The PS asks if it can openly discriminate against immigrants and visible minorities in Finland

by , under Enrique

A group of Perussuomalaiset (PS) MPs, including its chairman Timo Soini, have formally asked the council of state whether they can only hire Finnish workers to refurbish its recently acquired 1.7-million-euro headquarters in Helsinki. Why should the PS limit itself to only hiring Finnish workers?  Why not make sure that 100% of the materials used are Finnish as well.

What does the PS mean by Finnish workers? Would black Finns do? What about Muslim Finns? Is it ok if you are a naturalized Finn?

JusticeDemon answers the PS’ question whether the party can openly discriminate against immigrants and visible minorities: “For the record, any fool can see plainly that business conditions fall within the scope of the Non-Discrimination Act(section 2, subsection 1, paragraph 1), and that the Act prohibits discrimination on grounds of nationality (section 6).”

The fact that the PS wants to throw such a loaded question to the government reveals how desperate Soini and his party are. The latest publicity stunt by the party has a clear aim: bolster its sagging popularity and the municipal elections of October.

Recent polls suggest that the PS may suffer a big setback in the next elections. Veteran PS politician, Raimo Vistbacka, didn’t rule out in April the PS suffering a “catastrophic election result” sometime in the future.

Using racism and xenophobia to score political points does not only reveal cowardice, they have been a double-edged sword for the party. Jussi Halla-aho’s scandalous resignation from the administration committee is one of many examples.

Hiring people on the basis of national background is outright discrimination.

We would think that the country’s  third-largest party in parliament would know this fact.

 

 

  1. tp1

    Enrique, what is your opinion on people publicly promoting Finnish food over foreign food? They are even labeling the finnish groceries with swan-stamp so that customers can easily make the difference which product is Finnish and which are not.

    • JusticeDemon

      tp1

      Do you think all nationalities should pursue such a policy of only purchasing home-produced commodities?

      How long do you think Finland would survive in such a world?

      Please bear in mind as you answer that you have demonstrated your inability to stay away from this website for more than a few hours, but your ability to access it depends overwhelmingly on imported goods, services and ideas. Without international trade, you would be scratching a bare subsistence in a log cabin in some tiny backwater of the Norse Empire, unaware even of the Finnishness that you claim is so vitally important.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Enrique, what is your opinion on people publicly promoting Finnish food over foreign food?

      What does this have to do concerning discriminatory hiring practices? I am happy that I live in a country where I can choose what I want to eat. You are pretty young, tp1. You should go back to the 1960s when you could not buy yogurt, most Finns had never heard of pizza never mind finding spaghetti that wouldn’t stick. My father once went to the Savoy Restaurant in Helsinki in the late 1950s and ordered raviolis. They brought the raviolis with a bottle ketchup! Sure, tp1, let’s return back to those times and enjoy “Finnish” food.

  2. JusticeDemon

    The written question of Anssi Joutsenlahti can be retrieved from the Parliament search engine by entering the document number KK 559/2012 in the “Asiakirjan tunnus” field.

    Is this a correct and proper parliamentary question? It’s not really the government’s job to give unpaid legal advice to a private association, particularly when the question is a complete no-brainer. If the PS does not already know the answer to its own question, then it really has no business participating in the legislature in the first place (we recall that notorious election manifesto screaming for non-amendments to the Aliens Act).

    It seems more likely that the PS are fully aware that the responses of Rainer Hiltunen and Juhani Kortteinen are quite unexceptional legal opinions, and this “question” is merely political posturing. Perhaps the PS is once again trying to drum up support from the pig-ignorant.

    For the record, any fool can see plainly that business conditions fall within the scope of the Non-Discrimination Act (section 2, subsection 1, paragraph 1), and that the Act prohibits discrimination on grounds of nationality (section 6).

  3. D4R

    I really don’t understand the people who expect justice from P.S, these guys are not in the parliament for equality, they’re there to only serve racist voters only i mean what good have they done so far but to attack on immigrants and moslims? the only reason they won last elections are nothing but to attack immigrants. ofcourse these kind of seekings is to be expected by P.S i mean at the end of the day they’re known as a racist political party.

    • tp1

      PS have right to serve racist voters if they want. If one party is openly racist and people vote for them, then it just means that racists want to make their voice heard.

