The mea culpa of a former Finnish immigrant basher

by , under All categories, Enrique

There was a very interesting interview of former anti-immigration Muutos 2011 president, Juha Mäki-Ketelä, in Suomen Kuvalehti, who surprisingly resigned from his post in July. Muutos 2011 is close to registering as a political party to take part in the April 2011 election. Its campaign platform is strongly based on the usual anti-immigration rhetoric found in similar xenophobic and ultra-nationalist parties in Europe.

Even though the interview sounds like a mea culpa by Mäki-Ketelä, one gets the impression that his hardline stance against immigrants scared him because of the  people that rallied around Muutos 2011’s cause.

The Suomen Kuvalehti journalist asks Mäki-Ketelä if he was surprsied that ”racist-oriented” people were attracted to his party.

“Yes…  I did not understand how many crazy people gathered (around the party),” he said, adding that he was ignorant of ultra-nationalistic groups like Suomen Sisu and admitted having read a few times Jussi Halla-aho’s blog.

Muutos 2011, which has effectively imploded, is a good example of how the majority of Finns don’t want to join the let’s-bash-immigrants bandwagon.

Muutos 2011 aims to win three seats to Parliament in next year’s election.

  1. Tony Garcia

    If the game is one-way road only, so be it, let’s analyse this then…

    Muutos 2011 running next election is actually good news. It’ll divide the voters between the two anti-immigration parties, making more difficult to True Finns grab any real power. Once the aim is not really elect them, but send a message to Helsinki showing the number of people unhappy with this reckless immigration policy, this may be a favour to Finland’s future. We may get a wiser immigration policy and yet prevent True Finns from mess the country too much.

    • Enrique

      –Muutos 2011 running next election is actually good news.

      The founder of Muutos 2011 stepped down of the presidency of the party because of all the crazy people his cause attracted. The party is in a state of disarray.

  2. JusticeDemon

    Politics is an activity in which you are known by the company that seeks out your company and by the company that you keep.

    In the case of far right groups, that means attracting a substantial contingent of knuckle dragging Neanderthal types lacking the sophistication to translate differences of superficial appearance into differences of culture. These people will beat up Desmond Tutu in the street to further your party’s opposition to Islamist extremism.

    Similarly you will find yourself excluded from all international alliances except the European and global caucuses that include Hitler worshippers and unsavoury crypto-fascists, meaning that you will be photographed by Searchlight shaking hands with holocaust deniers and fascist dictator wannabees.

    Regardless of your views, or of the degree of sophistication with which you present their public face, these associations will damage your public support. This pattern has been repeated many times in the UK since Mosley’s blackshirts.

  3. Tony Garcia

    Oh well… pity, It’d be a good idea to have another anti-immigration party running, so the message could get through without giving too much power to True Finns.

    BTW did you see the news about SUPO preventing Muslim terrorists from entering Finland? Let’s be honest this news is only published because the current political climate, otherwise either SUPO would not prevent these people from enter or if so YLE would be quite about it.

    It’s just like the Finnish decision this year to not receive terrorists from Gitmo. We heard the left’s usual childish tantrum, but bottom line is that they stayed exactly where they were.

    As I say, it’s all about send the right message and Finland will ream Finland for a bit longer.

  4. JusticeDemon

    My understanding is that the Guantanamo detainees convicted of terrorist offences are serving prison terms (How many was it again? – Out of how many detainees in total? Do you even know?). Those who were released without a trial of any kind are only terrorists in your prejudiced mind.

    Are you personally willing to give up your right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a fair trial?

    Thought not.

  5. Klay_Immigrant

    Trevor Phillips OBE who is the Head of Commission for Racial Equality in Britain and also another respected black man said ‘Britain is sleep walking to racial segregation’. So Enrique or JusticeDemon are both Dr. Robert Beckford and Trevor Phillips OBE wrong too and you right or are you going to call them racists to their own race?

  6. Klay_Immigrant

    A point to add most of the racial riots that have occured in Britain over the last 25 years have been between Asian and Black people not white people. If ethnic minorities can’t even live side by side how do you expect them to integrate into mainstream society. This is what the dream of multiculturalism brings.

