Reija Härkönen: Jussi Halla-aho’s actions in parliament

by , under Reija Härkönen

Reija Härkönen

When Jussi Halla-aho was getting prepared for the parliamentary elections, on the last day before the election day on April 16, 2011, he once again urged the anti-immigrant voters to act, thanked his own people (meaning the anti-immigrant circle) for their good work and the True Finns (Perussuomalaiset) of Helsinki and the neighborhood of Kontula for the arrangements. He said:

“I want to remind you once again that our importance in the future depends solely on the number of votes we get. Therefore, it is important that all of my supporters go to the polls, even if they have the assurance that I’ll get elected anyway.

I urge the rest of the country to vote for other True Finns, so that we can get as large group as possible [in parliament].

Halla-aho also endorsed True Finn candidates whom his followers could vote for in the rest of Finland. Not that the True Finns party needed such a success, but the anti- immigrant so-called nuivat candidates needed it in order to get behind them a large parliamentary group.

In the same context, Halla-aho published for the last time his pre-election speech. It contains some doomsday text, but when read by a clearly articulate, shy-looking young man, the effect is somewhat tragicomic. This probably explains why the site with the text and video was taken down from the Internet. Fortunately everything can be found on the Internet, even Halla-aho’s campaign agenda:

http://web.archive.org/web/20110519104548/http://halla-aho.com/index.php/etusivu/loppurutistus-osa-11-16-4-2011/

Halla-aho headlined his speech “Change is possible,”  and wrote:

“We are facing a historic upheaval. On 6.4.2011 will open a window of opportunity. This window will close on the actual election day 17.4. The decisions you make in this timeframe will define Finland’s direction for years to come.

There are two reasons why these are the most important elections of Finland’s post-war period. First, they take a stand on important questions. If there is no radical change in immigration policy now, the social and economic consequences are going to be massive and largely irreversible.

This is not just trivial intimidation. In these elections we shall make up our minds whether we shall take the course of Sweden, France, Britain and Germany. We need not do so.

The speech also mentioned briefly the EU, reducing aid to developing countries and supporting recreational shooters, but its main emphasis was  “immigration-criticism” and his long and self-sacrificing work, the loss of men, and fear-mongering that Finland is doomed to ruin unless “change” happens now: 

In no previous elections have the voters had the same opportunity to express themselves as now. After years of criticism of immigration [policy], our project culminates in these elections, and it is the culmination of the True Finns immigration-critical candidates.

This is a fact, which everybody knows deep down inside. The entire media and all the other political parties are unanimously attacking the True Finns group for the simple reason that a change in immigration policy hinges on whether we win or lose. 

Our success in the election is what is being monitored. Our electoral victory is what is feared. If we win this election, the change can not be stopped. If we lose this election, our criticism of immigration [policy]shall be deemed as rejected and the multicultural steamroller will move on.

On his familiar Hommaforum forum, Halla-aho summed up the last-minute atmosphere by quoting Tolkien:

“A great doom awaits you, either to rise above the height of all your fathers since the days of Elendil, or to fall into darkness with all that is left of your least.”

The election victory, which was christened jytky, became a reality. On Hommaforum, Halla-aho seemed to be a bit interested in a ministerial post, even though it was a little scary at the same time:

It is clear that the mere visibility and a staggering number of votes forced to give me a reasonably visible and symbolically important task, but my honest opinion is that staying in the background actually offers a member of parliament like me the best possible potential. A prominent role should be given to those with the best technical know-how, and who do raise too many passions in people.

The True Finns decided to fight it out in the opposition, but the administration committee chairmanship tasted sweet to Halla-aho. He signaled from the plenary session of April 25, 2011 the following:

These are great days, and the proportions of the anti-immigrant revolution will be fully understood only in a longer perspective. Conversely, the tolerant people [anti-racists] will live in a nightmare, which they would not have been able to imagine a moment ago.

