The Tom Packalén case is not only a reminder of what Finland can expect if the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* ever get into government, there is the real threat that we are in danger of forfeiting our successful Nordic welfare state for populism, nativist nationalism and xenophobia. In the face of this threat, it is the near-silence of our society in the face of this threat is a cause for serious concern.
Where are the moral leaders of this country? The politicians? The Media? Why is President Sauli Niinistö so quiet? And what about the church, the artists and celebrities?
How many editorials have been written by Helsingin Sanomat or other dailies about the Packalén case, where he treats a social problem like youth gangs and marginalization as the “ripening fruits” of immigration policy? That his clarion call has encouraged street patrols by neo-Nazi groups and members of his party?
Why isn’t their outrage in the media about a statement by PS MP Olli Immonen, who warned that “if officials don’t have the will or resources to protect the security of its citizens,” Suomen Sisu will take matters into its hands?
The complacency of the politicians and the media must hinge on the general perception that populism and racism are given the benefit of doubt in this country.
Not taking a stand against a politician who labels whole vulnerable groups, in this case marginalized Finns and Finnish minority youths, is the crux of the problem. The same silence we are witnessing today by the complacent media is what permitted the PS to become the third-largest party in parliament in the 2011 elections.
It’s clear that when an MP from an anti-EU, anti-immigration and homophobic party like the PS mixes immigration policy and marginalized youth you are going to have an explosive brew. The exact purpose of Packalén’s blog was just that: to arouse and fuel suspicion of Finland’s ever-growing culturally diverse society.
Despite what PS MP Tom Packalén claimed, the police said that there aren’t street gangs in Helsinki and there aren’t street gangs that are causing a crime wave. Read full story in Finnish here.
The PS is today a morally bankrupt party that has nothing to offer to Finland except for a polarized society, anti-immigration, nativist nationalistic and xenophobic rhetoric. For some white Finns this may be difficult to comprehend, but for migrants and other minorities the message is clear: the PS is a hostile and dangerous party to them.
The irony of the ongoing one-sided debate on our ever-growing cultural diversity is that the “ripening fruits” of the PS and anti-immigration sentiment are creating the problems that such parties warn us of. Social exclusion is costly to taxpayers.
Considering that about 60% of migrants live in poverty in this country speaks volumes about how we are not dealing with the issue. We are not tackling these problems because it is in the interest of parties like the PS to turn them into worse problems. It’s the way they get votes and forms part of a general scheme to keep Finland white.
Building a Finland based on social inequality, social exclusion and prejudice will end up destroying the very successful society we built after World War 2.
It took Finland about 27 years of bitter strife and devastation in the form of civil war, the rise of fascism in the 1930s and three terrible wars (Winter War, Continuation War and the Lapland War against Nazi German) to finally get it right and build a society based on our Nordic welfare state values like social equality, education and equal opportunity.
The undeclared “war” against our culturally diversity by parties like the PS resembles that Finland before 1945.
The PS is a morally bankrupt party because they have nothing to offer to this country except a ruinous recipe for failure.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.
“The PS is a morally bankrupt party because they have nothing to offer to this country except a ruinous recipe for failure.”
No, its you who is offering us a ruinous recipe for failure. It is your multicultural pipedream that has not worked out well anywhere that is the problem. It is Immigration and multiculturalism that causing the polarization of society! Not PS, they are just a reaction.
Youth riots and violence is nothing new in countries that have had bigger and longer time immigration. Suburbs that fire department doesn’t dare to go in as they are stoned when they enter, suburbs that police don’t dare to enter as not to “cause problems”.
“Considering that about 60% of migrants live in poverty in this country speaks volumes about how we are not dealing with the issue”
If you keep importing people who have very little to what finnish employment market needs, what else do you expect? Different culture, different language and no relevant skills. What is the point of forcing this type of immigration in? Problems and cost keeps piling up and for what? So you can say you have “saved” handful of refugees? There must be better ways to help them than bringing them here.
Yossie, here’s my question to you: We ARE culturally diverse so there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can make this fact go away. What is your solution – not complaints – to addressing our culturally and ethnically diverse society?
We arent culturally diverse, i have travelled in all corners of finland and i can say we arent. If you look in your own bubble with coloured people you worship, where you are according to your posts, you probably wont see it. Normal finn can travel all around of finland with one set of rules withouth offending anyone or been seen as too weird.
And that your fact…. is that challenge? I can think atleast 3 ways to get rid of it…
I disagree with you Hannu. Finland IS culturally and ethnically diverse. It was, is and will be. You must be such a young person that you’ve only seen a very narrow side of Finland. You grew up with myth that there was only one type of Finn. Don’t forget that over 1.2 million Finns left this country and mixed in other parts. Some, who have stayed many generations in their new homeland, consider themselves Finns.
You give us a solution to Finland’s cultural diversity. You mentioned three ways to get rid of it. What may they be?
Finland is easily one of the least diverse country of its size. Seen you complaining how few immigrants there were when you came here. It doesn’t matter how many people have LEFT Finland, it doesn’t make Finland any more diverse.
“Some, who have stayed many generations in their new homeland, consider themselves Finns.”
Who? Where? They consider themselves as being first and foremost finns? Don’t believe it. It does not make them finns if only English speaking americans call themselves americans with finnish-x-y-z descendant.
“What is your solution – not complaints – to addressing our culturally and ethnically diverse society?”
Solution? Stop importing people who end up at poverty because they don’t have language or other necessary skills for the employment markets. When they don’t get employed and have to live on welfare, it creates resentment towards them. They on the other hand will resent finns for ending up in the bottom of the social latter, because there is always people telling them that it is all because of racism, not their lack of skills.
This is no US of 1800s or Sweden of 50s and 60s. There is very few low skilled jobs immigrants can get into. Read the news lately? It is all about saving money. Finland’s credit rate is dropping, reducing cost is happening everywhere. Public health care is beginning to be a joke. Sure you can get it near free if you are ready to wait for months in que for it. Finland simply can’t afford to take immigration that will cost money.
Also, immigrants here need to understand that this is Finland. This is not their country of origin. Global diversity can only exist if local languages and cultures remain dominant in their own areas. The moment you can work and live here using english without any problems, is the moment when finnish starts to die. If immigrants cant respect and follow the local language and culture, they should move to somewhere else.
Then Enrique, what is your solution?