Thank you PS MP Teuvo Hakkarainen of Finland for exposing yourself!

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

If we had to draw the face of racism that has lurked in Finnish society for decades, I would start by drawing Perussuomalaiset MP Teuvo Hakkarainen’s face.  He may look like a nice country boy from Viitasaari in Central Finland, but if you scratch the surface you will find the racism and ignorance that lives in some Finns. If you think that Hakkarainen is the only PS MP who has strong opinions on immigrants and refugees, you better think twice.

Racism and xenophobia come in different flavors in the PS.

It appears that we have for now four types in this dubious league: the Hakkarainens, serious Halla-ahos, serious little gray matter Halla-ahos and the ones that can hide it craftly. In order to be fair, I am certain that some of the 39 PS MPs that were elected are not challenged on this front. Isn’t it high time that they should come out and condemn racism to save theirs and the PS’ face?

Justice Demon sent us a few video clips of the first group, the Hakkarainens. The first one is the original interview by Helsingin Sanomat of MP Hakkarainen with English subtitles. The second and third are parodies of the original interview without English subtitles.

Taking into account Hakkarainen’s whirlwind start in parliament, his official web page leaves us even more perplexed. Apart from promising to “build together a better Finland,” Hakkarainen wrties that he has done consulting work in North and Central America as well as in Israel.

Haka-Wood is a sawmill company owned by Hakkarainen’s family. The company gets half a million euros in subsidies from the EU even though MP Hakkarainen is anti-EU.

Meanwhile, I asked a while back if anyone knew who was the elected MP for the PS that the Financial Times referred to as the  “ice cream salesman.”

His name is Kaj Turunen and he’s from the same electoral district as I (Etelä-Savo)! There is nothing wrong with selling ice cream in summer or being a businessman. The question goes deeper:  How qualified must you be to represent voters in a serious place like parliament?

Turunen writes in his blog that it is only a question of time when Finland leaves the EU.

I wonder what is going to happen to all those juicy farm subsidies and how much it will affect Turunen’s ice cream sales in the Savonlinna market place.

  1. Allan

    Enrique, why are you verafennophobic? You should embrace etela-savo redneckism instead of condemning ice cream. 😉

    • Enrique

      Allan, did I condemn him for being an ice cream salesman? No. I just asked what kind of a political background he has to lobby for Etelä-Savo. It was the London Financial Times that mentioned that the PS are a hodge podge of MPs from different backgrounds. One of these was an “ice cream salesman.”

      If the PS set aside all this baloney of immigrants, refugees and minorities that they are spreading, I would raise my hat to them for their victory. But that is not the case. A great part of their election result rode on people who voted for Teuvo Hakkarainen. The fear-mongering is shameful. People who should know better go around bashing and insulting hard-working immigrants who pay taxes.

  2. PS Politicians

    Is that not the appeal of parties like PS is that they have people from all walks of life and professions The problem with the last government was you had too many people who had high education went from a highly paid job and then into government and not really spending time with the blue collar population and living in ideologies and not reality, this is why Astird thors was so hated by most Finnish people. Living in Eira and promoting a liberal view on imigration without any idea how this policy would have any effect especially on the working class population gave a view that politicians where out of touch with the population. . If you think what Teuvo Hakkarainen said would turn PS voters against the party you should go to a working class bar you may hear many times over the course of the evening the same words what Teuvo used (And who do most people who go to theses bars now vote for?)
    I think you do need to spend time with the people who are now the PS core voters, because then you will get a idea of what they find acceptable and not acceptable from their politicians .
    They may not want the likes of Teuvo to use those words in parliament but it will take a lot for the working class voters of PS to turn their backs on the party, on a issue of using words which he used.

    • Enrique

      Hi PS Politicians, and welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you for sharing your views with us.

      So in your opinion Hakkarainen is going to become an ever-bigger star among “the blue-collar voters?”

      Certainly the rise of the Perussuomaliset, Danish People’s Party and the Sweden Democrats is a knee-jerk reaction to globalization and inequality in society. However, why does it have to carry all this horrible baggage of hatred against immigrants, refugees, Islam and minorities? You know perfectly well that you are barking up the wrong tree.

  3. PS Politicians

    So in your opinion Hakkarainen is going to become an ever-bigger star among “the blue-collar voters?”