In his blog on the same day, Halla-aho starts preparing his excited supporters for the precepts of  his parliamentary work and that results would not happen immediately:

The writing to create political influence on the Internet, by its own conditions, often feels like a carnival.  It aims to ‘entertain’ the audience and attract attention. In political decision-making, especially at the highest levels of Government and in Parliament, this may not be the most efficient way of doing things. Influencing requires the maintenance of relations, particularly to official servants and other politicians, and decision-making takes place largely behind the scenes, at coffee tables and in corridors. Political decision-making is not entertaining and not transparent, and in this respect we need to adjust to the rules. In politics you need to advance in small steps, not thunderously.”

You have given us your trust in the election. It will be measured in the next election. Until then, I ask you to trust that we will do our best, even if we are less visible in the public eye, and regardless of what the media are reporting about us.  Evaluate the achievements in the course of four years, not in real time.

Such a less public and behind-the-scenes strategy did not please everyone, and Halla-aho was forced to defend his strategy:

When I say to play by the rules of the house, I just mean the method, not giving up our principles. Most of you probably knew that.”

Compromises are inevitable in politics.  Let us imagine a situation in which we promised a stop on family reunifications, if we agree, during the election period, not to change the status of [mandatory] Swedish at schools.”

“What should I do? What would be the about-turns, and a betrayal to voters?”

“Which in general is the most important thing: the preservation of the halo and the integrity of the anti-immigrant representatives or the fact that the anti-immigrant agenda will be promoted?

Family reunification is in  Halla-aho’s opinion the worst problem of our immigration policy. Reuniting families means, in his mind, that women and children will arrive, who in turn will give rise to more men, women and children. This would, after all, not be too bad, of course, since Halla-aho himself has a family of four children. This would, however, be in conflict with the aims of the far-right extreme nationalist Suomen Sisu association, which is openly against the “unnatural mixing of peoples” and following “the Swedish, French, German and British course”.

After “sending tanks” to the streets of Greece, and after being for a short time expelled from his parliamentary group and losing the administration committee presidency in the summer of 2012, Halla-aho reassured his supporters on Hommaforum:

“The promise of  ‘change of tactics’ means that in my debate I will focus to not give the other party ‘easy pickings.'”

Halla-aho has seemingly been focused to believe that the always-sharp Swedish People’s Party MP Jörn Donner has sold himself cheap and believes the True Finns have calmed down as a party. When MP James Hirvisaari was kicked out of the True Finns and formed his own parliamentary group (Muutos 2011) for showing too visibly what the anti-immigration wing of the party really thought, Halla-aho will continue to influence matters behind the scenes. This is what he’s done:

Legal Initiatives

  • The Act amending the Penal Code , Chapter 17 (the law of breaching the sanctity of religion) 20/09/2013
  • The Penal Code Chapter 11, § 10 of the Council (the law on ethnic agitation) 09/20/2013
  • Law of the Firearms Act on 02.07.2013
  • Law of the Firearms Act on 02.07.2013
  • Law of the Firearms Act on 02.07.2013
  • Law of the Firearms Act 6 § on 07/02/2013
  • Law of the Firearms Act 6 § on 07/02/2013
  • Law of changing the Aliens Act § 51 and § 149 on 29.10.2012

Budget Initiatives

  • Refugees and asylum-seekers: of the proposed appropriation reduction of 28.9.2012
  • The EU Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows program SOLID subject to the proposed reduction of funds of 28.9.2012
  • The Ombudsman for Minorities and the National Discrimination Tribunal: the proposed reduction of the operating expenditure of 28.9.2012
  • “European Finland”: the proposed reduction of state aid allocation of 28.9.2012
  • The retired Presidents: the proposed reduction of the cost appropriation of 8.9.2012

Written Questions

  • The obligation to criminalize ethnic agitation 10/25/2013
  • Deportation of persons receiving a negative asylum or a residence permit 10/11/2013
  • Teacher’s possibilities of intervening disturbances in school 19/04/2013
  • International criminalization of faith criticism 29.11.2012
  • Refugee status and subsidiary protection status, the abolition of 22.8.2012

With the help of firearm laws, the anti-immigrant True Finns are working to change the direction of Finland’s preparedness to an external threat. One way to prepare for such a threat is for Finnish homes to be armed and home owners should carry more robust weapons than just pistols and air rifles.

