Finnish immigration-refugee debate food for thought: the future and present

by , under All categories, Enrique

Have you noticed how different politicians speak of multiculturalism, immigrants, immigration, a- and b-class workers in the future tense?

Since they speak in the future tense, it means that there aren’t any immigrants nor any a- and b-class workers in Finland. These politicians, like from the Social Democratic Party and others that support a tougher anti-immigration policy, try to sell to us the idea that they are SAVING us and the country from these matters.

Disproving them is easy.  All you have to do is to take a walk to the center of any Finnish city. You will see people from different cultures, globalization, immigrants, unemployed,  a-, b- and even c-class workers.

When you read the next comment by a politician on immigration, check to see if he speaks in the present or future tense.

  1. JusticeDemon

    Neither Finnish nor English has a future tense. Instead they have various ways of talking about future time.

    Perhaps you could give us some examples, Ricky.

    • Enrique

      OK, JusiceDemon, you are right. Both languages don’t have a future tense as in Spanish. However, we use will and going to in English as you are well familiar. Here is
      an example of what I am saying:

      Hän pitää suurena riskinä, että Suomeen syntyy A- ja B-työmarkkinat, jos yritykset yrittävät haalia halpaa työvoimaa jo ennestään työttömyyden riivaamaan maahan.

      He is saying that there is a danger that we will have two types of employees/workers in Finland.

  2. JusticeDemon

    There are many more ways to talk about future time in English and in Finnish. Some of these (e.g. the timetable present) correspond quite closely between these languages.

    Why is it so surprising that politicians talk about future time? Politics and policymaking are all about plans, intentions and future scenarios.

    The example that you give reflects this. Many politicians, trade union activists and even employers fear a schism in the labour market. My own view is that the main division will continue to be between organised and unorganised labour market sectors, and that the trade unions need to modernise their view of migrant workers as a condition of effectively organising them. This will require the unions to stop viewing migrants as passive recipients of union services and take steps to encourage organisational initiatives from foreigners in the labour market (language sections would be a good start). It also involves a review of services to include assistance with bureaucratic requirements and other aspects of immigrant integration.

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