YLE: Ruotsalaisministeri huolissaan Suomen kielikeskustelusta

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: Here is an interesting story where Sweden’s Integration Minister Erik Ullenhage expresses concern over the tone of the ongoing debate concerning the rights of minorities such as the Swedish-speaking Finns in this country.

Without naming any parties, Ullenhage states that those countries that don’t respect minorities are losers because foreign trade is growing between nations.

Those who naively believe that one can bash one group of people and be for immigration at the same haven’t told us how this balancing act works and how you make sure that this hatred does not rub off  on other minorities. There sure is a lot of political opportunism and ignorance with a capital “I” out there that characterizes a number of Finnish politicians.

Do you agree?

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Ruotsin hallituksessa tunnetaan huolta suomenruotsalaisten asemaa koskevasta keskustelusta Suomessa. Muun muassa vähemmistökysymyksistä vastaava integraatioministeri Erik Ullenhage on huolissaan Suomen keskustelun sävystä, joka on tuttu muualtakin Euroopasta.

To keep on reading click here.

  1. JL

    It’s highly ironic that a Swede would criticize Finnish political discussion about the status of the Swedish language in Finland, while the Swedish government has systematically sought to eradicate the Finnish language in Sweden and continues to do so today. There was an article in Helsingin Sanomat a couple of days ago by Saska Saarikoski that perfectly captured the total disconnect between the rhetoric of multiculturalism and the reality of disregard for the rights of the Finnish-speakers in Sweden. Saarikoski points out that while in Finland the debate is about whether the 90+% Finnish-speaking majority should continue to be forced to learn Swedish so as to serve the 5 percent Swedophone minority (who attend their own segregated, lavishly funded schools), in Sweden it is about whether or not Finnish-speaking children have a right to one hour’s instruction in Finnish per week. Saarikoski interviews an old activist who recounts how the oh so tolerant and multiculturalist Sweden has for decades systematically reneged on all promises to improve the status of its largest and best-integrated minority.

    I don’t know if it is evil or stupidity that best explains Ullenhage’s nonsense or the fact that Enrique would quote him. Perhaps both. The success of the True Finns will hopefully lead to a more rational, just, and Western language legislation in Finland where the status of Swedish is downgraded to that of a minority language. The Swedish-speaking minority can, however, rest assured that in its treatment of minorities, Finland will never sink to the lows of Sweden.

    • Enrique

      JL, the reason why I thought what Ullenhage said was important is because groups like the True Finns are trying to write off Swedish from Finland. Cultural diversity is a bad thing. Ullenhage’s statements also shows that there is concern in other countries about the rise of parties who base their support on excluding minorities. If Finland is going to allow xenophobia to get a hold of it, this country is going to be the biggest loser. You are going to lose markets and Finland is going to lose an opportunity. Even if some Finns speak in a nostalgic tone about “monoculturalism,” there is no such thing. Monoculturalism is only a term used by some to justify the exclusion of minoirites from the rest of society. Advice? More people should read up on modern sociological theory about societies and cultures and leave Eugene Fischer to the dustbin of history. His questionable “theories” were made up to justify “monoculturalism.”

  2. JusticeDemon

    Hutus condemn Bosnian genocide.
         however
    Hutus also practised genocide on a bigger scale
         therefore
    Bosnian genocide was OK, as Srebrenica massacre never sank to the lows of Rwanda.

    Splendid logic.

  3. JL

    Changing Finnish language legislation so that is more similar to that of most Western countries is tantamount to genocide? You’re a moron.

  4. JusticeDemon

    And another commentator is too dim to recognise a fallacy exposed by parallel reasoning.

    Let’s spell it out then. Please explain precisely how the Swedish policy or practice concerning language minorities becomes relevant to the debate on any aspect of Finnish public policy simply because one Swede chooses to contribute to the debate in Finland.

    Your contribution was a simple ad hominem based on the national origin of the contributor. You didn’t even bother to ask whether Erik Ullenhag personally supported or opposed Sweden’s treatment of its Finnish-speaking minority. As he’s only 38, he certainly cannot be the author of policies applied in the 1970s.

  5. JusticeDemon

    I think it would also be worthwhile asking PS candidates for their views on Ođđasat broadcasting. The broad consensus has long condemned the forced acculturation of the Sámi and the modern Lutheran Church of Finland is nowadays acutely embarrassed by its past efforts to eradicate joik singing and other elements of aboriginal Sámi culture.

  6. JL

    InjusticeDemon, Ullenhage is not just some random Swede, but Sweden’s integration minister, i.e. someone who is responsible for Sweden’s minority policy. We can be 100 percent certain that he will not try to introduce mandatory Finnish for the entire Swedish population, or require that all civil servants speak Finnish, or give funds for the establishment of Finnish-only schools and universities, or demand that Finnish-speakers receive affirmative action in university admissions, or that all Swedish laws and regulations be translated and published in Finnish, or that 20% percent of the budget of the Swedish public television be allocated to Finnish-language programming. Nor will he demand that any other minority in Sweden should receive such excessive benefits. He and all other Swedes would find such demands ridiculous. Yet, he dares to criticize the very modest and reasonable proposals that the True Finns and others have made about curtailing the excessive and costly privileges and benefits of the Swedish-speakers in Finland. If you are unable to see Ullenhage’s glaring double standards, then I’m sorry for you.