      Even though we agree that racists are scum, racism is not illegal in Finland and therefor they have their right to be racists.

    • D4R

      To me you’re justifying racism, instead of saying that racism is against humanrights and it needs to be tackled, you’re telling me that racist people have rights to be racist and should ne given rights to be racist? don’t you understand that this violates another humanbeings rights, what rights gives them to violate humanrights? because racism is really violating another humanbeings rights. You do believe that racism violates humanrights do you?

    • tp1

      No D4R, you are wrong.

      Racism itself doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. If someone is racist it doesn’t hurt anyone.

      It’s the actions of the person what matters. If person is racist and doesn’t like black people, how can that hurt anyone? It doesn’t. But if that person then DOES something against black people, that is totally different thing.

      So it’s totally wrong of you to say that racism violates anything. If someone would like to forbid racism, it would mean that state would have to control people’s thoughts. And I don’t think even you are that stupid that you would think that is realistic.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Racism itself doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. If someone is racist it doesn’t hurt anyone.

      I disagree. You probably say this because you have never been a victim of racism. Our society is made of values. If racism is one of them, it does impact society. Why not preach acceptance instead of hatred based on social fairy tales?

  4. Iam

    Racism is against morality, and morality is real law, and so racism is against law and illegal.
    Just a cruel law can supports racism and racist.
    Right? Whats right? Can right be against human?
    Whats human rights then mean??
    Crime is not a right and legal.

    Peace to Finland and the world
    Yeah peace to me, u and all
    Love is best

  5. tp1

    –Racism itself doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. If someone is racist it doesn’t hurt anyone.I disagree. You probably say this because you have never been a victim of racism.

    Now you are being totally stupid. Nobody can be a victim of racism if that person who is racist doesn’t do anything racist to the alleged victim. So your comment is totally irrelevant.

    I even told in my post that it’s the actions of a racist that matters, but either you didn’t read it or didn’t understand.

    • D4R

      No D4R, you are wrong.

      Racism itself doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. If someone is racist it doesn’t hurt anyone.

      It’s the actions of the person what matters. If person is racist and doesn’t like black people, how can that hurt anyone? It doesn’t. But if that person then DOES something against black people, that is totally different thing.

      So it’s totally wrong of you to say that racism violates anything. If someone would like to forbid racism, it would mean that state would have to control people’s thoughts. And I don’t think even you are that stupid that you would think that is realistic.

      You’re right just a thought will not violate humanrights, but being openly a racist and spreading hateret against other humanbeings due to their ethnicity or color or religion will lead to violance and that is a humanrights violation. We’re not saying that peoples thoughts should be controlled but what we’re saying is being openly racist and spreading violance and haretet against other ethnicities needs to be stand against because it may lead to violance, do you understand where im coming from with this. Anybody can and have right to be racist but just keepit in your thoughts don’t spread that hateret in to others just keepit in your mind, but once you start coming in to blogs and spreading hateret and violance against other humanbeings because they look different then you’re and must be stand against. Racism will not be tolerated by sensible humanbeings.

  6. tp1

    Why not preach acceptance instead of hatred based on social fairy tales?

    Why bother? You can’t convert a racist to non-racist by preaching. It is as futile as trying to preach gay to be straight.

    • JusticeDemon

      Why bother? You can’t convert a racist to non-racist by preaching. It is as futile as trying to preach gay to be straight.

      It’s interesting that you view racism as a permanent psychiatric condition, but even if this is the case, there are ways of including people with antisocial proclivities in society and enabling them to lead normal lives.

    • D4R

      Let me ask you one question since you’re so quick to defend racism and racist people, what will happen if being openly racist approved politically and econimically to people racism targets at? can you please answer me that, will they receive justice? will it improve their lives? will it make safer for them in that society wich practices racism against them? i m expecting your answer, please do answer me im waiting.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Why bother? You can’t convert a racist to non-racist by preaching. It is as futile as trying to preach gay to be straight.

      tp1, I agree, but dialogue is always important. It’s important that laws should be enforced. Let the courts do the speaking.

  7. JusticeDemon

    tp1

    PS have right to serve racist voters if they want. If one party is openly racist and people vote for them, then it just means that racists want to make their voice heard.