  7. xyz

    You mean that white people never do something wrong? Read this which happened a few months ago nearby where I live right now:
    http://www.tribune.ie/article/2010/apr/04/murdered-just-for-being-black/

    You see, it doesn’t matter if you are Black, White or Asian. On the comments of this article you can see that there are people who hate immigrants because they e.g. drive big cars or live in better houses. They don’t understand how an immigrant can be more successful than they are. They think just because they are immigrants they do not have the right to have the same or higher living standard.

  8. Tony Garcia

    Sorry Klay, your comments are usually spot on, but Trevor Philips a respectable man? Are you joking? This chap is a scam from top to bottom; he’s got plenty of accusations of mismanagement and favouritism, but was never investigated and charged just because he’s a master in playing the race card.

    Don’t forget he’s heading the Inequality and Yooman Rites Commission; that tells you all…

  9. Klay_Immigrant

    Tony, as I’ve stated in the past I’m not Trevor Phillips biggest fan at all, but that’s my personal opinion. That doesn’t change the fact about whether he is respectable or not in the wider community as we don’t have any control on that. He was voted 51st in the 100 Great Black Britons that ever lived so that shows what the general public think. I completely disagree with that, wouldn’t even put him him in the top million. My local rubbish bin man has more respect from me.

  10. Klay_Immigrant

    Unfortunately Enrique, the government of Britain or the commission for racial equality aren’t doing anything about it. It’s all talk and show but no substance and actions which are being taken to improve the situation. In fact in the last 25 years it has got worse. In the recent elections in May immigration was the 2nd most important factor for the voting public after the economy.

    Unfortunately people of ethnic minorities prefer to live with their own kind. That fact will never change. There are a few that don’t but they are few and far between. So the problem will never be solved as you can’t force people to move and live somewhere else in the country.

    The only way to avoid this situation occuring is to limit mass immigration in the first place. I hope Finland takes this route. By limiting the numbers there would be no large significant community in which these immigrants can immerse themselves in without any contact with mainstream society. Once you plant the seed it will only grow bigger and bigger and when these ethnic minorities have children born and raised in Finland they will most likely have the same mindset as their parents did because they were brought up that way and didn’t have a choice.

    For Finland it seems the majority of immigrants are from developing countries with low skill and education. 67% of immigrants in Helsinki are not from the EU. So it’s possible to limit those numbers. Finland is attractive to poor immigrants because of the welfare system, but also you have to consider Finland is not that attractive to well paid skillful and educated immigrants because of the language barriers, weather and wages. For the same job they could earn a lot more in Germany, UK or USA and many would already know the language or at least have basic knowledge of it unlike Finland. So Finland is in a unique position regarding the types of immigrants they attract unlike the countries I already mentioned.

    Let’s hope they don’t make the same mistake as their neighbour Sweden. You don’t want Turku or Tampere ending up like Malmo where 30% of it’s inhabitants are born abroad even without counting second generation immigrants. That’s a recipe for disaster as shown in Britain and France where race relations are getting worse.

  11. Klay_Immigrant

    As a result of all this the ghettos will only get bigger and bigger and create more and more problems due to the increased influx of immgrants of the same background or because of the children born in these ghettos.

    • Enrique

      –Multiculturalism is the complete opposite of integration.

      One matter that I see wrong with your statement is that you do not provide any new model to make minorities in England more inclusive. If you claim that multiculturalism is shot as a model, then what is the solution? What better model would you suggest? If you offer a model, how realistic is it? In Finland as elsewhere in Europe some groups tell us of how they see different ethnic groups SHOULD adapt to our society. Are they realistic models taking into account the present dynamics of our society? You have to find an effective model that works for the majority. You cannot just place your values and say take it or leave it because those ethnic groups you are talking about are a PART of your society.

      All societies are imperfect because they are built by men and women. Since they are imperfect it means that they can change and adapt to new circumstances.

      I would like to hear from you some concrete proposals on what would replace multicultural model. Could you please enlighten us?

  12. Klay_Immigrant

    Enrique that article has just proved many of the points I have stated. As usual the race card is being used to hide the underlying problems.

    If a country starts a multicultural immigration model then it cannot be reversed even if the policy is changed as multiculturalism will continue to increase by itself as you cannot control movement or behaviour of people inside a country. These are not communist countries. So multicultural countries such as the UK and France will now always be multicultural no matter what policies are enforced. That’s not the case for Finland. The policy I propose to Finland is to not start mulculturalism at all in the first place so it’s impossible to grow.