    Enrique, the True Finns do not want to “write off Swedish from Finland”. Stop making shit up.

    • Enrique

      –Enrique, the True Finns do not want to “write off Swedish from Finland”. Stop making shit up.

      Then where are they going with all these things? Oh, right, you guys don’t like Muslims but are for immigration. What does that statement tell me. It tells me that you have no clue about immigration nor how society works. The world is round and that is how it is going to stay.

  7. JusticeDemon

    JL

    And you read all of that from Ullenhag’s remarks:

    Minua huolestuttavat tällaiset eri maissa käytävät keskustelut, joissa käännytään vähemmistöjä tai pakolaisia vastaan. Se ei ole maalle hyväksi

    Haluaisin lähettää sellaisen viestin Suomen vaalikampanjaan, että ruotsinkielinen vähemmistö on tärkeä osa Suomen historiaa ja nykyaikaa ja niin pitäisi olla myös tulevaisuudessa,

    JL, you don’t even seem to be 100 percent certain how to spell the name of this politician, so how you can know so much about his personal policy views remains a mystery. The ad hominem remains.

    To focus on what Ullenhag is actually quoted as saying, are you, JL, similarly “concerned about a tone of debate that turns people against minorities or refugees”? Do you similarly feel that this is “not good for a country”?

    Do you agree or disagree with the claim that “the Swedish-speaking minority is an important part of Finland’s history and present day”?

    The Finns are a minority in Europe. Perhaps Eichmann’s argument should be reconsidered in this context by administrators and legislators in Brussels. All Europeans would benefit. At least all of those that really matter.

    What are your plans for Ođđasat broadcasting, by the way? Cards on the table now.

  8. JL

    His name, misspelled by Yle, Enrique, and me, has no bearing on his or my arguments. I will bet you any amount of money that he is not planning on introducing the sorts of pro-Finnish policies that I listed above; if he was, it would certainly be all over the news. Humanitarian and economic refugees are an entirely different matter from the status of Swedish in Finland, and it’s silly to conflate these two issues. Swedish-speakers are a part of Finland’s past, present, and future, but that does not mean that the ridiculous institution of mandatory Swedish will exist in the future, or that other unjust and costly language-related policies will not be repealed.

    Debate about the volume, quality and costs of immigration, including refugees and “refugees”, is essential, because demography is destiny. I hope that no part of Finland will end up like that poster for multiculturalism, Malmö’s Rosengård where almost 90 percent of elementary school students fail to reach minimum standards. Blather about “tone of debate” is just an attempt at censorship.

    The Finns are a minority in Europe. Perhaps Eichmann’s argument should be reconsidered in this context by administrators and legislators in Brussels.

    Hitler card? Yawn. Grow up.

    What are your plans for Ođđasat broadcasting, by the way?

    No idea. There are so few Samis in Finland that it’s pretty irrelevant either way.

    • Enrique

      –Humanitarian and economic refugees.

      There is no such thing as an “economic” refugee. But you know what, those hundreds of thousands of Finns were in many respects “economic refugees” by your standard. One thing that upsets me about the tone of some members of the True Finns is that you think you have the right to insult immigrants and refugees. You give people in this category a bad name. Well, by doing that, you are throwing dirt on all those Finns that emigrated to North America and Sweden.

    • Enrique

      –I hope that no part of Finland will end up like that poster for multiculturalism, Malmö’s Rosengård where almost 90 percent of elementary school students fail to reach minimum standards.

      Is that your example of cultural diversity? You seem to have never been outside Finland. And what are you going to do about Rodengård? Are you goind to shoot them all? Deal with the issue. Don’t whine. There are many examples you don’t wish to highlight that shows that cultural diversity rocks.

  9. JusticeDemon

    JL

    You are still discussing your own agenda and not what Ullenhag actually said.

    The appeal of monoculture wanes rapidly when that culture is someone else’s. The Eichmann example brings home the point that your blasé attitude to the culture of minorities doesn’t feel so comfortable when a bigger majority adopts that attitude towards your own culture. Watch the video. That’s who you sound like.

    There are so few Finns in Europe that their culture is pretty irrelevant either way.

    Are you Tiwaz in disguise?

  10. JL

    Ullehag criticized, among other things, the debate about the status of Swedish in Finland. It’s preposterous for him to do that for the reasons I have explained.

    The appeal of monoculture wanes rapidly when that culture is someone else’s.

    Yes, and for this reason the idea of multiculturalism is completely fucked up. It is a machine for creating resentment and hatred. Everybody’s happier when they’re with their own people. The ethnic cleansings of WW2 produced a Europe consisting of more homogeneous national units than ever before. It also produced, not coincidentally, the longest period of peace and growth in European history. It also produced the most humane societies in history, because homogeneous societies and only them can take care of all members of society. Now this stability is being eroded by mass immigration, and it will all end in tears.