    Even though we agree that racists are scum, racism is not illegal in Finland and therefor they have their right to be racists.

    Ethnic agitation/incitement to racial hatred and racial discrimination are criminal offences in Finland. This means that no political party can include “serving racist voters” as a particular aim or special means in its articles of association. The National Board of Patents and Registration will not allow any association to register for an explicitly unlawful purpose. Nor will it allow any already registered association to modify its objectives and procedures in a manner that explicitly envisages unlawful operations. Such objectives must always be pursued covertly and dishonestly. Openly racist political campaigning is a crime, and the party must explicitly disown any such campaigning that is done in its name.

    The 1994 judgement T 4231/1994 of the Supreme Administrative Court was a borderline example of what happens when anyone tries to register an association or political party for an unlawful purpose.

    This explains why the peruSSuomalaiset have to keep denying that they are a racist party, even as their senior and middle ranking politicians are convicted of racist offences.

    If you think otherwise, tp1, then I offer you the following challenge. Show us precisely where the articles of association of Perussuomalaiset r.p./Sannfinländarna r.p. state that the purpose of the party (or even the means whereby it pursues its purposes) is to “serve racist voters”.

  8. JusticeDemon

    tp1

    Racism itself doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. If someone is racist it doesn’t hurt anyone.

    Doesn’t it hurt the racist in the same way that kleptomania, paedophilia, exhibitionism, pyromania, compulsive gambling and similar antisocial psychiatric disorders hurt their sufferers? People with such mental illnesses have a disproportionate propensity to commit criminal offences. Civilised societies do not accept the unfettered individual right to self harm.

    It’s the actions of the person what matters. If person is racist and doesn’t like black people, how can that hurt anyone? It doesn’t. But if that person then DOES something against black people, that is totally different thing.

    Perhaps you can explain why this odd line of reasoning is relevant. This thread concerns a political party that is necessarily a collective. To the extent that its individual members encourage racism of the collective, this is ethnic agitation and a criminal offence by the individuals concerned. To the extent that the collective then expresses racist views, this is also ethnic agitation and a criminal offence by the collective. To the extent that the collective discriminates on grounds of ethnic or national origin, this is another criminal offence by the collective.

    It seems that you are somehow trying to argue that no offence is committed by the collective if its members do not communicate with one another and the racism remains an entirely private matter with no consequences in word or deed. This is what makes your line of reasoning fundamentally odd, as we can then a ask you to explain what makes these mute and discrete individuals a collective at all?

    • tp1

      It seems that you are somehow trying to argue that no offence is committed by the collective if its members do not communicate with one another and the racism remains an entirely private matter with no consequences in word or deed. This is what makes your line of reasoning fundamentally odd, as we can then a ask you to explain what makes these mute and discrete individuals a collective at all?

      Are you really that simple. Ofcourse they can communicate with each other. It is not illegal to share racist opinions with a fellow citizen. Law only controls what is said in public.

  9. tp1

    Seems that Enrique is deleting my messages, so no point in discussing here. All messages where I prove some Enriques’s point being not valid, has been removed.

    • JusticeDemon

      Of course they can communicate with each other. It is not illegal to share racist opinions with a fellow citizen. Law only controls what is said in public.

      Now please explain how this can result in a defined collective view. Remember that anything said on a forum or within an organisation will be public in the required sense if membership of the said forum or organisation is open to all, and that it is illegal to restrict membership on racist grounds.

      Furthermore, if a general view of this kind emerges through some kind of loose networking, then the organisation will have a practical obligation to take effective measures to oppose that view and deny that it is collective, not least because of the criminal liability of executive agents for offences committed by their organisations. This is why the peruSSuomalaiset had to grit their teeth and issue a grudging and incomplete declaration against racism, and this is why Timo Soini now has a serious problem as his senior and middle-ranking party members increasingly gather convictions for racist criminality. Any organisation that is identified as a seedbed of criminality is not long for this world.

      Judging by past examples, your comments are probably being moderated because you are directly abusing other users here. This kind of conduct will get your comments deflected to the moderating bin and examined one by one. Contributions that simply abuse other users and do not advance the discussion will probably be filtered out. My suggestion is that you try to stop calling other commenters stupid and see if more of your comments get through.