Easier access to weapons and firearms is an important matter in the eyes of Halla-aho’s supporters. As soon as the parliamentary work had started, Halla-aho passed the firearms trainer course and made sure that the media and Hommaforum knew about this.

Halla-aho’s intention, revealed on Hommaforum, is to become an effective politician: “If the opposition wants to really affect things, one must be able to influence the government’s party representatives, and to be able to do it means being nice and sober”

He may already have had a little bit of success in this. Or maybe it’s just the general male mentality: “It’s harmless for boys to play with guns” which made MP Kari Rajamäki to approve of Halla-aho’s initiatives and state: “These are quite reasonable proposals.”

All in all, Halla-aho has acted exactly the way he promised his voters and the True Finns by suppressing refugees, suppressing minorities, and facilitating access to guns. In addition, he seeks as well to change the law on ethnic agitation so that Muslims and immigrants can be insulted publicly with impunity.

Taxpayers are paying Halla-aho to do this type of work as well as paying the salary of other True Finn MPs. These representatives are also – as sad  it is to say – the representatives of our people around the world.

  1. D4R

    Enrique….ive been away for a while but now im back, and im glad im back..i did really miss this site alot..and i know ive missed alot too.

  2. PS voter

    Enrique….ive been away for a while but now im back, and im glad im back..i did really miss this site alot..and i know ive missed alot too.

    Hi! At least I missed you. This quite interesting coincidence, as just few moments before you reappeared on this site, I wrote today at 4 pm on under different article a comment, that included this text:

    “Except Abdi/Abdulah, who has shown the kind of human “face” that has evoked sympathy at least in me. Abdi seems to be that kind of person I would like to know better, but unfortunately he hasn’t posted anything for long time and I miss him)”

    I am not 100 % sure, if you are the same person who has been also referred as Abdi or Abdulah on this site as all these pseudonyms and/or nicknames confuse me, but nevertheless, I was referring to you D4R. I don’t know if my request have been sent to you, but I have tried to contact you privately.

    • D4R

      I am the same person. I don’t do private talks, if you want to say something you can say it in public.

  3. Klay_immigrant

    Good in depth insight by Reija Härkönen. Although I agree with Halla-aho in terms of immigration, I cannot say the same about firearms. The less firearms or other deadly weapons the public can obtain the better. America has shown that more guns doesn’t lead to a safer society, in fact it’s the opposite.

    • D4R

      It’s a strange thing to me that you’re yourself an immigrant to America but you oppose immigrants migrating to Finland. Are you Finn living in America by any chance??

    • Jssk

      Violence is primarily a social problem, the amount of firearms owned by civilians doesnt correlate to the amount of violence (or gun violence) in any way. A good example is Switzerland. Gunowners are statistically 2.5 times more law-abiding than people who dont own (legal) guns.

  4. PS voter

    I am the same person. I don’t do private talks, if you want to say something you can say it in public.

    That is a bit disappointing that you aren’t interested in private talks. I was hoping to be able to exchange e-mails with you about things that aren’t necessarily topics at the moment – or even at all at Migrant Tales and also offer you my help, if there is something I could do for you. For example, if your computer breaks down, I might be able to fix it, depending on what is wrong with it (I have fixed several persons computers with hardware failures, some of which have required soldering to replace broken components).

    Or if you are interested about my suggestion of voice recording conversations which you are part of, in order to be able to prove what has been said to you and what you have said, I might be able to help with that as well, if there is some problems implementing it. This was one of my suggestions when you asked for ideas how to cope as a foreigner in a workplace that can be hostile towards immigrants. I might be able to help in many non-technical things as well.

    I may not have seen all of your messages, but in many messages I have seen, you have sounded a bit lonely and also scared as your fears seemed to limit your life. I understand that you have your reasons for being scared, especially as you had so many bad experiences in the past. However, I would like to be able to talk with you about all kind of things and show that some of your fears may be larger than they should be. For example, you might think that when almost 20 percent of population support Perussuomalaiset, that almost all of them are nazis or very bad immigrant haters. I would like to be able to show that even among the immigration critical voters of PS (which is only one part of PS), which I am one of, quite many of them are quite friendly towards immigrants. Although there are racists among immigration critics, immigration critic is not synonym for racist. Many of us have several friends who have immigrant background.

