Monday, 14 November 2011

Most of True Finn members racist, study finds

According to an opinion poll published in Helsingin Sanomat, a majority True Finn supporters agree with the following statement:
"People of certain races are unsuited for life in a modern society."
Another opinion poll by Taloustutkimus published in Iltalehti found that 72% of True Finn supporters want Finland to stay in the Eurozone, and a similar percentage want them to remain in the European Union.

Timo Soini, Leader of the True Finns, looking awkward

So what are we to make of this? Clearly the eurosceptic aspect of the True Finn party is greatly exaggerated. It seems to not be the major driving force behind the party. We can certainly draw some conclusions about the motivations of the "Immigration Critical" wing of the party, led by blogger and popular racist Jussi Halla-aho.

The President of Finland, Tarja Halonen commented on the findings of the poll by saying that racist people "seem to be drawn towards voting for the True Finns." MP Jussi Halla-aho was quick to point out on his blog that "Friends of GDR seem to be drawn towards voting for Tarja Halonen." President Halonen, a Social Democrat, has been elected President twice after previously serving in three ministerial posts and consistently gets an approval rating in excess of 80%, while MP Halla-aho has an illustrious two year career in the board of directors for Helsinki Zoo.

Leader of the True Finn party, Timo Soini has thus far declined to comment, saying that opinion polls are not a good gauge of opinion and re-iterating his previous stance of not personally being racist. For someone non-racist he certainly likes to actively seek out the company of racists. He also leads an organisation that plainly caters to racists and does not mind benefiting from racists voting for his party. One can assume that either he is lying about not being racist or (more likely) he is morally corrupt to the point of having no guiding principles in his political life and will seize on to any idea no matter how abhorrent if it gets his party a few extra votes. Does it make him any different from other politicians? Maybe not. Call me an idealist but surely the point of leading a political party vanishes if the program of the party consists only of an attempt to get as many votes as possible.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Timo Soini on Fox News

Timo Soini got interviewed on the fair and balanced Fox News last week. If you want to hear what a thick Finnish accent sounds like you might be a bit interested. Don't get your hopes up for great political genius though.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

True Finn MP's assistant in a neo-nazi row

Looks like the parliamentary assistant to True Finn MP Juha Eerola has applied to become a member of the neo-nazi group Finnish National Resistance Front. Assistant and apparently then city council member Ulla Pyysalo's application, leaked by hackers, goes as follows (translation from migrant tales):

I am a city council member of the Perussuomalaiset party and I understand your ideology. You have my support!!!…After you hear what we (Perussuomalaiset?) have planned, (you’ll see that) we are both fighting for the same thing…I sent you my contact information. Please do not distribute it if you are fighting for the fatherland.
Pyysalo has since said, she will resign her membership in the True Finn party, after she finds another job. The True Finn party is currently considering suspending her from the duties of a parliamentary assistant. That's nice.

Ulla Pyysalo, looking like a less classy Johanna Tukiainen

The word neo-nazi is sometimes used rather frivolously, but the National Resistance Front has conveniently declared itself to be a National Socialist revolutionary movement. Pyysalo claims she did not in fact realise that national socialists are the same thing as nazis, was drunk as she applied to join the group, it was a youthful error and she did so because she is quote a patriotic person unquote. Being unaware of recent history, current events and basic politics is basically a requisite of membership for the True Finns, so let's just give her the benefit of doubt for now. Youthful error is a bit amusing since the webpage where she applied has only existed for two years. Pyysalo has previously made herself known by cracking unrepeatable jokes about Jani Toivola (a black, gay finnish MP) and posing with an assault rifle on Facebook.

MP Jussi Halla-aho's racist webforum Homma has of course reacted by thinking this was all perfectly understandable, that Pyysalo was actually an upstanding person and that this was all media's fault for reporting it. In other words, exactly as they react to every other far-right lunatic ever.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Study: True Finns condone violence

According to an international study into extremist groups, some True Finn members condone political violence. This is part of a Europe-wide study on the rise of populist sentiment and seems to be a far-reaching phenomenon. The study mentions specifically internet sites which condone hatred and promote violence, without mention of blogger and popular racist Jussi Halla-aho's webforum Homma. Shockingly, the study was conducted after the Oslo massacre in which a radical racist targeted leftist politicians, leaving 77 dead.
Matti Putkonen, rapist, violent criminal, True Finn campaign manager
The study was swiftly condemned by the True Finns' campaign manager, Matti Putkonen. Putkonen is of course remembered as a violent criminal, having been convicted of aggravated rape to an eight-month custodial sentence. He also had to pay a €10,000 fine, presumably to cover medical harm. Speaking at a live radio show, Putkonen called for the female chief of staff at the Ministry of Interior who published the study to resign, and said that the True Finn party does not condone violence. Thankfully, things did not escalate further this time as mr Putkonen was safely at the other end of the telephone line.

Matti Putkonen, rapist and habitual political opportunist is probably the best example of the True Finn hypocrisy when it comes to their value base. Former member of the Social Democratic party, former media rep for a labour union, Putkonen grabbed at the chance to jump ship just as soon as the polls showed a double-figure rise in support for the True Finn party. In a civilised society he would be on some kind of a registry already, and barred from holding a political office.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

James Hirvisaari: No Viet Cong ever called me Persu

True Finn first term MP and a prominent signer of Jussi Halla-aho's racist election manifesto, James Hirvisaari has shocked but not surprised people with his recent blog post. James Hirvisaari says it is equally bad to call someone as "persu" (a name for the True Finn party, derived from the Finnish name PerusSuomalaiset) as it is to call someone a nigger or a yid. He also proceeds to call all reporters vultures and scavengers, and goes on to state that the media is out to get him and all other True Finn speakers of truth. On his blog. Which is hosted on the server of the newspaper Uusi Suomi.

persu party member James "persu" Hirvisaari
MP Hirvisaari's angry blog post comes right after the Finnish broadcaster YLE's "Hate Night Special" where they discussed hate speech. Evidently James Hirvisaari thinks it terribly unfair to only focus on the party which keeps spouting racist crap, when the topic of discussion is racist crap being spouted by politicians. The comments also come after the setting out of internal True Finn party guidelines on banned words. The guidelines contain a list of words to avoid, some of which James Hirvisaari chose to use in his blog post.

The True Finn parliamentary group leader, and one of the few two-term True Finn MPs Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner was reportedly 'frustrated' over Hirvisaari's remarks. She goes on to state there are vastly more important things to focus on, such as increased regional taxes. There is of course support for James Hirvisaari among fellow MPs. Having recently been expelled from the True Finn parliamentary group for calling for a military coup in Athens, MP Jussi Halla-aho compared the ongoing hate speech discussion to a "rise of a totalitarian, orwellian atmosphere in Finland." The irony remains duly lost on all his followers.

