuss a new Swedish government, have been turned down.
Read more: From 2018/09/08