    Are you Tiwaz in disguise?

    No, this is the only name I use.

    • Enrique

      –Yes, and for this reason the idea of multiculturalism is completely fucked up. It is a machine for creating resentment and hatred.

      Multiculturalism is cultural diversity and guaranteeing minorities as groups and individuals the same rights that you have. The “resentment and hatred” you speak of is being spewed by you.

    • Enrique

      –The ethnic cleansings of WW2 produced a Europe consisting of more homogeneous national units than ever before.

      There is no such thing as “homogenous” society. That is only a concept in between your ears.

  11. JusticeDemon

    JL

    So you seem to be arguing for the secession of northern Finland and much of the Swedish-speaking West and South Coast.

    The ethnic cleansings of WW2

    Not a scarequote in sight. And you wonder why you can so easily be mistaken for Tiwaz!

    The cards are slowly dropping face up onto the table. How much of this agenda do you disagree with?

  12. JL

    Then where are they going with all these things? Oh, right, you guys don’t like Muslims but are for immigration. What does that statement tell me. It tells me that you have no clue about immigration nor how society works. The world is round and that is how it is going to stay.

    Immigration and the status of Swedish in Finland are separate matters. They have nothing do with each other, as I’ve already said. Countries can regulate the volume and quality of immigration. It’s a question of political will. There are open borders only if politicians want it.

    There is no such thing as an “economic” refugee. But you know what, those hundreds of thousands of Finns were in many respects “economic refugees” by your standard.

    By economic refugees I refer to the majority of asylum seekers who do not face persecution back home but still want asylum; they are abusing the system to get residence permits in wealthy countries like Finland. In any case, Finns have moved abroad in order to work, and no group of Finnish immigrants has ever had 50+% unemployment rates like several refugee groups in Finland have. Moreover, if Finnish immigrants did cause lots of problems abroad, those foreign countries could only blame themselves for letting the Finns in.

    Is that your example of cultural diversity? You seem to have never been outside Finland. And what are you going to do about Rodengård? Are you goind to shoot them all? Deal with the issue. Don’t whine.

    I’m just pointing out facts that you would rather ignore. There’s very little that can be done with people like those in Rosengård, especially as more of them are pouring in all the time. The only way for Finland to prevent similar things from happening here is to restrict immigration from the Third World. If you look at the results of the PISA student achievement study, it’s clear that almost all Western countries have deleterious immigration policies: immigrants, including those born in the new country, score much lower than the native population, dumbing down the country. The main exceptions to this trend are Canada and Australia whose immigrants are of better quality, on average.

    • Enrique

      –By economic refugees I refer to the majority of asylum seekers who do not face persecution back home but still want asylum.

      Everyone is a victim of war and strife. You speak that way of refugees because you have never been one. If your grandparents were Karelian refugees why not ask them how it felt. War is an ogre that destroys everything in its way.

    • Enrique

      –I’m just pointing out facts that you would rather ignore.

      When you have poverty in a society and lots of unemployment it is the failure of society and state. Some politicians are crafty and like to wash their hands of all responsiblity by pinning the blame on immigrants.

      –The only way for Finland to prevent similar things from happening here is to restrict immigration from the Third World.

      JL you should read up on modern sociological theory about cultures. So you are stating that the Indians are dumber than the Finns. What about the Chinese? Oh, right, Obama is an under-acheiver because his father was from Kenya. All these racist views about how Europeans are more enlightened than the rest of the world went out of the door after the barbarism of World War I. That showed Europeans to be as barbaric as the rest. We haven’t even touched upon the crimes committed in World War 2 by “civilized Germans.”

    • Enrique

      –The only way for Finland to prevent similar things from happening here is to restrict immigration from the Third World. If you look at the results of the PISA student achievement study, it’s clear that almost all Western countries have deleterious immigration policies: immigrants.

      JL, I have a multicultural background and I am proud of it! I was born in a Third World country (before near-first world and built by immigrants), grew up in the United States and have Finnish roots (before a Third World country especially after World War 2). I am proud of my great grandfather who was a refugee from Italy. I am proud of my Jewish background and disappointed that that part of the family could not express their faith in peace but had to hide it. I am proud of my Finnish grandmother who wed a Russian violinist who corresponded with Sibelius and brought his music to USAmerica.

      I have never, ever seen myself inferior to you or anyone because of my multicultural background. As I told you, I am proud of who I am and do not want to be anyone else.

  13. Jonas G

    Erik Ullenhag is of course right to express his opinion. However, I think it is of little help when it will be set upon by Fennomanic nationalists who like to link the treatment of Swedish in Finland with that of Finnish in Sweden. Of course, such a link is ridiculous – but it is made nonetheless. I am sure that Ullenhag does not follow the debate on language going on in Finland closely enough to realise this and thus to know that his remarks may actually be counterproductive.

