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 kauppalehti.fi 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.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Jyrki Katainen's magic trick saves the day

Jyrki Katainen of the National Coalition party announced yesterday evening that the negotiations into forming a new ruling coalition will be postponed until he can ask some more necessary questions from the parties involved. This is due to an "information imbalance between parties." I'm guessing this wording means the True Finns' rising star Teuvo Hakkarainen will go back to primary school. (Seriously, the guy didn't finish primary school.) More to the point, this means Katainen will issue his questions this Thursday, and will receive answers next Monday. Also, the earliest point at which the parties will start assigning ministerial posts will be 18th May, conveniently just two days after the finance ministers' EcoFin summit where the Portugal aid package will be decided.

Smooth operator
 As you remember from the news and this blog, the True Finns said they would not take part in a coalition that would support the Portugal bailout. So for the True Finns this is like a divine intervention, meaning they can now vote against the Portugal bailout as well as take part in the ruling coalition, without having to reneg on any of their promises. To a lesser extent this is true for the Social Democratic party but they will probably vote for the bailout anyway, being a traditionally pro-EU party. True Finn leader Timo Soini and rather more interestingly, the Christian democrats' Päivi Räsänen were quick to comment on the decision, saying it was the definitely the right one to make. Maybe a sign the Christian Democrats will be in the governing coalition as well?

Opposing this blatant passing of the buck were the Left Alliance, Centre party, and the old bearded radical Social Democrat Jyrki Tuomioja, who is also the chairman of the general governing committee of the parliament, which would be tasked by Katainen to handle this issue for him. Tuomioja and acting prime minister Kiviniemi of the centre party both said it would be a highly unorthodox for an interim government to present such an important measure to the committee. Perhaps so, but there is no fixed date at which a governing coalition must be formed, and it looks like Jyrki Katainen will pull this one off. He will look like the slimiest most dishonest person ever but hey, let's be honest now, would you not do the same to secure a prime ministerial seat?

Monday, 2 May 2011

Sorry, Portugal... Soini enters Flipmode

In yet another shocking twist, True Finns' leader Timo Soini retracted his earlier talks about the Portugal bailout being negotiable. His reply this morning to coalition forming headsman and probable future PM, National Coalition's Jyrki Katainen posing a question about Portugal bailouts indicated that the True Finns will refuse to partake in a coalition that is willing to bail out Portugal. Not only that, but they now cannot 'in good conscience' support the creation of a ESM, a permanent rescue fund, nor increasing Finland's share in the temporary bailout mechanism.

Flipmode... Flipmode is the greatest
Then at around 2pm Finnish time, Soini clarified his position and now says the matter is entirely in the hands of Jyrki Katainen, who has been tasked to form a majority coalition. He said he would be willing to negotiate, but that the True Finns would not accept having to vote in favor of bailouts or ESM creation. It is now 17:40 or there abouts, so who knows what might still happen! In any case, Jyrki Katainen will give his interpretation of this typically soini'esque situation tomorrow.

It looks the die has been cast, and either the National Coalition gives in to the anti-Euro party or the True Finns start off the next cabinet watching from the opposition side. Whatever happens, it does not bode well for the longevity of the next governing coalition. You cannot have a coalition that enjoys majority support in parliament with 39 True Finns reserving the right to vote against it. On the other hand it would be unprecedented if the greatest winner of the parliamentary election would be left outside the ruling cabinet, and it would almost certainly be seen by the general public as unjust. Jyrki Katainen is going to have a sleepless night over this one, I'm willing to bet.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Jussi Halla-aho's greatest hits

Since there aren't really any news today regarding the True Finns, you might be interested in some background about why Finnish people generally think putting blogger and popular racist Jussi Halla-aho in charge of the immigration committee is a terrible idea. Here are some select quotes from his blog. They are also available at his Finnish wikiquote page, which includes actual links to the blog post in question, where available. I have purposely left out the blog posts that finally got him into court over incitement, and tried to translate these ones from the original Finnish as closely as possible.
"Retroactively opposing the Holocaust is nicer and easier than getting involved in solving present-day problems. It is nice to accuse the Germans because cosi fan tutti. Armenians are irrelevant, because Armenians don't own Hollywood and the American media" (28.1.2004 entry at Halla-Aho's Scripta blog)

"All muslims are not terrorist, but in an European perspective this is irrelevant. What is relevant is that all terrorists are muslim." (21.9.2006 entry at Halla-Aho's Scripta blog)

"I am throughly confused as to why muslims have such a great desire to inflict pain on people in a weaker position, such as animals, children and women. I think this pattern is pretty clear. Why do Musselmen jump around ululating with their dicks hard whenever heads get chopped off or someone gets whipped?" (8.2.2007 Halla-Aho commenting in his Scripta blog's guestbook)

"An Afro who gets dragged into Helsinki from an African savannah pollutes no less with his conspicuous consumption than an ethnic Finn. He will probably pollute more because moving from the stone age directly into the modern world deprives him of ecological conscience typical of a western human being." (21.6.2007 entry at Halla-Aho's Scripta blog)

"Regarding my controversial entry on Society and man, it is a fact that niggers negroid, sub-saharan persons live in something resembling a western society only in places where order is kept by a white system of violent dominance (police, army and the justice system). It is likewise a fact that the so-called western structures start to crumble and sinking towards the typical african state of being starts immediately as blacks reach a majority/dominant position. Examples of this include post-independence Haiti and post-apartheid South Africa." (9.5.2007 entry at Halla-Aho's Scripta blog)

"[By immigration official Mikko Puumalainen] I am reminded of Oskar Dirlewanger, a latent psychopath, who by sheer luck and right connections rose from a minor official into the chieftain of his tribe of bandits and got to self-actualize to his hearts content in the German-occupied East. Photoshop any kind of a hat you want on him, you will see they all fit him equally well." (7.5.2007 entry at Halla-Aho's Scripta blog)

"Regarding the faggot at Tehtaanpuisto park I briefly considered getting my gun from upstairs and shooting him in the head. Would the gratification from it exceed the annoyance of serving time in jail? Violence is these days a very undervalued method of solving problems." (17.10.2003 entry at Halla-Aho's Scripta blog)

"Thus, when rapes will in any case increase in number, I wholeheartedly wish that these predators who pick their victims at random will target these politically Green-Leftist politicians rather than actual female humans. They will only learn a lesson when multiculturalism bites them in the ass. I will say honest and direct, if an immigrant rapes Rosa Meriläinen, it will only make me happy. I'm willing to say this anytime, anywhere. I think it is morally right, because people like Rosa Meriläinen are the reason for rapists coming into Finland." (20.12.2006 entry at Halla-Aho's Scripta blog)
So there you go, now you can make your own judgments regarding Halla-aho's suitability for a governing role. His preoccupation with violence, and the sort of stubborn ignorance that can only be brought on by a decade of immersing oneself into internet hate forums, make me think his skills in actual negotiation, listening or compromise are not very good.