Search Results for: Jutta Urpilainen

More anti-immigration “goodies” from the Social Democrats

If you want to look for some of the mentors of the Social Democratic Party’s anti-immigration wing, MP Kari Rajamäki is one of them. Contrary to MP Eero Heinäluoma and SDP chairperson, Jutta Urpilainen, Rajamäki has always seen immigration as threat with so gusto that he could well be a member of a more nationalist party like the True Finns.

A-Talk: What is wrong with the Social Democrats?

At least for me, the debate on immigration on A-Talk on Thursday was a disappointment. The only sensible persons on the show were Anni Sinnemäki of the Greens and Jyrki Katainen of Kokoomus. The two opposition leaders, Jutta Urpilainen of the Social Democrats (SDP) and Timo Soini of the True Finns were a disappointment filling the airways with hollow catchwords that reeked of populism, protectionism and heavy doses of obnoxious nationalism.

Ilta-Sanomat’s message hasn’t changed in the past 30 years: Islam and refugees are a threat to Finland

Ever wondered why tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat continue to publish racist stories? When the first Somalis came to Finland in the early 1990s, the tabloid had a field day (see billboards below). Imagine headlines like “Somalis will remain in Finland,” “Somalis tricked (authorities) to get asylum,” and twenty years later, “10,000 illegal refugees will come this

Kokoomus’ and Finland’s downward spiral

The last opinion poll published by Helsingin Sanomat doesn’t show us any big surprises. A few percentage-point fractions up or down and, end of story. If, however, we take a longer view, the situation of the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) raises some questions. Just like Jutta Urpilainen and the Social Democrats learned before the 2011

EU President-elect von der Leyen caves into the threat of fascism and Islamophobia

EU President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented Tuesday her team and the new structure of the next European Commission. Apart from having no minorities on the commission, von der Leyen, raised a lot of eyebrows by nominating Margaritis Schinas of Greece as the new Commissioner for Protecting Our European Way of Life. In a story

Pressiklubi gives simplistic, apologetic view on how the Finnish media is “more balanced” today when writing about non-white Finns

It is surprising to hear how some politicians and journalists continue to have simplistic and apologetic views of racism and bigotry in this country. If YLE’s Päivi Happonen and Atte Kaleva’s words are to be believed on Pressiklubi, the Finnish media has finally woken up and writes more balanced stories about migrants and minorities that live in Finland. 

A letter from a Finn to a Swede

Dear friend, you probably read about the elections in Denmark and how xenophobia raised its head yet again in another Nordic country. The elections in Denmark didn’t surprise me. Two months earlier we had elections in Finland. Here too the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* became the second-biggest party in parliament and are now in government.

Anti-immigration Europe: The fruits you harvest depend on the seed you plant

In many respects, Europe looks like a region that is running scared with a notable part of its population seeking to support populist, anti-immigration and even neo-Nazi parties that offer no credible solutions to issues like rising unemployment, poverty and estrangement from our political institutions.  If students from a small town in Eastern Finland did

Sune Kymäläinen: How some politicians try to capitalize on anti-Russian sentiment in Finland

MPs throughout Europe are opportunistically using the xenophobia card to boost their chances of getting reelected. This is the case of Suna Kymäläinen, a Social Democrat (SDP), who is eyeing the April 2015 parliamentary elections in Finland. Read full story (in Finnish) here. Kymäläinen is a sad example of how politicians who don’t belong to anti-immigration

MP files police charges against union leader for naming the PS a party of racists and fascists

Can you believe that an MP of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, Kaj Turunen, has filed charges against Trade Union Pro chairman Antti Rinne for stating on a Helsingin Sanomt interview that the right-wing populist party had no scruples and therefore open to racism and fascism, according to Uusi Suomi.  Believe it or not, Turunen believes

Red herrings, code words that help sanitize and make more acceptable our intolerance

Even if I have written for years about Finland’s anti-immigration groups like the Perussuomalaiset (PS), you have to learn to detect the red herrings in order to understand their real views on the topic. What you may uncover behind these red herrings is far scarier than ever imagined.  A red herring is “something intended to

Susanna Koski: “The Youth League of the National Coalition Party has zero tolerance to racism”

Susanna Koski is quoted as saying on Helsingin Sanomat that the Youth League of the National Coalition Party that she is president of has zero tolerance to racism. “We don’t accept racism in any form or shape,” she said.   Read original story (in Finnish) here. Right, Koski, you don’t tolerate racism but want to

Finland’s and the PS’ three mentors: See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil

The latest scandal in the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party concerning  a councilmen who gave a clock with Hitler and swastikas to a neo-Nazi club in Vaasa, is another worrying example of how low we have stooped as a nation since the April 2011 election. Contrary to what some populist anti-immigration politicians may claim, we are not

Our response to intolerance in the EU and Finland must be first and foremost a response

Every great journey challenge begins with a single step. A Chinese proverb slightly changed A study by the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), reveals how racism and intolerant attitudes are becoming more prevalent in the European Union. What to do? Read ENAR study here.   A recent example of how racism and intolerance spread roots in

