Despite the fact that the debate in Finland on immigrants and immigration has taken a turn for the worse in some respects, it’s not as bad as it used to be before the April 2011 parliamentary elections and when Anders Breivik went on his murderous rampage on July 22, 2011. While anti-immigration politicians still want to inflame public debate, their message no longer carries the same weight as before.
Certainly there are still many Finns who believe that what these anti-immigration politicians say is true but not as many as such politicians would like.
Take a look at this video clip of a then-confident Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Jussi Halla-aho being interviewed in 2009 on Voice Häräämö. Why doesn’t he appear any longer on such programs as an “immigration expert (sic!)?”
Answer: loss of credibility and because reporters are more critical than before of their message.
It must be frustrating for politicians, who base their popularity on anti-immigration rhetoric, to see their message fall on its face after being cut off at the knees by time.
This situation especially worries the biggest anti-immigration loudmouths of the party like MP James Hirvisaari, who recently claimed the PS did poorly in the municipal elections because it wasn’t outspoken enough on immigration issues as before.
Is this the main reason for the PS’ poor showing due to the credibility of its anti-immigration message? Did they do poorly in the municipal elections because of the crackpot stuff they say and do to gain attention?
If anti-immigration politicians of the PS are interviewed by the media today, it’s doubtful that any sensible person would take them seriously never mind any good reporter.
The same ogres that these politicians unleashed against immigrants follow them around like ghosts: racism, fascism and far-right ideology.
Finland is slowly but surely learning to distinguish between what is and what isn’t racism, what is and what isn’t far-right ideology.
This is a positive matter, but a lot more work needs to be done to rid this menace that threatens our society today.