    It’s only logical that in multiculturalism if you celebrate the differences in groups of people then that will create a bigger divide between those groups of people and that is damaging to society as a whole.

    • Enrique

      –The policy I propose to Finland is to not start mulculturalism at all in the first place so it’s impossible to grow.
      I love how some use “the race-card argument” to invalidate a social problem like racism. Racism is a problem. Denying it is like stating the world is flat.

      I believe it is important to separate multiculturalism as a social policy or simple demographics. You cannot, therefore, if you are speaking of multiculturalism as a social policy, place France in the same boat.

      If you look at your history and demographics, there is no such thing as “monoculturalism.” Finns are more mixed than you would want to believe. Some in this country still live in eugenics’ theories of the 1930s. Did you know that in the 1970s 15% of Helsinki’s population was foreign? Is being foreigner a social ill that societies should avoid? Can they? It is funny that a country like England that colonized the world that some think that you can to that and not expect others the right to that prosperity.

      You also don’t give credit to England. Compared to France, England is light years ahead concerning cultural diversity.

      I have asked this question many times and have never received an answer: what is monocultural? How does it exist?

  13. Klay_Immigrant

    Finland has two options, to not start multiculturalism and observe other countries in Europe experiencing problems with it or start it and in 10 years time experience those same problems. And remember those problems can’t and will not be solved as you can change policy as much as you want but you cannot change people’s mentality. I know which one I would choose.

    In 1930 there were only 15,000 black people and much fewer South Asians in Britain. Now there are 2.3 million South Asians and 1.4 million black people. It only takes a few decades to change a face and social dynamic of a whole country. Finland is now where Britain was in 1930. Let’s hope Finland doesn’t make the same mistakes.

    Immigration is needed in small numbers in Finland but only to fill the holes that the Finnish population cannot fill in the job market not mass immigration that in future will create holes to all of their society.

  14. Klay_Immigrant

    I’ll answer your question Enrique. Quite simple actually a monocultural society is when the near whole population adhere to the same principles and culture of the host country. Immigrants who enter that society adopt as a whole that philosophy and integrate with the locals speaking their language and taking interest in local customs. This is done by providing the appropiate services. That’s it. Not huge swaves of separate communities living in a completely different social environment not interacting with mainstream society.

    This monocultural society can exist by limiting non-EU immigration to only what is needed and have no entry for refugees and asylum seekers as these groups are the most difficult to integrate for various reasons and offer the least in terms of prospects. Also all illegal immigrants sent back ASAP to their country.

    This is all possible it’s just a matter of will. Each country in Europe controls it’s own borders when it comes to foreigners not from the EU.

    • Enrique

      –Immigrants who enter that society adopt as a whole that philosophy and integrate with the locals speaking their language and taking interest in local customs.

      Can you tell me where this has happened?

    • Enrique

      –Tell me Enrique what’s the worst that can happen if these policies are introduced?

      You have confirmed my worst fears: by implementing your policy would be to turn Europe into a former Yugoslavia. In order to do that, you would have to curb civil liberties, change our constitution, and effectively turn us into a fascist state like the one that came to power in Germany in 1933.

      You seem to forget that everything changes and you cannot have your cake and eat it at the same time. There are other groups living in society and it is the duty of government and society to serve these groups in the same was they serve you. You cannot reap all the benefits of globalization, which includes inviting foreign workers, and then wish them farewell when there is an economic downturn. That is why we have to find paths to inclusion in our societies not of exclusion.

    • Enrique

      Another problem with your model is that it has never worked. People integrate better to a new culture when they have self-esteem as a group. Take a look at the Amerindians in the Americas.

  15. Tony Garcia

    “If you claim that multiculturalism is shot as a model, then what is the solution.”

    What model Finland had 30 years ago? Did you integrate into its society or became marginalized? How about your children? How do you see yourself as an immigrant living in Finland, a success or a failure?

    • Enrique

      –What model Finland had 30 years ago?

      It was simple: keep everyone out and give as much red tape to those that get a residence permit. That model was reinforced by Finland’s geopolitical isolation (special relationship with Moscow). Finland got its first Aliens’ Act in 1983 – that’s 66 years after it got independence! In short it was arbitrary. The head of the Aliens’ Office, Eila Kännö, was a state within a state. You also have to take into account the Restricting Act of 1939 that kept foreign investment to a minimum. It was a very different world. It would be like returning to the nineteenth century, which is not possible.