  5. D4R

    PSVoter: That is a bit disappointing that you aren’t interested in private talks. I was hoping to be able to exchange e-mails with you about things that aren’t necessarily topics at the moment – or even at all at Migrant Tales and also offer you my help, if there is something I could do for you. For example, if your computer breaks down, I might be able to fix it, depending on what is wrong with it (I have fixed several persons computers with hardware failures, some of which have required soldering to replace broken components).

    Or if you are interested about my suggestion of voice recording conversations which you are part of, in order to be able to prove what has been said to you and what you have said, I might be able to help with that as well, if there is some problems implementing it. This was one of my suggestions when you asked for ideas how to cope as a foreigner in a workplace that can be hostile towards immigrants. I might be able to help in many non-technical things as well.

    I may not have seen all of your messages, but in many messages I have seen, you have sounded a bit lonely and also scared as your fears seemed to limit your life. I understand that you have your reasons for being scared, especially as you had so many bad experiences in the past. However, I would like to be able to talk with you about all kind of things and show that some of your fears may be larger than they should be. For example, you might think that when almost 20 percent of population support Perussuomalaiset, that almost all of them are nazis or very bad immigrant haters. I would like to be able to show that even among the immigration critical voters of PS (which is only one part of PS), which I am one of, quite many of them are quite friendly towards immigrants. Although there are racists among immigration critics, immigration critic is not synonym for racist. Many of us have several friends who have immigrant background.

    First of all i don’t know you, so i don’t see any reason why i should engage private discussion with you suddenly. Secondly, you and those PS voters like you are lastones i should trust, becus they have shown repeatedly how hostile they’re towards us and many of them write on the net how they want us to exterminate or come up with solution how to get rid of us. If you claim to be a good person despite the fact that you share same political views with the ones who hate us, then i don’t understand why you or the other good PS voters never speak against those bad apples in your political party? it’s hard to trust you guys, i know i can’t, so no thanx about your offers. And thank you for your concern i appreciate your concern. If you were in my showes, living in a country wich systematically excludes you, bash your ethnicity, and every where you go you’re stared at with a hostile faces, the country you thought when growing up would be oneday your country and your future, turns out to be against you…i cant go on and on…..PSvoter..wouldnt you be lonely if you were in my shoes???

  6. PS voter

    First of all i don’t know you, so i don’t see any reason why i should engage private discussion with you suddenly. Secondly, you and those PS voters like you are lastones i should trust, becus they have shown repeatedly how hostile they’re towards us and many of them write on the net how they want us to exterminate or come up with solution how to get rid of us. If you claim to be a good person despite the fact that you share same political views with the ones who hate us, then i don’t understand why you or the other good PS voters never speak against those bad apples in your political party? it’s hard to trust you guys, i know i can’t, so no thanx about your offers. And thank you for your concern i appreciate your concern. If you were in my showes, living in a country wich systematically excludes you, bash your ethnicity, and every where you go you’re stared at with a hostile faces, the country you thought when growing up would be oneday your country and your future, turns out to be against you…i cant go on and on…..PSvoter..wouldnt you be lonely if you were in my shoes???

    I understand that there is well founded fear for you about voters of Perussuomalaiset. However, I don’t think exchanging e-mails for new anonymous e-mail account is that dangerous. I also have my fears about immigration. What I am hoping for is that we (by that I refer to us all, not just to you and me) could learn things from each other and perhaps get a bit better idea that large our fears should really be. I think both of us have justification for our fears, but not good idea how large our fears should be and not good enough understanding about each other.