    — JL: “…so as to serve the 5 percent Swedophone minority (who attend their own segregated, lavishly funded schools)”

    Swedish-speaking Finnish children do not attend “segregated” schools any more than Finnish-speaking Finnish children do. The school system is divided by language for very real practical reasons, you can’t teach in Finnish and Swedish in the same classroom. It is also important to ensure children learn their mother tongue properly in an environment where it is strongly the primary medium of communication (outside of language lessons). That is why Finnish-speaking children in Jakobstad or Raseborg by-and-large attend Finnish-speaking schools and not those of the language majority in those municipalities. There is no law that states that Swedish-speaking students can not attend school in the Finnish medium or vice versa.

    The Swedish-school sector is certainly not “lavishly funded”, at least not any more so than the Finnish-speaking school sector. In fact, one of the reasons that the Swedish sector performed less well relative to the Finnish school system in the latest PISA-survey appears to be that LESS resources are allocated to special educational needs teaching in the Swedish sector compared to the Finnish.

    — JusticeDemon: “Let’s spell it out then. Please explain precisely how the Swedish policy or practice concerning language minorities becomes relevant to the debate on any aspect of Finnish public policy simply because one Swede chooses to contribute to the debate in Finland.”

    An excellent contribution. It is sickening to time after time read nationalistic arguments against the right to use the Swedish language in Finland based on the linguistic policies of a foreign country. The status of Finnish in Sweden and that of Swedish in Finland have nothing to do with each other. Sometimes one even has to read that we Swedish-speaking Finns are somehow complicit in Sweden’s alleged poor treatment of its Finnish-speaking population, as if there is some kind of giant small-s swedish-speaking conspiracy going on in the world. It is quite ridiculous, and yet these arguments continue to be repeated in populistic circles.

  14. JL

    How much of this agenda do you disagree with?

    All of it. I’m a democrat, and my views on immigration are in line with the majority of Finns, according to polls.

    Everyone is a victim of war and strife. You speak that way of refugees because you have never been one.

    The majority of asylum seekers in Finland do not face any persecution in their native country. They are fleeing the general misery of their countries, not any persecution or immediate danger. They are abusing the system.

    JL you should read up on modern sociological theory about cultures.

    You can postulate any number of bullshit sociological theories about the multigenerational failure of certain minority groups in the Western world, but the fact is that no one knows how to “fix” these groups, so the best course of action for Finland is to restrict their entry to the country.

    JL, I have a multicultural background and I am proud of it!

    Good for you, I don’t care. What I do care about is your and others’ hatred of Finland and Finns as they are, and your insistence that they must be destroyed and made “multicultural”.

    • Enrique

      –Good for you, I don’t care. What I do care about is your and others’ hatred of Finland and Finns as they are, and your insistence that they must be destroyed and made “multicultural”

      I love Finland and that is why I will fight tooth and nail against your type of hatred, which is arrogant and insulting. That is very unfinnish and against our values. You need to go to an integration course to read up on Finnish society so you can feel more adapted.

  15. JusticeDemon

    JL

    How much of this agenda do you disagree with?

    All of it.

    Well, you obviously didn’t read it. For example item 5:

    Pohjoisen kansan etnistä ja kulttuuri koskemattomuutta tulee suojella. Tämä on ehdoton edellytys vakaan ja tasapainoisen yhteiskunnan luomisessa.

    Appears very much the same as your remark above:

    Everybody’s happier when they’re with their own people. The ethnic cleansings of WW2 produced a Europe consisting of more homogeneous national units than ever before. It also produced, not coincidentally, the longest period of peace and growth in European history. It also produced the most humane societies in history, because homogeneous societies and only them can take care of all members of society. Now this stability is being eroded by mass immigration, and it will all end in tears.

    The only difference in these views is that Kansallinen Vastarinta (the people with the Tiwaz flag) considers them a justification for forcibly expelling aliens, whereas you are clearly too squeamish to advocate such a policy (while remaining curiously comfortable with the expression “ethnic cleansing” as an Eichmannesque euphemism for genocide).

    • Enrique

      –The ethnic cleansings of WW2 produced a Europe consisting of more homogeneous national units than ever before. It also produced, not coincidentally, the longest period of peace and growth in European history.

      Peace was maintained by two superpower, the USSR and USA, and their atomic weapons. It’s that simple.

      You must really get nostalgic when you see movies of the Third Reich, a 1,000 year regime that lasted only a fraction of that time. Why? Because it lost itself in its hatred and racism.

  16. JusticeDemon

    Ricky

    Peace was maintained by two superpower, the USSR and USA, and their atomic weapons. It’s that simple.

    I would have expected a more perceptive analysis from you, Ricky, not tired old propaganda from the military-industrial complex.

    Keeping the peace in Europe was the express objective of the ECSC, which subsequently morphed into the EEC, EC and EU.

    Take the USA and USSR out of the equation and ask what substantial conflict of interest could have provided a casus belli in Europe alone after 1950.

