YLE presents far right Suomen Sisu chairman’s opinion piece as “news”

by , under Enrique

Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) appears to have published ad verbum an opinion piece by the new Suomen Sisu president, Olli Immonen, as “news.” Nowhere in the story does it tell readers that this is an opinion piece written by the Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP but presents it instead as a news story, which it is not. 

If this is the case, one may ask what kind of journalism and journalists are working for YLE in Oulu. Any self-respecting journalist does not regurgitate news ad verbum.

Kuvankaappaus 2013-3-22 kello 19.02.23

 

For some odd reason Suomen Sisu, an extremist anti-immigration association, got free ad space on YLE. Read original story (in Finnish) here.

Suomen Sisu has been called a lot of things in the past, from Nazi-spirited to extremist by the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo). The group still lives in the murky world of eugenics, a disgraced pseudo-science whose aim was to create a master white race by wiping out other ones.

Suomen Sisu openly supports “racial hygiene” and discourages white Finns from marrying foreigners.

  1. Farang

    Nowhere in the story does it tell readers that this is an opinion piece written by the Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP but presents it instead as a news story, which it is not.

    Actually it says it straight in the title, in bold letters. It’s even shown in the image you linked above.

  2. Mark

    It’s posted under Yle’s Näkökulmat section, Enrique. Doesn’t that mean ‘points of view’?

    But still, I would like to see you fully analyse the opinion piece. That would be interesting! For example, what is your opinion about ONLY directing ‘cultural’ funding towards ‘traditional’ Finnish arts, whatever that means?

    My fundamental problem with this piece is that he links politics, national identity and culture, as if PS have a monopoly on ‘preserving’ Finnish culture or expressing the national identity. They do not. In fact, the values expressed by his neo-Nazi organisation run counter to the values developed within the Finnish social and political spheres over the last 50 years.

    Likewise, this promotion of ‘team spirit’ is exactly what I have written in opposition to in the past for the dangerous ‘football-hooligan’ mentality to culture that it promotes, where all immigrants are placed in the ‘visiting team’, and where one person’s faults are held up as characterising the entire visiting team. People must be treated as individuals, in terms of both their virtues and their faults.

    By putting ‘community’ above the ability of individual artists to ‘shock’, he harks back at the Nazis and fascists of 1930s Europe. Indeed, much modernist art was a two-fingers up to the politicians who sought to schackle their creative expressions into ‘nice’ national pastorals!

    He basically says that the State should subsidise only art that serves to build the ‘national character’. Such an attempt to control ‘artistic expression’ is a historical feature of totalitarian governments. It really is one of the key elements of fascism!

    Politicians must not be given that kind of power to suppress artists and demand only a ‘national’ art that becomes nothing short of propoganda for his ultra-nationalist PS party!

    The man’s politics should disgust all sensible Finns! It really is a huge huge mistake to let politicians meddle in the world of art and culture in this way! Careful, Finland, lest you walk the route towards Belarus!

  3. Enrique Tessieri

    Nowhere does it read “näkökulma” when I first saw the story. That appeared later. Check out the snapshots of the latest MT blog entry.

  4. Farang

    He basically says that the State should subsidise only art that serves to build the ‘national character’. Such an attempt to control ‘artistic expression’ is a historical feature of totalitarian governments. It really is one of the key elements of fascism!

    I don’t see so much harm in this. He is not saying that he would forbid other kind of art. Everyone is free to create what kind of art they want. Difference is that state would give support for certain type of art only, and that is very sensible.

    In my opinion state should support no art at all. Art is not something that creates wellbeing to anyone. If someone wants to make art, he should do it in his own expense and if he wants to make living with it, then he should make such kind of art that people are willing to pay for it.

    • Mark

      Farang

      You really are clueless about these topics…why do you constantly write about them? Because you defend fascists….over and over again, regardless of what they write or what the implications are.

      You have no problem with PS or Suomen Sisu using state funds to promote ‘nationalist’ art and denying state funds to all other artists? You see no problem with political parties interfering and telling the public what is ‘acceptable’ art or valuable art?

      This is fascism. In the raw!

      For you to say that art doesn’t create wellbeing to anyone is frankly insane. You are a fucking moron! I am so sick and tired of your stupid fucking comments. Why don’t you just crawl back into your hole?

      Art provides an enormous boost to wellbeing for a great many people in Finland, from those using art to overcome personal trauma, to overcome feelings of limitation from disability, from those simply seeking to develop their own personal and creative skills. Not only that, but the huge vast panorama of art provides a great many people with pleasure, though-provoking stimulation and appreciation up and down the galleries and art-centres in Finland.

      It is just fucking ludicrous that you would piss all over that and dismiss the experience of probably millions of people in such a crass way.

      You are a fucking distaster as a human being…without feeling, without culture, without sensitivity, without rationality. I am very quickly losing patience with these comments and I really do not see how they add value to this website. If it continues, I really expect you will be banned for trolling. I will advocate that, certainly. These conversations just go around in circles. I’m sure this website can adequately present the opinions of people like yourself and other supporters of fascism.

      I really cannot believe that you can stand there with a straight face and make the claim that art does not provide well being to anyone! It just defies all sense of rationality! I don’t think there is any benefit in allowing an obviously insane person to constantly distract the debate. And it is a distraction, and nothing more. You have no concept of understanding an opponents argument or addressing rational concerns. It’s just pidgeon chess, the whole time.

      So, while we have to deal with and respond to the national politicians pushing these fascist agenda, I really don’t see why we should also allow a canary intellect like yours to ride high on the public debate, spouting nonsense left and right and generally feeding their own sense of self-importance!