  16. Tony Garcia

    Even with this hostile environment…

    Did you integrate into its society or became marginalized? How about your children? How do you see yourself as an immigrant living in Finland, a success or a failure?

    • Enrique

      –Did you integrate into its society or became marginalized?

      It was a very unfair system and you had to make do the best way possible. Large state-owned companies like Neste (Fortum) had a policy of not hiring as staffers foreigners. You Tony would have had a very difficult time getting a job in a Finnish company. It was funny. Some of these companies spoke of being “international” but didn’t have one foreigner working as employees. How did immigrants start to get more rights in Finland? Through the laws. As I have mentioned before, there are easier countries to succeed.

      Much of the problems of discrimination between immigrants and Finnish society today hinges on how Finland saw and treated these people in the past. Many of the matters we see today like racism is a blow over from the past.

      A person does not chose to become marginalized. Certainly a person needs to do a lot of work not to become marginalized. He does not move thousands of kilometers into a new society through hell and high water just to become marginalized. Immigrants are very ambitious people and it is important that they move to countries that are receptive to them. Finland is becoming such a country slowly. My children have done very well. Success or failure? Succeeding in old Finland I lived in required being innovative. As I mentioned, there are easier countries to succeed and build a life. That is why I leave every ten years to breath new air and progress in my profession.

      One of the outcomes of that type of a very exclusive system that we had in Finland before has been the rapid aging of the population and this country’s problem with accepting other people from other cultures. I believe, however, that Finland will do what is best for it, which is bringing a lot more labor immigrants and becoming a more inclusive society. Why? Because it is more effective.

  17. Klay_Immigrant

    ‘You would have to curb civil liberties, change our constitution, and effectively turn us into a fascist state like the one that came to power in 1933.’

    Nothing would be needed to change, only just immigration policy. A fascist state? Well if that’s your definition then schools and work places are fascist areas as people have to dress and act a certain way. A fascist state signifies the differences in people just like multiculturalism but oppresses them instead of just highlighting them. The end product is still the same, creating a bigger divide in different groups of people.

    ‘Take a look at the Amerindians in the Americas’

    The Amerindians were conquered and a totally alien culture was forced upon them in their own homeland with their own culture being ruined. All this ofcourse is completely sad and wrong. But how does that apply to anything I have said? Remember immigrants CHOOSE to be in a different country, no one is forcing them to stay.

  18. Klay_Immigrant

    It’s a testament to how effective immgrants are, that because of the collapse of its primary trading partner (the Soviet Union) and a global economic downturn caused a deep recession in Finland in the early 1990s, Finland with a minimum number of immgrants was still able to pull itself out to have one of the highest living standards in the world and top international rankings in recent years in education, literacy and honesty. All without multiculturalism. Why can’t it continue to prosper in the future that way?

    • Enrique

      –It’s a testament to how effective immgrants are, that because of the collapse of its primary trading partner (the Soviet Union)

      The big difference and rift between us is how we see immigration. I consider it a positive force. I was born (Argentina) and grew up (the United States) that were strongly immigration-oriented country. For me it is the most natural thing in the world.

      If you are informed about the present sitaution in Finland, the country’s output will suffer this decade because of the ever-growing shortage of labor. Immigration cannot solve all of Finland’s serious demographic pangs, but help slow them. If Finland does not become proactive and attract labor immigrants, it is shooting itself in the leg.That is why populist parties like the True Finns (even Social Democrats) are a danger to the economic development of this country.

  19. xyz

    It’s a testament to how effective immgrants are
    -What is an immigrant for you? Would you consider yourself as an immigrant if you would move to Finland?

  20. Klay_Immigrant

    An immigrant is a person of foreign nationality and parentage to the country they reside in. Ofcourse if I moved to Finland I would be an immigrant but I would also make sure to learn the language and adapt myself to be as fully integrated into society as possible. I’ve done this in 7 different countries and have never had any problems with the natives. If only more immgrants would follow the same suit, they would reap the rewards.

    • Enrique

      –adapt myself to be as fully integrated into society as possible.