Regardless of what your political outlook might be, comparing someone using a word you don't like for your party to a racial slur is extraordinarily thin-skinned. Even more so when the vast majority of your own supporters think it a neutral term, if somewhat informal. Moreover the timing of the whole thing just shows an amazing degree of political insensitivity, coming just days after MP Halla-aho was temporarily expelled from the party over a Facebook post. It could of course be a part of a brilliant master plan by the Halla-ahonist fringe of the True Finn party, in which case all the co-signers of the racist election manifesto, James Hirvisaari, Olli Immonen and Juha Eerola, take turns to say racist stuff to get expelled. Brilliant is probably the wrong word to use though, it's all degrees of stupidity with these people.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Jussi Halla-aho expelled from True Finns

According to Uusi Suomi, leader of the True Finn party Timo Soini has proposed expelling blogger and popular racist Jussi Halla-aho from the party. This came after Jussi Halla-aho proposed replacing the Greek government with a military junta on his Facebook page. Here's a translation of the relevant post:

Simple fact is that democracy (=elections) prevents any political government to take such action as to be really "effective" in solving the bankrupt Greek economy problem. Right now what is needed is a military junta that could use tanks to force the strikers and rioters into submission.
Jussi Halla-aho later tried to play his post off as some kind of a joke, but it was too late. True Finn parliamentary group leader, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner confirmed that expelling Jussi Halla-aho as a "temporary measure" is "very likely." There has been speculation among followers of Finnish politics that this has to do with internal strife in the True Finn party, between Timo Soini's eurosceptic loonies and Jussi Halla-aho's racist loonies. Timo Soini, numerous as his other faults may be, is not actually racist and this move to disassociate his party from the most strident voice in the racist fringe was a long time coming.

Soon-to-become-irrelevant MP Jussi Halla-aho

It is generally assumed, that Jussi Halla-aho will be followed by his loyal cadre from radical racist Suomen Sisu. James Hirvisaari, Olli Immonen and Juha Eerola are all members of the movement, and will probably form a separate racist parliamentary group with their dear leader. This will spell the end of the extreme racist fringe playing any potentially major part in Finnish politics, so it's a cause for great celebration! I have a feeling things actually took a turn for the better today.

UPDATE 14:28: Jussi Halla-aho's expulsion from the True Finn parliamentary group was just confirmed in an unanimous decision. He is currently expelled for two weeks. This will probably not affect the bulk of his actual work in the parliament much, but he is unable to attend meetings of the True Finn parliamentary group.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

True Finn MP plays the Nazi card

You all might remember the quote "Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun." It's frequently misattributed to Hermann Goering, but it actually comes from a pro-nazi play called Schlageter. People usually quote this to point out the brutality and violence of the national socialist regime, well normal people do that. True Finn MP Jussi Niinistö whom I've blogged about before apparently uses the phrase completely without irony.
Jussi Niinistö, you can't see his hands but they're reaching for his gun

Helsingin Sanomat reported that in a parliamentary session this Tuesday, Jussi Niinistö said he is a strong proponent of expanded presidential powers, and that "whenever I hear the word parliamentarism, I reach for my gun". Let's just re-iterate that this quote is frequently raised as an example of the despicable brutality of the nazi regime, it's certainly not a phrase that is in common use in Finland and would probably be in itself enough to send you to prison in Germany. Needless to say, this caused quite a bit of a scene in the session, and probably will haunt mr Niinistö for months to come.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Timo Soini takes a stand against fearmongering

The leader of the anti-European True Finn party Timo Soini has commented on what he calls "unnecessary fearmongering" concerning the Finnish government's plans for demanding collateral for the Greek government loan. Giving his full support to the government policy, the pudgy populist said he sees "no way" for the Greek government to pay off its €110 billion loan. His solution for the European soveireign debt crisis is simple: someone else, hopefully Germany, should take care of it.

Timo Soini

Timo Soini has recently called on the government to abandon the support for Greece entirely, citing German resistance to the Finnish-Greek collateral deal as an "ideal opportunity to say No thank you, we're out." On his uusisuomi blog, Soini also suggested that a permanent bailout mechanism would in fact create a system for supporting French and German banks using taxpayer money from other countries.

This kind of lack of any solution is proof positive that the True Finns did the absolute right thing when they didn't form a coalition government with National Coalition party this year. As an opposition party they can do what they do best: kick up dust and claim you can succesfully ignore problems until they go away. It's no wonder the True Finns are currently the most popular party among the ignorant many. Oh well, they have proven time and again that they are all bark and no bite, and if they manage to topple Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen's government we are in for endless entertainment. This won't be the issue that does it, however.

Monday, 22 August 2011

True Finns changes its official English name

Helsingin Sanomat reported today the True Finn party has now adopted "The Finns" as their official English name. True Finn leader Timo Soini is reportedly tired of having to re-translate his party name for foreign media to avoid being associated with nationalist extremism. Soini also likes "The Finns" because it is short and simple and even ordinary people his supporters will know how to write it.

Timo Soini, leader of the Finns

Ok well, first of all if you want to avoid sounding nationalist "The Finns" is probably not the best idea for a name. I imagine if there was such a thing as "The English Party", it would get lots of skinhead members really fast. Secondly, this would probably cause all manner of difficulty for reporters worldwide as they will presumably have to report the Finnish parliamentary opposition as consisting of "The Finns" and also the Centre party. Yeah, if I was a real journalist I would in all likelihood stick with True Finns. True Finns will do for this blog.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A True Finn member comments on the London Riots

Petri Kivikangas, a True Finn from Espoo Finland posted this thoughtful musing titled "Race riots in Britain" on his Uusisuomi blog.

Lately I've been following the fall of the current economic system with great interest. It has been just as interesting to follow the events unfold in Britain, especially since the Media seeks to avoid reporting certain things. We are seeing a resurgence of terms familiar from their reporting of immigrant-related crimes in Malmö. Such as 'youth', which I assume means the children of a certain immigrant group that is historically unable to integrate into society. You can verify this for yourself by looking at photos from the scene.
It's likely there will be once more people to understand these 'youths' as victims of society. In that case it needs to be asked why disaffected youth from other ethnic groups aren't looting and wrecking places in the same way? 
Actually, I'm just so numbed to this reporting, I can't be bothered to write a more in depth analysis. If people's eyes haven't been opened yet by events in other countries such as France and Sweden, this will not open their eyes either.
This shouldn't really surprise me after all I've posted about the True Finn racists, but it still does. Do I need to remind you this is the same party that said criticising Jussi Halla-aho after the Norway Shootings was distasteful? Here they are, blaming a whole race of people for a riot, in the year 2011. What a class act.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Halla-aho compares own supporters to Jihadists

In a typically peculiar statement to news agency AFP, True Finn MP Jussi Halla-aho has apparently compared his supporters to terrorists engaged in a holy war against the west. Iltalehti reports that Halla-aho thinks there is at present a witch-hunt against his supporters and free speech in general. Let's just quote the statement as reported by Iltalehti.

