It is always a healthy matter when new parties emerge and take part in the debate on immigrants in Finland. One of these is the so-called Joutsen puolue (Swan Party) being spearheaded by Jussi Halla-aho, who is presently standing trial for incitement of hatred against an ethnic group and defamation of a religion.
In order to find out what a party really thinks, try to see what they deny. This becomes clear in a post by Juha Mäki-Ketelä, who is spearheading the creation of the new party. Mäki-Ketelä was also recently on a television program with lawyer Hussein Muhammed.
Below are two comments by Mäki-Ketelä in Vihreä Lanka that caught my eye about the new party: (1) ..[it is] direct democracy and not a criticism of immigration (…se on nimenomaa suora demokratia eikä maahanmuuton kritiikki); (2) We do not oppose all immigration. We are only opposed to immigration that is harmful to Finland and Finns…(Emme vastusta kaikkea maahanmuuttoa. Vastustamme ainoastaan Suomelle ja suomalaisille haitallista maahanmuuttoa…).
Before commenting on the above, the formation of the Joutsen puoluen party exposes, in my opinion, the rifts in the populist right. We have the Perussuomalaiset, who are a bit shy officially about their views on immigration because they don’t want to see themselves as a “far-right party,” while the new party in formation claims the same thing but will be more “critical” about the issue.
I am a bit offended by the first affirmation. Mäki-Ketelä suggests that most Finns are so stupid that they do not even know that they are being taken for a ride by the big established parties. Freedom of speech, in their opinion, means a one-way street to insult and bash other religions and cultures wholesale in the name of “liberty.” Like a frenzied lynch mob, they will decide what is good for us.
The second phrase is a gem: “We are only opposed to immigration that is harmful to Finland and Finns.” What does that mean? Does he mean refugees or immigrants? What is “harmful.” Why doesn’t he specify? If they are not against immigration, why do they bring this issue over and over again?
The irony, however, of all this is that the Joutsen puolue will do their best to give you a totally different image of itself by mixing double-talk into their politics.
Even though every group has valid arguments in the debate on immigrants and refugees in Finland, we have to go a bit further and ask how do their actions undermine our sense of society and exclude others?
If we look at parties in the far right in Europe and new ones being created in Finland, it is clear that their aim is to fuel a narrow-minded agenda flavored with messianic overtones which could be pictured in the following manner: A man holding a knife at a person’s throat and asking him why he hasn’t learned enough Finnish?!