      As I mentioned before, I don’t agree with the statement that people move from other cultures want to become marginalized. What about the Brits in Spain? Why don’t they “integrate” into the Spanish way of life? Why are you demanding that of other groups in England but this is ok for Brits in other partrs of Europe. And anyway, read the laws of England. I don’t think it says that a person cannot practice his culture nor that society recognizes and encourages this. England is a multicultural country in the social policy sense. In sum, by being a multicultural society you also share public spaces with other ethnic groups.

  21. xyz

    Listen, if you talk about immigrants then you also talk about people who have learned the language etc.
    Think twice before you use words or better don’t write if you don’t know how to say it properly.

  22. Tony Garcia

    You moved to one of the most hostile environment in Europe and yet you succeeded. So did your children, they are not rioting on the street, burning cars or petro-bombing the police… I see…

    Sorry to say, my friend, but as ironic as it may sound, you are a living proof of how wrong you are. A country doesn’t need to be multicultural to have a thriving, productive, happy and well accepted immigrant community. What it does need is to provide fair opportunities, and on that Finland is spot on. Anything beyond that is shameless appeasement.

    People doesn’t choose to be marginalized, what they do is choose not to adapt, choose to be as different as they can rubbing this on everybody’s face, choose to break our laws and rules, choose to use religious garments to make political statements, choose to despise everything we are and teach it to their children.

    That’s what they choose; marginalization is just a consequence.

    You are, my friend, a living example that there are immigrants and immigrants.

    • Enrique

      –A country doesn’t need to be multicultural to have a thriving, productive, happy and well accepted immigrant community.

      Like any minority or group in that society, it needs laws and pathways to inclusion. You seem to forget that very critical point. When people come from other countries and as a society becomes more culturally diverse, you cannot go living as if you are the only person or group in that society.

      Ever thought that if Finland would have been a more receptive society towards immigrants and more inclusive, I could have avoided a lot of exclusion. A society must inspire others and offer opportunities. That, I think, is crucial.

  23. xyz

    Good motivation for other immigrants Tony. Enrique even speaks Finnish. That’s already an achievement.

    Your numerals are Arabic
    Your letters are Roman
    Your shoes come from Indonesia
    You eat apricots from Turkey and oranges from Israel
    Your system of government comes from Greece
    Your religion comes from Palestine.
    Now tell me that you’re living in a mono culture

  24. xyz

    Adapt myself to be as fully integrated into society as possible. I’ve done this in 7 different countries and have never had any problems with the natives.
    -Wait, you mean you have learned 7 languages and you know all cultural aspects of those 7 countries by heart? You must be Wonderboy 🙂

    • Enrique

      The video wasn’t possible to see. I want call you by your pseudonym because the last thing immigrants are is that they are made of clay. Try diamond.

  25. Tuomas

    “Finns are more mixed than you would want to believe. Some in this country still live in eugenics’ theories of the 1930s.”

    This is particularly funny considering that the genetic difference between Finns themselves is greater than between some of the nations in Europe.

    “The Germans and British were less differentiated than the Swedes, Western Finns and especially the Eastern Finns who also showed other signs of genetic drift.”

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003519

    http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2008/10/sharp_genetic_differences_between_eastern_and_western_finns_357257.html

    “Some of these companies spoke of being ‘international’ but didn’t have one foreigner working as employees.”

    I wish you’d stop making this argument since this is not what being an international company means.

    • Enrique

      Hi Tuomas I think you misunderstood me. I meant exactly what you said.

      Those who use genetics to figure out their “origin,” how important is it in our culture, which is the determining factor that unites us?

    • Enrique

      xyz, this is where foreign countries succeed and where Finland fails. Considering quality near-free education that Finns and foreigners receive in Finland, it is a great loss to district and country when they move somewhere else. A lot more work must be done to correct this situation.

  26. JusticeDemon

    Brain drain is neither a new nor an exclusively Finnish phenomenon, but Finland has a long and strongly established historical tradition of losing its skilled population in this way. Indeed at certain periods in history this loss has reached haemorrhage proportions.

    Some of these emigrants return after a few years, but a whole fifth of the descendants of people living in Finland in 1850 were born abroad.

    Given this historical tendency and the freedom of movement that the population now enjoys within Greater Europe, it’s not surprising that the Establishment is showing increased interest and concern over the integration of people from abroad who actually want to live here. Obviously there is a backlash of the narrow-minded against this, perhaps especially from those who are unable to emigrate (e.g. those who have tried and failed), but the economic and social imperative will be the same whatever the colour of government.

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