"In politics, as well as in political grassroots organisations, there have long been voices that try to suppress free speech. The attacks in Norway have given them a new weapon to use. There is no doubt that the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center in September 2001 got their inspiration from the Koran and Islamist web pages, but nobody is trying to ban the Koran or shut down jihadist web pages."
Jussi Halla-aho then goes on to state that he agrees with Anders Behring Breivik's interpretation of his blog posts. He was quoted in the Norwegian mass murderer's 1500 page manifesto, specifically his post about the supposed leftist collusion with militant Jihadists.
"Yeah, I guess my supporters are kinda like terrorists when you think about it"

What are we to make of this? Well, firstly Jussi Halla-aho seems to live in some strange alternate reality, where there aren't politicians all over Europe trying to ban the Qur'an, and where various government agencies don't routinely try to take suspected terrorist material off the internet. Secondly, he thinks his blog is as relevant of a cultural contribution as the Qur'an. He has always been smug and pretentious, but has not come across as delusional before this. I'm guessing he is more shaken up by one of his internet disciples shooting a bunch of people than he lets on.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Helsingin Sanomat reports on Jussi Halla-aho's connection to Counter-Jihad Movement

In the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat today, True Finn blogger and popular racist, MP Jussi Halla-aho answered to questions concerning his involvement with radical anti-islam "counter-jihad" bloggers and activists. Halla-aho said he is an occasional reader of the racist blog "Gates of Vienna". The blog in question lists MP Halla-aho as a correspondent, the same status awarded to the infamous anonymous blogger "Fjordman", who is also quoted extensively in the Norwegian shooter's manifesto, to the point that Fjordman was actually suspected of being Anders Behring Breivik!

Jussi, 40 "My style icons include the Unabomber and the Michigan Militia Movement"

When asked to clarify what being a correspondent meant, Jussi Halla-aho reportedly screamed at the reporter and hung up. Administrators at the Gates of Vienna blog refused to comment on MP Halla-aho's involvement with the blog. Halla-aho later denied shouting at the reporter in a post in his racist webforum Homma, but Helsingin Sanomat says they have recorded the actual call. Gotta love journalists who actually get their job done! (Murdoch take note)

Halla-aho's flavour of anti-immigrationism has generally been under fire since the Norway attacks, with the popular soap box Uusisuomi closing down a whole bunch of loony right-wing blogs. Halla-aho has been opinionating a lot this past week for people to not judge all hate talk on the basis of one crazy individual. Why, some people are even saying racist lunatics shouldn't even have guns! A very bad week for halla-ahonists all around.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Jussi Halla-aho expresses his condolences for the victims of the Norway attacks

Just kidding, he posted this gem into Facebook:

"Many Finns, whose orgasm was interrupted when members of [Jussi Halla-aho's racist webforum] Homma failed to burn down [an immigrant owned] pizzeria in Tampere, are now making up for lost time. For your information, I regret nothing I've written and refuse to take any kind of responsibility for Breitvik's actions. Furthermore I intend to continue on my chosen path, because multiculturalism sucks ass, no matter what Breitvik did."
What a class act Finland has as chairman of the Immigration Committee!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Jussi Halla-aho's racist webforum closed down after Norway massacre

Looks like True Finn MP Jussi Halla-aho's racist webforum Homma has been shut down for today, following the news about mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik's email to True Finn MPs being picked up by several media sources. It is of course possible that the two things are not related, and that the webforum administrator just wants to quote "have 14 hours of silence in memory of the victims" but it still seems like an odd thing to do. There is also a message about an update on the website for Suomen Sisu, the interesting 'nationalist' group Jussi Halla-aho is a member of.

Meanwhile Halla-aho revealed to tabloid Iltalehti that he has in fact read the manifesto, and critiqued it for containing too much "Christian fundamentalism" and being "very confusing." Maybe he read the whole 1500-page manifesto during the 24 hours it's been available online? He is a doctor after all. In fairness, the manifesto does include in it a lot of text from various anti-islam bloggers, with whom Halla-aho may already be familiar. More entertainingly, in far-out conspiracy world, he might even be one of the far-right individuals who met in London 2002, who included the Utøya killer Anders Behring Breivik? Only time will tell.

Norway mass murderer emailed True Finn MPs

According to Iltalehti, a True Finn regional leader Terhi Kiemunki, and several MPs of the True Finn party received an email from the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik just hours before the shooting. The email reportedly contained the far-right murderer's 1500 page anti-immigrant manifesto and was titled "The Islamisation of Western Europe and the status of the European Resistance Movements." The message also contained several photographs of the mass murderer, dressed in military gear and posing with various firearms.
What a sensible looking young man, our party members will love this!

Mrs Kiemunki proceeded to do the smart thing, and forwarded the manifesto to her entire mailing list. "It looked like it was about Islam, and we have a lot of people who are researching that kind of stuff," she explained. The mistake is made a bit more understandable by the fact that the manifesto mentions the True Finn party and Suomen Sisu in his list of the "indigenous european resistance organisations" that Anders Behring Breivik supports, naming True Finn MP Jussi Halla-aho in particular as an inspiration. Jussi Halla-aho has since denied knowing of mr Breivik or his manifesto.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Helsingin Sanomat on everyday racism in Finland

A well written post about everyday racism in Finland in today's Helsingin Sanomat
Dog faeces in the pram of an African-Finnish family. A working woman who's lived in Finland for 18 years told to go back to Africa. Helsingin Sanomat asked their readers to write in about their experiences with everyday racism in Finland.

"I saw a drunken woman harassing a Muslim woman and her child on the bus stop. Nobody there interfered so I got off the bus. The drunken woman was shouting 'Get the hell out of here, welfare leeches! You should be fucking killed' I threatened to call the police, and when she saw I meant business, she left."

A dark-skinned Finnish woman told us she'd been a victim of harassment due to the color of her skin. "I was sitting in the bus, reading a book when two men sat next to me and across from me. The one next to me leaned in close, practically onto my breasts and asked what I was reading. When I tried to leave, he grabbed me to keep me sitting there. The other one said 'You cunt. Where is your bomb vest? Did you leave it in Afghanistan?' What shocked me the most was that nobody raised a finger to help me."

Researcher and activist Sirkku Varjonen wishes people were more willing to act when they see racism. "Ignoring racist harassment creates an illusion of silent acceptance, which can be just as devastating to the victim as the attack itself," says Varjonen.

True Finn MP Tom Packalén wrote in to remind us that racist violence is rare in Finland. "I think Finland is not a racist country by any means. For example in Helsinki one finds very little racist violence in relation to population, when compared to any other country." Packalén says he doesn't want to disregard people's experiences of harassment, but says that commonly these attacks are such that almost anyone could fall victim. "These cases are due to a different appearance. There is just as much harassment of this kind among the native population. Commonly the attacks are also drug related."

Children also face racism in their daily lives. A reader writes in. "When my Somalian husband comes to pick up our child from kindergarten, she gets laughed at by other children. One time my daughter told me, she and another ethnic girl were not invited to a themed birthday party, because 'black girls can't be princesses'."

Mohamed Xadar Ismail, a project worker for youth organisation Kanava says parents need to think about if they are passing on prejudice to their children. "Racism and prejudice are easy to spot. If a child is raised to be able to interact with people from different cultures from an early age, they will grow up to be a functional adult that gets along well with people. Finland needs more of these skills in the future."

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Sauli Niinistö becomes next president of Finland

Sauli Niinistö announced today his intention to run for President of Finland next year. Considering over 50% of Finns think he should become the next president already, he will likely become one next year.

His popularity is such that the most pertinent question reporters asked was "will you be running for a second term, also?" The populist racist True Finn party has also considered supporting Niinistö for president in 2012.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Finland finally forms coalition government

Finland officially has a government again, praised be our Lord in Heaven. Here's the breakdown. National Coalition gets 6, Social Democrats 6, Left, Green and Swedish People's Party get two each. Christian Democrats get the Ministry of Interior. There are 9 women and 10 men.

Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (NC)

Minister of Finance Jutta Urpilainen (SDP)

Foreign Ministry is divided as follows:
Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja  (SDP)
Europe and foreign trade Minister Alexander Stubb (NC)
Development Minister Heidi Hautala (Green)
Minister of Public Administration and Local Government Henna Virkkunen (NC)
Minister of Defence Stefan Wallin (SWE)
Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen (CD)
Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (SWE)
Agriculture and Forestry Minister Jari Koskinen (NC)
Economic affairs Minister Jyri Häkämies (NC)
Minister of Transport Merja Kyllönen (Left)
Minister for Health and Social affairs Paula Risikko (NC)
Minister for Health and Social services Maria Guzenina-Richardson(SDP)
Minister of Education Jukka Gustavsson (SDP)
Minister of Culture Paavo Arhinmäki (Left)
Minister of Labour Lauri Ihalainen (SDP)
Minister for Housing and Communications Krista Kiuru (SDP)
Minister of the Environment Ville Niinistö (Green)

In case you are wondering about the two health ministers thing, there are actually three ministers working the same ministry. The official government website has the following explanation: Risikko, Guzenina-Richardson and Arhinmäki all work in the same ministry called the Ministry of Social affairs and Health. Guzenina-Richardson is in charge of the health services excluding actual medicinal affairs and pre-emptive care. Culture and sports minister Arhinmäki is in charge of matters of equal access to medical care. Social and Health minister Risikko is where the buck stops for all other matters pertaining to health.

From the same page, Foreign Ministry division of labour is as follows. With regards to the Chancellery of Government, Europe and foreign trade Minister Stubb handles the EU-secretariat matters, excluding Council of Europe summits, chancellery matters concerning the modification of EU-founding articles and governmental matters of appointment pertaining to the EU. He is also in charge of trade and Nordic co-operation related things. Development Minister Hautala is in charge of something called Ownership Steering, which basically boils down to governmental investments into developing countries. Other Foreign ministry matters are the responsibility of Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.

All I can say is FINALLY!!

In other news, just so this post has something to do with the True Finns, three Left Alliance MPs, Yrttiaho, Mustajärvi and Kontula were rumored to consider joining the True Finns. When asked about it, they said "Trash", "Bullsh*t" and "No way", respectively.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Jussi Niinistö: lets form paramilitary groups to attack gypsies

Jussi Niinistö, the True Finn chairman of the parliamentary committee on defence (and a nationalist nutter), said today that Finland should consider arming paramilitary groups in Finland. According to Niinistö's proposal would be formed following the example of extreme right-wing Jobbik party of Hungary, where said groups are known to parade in formation wearing black shirts and violent attacks on gypsy settlements. Like Niinistö proposes, these vigilante attacks are funded and approved by the Hungarian police force who have been spotted laughing on the sidelines as skinhead thugs terrorise Roma people in their own houses, breaking windows and shouting racist slogans. Apparently the defence committee chairman in Finland thinks things like this are desirable and needed.

"This is what Finland needs!" -Jussi Niinistö, 2011

Surprisingly enough, groups such as these are not new to Finland. It was last tried in the Finnish civil war and it resulted in over 20,000 executions of suspected leftist sympathisers in summary executions and concentration camps, and over 30,000 deaths overall in a country with a population of about 3 million.  Following World War II such groups were disbanded in accordance with the Paris peace treaty. They were also banned in Hungary, but re-established after the downfall of the communist regime and the rise of populist right wing parties.
The results

I heartily suggest everyone read the blog Gyöngyöspata Solidarity, just to get an idea of what is about to happen in Finland. Not a day goes by without Iltalehti reporting another 'gypsy crime', or someone in Helsingin Sanomat calling for the deportation of all Roma people from Finland. If you're wondering why the True Finns should not be allowed anywhere near power, Jussi Niinistö his lunatic opinions are enough reason. And the kicker? Jussi Niinistö is widely considered to be one of the moderate True Finn MPs.

Freddy "Holocaust never happened" Wonterghem is at it again!

I blogged before about a certain Belgian immigrant True Finn candidate's views on the Holocaust. Well, turns out Freddy van Wonterghem has expressed his views once more, this time on Muslim women. No, it's actually not about them being subjugated or the violence they supposedly face in Islamic societies. It's rather more upfront than that. Here's what Freddy said on his blog:

Let Saudis stone whomever they want in their own country. When a Muslim woman dies there is the positive effect of having less women giving birth to Muslims. If we kill enough Muslim women, Islam will be extinct. These are the facts.

So yeah, I bet Soini will issue another statement where he "personally disagrees" with this call for an outright genocide against Muslims, yet this person will be allowed to continue representing Soini's party with impunity. Do you know why? It's because the majority of True Finn supporters actually agree with these views.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

True Finn parliamentary aide turns out to be a violent criminal

Mikael Lith, a parliamentary aide for the True Finn MP Vesa-Matti Saarakkala is evidently a violent criminal with a penchant for abusing women he's in a relationship with. In 2009 Lith got sentenced to €300 fine as well as paying €1300 in damages to his then-girlfriend. According to contemporary sources, Lith beat his girlfriend with his fists, dragged her by the hair and kicked her while she was laying on the ground. He then tried to pressure her into not talking to the police, which got him sentenced for intimidation as well as assault. What a class act.
fun fact: this is the only picture that exists of Mikael Lith

In 2005 Lith was arrested brandishing a replica firearm outside the Russian embassy. His excuse is he was drunk, and a friend was egging him on. Makes one proud to be Finnish. Here even the most violent, unpredictable and all around odious people are given a second chance, in the True Finn party.

Lith identifies himself as a critic of immigration, and a supporter of traditional Christian family values. Spare the rod, spoil the girlfriend, I suppose.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Timo Soini on a 'pilgrimage' to Ireland

After being rejected from the Finnish coalition government, the anti-european leader of the True Finn party Timo Soini decided to make a 'pilgrimage' to Ireland. Tim O'Soini famously converted to Roman Catholicism while taking part in a student exchange program in Ireland.

The Ireland bailout was one of the more pressing issues during the Finnish 2011 parliamentary elections, which saw Timo Soini gain an historic amount of support. Catholics are weird!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Social democrats, left alliance walk away from coalition cabinet negotiations

Jyrki Katainen's negotiations to form a coalition cabinet took a step backward with the Social Democratic party and the Left alliance walking out of negotiations over disputes with economic policy. This leaves Katainen with the job of persuading the former prime minister Kiviniemi's Centre party to take part in the cabinet, and even that gives the new coalition a slim 105 out of 200 seats majority.

Centre party is remembered for being the undisputed greatest loser of the Finnish 2011 parliamentary election, losing a whopping 16 seats and going from the most popular party to the fourth most popular one. They have stated from election night onwards that they would not take part in any coalition cabinet, and that they would consider taking part in one an insult to Finnish parliamentary democracy. Looks like Jukka Tarkka may have been right after all, when he said he considered a new election a real possibility.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

12 days into negotiations, coalition cabinet is still not formed

Today was a bad day for future PM (Note: the actual Finnish word for his position would be something like "government negotiating person") Jyrki Katainen as his negotiations to form a new coalition cabinet for Finland are set to enter their 13th day, with both the Social Democrats and the Left Alliance refusing to support the proposed economic programme today. Greens too, but with their past history of taking part in governments they disapprove of, they probably won't matter too much.