      I think your days are numbered here!

  5. Farang

    Mark

    You have no problem with PS or Suomen Sisu using state funds to promote ‘nationalist’ art and denying state funds to all other artists? You see no problem with political parties interfering and telling the public what is ‘acceptable’ art or valuable art?

    Didn’t you read my post? I clearly said that my opinion is that no state funds (=zero) should be used for promoting any kind of art.

    And Immonen is not promoting nationalist art, but art which emphasises Finnish culture. That is not nationalism.

    For you to say that art doesn’t create wellbeing to anyone is frankly insane. You are a fucking moron! I am so sick and tired of your stupid fucking comments. Why don’t you just crawl back into your hole?

    Art provides an enormous boost to wellbeing for a great many people in Finland, from those using art to overcome personal trauma, to overcome feelings of limitation from disability, from those simply seeking to develop their own personal and creative skills. Not only that, but the huge vast panorama of art provides a great many people with pleasure, though-provoking stimulation and appreciation up and down the galleries and art-centres in Finland.

    Exactly: PERSONAL is the key word. That should NOT be funded with tax payers’ money.

    I think your days are numbered here!

    You can’t stand the idea that there are people in Finland who have different opinions than you? Feels like you think that you represent the one and only kind of acceptable opinions and behaviour and everyone else is wrong and should be banned from the site.

    Atleast I acknowledge that people have different values and way of thinking and I respect everyone’s opinion even when my opinion is totally opposite. That’s why debate is needed, to discuss those opinions and possible reasons behind those.

    It has been very eye opening to hear the reasons people have behind their opinions. Sometimes I just can’t understand why someone has certain opinion but after debate I have finally understood the reason. And yet it doesn’t mean that I would agree with it, it just means that I understand it. And I respect it.

    • Mark

      Farang

      You can’t stand the idea that there are people in Finland who have different opinions than you?

      I can see that you are trying to get some mileage out of this argument. Your opinions are extreme. Telling us that no-one’s wellbeing is improved through art is a very extreme position to take, and frankly, is just plain insane. You might get nothing out of art, by thousands if not millions of people in Finland do. You simply choose to ignore them. Such contrivance to ‘win’ a discussion reveals you to be an extremist.

      Your opinions have been shown to be extreme, again and again. And yet you act is if you were just some ordinary Joe exercising ordinary rights and any disgust that you generate is simply the ‘problem’ of the people you are discussing with.

      I have tolerated your opinions and debated with you extensively for two years, Farang. It’s a bit late in the day to start claiming that I do not tolerate your opinions. But when you start to take the piss, then I really have to decide whether it’s adding anything of value debating with you. Some of your recent comments, from rape, to human rights, to torture, to punishment of crime, and now to art, they are just so insane and leftfield that there appears no way to arrive at any perspective in the debate.

      You have as much right to your opinion as I do to mine. But when you insult our intelligence making ridiculous statements, then you lose my respect. It’s that simple.

      And Immonen is not promoting nationalist art, but art which emphasises Finnish culture. That is not nationalism.

      Actually it is. That’s exactly what ‘nationalism’ is, when he states the core function of art is to serve the community and Finnish ‘identity’. Clearly he finds ‘individualism’ a threat. It’s there in the post. That is a very very narrow conception of art and it fits exactly to a ‘nationalist’ prescription. You have to remember Farang, Immonen is not the first fascist to go down this road by any means.

  6. Farang

    Mark

    Your opinions have been shown to be extreme, again and again. And yet you act is if you were just some ordinary Joe exercising ordinary rights and any disgust that you generate is simply the ‘problem’ of the people you are discussing with.

    They are not extreme. You just consider them extreme because they are so far from your own opinions. And by classifying my opinions as extreme you try to show your opinions are somehow normal.

    I know many people would consider your opinions extreme. For example forcing a whole population of a small country to study a certain language so that they can work as humble servants for a 5 % privileged group could be seen as extreme opinion.

    • Mark

      Farang

      They are not extreme. You just consider them extreme because they are so far from your own opinions.

      That’s not true. I am educated enough to understand how opinions fall on a spectrum, for a whole range of issues. On the political, ethical, judicial and social issues that we have discussed, you have positioned yourself at the extreme end of the opinion scale again and again. Fact.

      And by classifying my opinions as extreme you try to show your opinions are somehow normal.

      My opinions are pretty mainstream on the whole. I have no ideological leanings or allegiances. I have tried to understand the arguments from the different sides of the political spectrum. Having worked within Government for over a decade, I have direct experience of policy making, information gathering and decision making processes. I think I understand something of politics from the outside and the inside.

      For example forcing a whole population of a small country to study a certain language so that they can work as humble servants for a 5 % privileged group could be seen as extreme opinion.

      That’s interesting. I think this discussion will be a very good guage for our audience about your qualifications to decide on what is extreme and what isn’t.

      On the language issue, it was interesting that at the end of that discussion on the need for mandatory Swedish, you said this:

      Mark, I appreciate your effort. Very good points, you win, I admit that.

      And now you are trying to say my view is extreme?

      The protection of the language rights of minorities is set out in several International documents, treaties and conventions:

      1) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
      2) UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
      3) Oslo Recommendations regarding the Linguistic Rights of National Minorities
      4) The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
      5) The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (Council of Europe)
      6) European Convention on Human Rights

      Most EU countries also now have national legislation or constitutional pledges to protect the language rights of minorities. However, the rise of nationalism across Europe is bringing an extremist perspective and agenda to the table, and this has led to much heated discussion and complaint about modern day abuses of language rights. This was said by the European Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks in 2010:

      The redrawing of the political map in Europe over the past twenty years has in some places made these problems [undermining of language rights] more acute. Also, emerging nationalistic tendencies – combined with confusion and insecurity about “national identity” – appear to have encouraged extremists to promote a xenophobic discourse against minority interests.

