Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Halla-Aho takes lead of parliamentary committee, so does Niinistö

Every single news outlet reported today that Finland has its first openly racist leader of a major parliamentary committee. The governmental committee in charge of things such as immigration, weapons policy and police force will be chaired by none other than our friend, blogger and popular racist Jussi Halla-Aho. Another confirmed committee chair from the True Finns is Jussi Niinistö who will chair the defence committee. No argument here about Niinistö, whose credentials in matters military or political can hardly be questioned. His judgment maybe, but not his credentials.

*places hand on forehead* "It is... relieved"

But all may not be as bleak as it seems, since this most likely means that the easy path into ministership ends here for Halla-Aho. It is not possible for one to hold a committee chairmanship as well as a ministerial seat in the Finnish system. It is expected that the True Finn leader Timo Soini, who is at this writing the chair of the foreign relations committee, will resign his seat in order to take up a ministerial role in the near future, but Halla-Aho blogged recently in a rare moment of honest introspection that he would not in fact be qualified for a ministerial role. According to his post he prefers to stay quote unquote behind the scenes. And it is there where he truly belongs, I'm inclined to add. In all seriousness though, let's do as Halla-Aho's blog requests and not contact him or criticise him. In fact, let's forget all about him and let him become a faceless bureaucrat in a machine he pretends to rage against.

In fact it is not likely that Jussi Halla-Aho will influence Finland's immigration policy much at all. His post as a committee chair will only grant him influence in as much as getting a deciding vote in case of a tied vote. And even then, his proposed policies would be subject to parliamentary scrutiny and should it come to that, an open vote. If I was to make a prediction, the new National Coalition led coalition will get rid of the immigration ministry entirely, probably merging it with either the ministry of interior or foreign ministry and call it prudence. Should this be the case, the 'halla-ahoist' anti-immigrationist fringe will be contained for at least another four years, perhaps forgotten entirely.