    • D4R

      Tp1, If i have a thought and that thought is Killing you dead and i will tell you that thought straight or write it in blog what would you do? my thinking is you go to the police and make a complaint because you’re perhaps scared that i may make my thought come true right? so what’s the difference between this thought of mine and the racist people who’re on blogs and make constant threat against other ethnicities day and night? why shouldn’t that be stand against? that thought of mine of killing you is wrong as a racist thought wich wants or thinking to harm another humanbeings. If you dn’t mind a racist thought why would you mind of a thought of mine killing you dead.

  10. Mark

    tp1

    Racism itself doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. If someone is racist it doesn’t hurt anyone.

    It’s the actions of the person what matters. If person is racist and doesn’t like black people, how can that hurt anyone? It doesn’t. But if that person then DOES something against black people, that is totally different thing.

    My guess is that you think that you are defending fundamental freedoms, like freedom of thought, and also that you are promoting tolerance of the intolerant, also as a fundamental premise of a free society.

    You also seem to suggest that Enrique, JD and D4R (and myself I guess) are too stupid to understand what you are getting at.

    Enrique and JD know perfectly well what you are trying to pontificate on. JD doesn’t bother to play your silly game simply because he wants to draw your attention to a much more significant and relevant point of how an organisation that gains solidarity and popularity through shared racism actually manages to function in the Finnish state where it is actually illegal, a point you don’t seem to want to consider.

    As to your own point about racist thoughts not being illegal and that it’s actions that matter, I think you are exercising a high degree of sophistry.

    For example, your stance is not to ask ‘what harm can racism thoughts do’; rather, your stance is to make the blatant claim that racist ‘actions’ are what are harmful, but that thoughts do no harm and are legal and you suggest, have to be tolerated.

    Of course, tolerated in the legal sense is one thing, while tolerated in the social sense is another. Racism should not be socially acceptable, so while it might be legal, you cannot expect reasonable people to have no reaction to it when it appears in public in whatever form.

    The problems I see with your basic argument are:

    1) your explicit separation of thought and action
    2) no mention of how modern social media blur the public and the private
    3) your refusal to acknowledge moral harm
    4) your desire to make this point the single most important point in regard to this article and website

    Let’s address those points individually:

    1) I cannot imagine a scenario where someone thinks something passionately and yet would not in any way ‘act’ on those thoughts. In your comments, you say that talking with friends in private does not constitute a crime, but it DOES constitute an action. So already you are back-tracking.

    If people are sharing their thoughts and receiving validation, then those thoughts and beliefs are strengthened. If someone has to argue in defence of those thoughts and beliefs, they can likewise be strengthened. So, the effect of ‘sharing’ in private is almost certainly to strengthen those beliefs, and maybe even to come to the belief that the ‘important’ people in one’s social network share the same beliefs, and so it is only the ‘outsiders’ who think different. Then, we have the usual problems of ‘othering’ and how we dehumanise those outside our circles.

    When enough people believe that their fellow comrades share the same bigoted thoughts, then this in turn makes ‘racist actions’ much more likely to happen. There can be little doubt about this.

    Likewise, racist acts can also involve a lack of action. For example, if someone witnesses a racist assault, whether verbal or physical, and one also has racist beliefs, then one will not offer a defence to that person, and neither will one offer oneself to the police as a witness. This immediately invalidates your claim that it is merely ‘acts’ that are racist.

    2) You separate the ‘public’ and the ‘private’ world. In today’s internet-led world, this is probably a mistake. Especially as so much racist material is nowadays being spread via the internet. What do you make of sharing views on blogs like this, or ‘private’ blogs, or just through Facebook? According to the Law, any ‘message’ that carries a racist content is illegal.

    3) Moral harm. Someone who holds racist thoughts commits moral harm. Sharing those thoughts in private perpetuates and spreads that moral harm. Racism is fundamentally a moral harm, because it it injures human beings through the choices of other individuals to apply unfair discrimination that leads to different treatment – a treatment that is expressed through actions, non-actions, voting, employment, social connections, validation etc.

    You tp1 might think that your actions are harmless and not driven by racism, but in constantly trying to defend racists and not bothering to understand criticism of racists, you perpetuate falsehoods, much like the falsehood you put forward here in these comments.