      So, my position puts me squarely with Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner and a whole raft of human rights legislation and protection. Your stance puts you squarely amongst the extremists!

  7. Farang

    On the language issue, it was interesting that at the end of that discussion on the need for mandatory Swedish, you said this:

    Mark, I appreciate your effort. Very good points, you win, I admit that.

    And now you are trying to say my view is extreme?

    Why can’t you read properly? I didn’t say your view is extreme. I didn’t say that I consider your view extreme. I only said that SOMEONE MIGHT consider that extreme, thus giving example that all opinions can be seen as extreme, it just depends on who is doing the evaluation.

    • Mark

      Farang

      I didn’t say that I consider your view extreme. I only said that SOMEONE MIGHT consider that extreme

      Yet this illustrates quite well the problem as I see it…you are more than happy to make silly statements that have no basis in fact, for which you have no evidence, but which seek at every turn to undermine the reputation of people writing on this blog.

      And again, on those issues that we have discussed recently, you have placed yourself in extreme positions! You tried to explain away documented institutional racism by the police in Norway be stating that the reason for the discrepency between reported rape and convicted rape by foreigners was due to ‘false accusations of rape against native Norwegians’. An unbelievable statement, for which you provided no evidence except to say that if the police didn’t charge, then it must have been a false accusation.

      You defend torture against prisoners, and this is even before they are convicted in a court of law. You describe the Declaration of Human Rights as bullshit and rather suggest that a convention of rights that applies only to subcategories of humans would be better. That is a very extreme position. I know of no-one in mainstream politics, even from the Far Right who has argued such an extreme position on Human Rights. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

      And then just yesterday, you made the ridiculous claim that art does not benefit anybody’s wellbeing. This was just ludicrous. At least with the other issues, I can see the consistency with defending a fascist political position, but your views on art reveal a neurosis which is just unexplained.

      I’m a fool for taking you seriously. I accept that. Yet you have demanded exactly that, and then you are suprised when I express disgust at your lack of values or your outrageous statements! You cannot have it both ways.

  8. Farang

    Mark

    You tried to explain away documented institutional racism by the police in Norway be stating that the reason for the discrepency between reported rape and convicted rape by foreigners was due to ‘false accusations of rape against native Norwegians’. An unbelievable statement

    I only said that it explains part of the problem. Part of the problem is ofcourse lack of evidence.

    My point anyway was to show false your claim that police would put more effort in solving cases where suspect is foreigner.

    • Mark

      Farang

      I only said that it explains part of the problem.

      No it doesn’t. And you provided no evidence to suggest that it does. It amounts only to a very significant slur against women. It is pricks like you that make it difficult for women to come forward in the first place.

      Part of the problem is ofcourse lack of evidence.

      And yet this magically is not a problem with it comes to rapists in Norway who happen to be foreigners? Co-incidence? No. Clear institutional racism.

      My point anyway was to show false your claim that police would put more effort in solving cases where suspect is foreigner.

      It doesn’t show it as false. It merely introduces another argument, for which you have provided no evidence. The facts speak loudly. Reported crime rates by foreigners match national averages for native Norwegians, but convictions many of hundreds of times outstrip their representation in reported rape. By what miracle are foreigners more easily convicted in Norway? No adequate explanation has been forthcoming. And yet the ‘statistics’ that so-called prove rape is predominently by ‘Muslim’ foreigners in Norway does the rounds endlessly in the printed press and on the internet, and trolls like you don’t stop for a second to question it, simply because it suits your hateful agenda to slur Muslims and immigrants.

      Like Nils said, extremists have promoted a xenophobic discourse against immigrants across Europe! That’s you he’s talking about Farang, the Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, and he has your number!

  9. Farang

    Mark

    You defend torture against prisoners, and this is even before they are convicted in a court of law.

    Again, you leave out the context. We don’t need conviction if criminal is caught from the scene and we know he was involved. And I said torturing that person is ok only if it is necessary to save lives.

    As an example: There is a bomb which will kill thousands of people and we have captures the only person who knows how to disarm the bomb. In that case it should be acceptable to use as much torturing as possible to make that person deactivate the bomb. Anyone who disagrees with this, is an enemy of human kind.

    You describe the Declaration of Human Rights as bullshit and rather suggest that a convention of rights that applies only to subcategories of humans would be better. That is a very extreme position. I know of no-one in mainstream politics, even from the Far Right who has argued such an extreme position on Human Rights. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

    I didn’t support any different levels of rights based on subgroups. I said that criminals who violates someone elses human rights should lose their human rights. I am sure that majority of non-criminal people agrees with me. It’s just too hot politically at the moment to make such suggestions, therefore the parliament is quiet about it.

    • Mark

      Farang

      We don’t need conviction if criminal is caught from the scene and we know he was involved. And I said torturing that person is ok only if it is necessary to save lives.

      Putting in the context hardly saves your arse, Farang, or make your position any more extreme. And you have said before that murderers and rapists shouldn’t have any rights either, as you repeat again above.

      I am sure that majority of non-criminal people agrees with me.