If Katainen fails to form a coalition cabinet, it will be not looked upon favorably by his own party, which for the first time holds the largest share of parliamentary seats. It would also mean that Social Democrats' Jutta Urpilainen gets to try forming one next, therefore giving the prime ministerial post to the Social Democratic party. In the unlikely scenario that ALL attempts to form a coalition cabinet fail, a new election will be held and judging from recent poll figures, this would mean the True Finns would become the largest party. Political theorist Jukka Tarkka is notable as the only person in Finland who actually thinks this is a real possibility.

It is now within possibility that Jyrki Katainen might not become PM after all, which would be a shame. With the huge Nokia corporation entering the most significant crisis of its lifetime, and the all around bad economic health of Europe, Finland can not really afford to stay forever without an executive branch.

Monday, 30 May 2011

National Coalition youth come out in support of Halla-aho's racist manifesto

One of the least well kept secrets of Finnish politics was exposed in headlines all over Finland today, when Wille Rydman, chairman of National Coalition Youth came out in support of True Finn MP Jussi Halla-aho's Manifesto against racism (against Finns). The secret being of course that Wille Rydman, like the blogger and popular racist Halla-aho, is an active member of the neo-nazi group Suomen Sisu as are a disturbing number of his comrades in National Coalition Youth. Wille Rydman has also been one of the more vocal critics of the Roma people, saying they need to be deported away from Finland and is an active poster on the racist webforum Homma. Political Youth organisations in Finland are traditionally quirky as it were, but this is a bit too much even by their yardstick.

You ever wonder what happens to those creepy photoshopped kids when they grow up? Now you know.
According to Wille Rydman, the future government needs to act against affirmative action as well as racism against immigrants. He thinks the two are equally bad, and that affirmative action leads to racism instead of being one of the more useful tools in working against institutional racism. As far as alternate solutions to smooth integration of immigrants go, Wille Rydman has none, but at least the 98% Finnish majority has a fairly strident spokesman in him. 

Oh well, at least all of the more reputable members of National Coalition, including future PM Jyrki Katainen himself, as well as the National Coalition Women's organisation and all of the National Coalition MPs have spoken out against this. Bless him, 25 years old and already a political suicide. That is, unless Jussi Halla-aho goes and forms a party for him to jump ship to? Only time will tell.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

"Let them hang" - How the digital racist fringe transformed Finland

An excellent and insightful opinion piece by Taneli Heikka.

"Why the hell can't we get some rule of the law enforced against this immigrant scum? Let them hang.", reads a comment on a news story, on the website of one of the most prestigious economic journals in Finland. The open discussion thread has a topic "HIV infected nigger rapes underage girl."

"Let them hang" is a fairly typical example of the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has been on the rise on Finnish internet discussion forums. Demands of violent opposition to perceived enemies are common. There is a virtual call for a lynch mob, to enforce the supposed "law of the land". A final solution for the immigrant question.

Racism is nothing new in Finland. What's new is the boldness and determination of the new generation of racists. Their path from blogging and internet forums to the Finnish Parliament took them only a couple of year. What happened? What should be done?

A few years ago racists were a marginal and incoherent group consisting of individual hate writers like Jussi Halla-aho. Web 2.0 seems to have brought an unnerving development. It made possible for the racist fringe to network socially and organise itself into a coherent and powerful group.

The online battlefied where racism was redefined for the new era was in the social media. Discussion forums, blogs, news commentaries all were put into effective use. Jussi Halla-aho's blog, the formerly active Suomen Sisu discussion forum and the Homma-forum were used as a combined command centre and a think tank. Cadres of internet hate writers crawled the discussion forums and news comments with a sense of purpose. A news story about an immigrant gets reported on the racist forums, and an attack begins following a simple tactic, which more or less has three steps:

1. The news article in question is not a separate, individual incident. It is part of an ongoing trend of failed multiculturalism and failed integration of (black african) immigrants. Example:
"In Oulu immigrants who committed an aggravated rape, slashing their 30 year old victim in an unusually cruel way in 2006 have been free to roam the streets for a couple of years now. Our friend Abdigadir has been let off the hook already. Why keep such a nice fellow in jail anyway..." (provincial paper KL, 9.2.2011)
2. The news article is a part of a wider leftist-green multicultural conspiracy and/or hegemony. Example:
 "The pollyannas of the immigration business are purposely importing useless African scum to justify their own continued employment" (provincial paper KL, 9.2.2011)
 3. Islamisation / cultural decay is an inevitable result of multiculturalism and immigration, and Finnish culture and laws are in grave danger. Example:
"I wonder if there is a conspiracy more devious and efficient than the current drive to ban words used in discussion? One needs to fight attacks on freedom of speech like these, otherwise the word "nigger" will not be the last victim here." (provincial paper KL, 9.2.2011)
Incredibly, this tactic has proved immensely effective. This is not a sophisticated form of discussion, but then again that is not the purpose here. The aim is to agitate, propagandise and instigate. An outside observer gets the impression that there needs to necessarily be a huge multiculturalist conspiracy at work, after all why would all these people rage against one if there wasn't? The intense provocation leads inevitably to a long discussion, and dispersing some facts and figures into the mix creates a surprisingly persuasive illusion of a serious movement, with compelling arguments.

This is how the whole vocabulary in the Finnish immigration debate was twisted and corrupted little by little by the internet racist fringe. Anti-immigrationists became "immigration-critical". Discussions in the social media quickly picked up this new self-labelling without much opposition. The anti-immigrationists then denied others the right to call them racist. Just like that, everyone else went along with this. Even a few years ago it was clear to pretty much everyone what was racist and what was not. Value-judgements on people based on their ethnic background used to be accepted as universally racist. This is commonplace now. A key triumph of the Finnish anti-immigrationist internet posters is that it is no longer acceptable to call a racist a racist.

Nazist analogies or outright glorification of the Third Reich runs rampant in the Finnish immigration debate. However, one is no longer allowed to use the word Nazi, because Godwin's law has been raised to the status of an infallible natural law, right alongside such things as logic and burden of proof. In this ridiculous atmosphere, calling someone out for praising Adolf Hitler is shameful not for the person praising Hitler, but for the person who dared to call someone out for it. There are now calls for violent hate speech, "let them hang" et cetera, to be understood as a natural defensive reaction to violent immigrants - Finland is under threat, extreme measures and tough speech is called for.

The Finnish media and politicians have also adopted the rules of engagement dictated by the racist fringe - a fate that Sweden has luckily avoided. By the elections, the two percent immigrant population was perceived as a grave threat to the 98% Finnish majority: "let's put immigration into a headlock", "we must stop benefit thieving immigrants" were no longer just texts in a racist blog somewhere on the internet, they were used by mainstream parliamentary candidates. Imagery of violence and extreme language in general became an accepted part of immigration debate.

Conspiracy theories can never be disproven, making them very useful for people who dislike actual debate. Nobody can disprove the existence of a shadowy business of immigration, designed to benefit conveniently anonymous bureaucrats. Perhaps someone in Helsinki will hear the call to prayer from a nearby minaret in the 2200s? Cannot disprove that. One would expect the journalists, researchers and opinion writers to have enough backbone so as to not allow one extreme of opinion make itself into the accepted consensus.