  17. JL

    (while remaining curiously comfortable with the expression “ethnic cleansing” as an Eichmannesque euphemism for genocide).

    I use the term ethnic cleansing in the sense the United Nations uses it. The vast majority of people “cleansed” in Europe during and after WW2 were not killed. See this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_evacuation_and_expulsion. While these operations were brutal and many people were killed, they cannot be undone, so we should appreciate the fact they produced a Europe of relatively homogeneous nations states that lacked the sort of tribal politics that characterize multicultural countries. This meant also that there were many fewer potential casus belli.

    For example, the postwar expulsions of millions of Germans from Eastern Europe made it much less likely that Germany would ever again try to take over the East (had the old German-speaking populations scattered over Slavic lands not existed, the Nazis might never have come up with their idea of an Eastern Lebensraum).

    Similarly, if the Finnish population had stayed behind in Karelia when the Soviets took over, this would have produced a perennial source of conflict between Finland and Russia, whereas the fact that the Karelians were evacuated westwards means that there’s only the marginal ProKarelia movement.

    • Enrique

      –For example, the postwar expulsions of millions of Germans from Eastern Europe made it much less likely that Germany would ever again try to take over the East (had the old German-speaking populations scattered over Slavic lands not existed, the Nazis might never have come up with their idea of an Eastern Lebensraum.

      JL, the term “lebensraum” is not used any longer as a valid concept since it has its roots in Nazi ideology. The problem with your analysis is that people from different backgrounds cannot live together and therefore must live apart. There are countless examples that show that living together is a normal thing.

  18. JusticeDemon

    JL

    You are disgustingly blasé about human suffering on a massive scale. Are we supposed to give you credit for using the term ethnic cleansing in the sense of forcibly expelling people from their homes? What happens to people who refuse to leave? The parallels between your views and those of the neofascist Kansallinen Vastarinta are quite evident, and you did not dispute them.

    Just to round things off, let’s hear your consistent views on the Russification of Finland and the Finnification of Lapland.

  19. JL

    You are disgustingly blasé about human suffering on a massive scale.

    They are things that happened long ago, and cannot be reversed. You can shed crocodile tears about them if you like, but it’s not going to change anything.

    Are we supposed to give you credit for using the term ethnic cleansing in the sense of forcibly expelling people from their homes?

    That’s what happened and that’s what ethnic cleansing means. I don’t understand what’s so problematic here.

    The parallels between your views and those of the neofascist Kansallinen Vastarinta are quite evident, and you did not dispute them.

    Yawn. Why are you so interested in some outfit consisting of teenage skinheads with room temperature IQs? Perhaps it is you who supports their ideas, considering that you and your relations vote for a party founded on the principles of Germanic racism?

    Just to round things off, let’s hear your consistent views on the Russification of Finland and the Finnification of Lapland.

    I’m against the Russification, while the Finnification is a fait accompli.

  20. JL

    JusticeDemon, sorry, somehow I thought I was responding to Jonas, so obviously the reference to SFP is misplaced (unless you in fact vote for them).

  21. JusticeDemon

    JL

    I gave an example above of how your views are coterminous with the agenda of the neofascist Kansallinen Vastarinta. You did not dispute this.

    I expect you to condemn ethnic cleansing like any civilised person would. Not to glory in what you perceive as its favourable outcome. There is a moral dimension to this. It is your complete failure to recognise that moral dimension that I describe as Eichmannesque. You can see nothing wrong with ethnic cleansing, because its outcome facilitates the apartheid policy that you espouse.

    So your only objection to the Russification of Finland is that the process was not completed to the same degree as the Finnification of Lapland?

  22. Jonas

    JL, how do you know who I vote for? I have never seen you in the polling booth when I’ve been casting my vote. It’s rather presumptuous to assume I vote for SFP just because I have Swedish as my mother tongue. But, of course, we see time and time again that you are prone to stereotyping.

    In any case, German and British-originated racial theories were widespread and popular at the turn of the century (1900) amongst many academics and intellectuals. They are one of the factors behind the establishment of the welfare state as well. Many organisations (not just political parties) once held views that we quite rightly find unacceptable today, but you can not reasonably continue to use these against them today. Furthermore, the principles of “German racism” were not a fundamental element in the foundation of SFP. It was far more a reaction against increasing Finnish language nationalism which was seen as a threat to the status of the Swedish language in Finland.

    When I vote, I base my choice on parties’ current electoral programmes and politics. Not those of 1906.