      This is where your sense or reality lets you down badly. I think it is very easy to think that if you are talking about the ‘scum’ of the earth that you can do what you like and that people wouldn’t care. But you would be wrong. People do care about the standards of the State for treating its citizens. In fact, a great deal of political work, civic work and advocacy work has gone in to protecting citizens from the potential overreach and abuses of a powerful state, as this has been the lesson of history where states were allowed to abuse citizens in name of ideological or political goals. These authoritarians, totalitarians, despots and dictators have exercised willful ignorance of human rights so that they can enforce their own political agendas.

      Ironic, isn’t it, that you say that I am for creating a situation where ‘everyone has to agree with me’, when in reality, I am arguing in favour of state controls that would limit the ability of states to persecute citizens on the basis of political or cultural ideology. Doesn’t add up, Farang.

      It’s just too hot politically at the moment to make such suggestions, therefore the parliament is quiet about it.

      Rubbish. I mean, your ideas are like the ramblings of a mad man – “Parliament is being quiet about it, but they really do believe the same things I do”

      No they don’t. No-one in the Finnish parliament is advocating for reduced human rights for prisoners and no-one has even hinted at it. Unless you want to present evidence? The closest I’ve heard is that foreigners who commit serious crimes should be deported, which is not the same argument.

      I think you believe that because people have done ‘bad’ things, that you can scapegoat these people, apply your authoritarian and essentially old-world ‘religious’ morality, and no-one will step forward to defend them. Indeed, whenever anyone criticizes you and points out the essential agreement over standards for the State’s behaviour, you jump on it as ‘defending murderers and rapists’, a cheap shot that just reveals a high degree of intellectual poverty, that you cannot defend your position in any other way but to throw mud and hope it sticks!

      Defending universal rights ensures a better society for all of us where the state or state institutions like the army and police do not abuse citizens, as has happened in so many countries in the world in the last 100 years. This protection has served Europe well, but you seem not to understand it at all. Instead, you are more interested in punishing the wicked.

      The proof is in the pudding. We’ve discussed this before, but Norway has a recidivism rate of 14% in its most progressive jails, compared to 40% and 60% in Finnish jails over 5 years and 15 years recidivism (these are off the top of my head, but we discussed it in detail not long ago). And yet you talk about Norway being soft and rewarding criminals. On the contrary, Norway has been excellent at protecting the public from repeat offenders.

      But evidence is not anything that I have seen you respond to in any rational way. You just come up with some crass way to dismiss it, such as this ‘being soft’, as if punishment was all about being macho!

  10. Susannah

    Suomeksi, tämä kirjoitus oli otsikoitu eilen “uutiseksi”. Se korjattiin tänään “näkökulmaksi”. Vahinko oli jo tapahtunut. Monet ihmiset lukuvat tätä Suomen kulttuurin ja kulttuurinvastaista kirjoitusta “uutisena”.

  11. Susannah

    So, this writing of Olli Immonen is first of all, against Finnish culture and general concept of any culture. It was classified until this morning, yesterday as “news”, but changed today (silently) as “point of view”. The harm was already done. Many people have pointed out this piece as “news” during yesterday.

  12. PS voter

    Susannah, I doubt many people even notice if there is word news instead of opinion on a small print. However, people tend to read the title, which clearly shows that it is opinion of Olli Immonen.

  13. PS voter

    The protection of the language rights of minorities is set out in several International documents, treaties and conventions:

    I doubt that the treaties demand forcing people who are great majority of population to learn language of a small minority. And if they demand it, almost no other country besides Finland is doing that, so it is hard to see why should whe torment the majority of population with failed policies like that, when other countries don’t do that either. For example, I haven’t noticed any signs of forcing all Swedish speakers in Sweden to learn Finnish at school.

    • Mark

      PS Voter

      I doubt that the treaties demand forcing people who are great majority of population to learn language of a small minority

      Compulsory education is not generally referred to as ‘forcing people to learn’. Sorry, but it just isn’t!

  14. PS voter

    Compulsory education is not generally referred to as ‘forcing people to learn’. Sorry, but it just isn’t!

    You are againt answering beside the point. Even if call it compulsory education that includes demand to learn small minority language — to please you — I doubt that there are many countries that do that.

    • Mark

      PS Voter

      You are againt answering beside the point. Even if call it compulsory education that includes demand to learn small minority language — to please you — I doubt that there are many countries that do that.

      And yet ALL countries have some kind of compulsory education system. It is for the state to partly decide what a society needs and what subjects are complulsory and for how long. Calling it ‘forced’ education is just a complete red herring, trying to make it appear much more sinister than it actually is, as if the state was ‘abusing’ its citizens.

      The need for compulsory Swedish is not for ‘to please me’, it is to maintain a constitutional pledge to give both language speakers equal status within Finland. Other countries have not imposed ‘compulsory’ language lessons but then other countries have had militant separatist organisations constantly threatening their peace and security.

  15. PS voter

    And yet ALL countries have some kind of compulsory education system. It is for the state to partly decide what a society needs and what subjects are complulsory and for how long. Calling it ‘forced’ education is just a complete red herring, trying to make it appear much more sinister than it actually is, as if the state was ‘abusing’ its citizens.

    The need for compulsory Swedish is not for ‘to please me’, it is to maintain a constitutional pledge to give both language speakers equal status within Finland. Other countries have not imposed ‘compulsory’ language lessons but then other countries have had militant separatist organisations constantly threatening their peace and security.

    I don’t understand why you bother arguing that “ALL countries have some kind of compulsory education system”, when it is completely besides the point and I already mentioned you that. Or — I think I do know the answer — you are trying to lead the discussion away from the real issue at hand.