The Finnish immigration debate formed its consensus on the social media. This came as a surprise to most. The anti-immigrationists dictated the rules of engagement on their own turf, and in the newspapers. Journalists accepted the vocabulary of the new racist fringe, because they were under the mistaken impression that this vocal minority was the voice of the people. It was not, and is not, but the journalists don't actually take part in discussions in the social media and are unfamiliar with its norms and practices. They thus easily fall prey to the anti-immigrationist tactics mentioned above.

Lots of journalists are still under the impression there is no organised racist fringe operating on the internet. They think it is a coincidence Finland has several MPs with a background in either the Homma-forum or the neo-fascist Suomen Sisu. To put their influence into perspective, the Finnish parliament has elected three members from the wealthy entrepreneurs' lobbying group, and seven declared anti-immigrationists.

These single-issue anti-immigrationists were vetted online during a perioid of several months. This digital operation was completely ignored or missed by the media.

I believe the parliamentary elections 2011 showed the power of systematic online organisation of a single-minded group. It was a coup made possible by the traditional mainstream media allowing them to completely dictate the terms of engagement. There was no mainstream media presence at all on the social media.

Liberal forces need to get into the discussion. The time for non-commitment is over. Journalistic guide lines that call for disengagement in the social media are outdated and even dangerous to democracy. The recent decision by Finnish researchers to publish their writings anonymously due to pressure from the racist fringe is understandable but wrong. It is nearly impossible to engage a racist into honest discussion, but that is no reason to give up the fight. The state provides education with public funds for the express reason of having people discuss their areas of expertise in the public forum.

The social media, virtual and intangible as it might seem is a budding virtual world that is going to have an impact on the future path of society. This impact is not going to lessen in the foreseeable future. For the moment the internet is a two dimentional artificial reality, but it is quickly on the path to becoming more real than reality itself. We cannot allow it to become a playground of anti-liberal forces. Whoever values our system of equality, liberty and mutual brotherhood needs to speak up now, rather than risk forever falling to the margins of change.

Taneli Heikka

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

True Finns "denounce" racism

According to Helsingin Sanomat, the True Finn party, spurred on by recent developments has publicly denounced racism. The declaration was made after True Finn MP Teuvo Hakkarainen's recent comments. Fun fact: the declaration itself is apparently mostly written by blogger and popular racist Jussi Halla-aho, a True Finn MP. Here is the declaration:

In the context of recent violent attacks against Helsinki area bus drivers and other racist aggravation of recent times, the True Finn party has been asked to denounce and distance itself from racism. The True Finn parliamentary group hereby denounces all forms of racism and discrimination, and will have nothing more to do with the aforementioned.

We denounce mud-slinging against any group on ethnic, religious, political or language basis, regardless of whether they're a minority or a majority.

We denounce all violations of the sacred right to physical integrity, regardless of the etnic groups of the assailant and the victim, and regardless of whether or not such acts are motivated by racial motives, other motives or unprovoked.

We denounce all discrimination on the job market and in education based on ethnic background, language, culture, religion or a similar aspect.

We demand that violent acts against persons will be dealt with, with appropriate gravity, regardless of the victim's majority or minority status. All irregularity in reporting news and making snap judgments against persons sends a strong message that their status as a member of a group affects their basic human rights.

We hold the opinion outright, that the powers that be need to treat every person as an individual rather than a representative of his minority or majority group, ethnic, cultural or otherwise. Nobody needs to be punished or indeed rewarded for their background.

The True Finn parliamentary group issues this declaration as a response to allegations of advocating racism, violence and discrimination that have been made against the party in mass media by political parties. We invite all other parliamentary parties to join together and sign this declaration, and issue penalties towards members who by word or deed act against the principles laid forth in this declaration.

Finnish Parliament 25.5.2011,

True Finns parliamentary group

So there you go, a bunch of bullshit with ample references to a supposed persecuted "majority", in an obvious attempt to appease the rabid racist Halla-ahoist fringe of the True Finn party. The last paragraph about "issuing penalties" is probably the most telling, because it was reported today that Teuvo Hakkarainen walked away from the meeting that agreed to this declaration with barely a word said about his atrocious behaviour. It's going to be fun seeing other parties tear into this one the next couple of days. Is the True Finn party in such a state of disarray that their leader Timo Soini needs to issue a "declaration" that basically says "we denounce racism (against whites)", and hope for the best?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Teuvo Hakkarainen advocates work camps for blacks

First term True Finn MP and all-around funny guy Teuvo Hakkarainen gave an interview to the provincial newspaper Jämsän Sanomat yesterday. Hakkarainen and fellow True Finn MP Kauko Tuupainen were interviewed in Jämsä as guests of the city council head Ilkka Salminen.
Teuvo Hakkarainen, True Finns

According to him, refugees and especially blacks need to be forced into doing manual labour in the forests. "every street and boulevard in Helsinki is filled with workshy niggers, who need to be put to work," said Hakkarainen. He then proceeded to mention his experiences in South America, where he travelled as a consultant for his lumber firm, Haka-Wood, where he noted that those with a 'European background' seem to be markedly more industrious than others. Hakkarainen argued that putting these 'niggers' into work "out into the hailstorm where we have also been" would also work as a natural disincentive for immigration into Finland. Teuvo Hakkarainen also added that he was not a racist.

As per usual, the True Finn leader Timo Soini quickly distanced himself from the comments, saying he personally "disagrees" and that he would "talk" with Teuvo Hakkarainen. There was a much sterner voice of disapproval from the Green party MP, Jani Toivola. Toivola takes this extremely seriously and issued a public demand for the True Finn party to denounce racism once and for all.
Jani Toivola, Green Party

"I never thought that I would be listening to words like this even as an adult", Toivola said. "I've listened to slurs like this all my life, being black myself."

Toivola is worried about the influence an instigator like Teuvo Hakkarainen will have on the children in Finland. "Words like these being used will  find their way into the playground. Who will take responsibility?"

"I hope this will be a turning point for the True Finns as well as the entire parliament. That they would publicly take a zero tolerance approach to racism."

Friday, 20 May 2011

Jussi Halla-aho found to be even more racist than previously thought

According to the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, True Finn MP Jussi Halla-aho has published even more racist filth on his website than previously thought. In 2001 he wrote posts raging against "human rights" and "tolerance" on his personal website. This was uncovered by an exceptionally diligent journalist trawling their way through the Internet Archive site.

Boy, is my face red!

In addition to writing racist tripe of his own, he also published several other high-profile racists' writings on his blog. Included was Michael Levin's infamous 'Why Race Matters', which is a book advocating white supremacy based on purported intellectual superiority. Another piece was "The Color of Crime", which advocates racial segregation and outright apartheid as a solution to worlds "black problem." Some choice quotations picked by Halla-aho from the works include such gems as "the parasitic behaviour of blacks requires a co-operative host."

This person is in charge of the parliamentary committee in charge of Immigration.

Teuvo Hakkarainen celebrates hockey victory - with picture!