    I would say that extremely small percentage of immigration critics wish to exterminate anybody. It is mainly wish to have less new immigration to the country that isn’t work related. However, I would like to remind that I have a bit similar fears about violence myself. It is no secret that gays are executed in on many Muslim countries and much larger number is otherwise badly mistreated and in some opinion polls even inside western countries, there seems to be high support for sharia laws and punishing gays among Muslim population. I don’t blame you about any of this, as I remember that you have said that you consider yourself atheist, just like I do. I just told it to you, because that is probably the most important reason for me to be a immigration critic. I haven’t heard about any that kind of opinion polls done inside Finland, but still I am fearing for the worst.

    I think I have condemned even on Migrant Tales in some cases some Perussuomalaiset or immigration critics, who have said something I feel has gone too far. If you wish to, I can try to find some examples of it. And I don’t know if you remember it, but I mentioned that even on Hommaforum it was said that sentences should be longer in the case of the Somalian high-scholer who was killed in Espoo or how I have said that I am not sure if I would ever let the killers of Stephen Lawrence free.

    It is quite likely that if I was in your shoes, I would feel lonely. However, I wish to remind you, that I would like help you overcome some of your fears and feel less lonely. And I think that we can make things like staring and perhaps some of other issues to lessen, if we show positive examples. I don’t think that avoiding going anywhere and separation of persons by ethnic origins is going to at least help to overcome these issues.

    • Mark

      I would urge our commentators not to believe a single word that comes out of your toady mouth, PS Voter. You are absolutely NOT showing any signs of wanting to understand the issues from a migrant’s perspective. Rather, you very clearly have this belief that ‘racism’ is just a misunderstanding on the part of the immigrant and that they just have to be ‘put right’ about things. That is not ‘putting people’s fears to rest’, that is patronising them and devaluing their experiences.

      You, my friend, come with an agenda, and from what I have seen, it’s utterly toxic, a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing.

      As an example, you claim that through being gay, you understand minority rights, but when someone else expressed their bisexual identity here, rather than show them respect for that and the perspective and difficulties that might come with it, you merely dismissed it, telling that person that they can just go ahead and have a ‘straight life’, that they at least ‘have a choice’, which is about as complete a failure to appreciate the human rights and validation associated with sexual freedom as anything. Indeed, what you demonstrate more clearly than anything is that bigotry is not something that LGBT are immune from.

      Indeed, you apply exactly the same kind of bigotry that is often directed at LGBT directly at Muslims.

  7. PS voter

    First of all i don’t know you, so i don’t see any reason why i should engage private discussion with you suddenly. Secondly, you and those PS voters like you are lastones i should trust, becus they have shown repeatedly how hostile they’re towards us and many of them write on the net how they want us to exterminate or come up with solution how to get rid of us. If you claim to be a good person despite the fact that you share same political views with the ones who hate us, then i don’t understand why you or the other good PS voters never speak against those bad apples in your political party? it’s hard to trust you guys, i know i can’t, so no thanx about your offers. And thank you for your concern i appreciate your concern. If you were in my showes, living in a country wich systematically excludes you, bash your ethnicity, and every where you go you’re stared at with a hostile faces, the country you thought when growing up would be oneday your country and your future, turns out to be against you…i cant go on and on…..PSvoter..wouldnt you be lonely if you were in my shoes???

    I understand that there is well founded fear for you about voters of Perussuomalaiset. However, I don’t think exchanging e-mails for new anonymous e-mail account is that dangerous. I also have my fears about immigration. What I am hoping for is that we (by that I refer to us all, not just to you and me) could learn things from each other and perhaps get a bit better idea that large our fears should really be. I think both of us have justification for our fears, but not good idea how large our fears should be and not good enough understanding about each other.

    I would say that extremely small percentage of immigration critics wish to exterminate anybody. It is mainly wish to have less new immigration to the country that isn’t work related. However, I would like to remind that I have a bit similar fears about violence myself. It is no secret what is done to gays in on many Muslim countries and much larger number is otherwise badly mistreated and in some opinion polls even inside western countries, there seems to be high support for sharia laws and punishing gays among Muslim population. I don’t blame you about any of this, as I remember that you have said that you consider yourself atheist, just like I do. I just told it to you, because that is probably the most important reason for me to be a immigration critic. I haven’t heard about any that kind of opinion polls done inside Finland, but still I am fearing for the worst.