    Equal status does not require compulsory teaching of Swedish at school and the compulsory Swedish at school is relatively new compared to the constitution. And I would like to remind you that compulsory Swedish may be hinderance to immigrants as well, who are already struggling learning Finnish (I know that they many of immigrants aren’t forced to learn Swedish at school, but the argument is still valid). And the official requirements of being able to speak Swedish, even if the true nature of the work doesn’t require it (which is almost always the case, as there is very little need for Swedish in most parts of Finland), may be even against EU rules that are specifically crafted to help immigrants to integrate to society.

    And forced Swedish is also used as a mechanism to discriminate against Finnish speakers and to favor Swedish speakers, who are on average better of already. I would like to remind that Finnish speakers are historically the opressed part of Finnish society and it took long time before you were even allowed to stude in Finnish at universities, instead of Finnish. Even nowadays, there are universities where only Swedish is allowed, but all other universities are bilingual. Compolsure Swedish and the ways that it is used against Finnish speaker is still a remaining structure of that historical oppression. And I would like to remind that many of person in history, who have been pro-Finnish language, have had Swedish as their mother tongue, but they have still felt that what is being done to Finnish speakers, is simply unacceptable.

    • Mark

      PS Voter

      I don’t understand why you bother arguing that “ALL countries have some kind of compulsory education system

      You presented the idea of being ‘forced to learn’ something as if it was a terrible thing, when in reality, it is just the norm. The reason I bring it up is because the hysterical debating style of PS supporters and politicians is a nonsense exercise in generating despair and hype, when talking about topics that are perfectly ordinary and straightforward. It is important to remind people of the ordinariness of the issues under discussion.

      Equal status does not require compulsory teaching of Swedish at school and the compulsory Swedish at school is relatively new compared to the constitution

      That’s a big statement. Now provide some evidence to back it up! A single study that looks at language needs, Swedish language status and projections for how these things would be effected if Swedish was no longer mandatory. You see, it’s easy to make these statements, but the reality is something else. Policy changes affect people’s lives, and when you seek to change policy in today’s world, you have to show how that will impact on people’s lives. If you cannot show that, then you will not provide a justification for policy change. Pulling ideas out of your arse is not a substitute for proper policy development or implementation.

      And forced Swedish is also used as a mechanism to discriminate against Finnish speakers and to favor Swedish speakers, who are on average better off already.

      And that should be addressed and condemned. Discrimation against any language group in Finland is forbidden by the constitution. Likewise, Finland should work harder to address income inequalities. Indeed, the income disparities of Finns who have moved into Swedish speaking areas remains, I know, but using this issue as a weapon to undermine language rights does not work. Two wrongs do not make a right!

      I would like to remind that Finnish speakers are historically the opressed part of Finnish society

      And oppressing Swedish speakers in return is again not justifiable.

      Compolsure Swedish and the ways that it is used against Finnish speaker is still a remaining structure of that historical oppression.

      I don’t agree. I think it’s very dubious to argue that learning Swedish, which is specifically a way to guarantee equal status and treatment by state authorities to both language groups in Finland is a ‘weapon’ of oppression. There are so many factors that effect income and wealth inequalities, and I’ve never heard that language is specifically a problem. It is foolish to imagine that there are not poor Swedish speakers or income distribution problems in Swedish speaking areas, because there are.

      You are confusing two different issues, and using the emotional power of one to try to win or rather obscure the real arguments of the other. This is the politics of grievance and it is at best the work of a political lynch mob, that seeks to identity an ‘enemy’ and then strip it of all rights and impose ‘swift’ justice. It’s not real politics and it’s not an answer to the real social problems that exist in Finland.

  16. Farang

    Mark

    Ironic, isn’t it, that you say that I am for creating a situation where ‘everyone has to agree with me’, when in reality, I am arguing in favour of state controls that would limit the ability of states to persecute citizens on the basis of political or cultural ideology. Doesn’t add up, Farang.

    Yes, your wish is a state where bad people can freely kill and rape others. I wish otherwise, I wish that we could get rid of these bad people.

    • Mark

      Farang

      Yes, your wish is a state where bad people can freely kill and rape others. I wish otherwise, I wish that we could get rid of these bad people.

      Well, Farang, you are not allowed to ‘get rid of’ these people who commit these crimes. And if you carry on saying that you want to get rid of these people, I should expect that you will put yourself on the radar of Finland’s secret police, and rightly so, because you start to sound like a threat to the security of Finnish society.

  17. Farang

    Mark

    Defending universal rights ensures a better society for all of us

    Could you honestly go and tell family of a man who was brutally murdered by a murderer who was let do that by the state that “this is a better society”?

    Are you really saying that a society is better when murderers and rapists are let walk free among others?

    Please just answer the question, Yes or No, without any additional nonsense.

    • Mark

      Farang

      Please just answer the question, Yes or No, without any additional nonsense.

      I hardly think that the ethics of Finland’s judicial system is a ‘yes or no’ question.

      Could you honestly go and tell family of a man who was brutally murdered by a murderer who was let do that by the state that “this is a better society”?

      You seem to be quite confused over this issue. A murderer loses their fundamental right to freedom. Defending human rights is not about allowing criminals to enjoy all their rights! Violating the right to freedom does not corrupt the state. However, asking the state to be an agent of violence or even of vengeance almost certainly would harm the state and those individuals working on the state’s behalf. The issue of innocent men and women being wrongly put to death based on flawed evidence is also something that cannot be defended.