Racism is alive and well in the PS as well as in other parties

Husein Mohammed raised an important point on a recent blog entry where he reviewed Umayya Abu-Hanna’s  latest book, Multikulti. He asks if the Perussuomalaiset (PS) is the only intolerant party in Finland. He writes: “The term racism is used quite a lot in [Abu-Hanna’s] book but there’s no mention of violence, visible or about racism in [other Finnish] political

Perussuomalaiset candidate: Kill the prime minister, finance minister and boil Muslims alive

What is more serious: encouraging people to kill the prime minister and finance minister of your country or suggesting that Muslims should be boiled alive? The police are presently investigating whether to launch an inquiry against Perussuomalaiset (PS) Kotka municipal election candidate Amon Rautiainen, reports YLE in English.  Rautiainen has publicly apologized for what he wrote on

PS of Pori: Nazi motto to kick off the municipal elections of October

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party of the western Finnish city of Pori have come up with a catch phrase to launch their municipal election campaign: “One city – one leader,” reports Uusi Pori. The motto of the Nazis regime (1933-35) was chillingly similar to what the PS in Pori are using: Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer (One

We can contain the PS' populist threat to Finland

The more I read about Timo Soini the more I am convinced that the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is a threat to this country, especially to those who do not fit the PS’ narrow view of the world. I am not contesting the election result, which I respect, but what the cat has brought in from the back door.

Demari: Syrjinnällä ei sijaa hallituspolitiikassa

Eduskuntavaalien tulos huolestuttaa suurta osaa kansaa. Perussuomalaisten suurvoiton pelätään muuttavan Suomen maaksi, jossa suvaitsevaisuutta, kansainvälisyyttä ja monikulttuurisuutta arvostavat eivät tunne oloaan kotoiseksi. Monet uhkaavat muuttaa muualle.

Fallacies of Finland’s immigration-refugee debate

If we look at the ongoing immigration-refugee debate in Finland, there are five fallacies that one should look at critically in order to understand the debate. I have compiled a list of the top five claims that I consider the most absurd and politically questionable but are used constantly in the ongoing debate:

SDP-Heinäluoma anti-immigration drama: How many are threatening Finland?

After one wing of the Social Democratic Party notched closer to the anti-immigration True Finns, one should quietly ask what’s all the fuss about. SDP MP Eero Heinäluoma stated in an interview in Swedish daily HBL that Finland should not encourage labor immigrants because there are 300,000 unemployed. Fair enough, then he goes on and blames immigrants for spreading racism because “they will take Finnish jobs.”

Take two of the SDP-Heinäluoma anti-immigration saga

Social Democrat MP Eero Heinäluoma, who outraged a number of politicians, some Finns and immigrants over the weekend in an HBL inerview on Saturday, admits in the Social Democratic Party daily Demari, where he states that the party’s immigration policy has not stiffened.

Racism in Finland and elsewhere

Every society has its racists but the question is where we draw the line. For a country like Finland, the problem of drawing a clear line hinges on that there are so few immigrant and ethnic groups that moved to this country from the second half of last century.

PÄÄKIRJOITUS: Kuinka suuri on tietämättömyys maahanmuutajista?

Jotkut väittävät, että pitäisi antaa anteeksi niille suomalaisille, jotka ovat esittäneet ihmeellisiä kannanottoja maahanmuuttajista ja pakolaisista, koska se johtuu heidän tietämättömyydestään asiaan. Jos on vakavia puutteita kotouttamisohjelmassa, niin siinäkin voidaan syyttää tietämyksen puuttumista.

EDITORIAL: Are Finns ignorant about immigration?

Some claim that one should forgive some Finns for their outrageous statements on immigrants and refugees since they are fuelled by ignorance. If there are serious shortcomings in our immigration and integration policy it can be blamed on our lack of experience.

PÄÄKIRJOITUS: Onko rasismi vallannut Suomen?

Ottaen huomioon maamme pienen maahanmuuttajien ja pakolaisten luvun, mitä olemme tehneet väärin ansaitaksemme tulla opportunisten politikoiden ja heidän puolueidensa päivittäisistä maallikko-solvauksista, rasismista ja herjauksista? Jopa sosiaalidemokraatit, puolue, joka on taistellut työläisten ja vähävaraisten etuuksista, näyttää lähestyneen perussuomalaisten maahanmuuttopolitiikkaa.

EDITORIAL: Has racism inflicted Finland?

Taking into account the underwhelming size of the immigrant and refugee community, what have we done wrong and why are we the focus of daily insults, racism and abuse? Even the Social Democrats, the party that has championed for the rights of the working man, has aligned itself close to the True Finns in immigration policy.

EDITORIAL: Finnish immigration debate

Is the present one-sided and passionate debate on immigration in Finland going to turn ugly? Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb poured some needed cold water on the debate by stating that it “reeks of racism, nationalism, populism, and xenophobia.”

Finland’s immigration policy must look beyond Europe

One of the biggest challenges facing Finland in the next few decades will be defining what role immigrants will play in our society. Anti-immigration groups like the True Finns would like to place immigrants under a magnifying glass (see Nuiva campaign document) while other parties have taken more lukewarm stances.