Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö’s far-right past is a fact

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Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö* calls into question professor Martin Scheinin’s motives for criticising the proposed security legislation which will allow the Security Police and military intelligence to troll emails and calls of citizens without informing people they have been spied on.

Niinistö says Scheinin’s views are questionable because of activities in the professor’s youth when he had a job for a year with the Finnish Communist Party indicating that he was a supporter of totalitarianism.

Read the original blog where he criticized experts such as Martin Scheinin here.

Niinistö’s reasoning is hard to follow because Scheinin’s criticisms related to surveillance activities without democratic public oversight. Niinistö is trying to fast track the tightened security legislation through parliament and was annoyed when parliamentary speaker Paula Risikko sent the bill back to committee after the professor’s remarks.

Niinistö is walking on very thin ice when he refers to the youthful radical activities of his critics. in the early 90s, according to Uusi Suomi, he worked very closely with the extreme rightist The National Cultural Front the program of which included purging the country of refugees and other impure non-Finnish elements according to fascist traditions in Europe’s recent past.

Niinistö was an ideologue of the group and a regular contributor to their publication. For half a decade now we have had the Equality Act in place in Finland which prohibits discrimination based on things like race, religions, disability, etc… even political viewpoint. Finland has also ratified international treaties like the UN Treaty on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Yet Niinistö and his party colleagues are constantly calling for tighter laws against immigrants- whatever that means.

Another international treaty which is of particular significance to Finland is the Paris Treaty at the end of WW2. In it are specific requirements for the prohibition of fascist activities like fascist propaganda such as, presumably, the publication Niinistö was writing for in the 90s.

Finland was allowed by the Allied Powers to restore self-governance only after signing this treaty which might be called Finland’s second declaration of independence. Violations of the Paris Treaty run the risk of getting Finland’s democratic rights revoked. If we were to ask who was a bigger threat to Finnish democracy, a professor with communist links in his youth or a Minister who more recently was penning nazi propaganda and last time stood for election with a party outspoken for getting tough on foreigners and refugees- I would say Niinistö.

If Mr Niinistö finds my conclusion to be unfair I hope he will get in touch. Then I could do a piece looking more closely at what he actually wrote in that extremist right-wing paper back then. That might even get broader media interest and attention for Mr Niinistö just as the elections are coming up. Understandably he might not want to do this sort of “unfair” digging up of the past any more.

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity never mind Muslims and other visible minorities. One is more open about it while the other says it in a different way.

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.