      Are you really saying that a society is better when murderers and rapists are let walk free among others?

      No.

      Are you really saying that all murderers and rapists should all be killed as punishment for their crime?

  18. Farang

    Mark

    I hardly think that the ethics of Finland’s judicial system is a ‘yes or no’ question.

    Then you have no idea about decision making. State has to make a decision and that is either yes or no. How do you expect laws to be ever made if nobody can decide?

    Are you really saying that all murderers and rapists should all be killed as punishment for their crime?

    All murderers, yes. Other crimes, punishment to be decided case by case taking in account the circumstances.

    • Mark

      Farang

      Then you have no idea about decision making. State has to make a decision and that is either yes or no. How do you expect laws to be ever made if nobody can decide?

      On the contrary Farang, I’m well aware of decision-making processes. One of the first steps is to gather relevant information about the consequences of different courses of action and the opinions of different stakeholders. It is not merely a decision of yes or no.

      The question you put on the table was whether a rapist or murderer should ever be free again. The idea that the answer to this is either yes or no is plain ridiculous.

      All murderers, yes.

      No country in the world has such a policy. You are an extremist. Or are you going to now introduce mens rea and circumstance in via some backdoor fudge? Are you going to say where it’s ‘clearly’ murder, as if murder automatically lit up a green light in the sky as if by magic?

      And what of the State’s handling of the executions – that will make murderers of state employees! Are they to be put to death too? Or is the state set above moral culpability and accountability?

  19. Farang

    Mark

    Well, Farang, you are not allowed to ‘get rid of’ these people who commit these crimes. And if you carry on saying that you want to get rid of these people, I should expect that you will put yourself on the radar of Finland’s secret police, and rightly so, because you start to sound like a threat to the security of Finnish society.

    So, now you are saying that I am not allowed to use my legal right to vote for someone who would seek for tougher punishments? I thought we lived in democracy, I must have been mistaken.

    Tell me Mark, why do you want murderers to live in our society?

    • Mark

      Farang

      So, now you are saying that I am not allowed to use my legal right to vote for someone who would seek for tougher punishments?

      Well, you watered that down. Big difference between calling for ‘tougher’ punishments and calling to ‘get rid of these people’.

      Tell me Mark, why do you want murderers to live in our society?

      Why do you want to put words in my mouth? Killing a murderer only creates another murderer. When the State routinely treats people like human beings with rights, then murder rates are generally low and reoffending rates are lower.

  20. PS voter

    You presented the idea of being ‘forced to learn’ something as if it was a terrible thing, when in reality, it is just the norm.

    If you knew better how the system works, I think even you would feel that it is negative, if not outright terrible. For example, very few Finnish speakers ever learn usable level of Swedish on that compulsory Swedish system, but they waste valuable time that could have been used more useful way (even those few who learn it, will probably never need it and forget it soon). And compulsory Swedish is especially hard on boys, who do it even worse than girls and that is probably one cause for boys of dropping out of school system too soon.

    That’s a big statement. Now provide some evidence to back it up!

    Well, there are already many countries with more than one official language, but which do not force all students to study the small minority language. If that works in those countries, it is difficult to see why it wouldn’t work in Finland, especially as Finland has also been most of the history one of those countries where all students are not forced to study the minority language.

    And how many studies there where when the lives of Finnish speakers was changed, when the compulsory Swedish was introduced? Nevertheless, policy was changed because of undemocratic and dirty political deal. It was alsoa blow to Finnish democracy as Swedish speakers party has been in all governments since, even though it has only small support and other parties in the cabined have changed depending on the election results.

    And that should be addressed and condemned. Discrimation against any language group in Finland is forbidden by the constitution.

    But in practise there is discrimination system against persons who aren’t Finnish-Swedish and that doesn’t end as long as Swedish speakers are favored group. Even your Umayya Abu-Hanna seems to have noticed that Swedish speakers are favored over others, including immigrants. Because of Swedish universities and language quotas in bilingual universities, on many fields it is much more easier to get into university if you are Swedish speaker (note that studies of compulsory Swedish don’t give you right to get in on the Swedish speakers quota). For example, out of all persons who applied to universities, 5 percent were Swedish speakers (which is about the percentage of Swedish speakers in population) and over half of the Swedish speakers were accepted, but out of all persons just one third are accepted. One might think that Swedish speakers do better at school compared to Finnish speakers, but for example on the Pisa test, Finnish speaking students do better than Swedish speaking students, but Finnish speakers still have much lower chance of getting accepted into universities because of so called pigeonhole principle.

    And oppressing Swedish speakers in return is again not justifiable.

    Removing compulsory Swedish from Finnish speakers does not oppress Swedish speakers.

    I don’t agree. I think it’s very dubious to argue that learning Swedish, which is specifically a way to guarantee equal status and treatment by state authorities to both language groups in Finland is a ‘weapon’ of oppression. There are so many factors that effect income and wealth inequalities, and I’ve never heard that language is specifically a problem. It is foolish to imagine that there are not poor Swedish speakers or income distribution problems in Swedish speaking areas, because there are.

    I guess that as a foreigner you don’t know how the Finnish system works and how Finnish speakers are oppressed by the current status of Swedish language. And I didn’t say that there aren’t any poor Swedish speakers — I said that on on average Swedish speakers are better off than Finnish speakers. One reason for that is probably the fact the because of the language discrimination system only one third of all Finns are able go to study at universities, but over half of Swedish speakers are able to do that and on many fields, getting a university degree, helps you to get better wages compared to people who don’t have university degree.