    4) The Migrant Tales blog allows ‘racists’ to express their views to an extent, provided they avoid breaking the law. Generally speaking, most racists are well-practiced at this, but often, when they come up against sustained criticism, they will revert to type and express their thoughts in specifically racist and illegal ways, in which case, the moderators on MT have to delete the content and issue either a warning or a ban.

    Therefore, Migrant Tales actively practices and promotes a high degree of ‘freedom of speech’ and tolerance of the intolerant. We regularly find ourselves having to address directly the points made by racists because they often come here to comment. We allow them an opportunity to express their bigoted views, which gives us an opportunity to counter these views on logical, moral, political and rational grounds. We do this because we value the power of free speech as a means to ‘win the argument’.

    It is therefore bloody rich of you to come here trying to lecture us about ‘free speech’ and ‘tolerance of intolerance’. Do you get where I’m coming from, tp1?

    I hope so.

  11. tp1

    JD

    Now please explain how this can result in a defined collective view. Remember that anything said on a forum or within an organisation will be public in the required sense if membership of the said forum or organisation is open to all, and that it is illegal to restrict membership on racist grounds.

    What has this got to do with anything? A private forum can choose their members how they want and it’s totally legal.

    • JusticeDemon

      Are you familiar with the concept of criminal conspiracy?

  12. tp1

    Contributions that simply abuse other users and do not advance the discussion will probably be filtered out.

    And by advancing the discussion you mean one should have a correct opinion. Great 🙂

    And did you know that a political party is also allowed to have agenda which is against the law? Because the parliament is the place where laws are made and changed, so how would you expect any laws to be changed if parties would not be allowed to promote something that is currently fordbidden by law.

    If some party would want to change some law and majority of citizens vote for them, then they can change that law.

    • JusticeDemon

      And did you know that a political party is also allowed to have agenda which is against the law?

      The challenge still stands: give us an example.

      I have already explained that an association may not be registered for an unlawful purpose, and I have referred you to a judgement of the Supreme Administrative Court in a borderline case of this kind. I suggest you check out chapter 8 of the Associations Act (no. 503 of 1989) in general and section 43 of the Act specifically, and stop trying to guess what the law is based on a limited set of general principles. Particularly with associations, it is important to strike a balance between individual rights and the general public interest, and also to respect the division of powers.

      Political parties have to be registered associations, and only registered associations may participate as organised collectives in elections. Without the party, the candidates become separate individuals who cannot benefit from transferred votes. A political party must also have a general programme that expresses the aims and principles of its operations, which must in turn seek to implement the purpose expressed in the articles of association (Parties Act, no. 10 of 1969, section 2, subsection 1, point 4). This is a closed logical circle: the association cannot be registered for an unlawful purpose and the party programme must be consistent with the purpose for which the party association was registered. It follows from this that a political party cannot adopt a programme that is unlawful, or even one that is contrary to good custom.

      None of this prevents a registered political party from seeking to change the law, but it does mean that parties cannot break the law or incite their members to do so. A racist political party would do this by definition, as there is no way to formulate a political programme that advocates racism without committing ethnic agitation or racial discrimination.

  13. tp1

    The challenge still stands: give us an example.

    Here’s example for you:

    Finland is a bilingual country, therefore swedish is an official language.

    Now, it is perfectly legal for a political party to actively promote for removal of that status.

    Got it?

    • JusticeDemon

      it is perfectly legal for a political party to actively promote for removal of that status.

      Precisely as I explained above, nothing prevents a registered political party from seeking to change the law, but this does not mean that parties may break the law or incite their members to do so.

      In the case of Swedish language, such unlawful conduct would include inciting teachers and schools to stop teaching Swedish, inciting public servants to stop serving the public in Swedish (for example in local authority services that are controlled by councillors from the party in question) and excluding speakers of Swedish from the organisation itself. It might also include inciting others to disrupt Swedish language broadcasting and organising gangs of hecklers to shout down anyone speaking Swedish at a public meeting. A political party would not be permitted to adopt a programme of this kind.

      In the case of racism, a party is not permitted to adopt racist objectives or promote racist views. The law is quite clear on this. Perhaps you should read and digest the references that I gave you above. You clearly have not done so.

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