    I think I have condemned even on Migrant Tales in some cases some Perussuomalaiset or immigration critics, who have said something I feel has gone too far. If you wish to, I can try to find some examples of it. And I don’t know if you remember it, but I mentioned that even on Hommaforum it was said that sentences should be longer in the case of the Somalian high-scholer in Espoo or how I have said that I am not sure if I would ever let the perpetratros free in the case of Stephen Lawrence.

    It is quite likely that if I was in your shoes, I would feel lonely. However, I wish to remind you, that I would like help you overcome some of your fears and feel less lonely. And I think that we can make things like staring and perhaps some of other issues to lessen, if we show positive examples. I don’t think that avoiding going anywhere and separation of persons by ethnic origins is going to at least help to overcome these issues.

  8. D4R

    I understand that there is well founded fear for you about voters of Perussuomalaiset. However, I don’t think exchanging e-mails for new anonymous e-mail account is that dangerous. I also have my fears about immigration. What I am hoping for is that we (by that I refer to us all, not just to you and me) could learn things from each other and perhaps get a bit better idea that large our fears should really be. I think both of us have justification for our fears, but not good idea how large our fears should be and not good enough understanding about each other.

    I would say that extremely small percentage of immigration critics wish to exterminate anybody. It is mainly wish to have less new immigration to the country that isn’t work related. However, I would like to remind that I have a bit similar fears about violence myself. It is no secret that gays are executed in on many Muslim countries and much larger number is otherwise badly mistreated and in some opinion polls even inside western countries, there seems to be high support for sharia laws and punishing gays among Muslim population. I don’t blame you about any of this, as I remember that you have said that you consider yourself atheist, just like I do. I just told it to you, because that is probably the most important reason for me to be a immigration critic. I haven’t heard about any that kind of opinion polls done inside Finland, but still I am fearing for the worst.

    I think I have condemned even on Migrant Tales in some cases some Perussuomalaiset or immigration critics, who have said something I feel has gone too far. If you wish to, I can try to find some examples of it. And I don’t know if you remember it, but I mentioned that even on Hommaforum it was said that sentences should be longer in the case of the Somalian high-scholer who was killed in Espoo or how I have said that I am not sure if I would ever let the killers of Stephen Lawrence free.

    PSVoter: It is quite likely that if I was in your shoes, I would feel lonely. However, I wish to remind you, that I would like help you overcome some of your fears and feel less lonely. And I think that we can make things like staring and perhaps some of other issues to lessen, if we show positive examples. I don’t think that avoiding going anywhere and separation of persons by ethnic origins is going to at least help to overcome these issues.

    PsVoter, i don’t understand why are you picking on Muslims right now. I am aware of the problems that’s in Muslim countries, and those things that you mentioned are my concerns too, but Finland is not having those problems you have described. The Muslims who live in Finland are very tolerant people. I understand if you have fear of Muslims, but that is awful excuse to hate. Now im not talking about you particularly have hate in you, you seem to be nice person, but im talking about the majority of your political brothers who hate us, write on blogs, the ones who degerade not only Muslims but Somalians constantly. I understand if there are problems caused by immigrants then that should be addressed, and i totally agree with that, but what’s going on right now is excluding and treating colored people unfairly, people who were born in here and who grew up in here by some Political MP*s and their followers and this is increasing hostile and hateret to us minorities. I myself after 2011 i don’t know who to trust. Ive Finnish friends but sometimes i have to becareful with them if they may turn against me. This hateret for Somalis is madness and it has been going on for long long time and it’s madness it needs to stop. Sometimes i feel like many Finns lost touch with reality with all this haretet for Somalis. Somalis are facing one of the harshest reality a humanbeings can face. It’s harsh harsh reality to lose your country, to lose allmost all your relatives, your home, your everything and then live in a country wich shows haretet for you all the time. When i was born ive enjoyed very few years my heritege my people and my country and then war erupted, we had to escape. Nobody choose this, nobody intended this, it just happened, it was unfortunate, we don’t deserve all this hate that we’re getting, we have enough to cope with.