    No.. Blue collar voters will not put up with a elected politicians using that kind language . But if you look at where those voters are from what he said would not be a shock to them. . They are not racist but get to th point and do not worry about saying things which may offend other people If you look at working class sense of humor you will find humor based around some ones “identity”.If you are not from that world you may find it “offensive” but to those in that world is seen not offensive. That was Teuvos problem he is not back on the farm but in the halls of power, he was given a dressing down by Timo and to the blue collar PS voters thats the end of the story.

  4. PS Politicians

    Blue collar voters do not have a hatred towards “Immigrants” .

    But if you look at where multiculturalism ” has failed who has suffered more because of that. Was it a highly paid professional who has their own home on the outskirts of a city. Or was it the low paid factory worker who lives in a council apartment building. The march for tolerance in Helsinki missed the point because it just focused on the “A vote for True Finns is a vote for racism etc etc” slogan without understanding the world which many PS voters live and why they vote PS. For many reasons a banner with “No to Nazism” will not change the minds of PS voters because a statement like that will not change their life situation

    • Enrique

      –But if you look at where multiculturalism ” has failed who has suffered more because of that.

      How has “multiculturalism” failed. So your argument is not to let in anyone and then we won’t fail, right? I don’t understand your argument.

      If the PS can get rid of its anti-EU, anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-monirity rhetoric I would then respect the party. But then if it took away these things it wouldn’t be PS anymore.

      You have to understand that a lot of people are pissed off at the above rhetoric. Since when is it ok to spread hatred and divisions within society? That’s what the PS are doing everytime they claim immigrants are siphoning social welfare and and other not very nice things. When you insult a group you insult the whole community because your rhetoric rubs off on everyone.

      And you should talk to Sofi Oksanen about her statements on the PS and Hitler’s ideology.

      The same as they say “No to Nazism” the PS does the same thing when it alleges that all “people from this group are gang rapists.” Do you get what I mean?

  5. PS Politicians

    In countries like Britain Germany Holland a few years before their governments said their multiculturalism experiment has not worked . Theses countries had liberal asylum laws which meant a refugee calming asylum was given priority housing because of this situation . Which meant someone who was born in that country who had been waiting for housing for many years would have to wait longer for housing. This would only happen to working class people and not the middle class person.

    It was those who support pro multiculturalism who divided society . It was them who would talk about a country where different cultures live and never talk about theses cultures living together under the values of the host nation, is that not a statement of division and not unity? , and when you have state multicultural industry which funds groups simply because of their ethnic group making it financially an advantage to be not part of the society and remain a separate group is that not again encouraging separation from society?. You have to remember that multiculturalism failed in theses countries and it was the fault of those who supported Multiculturalism and not because of parties like the True Finns.

    • Enrique

      –In countries like Britain Germany Holland a few years before their governments said their multiculturalism experiment has not worked.

      Did it ever begin?

      Yes, multiculturalists are now to blame for everything. Instead of giving me a long list of things you don’t like, why not step up to the big leagues and tell us how we solve these things.

      I disagree with you abour multiculturalism. There is only one country in Europe that is officialy multicultural (social policy) and that is Britain.

      What is multiculturalism to you?

  6. gloaming

    Enrique: – Certainly the rise of the Perussuomaliset, Danish People’s Party and the Sweden Democrats is a knee-jerk reaction to globalization and inequality in society.

    Well, most certainly not. Finns, Danes, Swedes etc., whether blue or white collar, take the global market and the ever-increasing competition therein as a matter of a fact. Ps, DPF, SD etc. have NEVER claimed that they could or would abolish the global market and reverse the offshoring of manufacturing jobs as that would obviously be a promise they have no chance of keeping. On avarage, people are not worried about skilled foreign labour force coming to their native countries and taking their jobs.

    These parties oppose the south-north migration of unskilled labour force driven by socio-economical factors whether in the context of international protection (i.e. secondary protection) or illegal immigration. And here again people are not worried about losing their (even low-end) jobs as there is very little demand for unskilled labour in the Nordic countries. The latter is manifest in the extremely high unemployment rate among these immigrants. But people have a problem with these immigrants becoming beneficiaries of the quite comprehensive, tax-financed welfare state and at the same time displaying poor cultural and economical integration, a trait that seems to be inherited to at least the 2:nd generation. In other words, these immigrants are subjects of copious and costly social interventions but contribute very little to the society. This causes discontent in the native population that these parties tap into.

    People just cannot understand what is the point in importing social problems amplified with a gaping cultural gap from some far away foreign country when we lack the methodology and the means to deal with our own problems effectively.

    This is what this discussion is about, not Angst vor der Globalisierung.