    And unlike you seem to imply with your cheap caprices like “enemy” and “lynch mob”, this is question of correcting injustice instead of hatred against Swedish speakers. As I have mentioneds before, My personal family background is almost 50 percent Swedish speakers and I don’t hate them, even though I am not a Swedish speaker myself.

  21. Farang

    Mark

    And what of the State’s handling of the executions – that will make murderers of state employees! Are they to be put to death too? Or is the state set above moral culpability and accountability?

    This is the most ridiculous argument :)

    The person who executes the death penalty, is not a murdered. You can think this via my human rights approach:

    If you intentionally take a life of a person with human rights, you are a murderer and you lose your human rights.

    After that it’s trivial. Murderers should have no human rights, therefore it’s not a murder when he is given death penalty.

    You are correct in one point though. There is a risk if death penalty is allowed that state could then abuse that. And taking in account that Finland is a corrupted state, I wouldn’t give the right to sentence death penalties before the whole system is fixed and corruption removed.

    • Mark

      Farang

      The person who executes the death penalty, is not a murdered. You can think this via my human rights approach:

      In every respect it is murder – merely state-sanctioned murder.

      I’m not going over old ground with you Farang.

  22. Farang

    Mark

    Well, you watered that down. Big difference between calling for ‘tougher’ punishments and calling to ‘get rid of these people’.

    No. “Getting rid of murderers and rapists” mean that either they are given death penalty or life imprisonment, meaning that they would never be in the society anymore. That is tougher punishment.

    When the State routinely treats people like human beings with rights, then murder rates are generally low and reoffending rates are lower.

    That is absolute rubbish. Let’s see this via real life example:

    State treated Åkerlund like human being with rights and therefore let him free. This ended up in killing 3 innocent people in the McDonald’s drive by.

    How can you say that the murdered’s human rights were more important than the lives of these 3 innocent people?

    • Mark

      Farang

      That is absolute rubbish.

      I guess you just didn’t do your homework again! 
      Death penalty and capital punishment

      I don’t think you can offer the Åkerlund case as an example against rehabilitation simply because rehabilitation is not practiced in Finland. At least one other important issue brought out by his case was the fact that he was able to buy a gun illegally.

      Fact is that 11.4% of young people in prison for whatever charge will be dead within 15 years (average age at death = 26 years old). Most are violent deaths or drug overdoses. That’s the effect of the current system – it IS a death sentence for many young people. While rates of imprisonment have gone down in the last 20 years, the actual rate of mortality has gone up relative to the population size, meaning those that go to prison are amongst the most vulnerable in society.

      And yes, it is okay to talk about prisoners as being vulnerable, even if they are murderers or rapists. It is quite common that people who are violent or abusive have themselves been abused. It is therefore partly society’s failings that these people do not get support or are protected during childhood and youth. Other reasons include simply apathy by politicians about crime rates and poverty. These ‘effects’ of poverty and social decay are seen as an acceptable ‘price’ of policies that promote profiteering and which increase wealth inequalities and deprivation. With deprivation comes hopelessness, with hopelessness comes desperation, alcoholism, violence and crime.

      If people are treated like animals I am not surprised that they end up behaving like animals.

      On top of this, domestic violence is not taken seriously enough in society, so that women and children are literaly the ‘bottom of the pile’ and abuse is often passed down a hiararchical chain of ‘power’. In the meantime, macho culture (yes, the ‘get tough’ culture you are such an advocate of) still rides strong and remains largely unchanged though not unchallenged. Society is changing, slowly. We are in a better place now than we were 30 years ago. But that is generally down to more civilised ways of approaching social problems. It’s not down to a ‘get tough on criminals’ policy.

      Labour had a good slogan in the 90s – get tough on the causes of crime!

  23. Farang

    Mark

    If people are treated like animals I am not surprised that they end up behaving like animals.

    Causality, dear Mark, causality.

    You are now grouping and categorizing people instead of treating them as individuals. (Funny because you oppose that kind of categorizing when talking about immigrants and crime)

    You are effectively saying that “If A is treated like animal, then B starts to act like animal”. That has no sense in it.

    In my model person is treated like animal only after that person has acted like animal. You just tried to twist it around so that it would look something it isn’t.

    I don’t think you can offer the Åkerlund case as an example against rehabilitation simply because rehabilitation is not practiced in Finland.

    So, now you admit that current system in Finland is not working? Therefore change is needed, do you agree?

    We have presented two different scenarios:

    a) rehabilitation (Mark’s favourite)
    b) removing from society (Farang’s favourite)

    Now, evidence shows that a) decreases the reoffending rate. That is good and it is a valid argument that it works. Anyway, it is the ONLY argument in favour of rehabilitation.

    Some might also consider it waste of resources to put effort (thus rewarding) criminals.

    Now, evidence shows that b) also decreases reoffending rate, but compared to a) it decreases much more. Therefore based on the ONLY argument that supports a) it actually supports b) more.

    Now, why would we choose a) instead of b) even when evidence shows that b) gives better result and in addition costs less?

    I guess you just didn’t do your homework again!

    By showing that figure you revealed that you don’t understand the causality at all. That figure in no way shows that higher murder rates are BECAUSE of death penalty.

    It’s just you again taking a statistics which shows something in favour of your agenda and then telling: This is the truth.

    I could show you similar statistics from USA, which shows that violent crimes are more frequent in those states which has more non-white residents. In that case you would immediately oppose it and claim that “it doesn’t mean that non-white causes more violent crimes”.

    Why is that? Two exactly same kind of statistic, other you take as ultimate truth and other you claim to be non-true.