  23. Eetu

    Comparing Finland-Swedes with Finns who live in Sweden is crazy. They are as different as night and day. Finland-Swedes are part of Finland’s native population. They have a Finnish identity. They support Finland in sport, fly the Finnish flag from the houses and so on, for them Sweden is a foreign country . The vast, vast majority (with some notable exceptions, such as in Tornedal) of Finnish speaking people in Sweden are recent economic immigrants from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. They are in many cases very poorly integrated. Many of the first generation never bothered to learn Swedish (whereas many more recent immigrants from former Yugoslavia and the Middle East have made the effort to become fluent very quickly). They continue to support Finland in sport. They demand elderly care in Finnish even though they are immigrants and often have lived many more years in Sweden than Finland. Even the Finnish language TV news provided by Sweden’s national television reports on news from Finland as if it were more relevant to than that in Sweden. Tonight they reported on how many Finns might be caught up in the Japan earthquake, without mentioning Swedish citizens. And back home, the True Finns demand that immigrants integrate. One rule for Finns, another for the rest. I wouldn’t be surprised if some Finns think it’s outrageous at they can’t order their beer in Finnish when they go on holiday to Gran Canaria.

    • Enrique

      Hi Eetu, and welcome to our blog. Thank you for sharing your views with us. I agree and what has hit Finland today is hysteria from the far-right. There was an interesting story in the country’s biggest daily, Helsingin Sanomat, which linked a number of True Finns candidates with Suomen Sisu, a far-right organization that follows the idology of former Nazi racial ideologue Alfred Rosenberg.

      Juan, below put it well: “It would be interesting to see what would happen if the True Finns were given the economic and foreign affairs portfolios to manage. Not only would the economy be run into the ground, Finland would be the laughing stock in international circles with country bumpkins like Timo Soini, et. al. on display for the whole world to see.”

  24. JL

    I expect you to condemn ethnic cleansing like any civilised person would. Not to glory in what you perceive as its favourable outcome. There is a moral dimension to this. It is your complete failure to recognise that moral dimension that I describe as Eichmannesque. You can see nothing wrong with ethnic cleansing,

    The moral dimensions of those ethnic cleansings are obvious even to elementary school children in Finland, so there’s no reason for me to blather about them. Perhaps you went to school somewhere else, and these things are new to you, but I can’t help it.

    because its outcome facilitates the apartheid policy that you espouse.

    Apartheid policy? What the hell are you talking about? Didn’t your school teach even what apartheid means?

    JL, how do you know who I vote for? I have never seen you in the polling booth when I’ve been casting my vote. It’s rather presumptuous to assume I vote for SFP just because I have Swedish as my mother tongue. But, of course, we see time and time again that you are prone to stereotyping.

    My claim that you vote for SFP was an educated guess based on the fact that up to 80 percent of Swedish-speaking vote for it. It’s much more likely that you’re an SFP voter than not. Judging by your response, I was right on the money.

    SFP is still opposed to equality and meritocracy, so obviously some of their 19th century ideology survives.

    Comparing Finland-Swedes with Finns who live in Sweden is crazy.

    No one has suggested that Finns in Sweden should get similar privileges as Swedish-speakers in Finland have. In fact, I don’t think any minority should get such privileges; it’s not fair and just. The problem t is that when the True Finns and others suggest that the status of Swedish in Finland should be updated to match the needs and realities of this century by adopting similar minority policies as others Western countries have, this asshole Ullenhag starts spouting absolute nonsense about discrimination against minorities.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some Finns think it’s outrageous at they can’t order their beer in Finnish when they go on holiday to Gran Canaria.

    But you can order your beer in Finnish in many places in Gran Canaria.

  25. Jonas

    Interesting, JL. So, it’s not just been my shoulder that you’ve been looking over in the voting booth, but every single Swedish-speaking Finn that votes. I am impressed. 80% I would say is too high an estimation in any case. Certainly 80% in some rural municipalities in Österbotten, but in the rest of Svenskfinland, it is certainly not that high. In my home municipality, the Social Democrats are also strong amongst the Swedish-speaking electorate.

    How is SFP opposed to equality and meritocracy? I would be amazed if has any of SFP’s 19th century ideology survives. The party was founded in 1906.

  26. JusticeDemon

    JL

    The moral dimensions of those ethnic cleansings are obvious even to elementary school children in Finland, so there’s no reason for me to blather about them.

    Your persistent reluctance to condemn ethnic “cleansing” says something about you already. All you have done so far is praise its outcome. Now you say that any condemnation would merely be blathering. The Eichmannesque label is appropriate. Instead of euphemisms and evasions I want to hear the direct lie from your lips: tell us that you condemn ethnic cleansing.

    You are advocating a policy of separate development of population groups. This is the core meaning of apartheid, as this expression was used by the South African government in the 1960s.

    Answer the point about the Finnification of Lapland and the Russification of Finland. Your response so far implies that if the latter had been completed to the same degree as the former, then you would no longer consider it objectionable. Perhaps you could explain at what precise stage your objection evaporates. My guess is that it’s when you become Russian speaking that you can no longer perceive a problem, but merely a historical outcome that is not worth blathering about.

  27. JL

    Interesting, JL. So, it’s not just been my shoulder that you’ve been looking over in the voting booth, but every single Swedish-speaking Finn that votes. I am impressed. 80% I would say is too high an estimation in any case. Certainly 80% in some rural municipalities in Österbotten, but in the rest of Svenskfinland, it is certainly not that high. In my home municipality, the Social Democrats are also strong amongst the Swedish-speaking electorate.