    • Enrique

      Gloaming, so the rise of right-wing populist parties is due to unskilled workers. Now take into consideration that in Finland we have 2.9% immigrants but then we have a reaction in the last election whereby the PS get 19%. In Sweden, where there are 14% immigrants we see the Sweden Democrats gaining 5.7% in the election.

      The view that somehow all immigration coming from the south are unskilled is a racial perception you are trying to give. Do you understand that there isn’t enough labor immigration in Europe to handle shortages and that future workers will have to be recruited from outside of Europe.

      Do you really think that unskilled labor is a problem, say in Finland?

      –In other words, these immigrants are subjects of copious and costly social interventions but contribute very little to the society. This causes discontent in the native population that these parties tap into.

      I don’t think the problem is as chronic as you want to show. In the United States, uneducated whites (middle class whites in Europe) were the most racist towards blacks. They were jealous about blacks using social welfare. They basically used the same arguments you are presenting but in tha 1950s and 1960s context.

  7. StiflersDad

    Living in Eira and promoting a liberal view on imigration without any idea how this policy would have any effect especially on the working class population gave a view that politicians where out of touch with the population.

    I find it fascinating that in finnish politics most of the parties that support liberal immigration also strongly call for reduced income inequality. If one looks at the income statistics and trends for Finland one can see that these two goals are contradictory.

    The problem in Finland is not rapidly growing incomes in the top quartile of the population (Finland has few truly rich people and professional salaries are weaker than in most western European countries), but it is the almost zero growth in real incomes for low paid workers. The oversupply of labour in that segment of the market is trampling wages.

    In a country with minimum wages set at well above clearing levels, the cost to the labourers is in form of weaker conditions of employment even though the hourly wage still looks reasonably acceptable.

  8. gloaming

    Enrique: -Now take into consideration that in Finland we have 2.9% immigrants but then we have a reaction in the last election whereby the PS get 19%. In Sweden, where there are 14% immigrants we see the Sweden Democrats gaining 5.7% in the election.

    So? The political environment in Sweden differs so radically from that in Finland that a comparison like that is practically meaningless. Besides, there were a plethora of other issues that contributed in “jytky”: the eurozone financial aid, the campaign finances scandal, poorly defined protest attitude and distrust to the established political system etc. Further, it’s the concept of socio-economical burden and future projections that come into play, not just the current numbers.

    In western standards the vast majority of these immigrants are de facto unskilled labour. Those with sufficient occupational and language skills should experience better outcome in the labour market.

    In all likelyhood, overall, we will see unemployment, not labour shortages in the future. There will be shortages in some specific fields requiring skilled labour but obviously unskilled labour cannot answer these demands.

    Enrique: – I don’t think the problem is as chronic as you want to show. In the United States, uneducated whites (middle class whites in Europe) were the most racist towards blacks. They were jealous about blacks using social welfare. They basically used the same arguments you are presenting but in tha 1950s and 1960s context.

    I fail to see any relevance in this comparison. Traditionally in the U.S. the lower middle class is the most fervent opponent of the welfare system as from their point of view they finance the system but gain nothing from it while the system makes the gap between them and the lowest class narrower. Moreover, a direct comparison between the welfare systems of Finland of today the U.S. of the 60s is mindless.

    • Enrique

      –Gloaming: I fail to see any relevance in this comparison.

      If you follow the debate on immigrants and refugees there is great resentment at these people for using our social welfare services. The comment comes from a tweet I read by
      @sabergato recently: “The most racist, rural, uneducated southern whites were very jealous & spiteful of Blacks.”

      Could we say that the most racist white Finns are very jealous and spiteful of refugees and immigrants using social welfare, even if it is their right?

  9. Allan

    “If the PS can get rid of its anti-EU, anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-monirity rhetoric I would then respect the party. But then if it took away these things it wouldn’t be PS anymore.”

    I wonder if they would be interested in gaining your respect.

    “You have to understand that a lot of people are pissed off at the above rhetoric.”

    It looks like 19% of the people were pissed off at immigration and multiculturalism.

    ” Since when is it ok to spread hatred and divisions within society? That’s what the PS are doing everytime they claim immigrants are siphoning social welfare and and other not very nice things. When you insult a group you insult the whole community because your rhetoric rubs off on everyone. ”

    And you calling the Finns who voted PS racistas and nazid is OK because… ?

    If I remember correctly one strike against Thors was that she refused to provide figures of the costs of immigration, including social welfare costs. I think the PS hit a sore point as there must be something ideologically wrong with those figures if they can not be published.

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