The impact of National Coalition Party (NCP) Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s government (Perussuomalaiset PS*, Swedish People’s Party and Christian Democrats) on Finland will be devastating. It will be a regression into the darkest corners of nationalism, xenophobia, chest-thumping, and bravado.
With the help of these social ills, there are plans to displace Finland’s liberal roots that gained force after it became an EU member in 1995. A lot of good laws were drafted at the end of the 1990s such as the new constitution, which guarantees that everyone, irrespective of their background, are equal before the law.
PS Interioir Minister Mari Rantanen speaking at A-studio, where she wants to give police rights in certain neighborhoods to stop and frisk people even if they are not suspected of crime. The proposal has raised concern about its legal problems. Rantanen states that such a model is being copied from Denmark, which is considered by some the most Islamophobic countries in Europe.
Apart from the latter, Finland’s most right-wing government since the 1930s will do all it can to erect monuments to forgetting racism and worsening social inequality.
The racism scandals of summer are a case in point. They give us clear insight on how the government white-cleans its past.
A seven-point guide on how to create a new image and appear as a “normal” politician despite your racist background:
- Since racism and xenophobia attract a part of the voters, make as many hostile statements publicly and on social media;
- Since the media is half-asleep about these types of comments, act dumb, don’t take down anything or issue apologies unless it causes a scandal;
- If such comments and posts go viral after the election, “sanitize” your social media sites by taking down racist posts and state with a poker face that you are against racism and don’t believe in conspiracy theories;
- Use the following words to attach little importance to the racist comments that are denigrating, violent, and inappropriate: it was only sarcasm and humor, among others;
- A half-hearted apology will do to absolve you if you have written racist and violent posts;
- If that doesn’t work, draft a statement where the government promotes social equality and is against racism;
- As Orpo’s government has unfortunately shown, in Finland you can be a hardcore racist and end up with a lot of power and become a minister.
Even if many of the racism problems of the government have been with the PS, the NCP also has issues. Below is a Tweet by Eero Vainionpää, a city of Vantaa councilperson, who offers an adverse view of how asylum seekers should be treated with contempt.
A separate detention center should be set up for asylum seekers, where they study the Finnish language and criminal law 12h/day, 365 days a year.
You end up at such a center immediately when you arrive in the country without a residence permit or if you are suspected or convicted of any crime.
There are exactly three ways out of such a center: after getting a positive asylum decision; on a return flight to your home country; and if you die. No other way out is allowed.
There is no access to a single euro of money at the center; all property is forfeited to the state and all residents of the center wear state-issued clothing, which does not include religious headgear. Meals are provided centrally, and no religious restrictions are taken into account. If the food provided is not acceptable, you can always eat a sandwich.
Strict segregation, women and children on one side and men who have reached puberty on the other. Families can only see each other through a window.
I would argue that as soon as the arrests start, almost all illegal [sic!] residents will decide to leave Finland and there will be no new arrivals [of asylum seekers]. So from the state’s point of view, this would be a cheap solution to the problem of illegal [sic] residents.
What do you think?