    This is what researcher Sami Borg has to say on this:

    Selvä enemmistö puolueen äänestäjistä on ruotsinkielisiä, ja kannattajat edustavat jokseenkin tasaisesti eri ammatti- ja ikäryhmiä. Vuoden 2003 eduskuntavaalien jälkeen kerätyn käyntihaastattelun nojalla puolueen äänestäjistä jopa kolmannes oli muita kuin ruotsinkielisiä. Vastaavasti huomattava osa maamme ruotsinkielisistä äänestäjistä, myös mahdollisesti yli kolmannes, äänestää eduskuntavaaleissa muita puolueita kuin RKP:tä. (source: http://blogs.helsinki.fi/vol-spj/puolueet/vaalit-ja-puolueiden-kannatus/)

    So this would suggest that about 66 percent of Swedish speakers vote for SFP, while about 34 percent vote for other parties. In many municipalities, the figure is certainly 80 percent or even more.

    How is SFP opposed to equality and meritocracy?

    For example, SFP and its supporters are in favor of affirmative action or positive discrimination for the benefit of Swedish-speakers in university admissions. That’s as clear-cut a case of inequality and anti-meritocracy as it gets.

    Your persistent reluctance to condemn ethnic “cleansing” says something about you already.

    Well, okay, I condemn all ethnic cleansings. Satisfied?

    Answer the point about the Finnification of Lapland and the Russification of Finland. Your response so far implies that if the latter had been completed to the same degree as the former, then you would no longer consider it objectionable.

    Well if Finland had become completely Russified and assuming I still existed, I would probably be speaking Russian and have a Russian identity, so I would probably not consider the Russification objectionable. A large percentage of people who today identify as Russians are descended from speakers of Finno-Ugric languages. I don’t quite see what your point is.

  28. JusticeDemon

    JL

    I condemn all ethnic cleansings.

    Welcome back to the dialogue of the civilised.

    if Finland had become completely Russified and assuming I still existed, I would probably be speaking Russian and have a Russian identity, so I would probably not consider the Russification objectionable. … I don’t quite see what your point is.

    No, I don’t think you do. The problem is partly a lack of empathy. Eichmannesque is my preferred adjective. I have a mental image of you as a rather weedy little pen pusher with very dangerous ideas that you are too squeamish to act on. As the little kid who likes to start playground fights between the big boys, but then stands back to watch and back the winning side.

    Suppose that a Sámi had assassinated President Relander in 1925 for reasons parallel to those that motivated Eugen Schauman’s assassination of Nikolay Bobrikov in 1904. Would the Sámi assassin be a hero or a terrorist?

  29. JL

    JusticeDemon, please listen to what I say instead conjuring up those weird mental images of yours that are nothing but projections of your own personality. I can debate you, but I will not if you are incapable of civilized discourse and continue to spew personal insults.

  30. JusticeDemon

    JL

    Where was the personal insult? You condemn ethnic “cleansing” as a messy business that you would not implement personally, while expressing indifference to its outcome. This is the mentality of Adolf Eichmann. As with the similarities between your views and those of Kansallinen Vastarinta that were demonstrated above, the cap fits, whether or not you choose to wear it. Unless you are ashamed of your own views and personality…

    Please apply your reasoning – whereby you condemn ethnic “cleansing” only up to the point of its completion from the perspective of the aggressor – to the situation in Finnish Lapland. Would the Sámi assassin be a hero or a terrorist?

  31. JL

    JusticeDemon, as you continue your ridiculous Nazi allegations I will not debate with you any further. We can continue once you have learned to debate like a civilized person. Civilized discussion does NOT entail twisting and perverting every word of your interlocutor and assuming the worst of him at every turn.

  32. Jonas

    JL, I have to say that I can not see any personal insults in Justice Demon’s contributions either. You do seem to have a disturbingly blasé attitude towards ethnic cleansing.

    SFP – and it’s long from just being SFP – support quotas in certain university subjects just to ensure that equality of access is maintained, not to subvert it. We need Swedish-speaking doctors, lawyers etc in order to be able to deliver services in the mother tongue of clients. Not a small number of the people who are admitted on the quota places have Finnish as their mother tongue, Finnish-speakers that have demonstrated sufficient knowledge of Swedish to be admissible under them.

    If you really want to understand inequality, try living in Swedish for a little while. You’ll soon see that it is not always easy to get access to official services in Swedish – or that you will have to wait longer, endure worse service etc.

    Two thirds is roughly the estimate I would have placed on SFP support amongst Swedish-speakers, I would have actually probably said 70%. Certainly there are small rural municipalities in which 80% plus vote for SFP, just as there are small rural municipalities in the Finnish-speakign Finland which have councils almost entirely or entirely made up of the Centre party. But it’s important to remember that their populations are very small and thus unrepresentative. Remember, the biggest Swedish-speaking municipality according to population is not Närpes or Nykarleby or Raseborg but Helsingfors 😀

  33. JusticeDemon

    JL

    I accept your resignation.