Today it was revealed that Teuvo Hakkarainen, the fresh True Finn MP with the most honest first day in parliament in living memory, was spotted last Sunday celebrating the Finnish team winning world championship in hockey. According to the tabloid 7 Päivää he was photographed topless and crazy drunk outside of a local establishment called Wankkuri. Wankkuri is rumored to be the favorite haunt of Hakkarainen, who boasted 18 years of alcohol abstinence just before the election. When facing the tabloid press, he tried to explain it away by claiming it was in fact 'his brother' who was topless at Wankkuri, but broke down and confessed to everything when 7 Päivää revealed to him they had the photographs to prove it.

The "evil twin" in action

Finland as a whole went overboard with the partying, myself included, but this is still funny to me because Teuvo Hakkarainen is an MP. Edit for 23.5: added picture!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The True Finns now the most popular Party in Finland

Helsingin Sanomat reported today that according to a poll by several newspapers, the True Finns are now the most popular party in Finland. Their popularity has risen by 3.3% points since the election, while the Social Democrats and Centre party lost a couple points each. The poll was conducted last week, after True Finn leader Timo Soini announced that the True Finns will remain in opposition from the government Coalition.
This is Timo Soini's happy face
 Interestingly, Jyrki Katainen's National Coalition party increased its popularity by half a point, even though they will be the prime ministerial party for the new coalition. This may be because Jyrki Katainen did literally everything in his power to secure a coalition that would have included the True Finns, even going as far as to make the Portugal bailout a separate issue from the formation of said coalition.

In the absence of the True Finns, the new "coalition of losers" as Timo Soini titled them in his usual eloquent fashion, will include the Left Alliance, Social Democrats, Green party, National Coalition and the Christian Democrats in a rough order from political left to right. If you followed the election at all, all of these parties lost votes to the True Finns. For the Social Democrats it was their worst result in all their history. This is roughly the same type of coalition government as the rainbow coalition of the Social Democratic PM Paavo Lipponen, in the 90s. The Coalition does enjoy a rather comfortable parliamentary majority, but excluding the undisputed winner of the elections, in terms of percentage points gained, will be seen by a lot of people as unfair.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

True Finns rejected from possible Coalition

According to National Coalition's Jyrki Katainen, the Social Democrats and his party have reached a consensus on the matter of the Portugal bailout. This has prompted the True Finn leader Timo Soini to announce his True Finn party will no longer be available for negotiations in the forming of a possible coalition government. This means any coalition that can be formed, will bear a striking resemblance to Paavo Lipponen's "rainbow coalition" from the 90s.
Careful now.

The Swedish people's party and the Christian democrats are definitely in, and have indicated they will support the Portugal bailout as formulated in the SDP-NC pact. This, however gives the new government a precarious 101 seats in the 200 seat parliament, so it is also necessary to include either the Left Alliance or the Greens. The Greens have stated they will not take part in a government that supports nuclear power, and the Left Alliance will not support a Portugal package that calls for privatisation of Portugal's government-owned assets. Former prime minister Kiviniemi's Centre party will in any case be in the opposition.

This all does not bode well for the future government's life expectancy, whatever form that government might take. The undisputed winner of the elections is in opposition, and looks like mr Katainen needs to do some serious compromises with the Greens or the Left, to secure something resembling a stable majority.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Jussi-Halla-aho mad about pictures of himself

It was reported today by the newspaper Aamulehti, that True Finns MP Jussi Halla-aho is extremely angry over some photographs of himself that were published by the newspaper. Halla-aho refuses to comment on anything until the newspaper stops using these pictures in their reporting. What might these shocking pictures be? Well, take a look yourself.
Picture #1: Halla-aho in a suit, outside, giving an interview
Picture #2: Halla-aho wearing a comfortable looking sweater
Well that was disappointing. It looks as though the general governing commission of the Finnish parliament is chaired by an extraordinarily sensitive person. I mean yes, the lighting in the first one is atrocious, but I can't really find anything to complain about in the second one. If anything, it makes him look almost likeable. Not handsome by any means, but he does have a certain harmless goofy quality about him that some women find appealing.

Wow, ten years of limiting your interaction with the world to maintaining a racist weblog for your adoring internet fans really can make you somewhat unaccustomed to the real world, where people shockingly still have faces. Clearly he has no idea how he appears to other people. Perhaps he suffers from some form of autism, and can't help it? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Jussi Halla-aho to be sentenced in Supreme Court

It was reported today in Ilta-Sanomat, that blogger and popular racist, True Finn MP Jussi Halla-aho is to attend supreme court facing charges of racial incitement. Halla-aho was already previously convicted of incitement against religion by both the hovrätt and tingsrätt.
Jussi Halla-aho, really mad at being called a racist

So rather than pay a day fine of 30 days, which is a paltry €330, Jussi Halla-aho has opted for a long and unnecessary process the cost of which for the Finnish taxpayer will inevitably reach five figures at least. Need I remind you that this person is a member of an outright neo-nazi gang, and is known to spout all manner of racist tripe in his blog. This is a joke, a complete mockery of the already-overburdened Finnish judicial system. Apparently after receiving an entirely free education, and succesfully dodging military service with no consequence whatsoever, €330 is just too much to give back to Finnish society. What a pitiful man.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Fatim Diarra: Why I'm afraid to walk the streets at night

I came across an opinion piece by Fatim Diarra, a Green youth member from Finland titled Why I'm afraid to walk the streets at night

Yesterday we spent the day in Amsterday, admiring the peculiar architectural details of the city and the canals, adrift with tourists in the red afternoon sun. One of my travel companions noted that Umayya Abu Hanna, a journalist and a writer with Palestinian background, had recently moved to the Netherlands after a long stay in Finland. I took little notice at the time, but somehow my friend's comment stayed with me, in the back of my mind.

Today at the European Youth Forum summit in Antwerpen, I've heard many a discussion concerning the True Finns and got many condolences for their success. I recently read an excellent opinion piece in Helsingin Sanomat concerning racism in Finland, which stated: Enough is Enough. That's right.

Enough is indeed enough.

I've lived all my life in Finland and have of course faced my fair share of racism. I've been spat on and I've been called a nigger whore, as I was making my way to school. I've been told to go back to Africa and 'climb up a tree because I'm a monkey', and ridiculous things of that nature. These have always been separate unfortunate happenings rather than a persistent pattern, and years have gone by between incidents. Recently the atmosphere has changed for the worse however, and for the first time I'm frightened because of the colour of my skin.

During the past year I've noticed people on streetcars, buses and trains staring at me for a longer time than they used to. I get hostile looks. Explaining to someone why I speak such good Finnish has become a weekly occurrence. For the record it is because I was born of a Finnish mother in Finland, and have lived here my entire life. This doesn't always stop people from wondering. Sometimes these people claim to notice a hint of 'bad Finnish' in my speech. These people actually believe the color of your skin affects your ability to learn to speak your mother tongue.

About a month ago things came to a head as I was running away from a drunk in Helsinki who screamed I was a 'nigger whore'

The week after the parliamentary elections I was walking to the University from the student village of Kortesniemi, as I was stopped by a man. He told me in a very aggressive tone of voice that in my area at least 50 people voted for the True Finns and that he was one of those people. I decided not to be provoked and tried to carry on walking, but the man started pestering me for my opinion on the matter. I said I think our differences of opinion are indeed huge, but that we're all entitled to our own opinion. This was clearly not enough for the man, who kept shouting at me until I jumped on board a bus passing by. Thankfully the man stayed  at the bus stop.