    This reveals that you only pick those statistic that shows something in your favour and condemnt those which shows otherwise. That is not honest.

    • Mark

      Farang

      You are now grouping and categorizing people instead of treating them as individuals. (Funny because you oppose that kind of categorizing when talking about immigrants and crime)

      Yeah, right, and calling a spade a fork makes it a fork, of course!

      You are effectively saying that “If A is treated like animal, then B starts to act like animal”. That has no sense in it.

      Don’t overanalyse it, Farang, it’s just a saying in English. There is no fixed causality, no ‘groups’. It’s just an observation that when people are treated badly they tend to behave badly in return.

      So, now you admit that current system in Finland is not working? Therefore change is needed, do you agree?

      Yes I agree. I also agree that some catagories of murder require longer sentencing. But I also think the whole system needs an overhaul and a shift towards rehabilitation. In the Norwegian model, prisoners move to the ‘rehabilitation’ facilities in the last few years of their sentencing. But then again, that might be too late, because prison creates its own unhealthy subculture. People say they learn more about how to be a criminal in prison than they ever learn in the outside world.

      You didn’t present the alternatives in an accurate way:

      a) rehabilitation at the end of sentencing with longer sentencing for very serious crime (Mark’s favourite)
      b) removing permanently from society regardless of possibilities for rehabilitation of the offender (Farang’s favourite)

      Now, why would we choose a) instead of b) even when evidence shows that b) gives better result and in addition costs less?

      Okay, I’m open-minded, let’s see your evidence?

      By showing that figure you revealed that you don’t understand the causality at all. That figure in no way shows that higher murder rates are BECAUSE of death penalty.

      Because I don’t mention causality doesn’t mean I don’t understand it. And actually, with data that is consistently like this across time and states (longitudinal data), we would say there was a causal relation of some kind, though it is not clear necessarily how it works.

      It’s just you again taking a statistics which shows something in favour of your agenda and then telling: This is the truth.

      I research things. If the evidence is strongly against my opinion, I will consider changing my opinion.

      I could show you similar statistics from USA, which shows that violent crimes are more frequent in those states which has more non-white residents. In that case you would immediately oppose it and claim that “it doesn’t mean that non-white causes more violent crimes”.

      No, I would ask you to give an explanation for that data and I would subject that explanation to the same level of criticism that we must apply to all data.

      Why is that? Two exactly same kind of statistic, other you take as ultimate truth and other you claim to be non-true.

      Now you are having a conversation with yourself, and making up my opinions and replies to you! Good luck with that. I know I’ll get a good beating from you! :D

      This reveals that you only pick those statistic that shows something in your favour and condemnt those which shows otherwise. That is not honest.

      You can arrive at any conclusion you like if you are able to put words into the mouth of your opponent, Farang. But it’s a fairy tale exercise! I guess if you are happy to waste your time with fairy tales, good luck!

  24. Farang

    Mark

    Don’t overanalyse it, Farang, it’s just a saying in English. There is no fixed causality, no ‘groups’. It’s just an observation that when people are treated badly they tend to behave badly in return.

    You are still making a wrong statement. This is not about treating people badly and then they behaving badly in return. This is exactly the opposite:

    1) People are treated well
    2) Despite this, some people will behave badly
    3a) Those that behave badly, will be treated badly
    3b) Those that behave well, are still treated well

    So, what is the problem?

    • Mark

      Farang

      2) Despite this, some people will behave badly

      Research has clearly shown that criminality, tendencies to violence and drug abuse are all linked with living in areas of high crime and social deprivation. Crime begets crime. In this scenario, the idea of making individuals entirely responsible does not work. Society must also take some responsibility for allowing areas like that to develop and without putting sufficient money and resources into improving those areas and providing better opportunities for the people living there. Children experiencing abuse and maltreatment are 30 per cent more likely to be convicted of a violent crime or 28 per cent of adult criminal behaviour.

      Individualising the problem is completely inadequate. It might make your morality a bit more black and white, but it doesn’t get anywhere near a real understanding of the problems of society and how to effectively solve them.

      What is the problems? Well, your ignorance and unwillingness to correct your ignorance is typical of many people calling for ‘tougher sentencing’, as if that was an answer in itself. You even go further in creating this morality about ‘bad’ people, which only further individualises the problem. Like I said, you treat people that way, and I’m not surprised when they go off the rails!

  25. Farang

    Mark

    Research has clearly shown that criminality, tendencies to violence and drug abuse are all linked with living in areas of high crime and social deprivation. Crime begets crime. In this scenario, the idea of making individuals entirely responsible does not work.

    Ok, this finally ends our discussion. You are one of those people who thinks that people are not responsible of their actions. I am totally opposite. Therefore it’s futile for us to discuss this anymore, because our opinions base on totally different values. Therefore we can never achieve a result that we both could agree.

    • Mark

      Farang

      Ok, this finally ends our discussion. You are one of those people who thinks that people are not responsible of their actions

      You are one of those people that continuously puts words in other people’s mouths. I don’t think that people are not responsible for their actions or that they should not be held responsible. The simple fact is that social conditions clearly make life difficult for a great many people and in desperate circumstances, people lose hope and social values are undermined and eroded. It’s just that simple, Farang, and only a fool would even think to deny it.

      Instead, you distort my view, make it seem like something other than what it is. I can only think that you lie like this because you are too lazy to actually figure out or ask me what I think.

      If this is the end of the discussion, great….you are an obnoxious individual and I take very little pleasure in trying to unravel all your lies and distortions.

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