    We can speculate on whether you could ever consistently explain why the Finnification of Lapland is somehow acceptable but the Russification of Finland was not.

    Please note that I shall continue to expose your false claims about population groups and your distortion and selection of evidence adduced in support of such claims. As and when appropriate I shall call attention to parallels between the views that you espouse and the political agendas of Fascist organisations. I shall also continue to point to aspects of your character (such as a lack of empathy) that explain why you are attracted to these views. You are entirely free to reply.

  34. Seppo

    The intellectual dishonesty of the swedish-speaking finländare puzzles me. Jonas, so, in order to have sufficient numbers of swedish-speaking hospital staff our country needs completely disproportionate swedish MBA program? And those huge swedish law programs – surely the qraduates don’t end up in corporate offices?

    • Enrique

      Hi Seppo, thank you for your comments. However, I have to disagree with you on a number of points. What is happening in Finland is very dangerous since you want to wipe off another official language from the face of this country? Why? Will this make Finland stronger of weaker? The challenges when living in a culturally diverse society is that the state, the arbitrator, must level-out the playing field. As long as you have discrimination and some people think they have more rights than others, the state will have to do a lot to level-out that playing field.

      Moreover, the issue goes deeper than just a Swedish MBA program. It is all about embracing, encouraging and defending diversity in our society.

  35. Seppo

    I don’t believe anyone is going to wipe swedish from Finland any time soon, nor do I think any sane person has such wishes. However I do feel that swedish-speakers in this country truly don’t want to give up their privileges. And RKP has done a splendid job defending those interests.

    The point in oversized (compared to population) MBA programs and such is that swedish-speakers in our country do want to hold on to their traditionally strong grip of economic power by educating a disproportionate number of their youth to those fields. And at the same time they complain about service sector workers lacking swedish-speaking skills. This is an absurd situation.

    Should swedish be an official language in Finland? Yes. But checks need to be made. How about disbanding the compulsory swedish from elementary schools? A great number of finns do not learn it to usable degree anyway, and the resentment that this forcefeeding creates is immense. The costs in wasted time and unused chance to learn an useful language is considerable too.

    And yes, I do think these little policy alterations would make Finland a better place. Finns don’t resent swedish-speakers, they resent privilege.

    • Enrique

      –However I do feel that swedish-speakers in this country truly don’t want to give up their privileges. And RKP has done a splendid job defending those interests.

      I believe that the acceptance of two official languages in Finland shortly after independence (1919 Constitution?) is a good example that Finland can deal with diversity. My fear is that some groups, for political reasons which are not too clear to me, want to undermine this grand accomplishment we can all feel proud of.

      –Should swedish be an official language in Finland? Yes. But checks need to be made.

      I am happy you think this way but what “checks” are you speaking of? I don’t really understand what the fuss is about? Is it about getting back at “Swedish privileges” or what? Strangely, this is the same argument that some Finns are making about immigrants. In other words, everyone is getting breaks in society while the Finns are footing the bill and have less rights. Do you really believe this? I think it is only a campaign deception used by some to get votes by inciting nationalist sentiment. Sad but true.

  36. Seppo

    Enrique, you must know that economy of Finland was till eighties dominated by swedish-speakers. Add forced swedish in schools and the arrogant RKP and throw in the racist Ahvenanmaa, well, you get the picture. The anti-swedish sentiment among finns is not something Perussuomalaiset really has to fuel.

    And I do have to ask you about the bill. Finns do pick it, in both cases. Why is it so unimportant to you?

    • Enrique

      –And I do have to ask you about the bill. Finns do pick it, in both cases. Why is it so unimportant to you?

      Seppo, aren’t we all paying taxes and contributing to our society? Maybe you can enlighten me on how unfair the system is and what kinds of sums we are speaking of?

  37. Tiwaz

    -“Hi Seppo, thank you for your comments. However, I have to disagree with you on a number of points. What is happening in Finland is very dangerous since you want to wipe off another official language from the face of this country? Why? Will this make Finland stronger of weaker? The challenges when living in a culturally diverse society is that the state, the arbitrator, must level-out the playing field. As long as you have discrimination and some people think they have more rights than others, the state will have to do a lot to level-out that playing field. ”

    Ah, Enrique, but when government starts to interfere and present some minority above majority it is racism and uneven playing field!

    Everyone must play with EXACTLY the same rules. No special rules for Swedes, Somalis or Finns. No special grants, no special benefits from state.

    That is the level field, everyone is on same field with same benefits and rules. After that, it is individuals of failure not to achieve their goals.

    Regarding Swedish language in Finland, it could be given same position as Saame. Simple solution which works well.

    I am also shocked how some racists here on one breath say how Finnish language politics should not be influenced by politics in another country, but accept that opinions of minister of that country, and not even foreign minister, should be given any relevance in Finland.

    Swedish immigration minister should concern herself with Sweden, and stay out of Finnish politics.

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