This May Day we were having a good time at a local bar. Our student group had two people whose appearance differs from that of your typical Finn. We took seats at the Karaoke side of the bar, and were quickly noticed by a large, bald white man. He proceeded to perform a karaoke favorite "I am a Finn", while glaring angrily at our direction. His girlfriend was duely impressed. I was disgusted. Now, when I walk home alone in the dark and a dark figure walks towards me I get shivers and I'm scared, because I'm not white.

I'm not going to give in to fear or curl up in a corner.

I've been often asked about my opinion as to the origin of the so called 'immigration criticism', and outright racism in Finland. I believe the root of the problem lies in a general rise in poverty levels and income inequality. The parties have failed to maintain the welfare state, and we as a people have failed to keep the parties responsible for their failure. We've let the income inequality rise to record levels, resulting in a polarisation of its ill effects. Our housing policy has been atrocious, and as a result, immmigrant ghettoes have formed. At the same time we've failed to raise people out of unemployment and let the public services disintegrate to the extent where they are no longer used by people who can afford an alternative.

Make no mistake, there is no silver bullet. A good place to begin is starting a discussion for halting the rise in income inequality, how to improve the desirability and quality of public services, what kind of housing we need to build where everyone can live together and what kind of language is acceptable in the public arena.

I'm f*cking pissed off, but I will not surrender. I'm going to keep on walking down those dark streets at night, even though I'm afraid. I'm also going to keep on working to build a Finnish society based on the principle of equality and justice for all, a society that nobody needs to be ashamed of.

Coalition gov't takes a step ahead

National Coalition's Jyrki Katainen got his reply to his followup questions from future coalition parties today. It appears the True Finns' favorite colour is blue, while the Social Democrats prefer pink. The coalition will still not be formed until after the EcoFin meeting, which decides the faith of the Portugal bailout.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Excellent opinion piece from Helsingin Sanomat

There was again an excellent opinion piece by Matti Mielonen in Helsingin Sanomat yesterday. I've translated it here for your reading.

Another bus driver was assaulted in Helsinki, in middle of the day this Wednesday.

I could not believe it when I heard the most likely cause of the attack was the driver's immigrant background.

Or rather, I was forced to believe it.

The driver was working, earning his pay and paying his tax. Regardless, just as he was stepping into the relative safety of his place of employment, he was assaulted.

The person who carried out the attack grew up like me in Finland, one of the best countries in the world, as widely reported in American newspapers last year.

Too many stories such as this one tell of a Finland possessed by intolerance and all out hatred.

It's as if someone opened the hatch of a cage of rats, and let the rodents run amok. They've spread far and wide, and spread their disease, even to young children.

"We don't play with niggers", I heard a blonde-haired little Finnish girl say to another Finnish child, whose skin colour was a shade browner than your typical native resident.

This was in the middle of the day in a fashionable suburb of Vantaa, with parking spaces gleaming with new cars and whose shopping centres are a typical western cornucopia of earthly goods. I though this was a place with affluent, satisfied people.

I also heard of a group of little kids of Somalian descent being harassed and intimidated by a Finnish man as they were travelling on a bus.

When a man with half foreign background was assaulted in Helsinki this spring, youth workers helping him heard from the police: "Crimes such as these have increased since it is an election year"

I had to check, and sure enough hate crime prosecution by the police force increased by nearly a fifth in 2009, according to a study this November.

It was recently reported in Helsingin Sanomat that a wrong skin color gets you turned away from restaurants in Helsinki.

And it's evidently not even enough to have the right skin tone: speaking the wrong language is enough to make you the target of hatred.

When the son of a Finnish-speaking friend of mine was caught speaking Swedish to a friend of his at a subway station, this was too much for a man nearby. He followed the young boy, hitting him and cursing. For no other reason than speaking Swedish in public. The young man escaped unharmed, this time around.

Every time when racist rats gnaw at the foundation of Finnish civilisation and equality I believe in, I feel the urge to rise up. For the past fifty years I have, but lately there have been just too many incidents.

I'm just yout normal middle-aged man, a father. I'm no fighter, nor a politician.

A friend was wondering why the parliament or officials do nearly nothing. The interior ministry has stated it continues to fight against racist attacks. Forgive me for not noticing. Racist attacks concern regular people like you and me, not the immigration policy. You need to be able to take immediate action when one happens.

Strangely enough this racist harassment seems to have increased along with the support for the True Finn party. This is even though they claim to be supporting regular people just like you and me. People.

I was very pleased reading heavyweight boxer Robert Helenius' comment about being made into sort of a great white hope by a group of internet nazis. His comment was succinct and to the point.

"F*ck no", he said.

Like he's speaking my words. But more eloquently.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Olli Immonen receives a 'death threat'

Olli Immonen, member of Suomen Sisu and a True Finn MP received a 'death threat' today, it was reported in Iltalehti. Immonen evidently reported the matter to the police straight away. Let me print here in full the 'death threat' that mr Immonen received. This is the death threat made against Olli Immonen, sent from an anonymous email address.

"Hello you f*****ng pissbrain midget. I urge you to kill Jussi Halla-Aho by the end of the month or I will tear the heads off you and your kin."
Unsurprisingly, True Finn supporters have been crying their eyes out at this online, saying this is a horrible thing, and is surely an inevitable result of the mass media mud-slinging campaign creating an 'environment of hate' against their party. They've also managed to narrow this down as the work of a lunatic Green party supporter, using no evidence whatsoever.

pissbrain midget himself
 Death threats are nothing new to the True Finn party, there having been recently a well-publicised lawsuit against a particularly 'immigration critical' True Finn who declared on Facebook his willingness to "Spend a few years in jail for killing [immigration minister] Astrid Thors." and said "an appropriate punisment to Left Alliance enemies of state would be a visit to a lovely camp prepared for them near Krakow." True Finn supporters back then thought this was par for the course in a country with 'true' freedom of speech.

Olli immonen has certainly enjoyed his share of Finnish freedom of speech to the fullest, having blogged on various sites on topics such as the impending Islamisation of Finland and how the Finnish white heterosexual male is in danger of being marginalised. He went as far as to publish the controversial Jyllands post Muhammad cartoons on his webpage, prompting no reaction whatsoever from Finnish Muslims. In one particularly hateworthy incident, mr Immonen responded to news of Neo-nazis throwing tear gas canisters at a pride march with a blog post almost entirely dedicated to people heckling a neo-nazi rally in Germany. Yes, he actually thinks people who decide to dress up in bomber jackets and beat immigrants are a persecuted minority group in the same category as homosexuals or refugees.

Immonen's homophobia is pretty ironic, considering his stated "devoted admiration" of famous Austrian politician Jörg Haider. Then again it could just be the fact he admires just about anybody who hates immigrants, including Geert Wilders and the Swedish Democrats. Amusingly, he even met his common-law wife online at a racist internet forum. His wife is a member of the radical anti-immigrant party Muutos 2011's leadership. It looks as though mr Immonen has purposely immersed himself in racist fringe websites for at least the last five years, probably following the example of blogger and popular racist Jussi Halla-aho, fellow True Finn MP.

In conclusion yes, it is the fault of a hate filled environment that Olli Immonen received his 'death threat'. It is also a fact that Immonen has been purposefully trying to create just such an environment nearly all his adult life. And that might be the real tragedy here.