The year 2023 is coming to an end. As the year concludes, it’s good to reflect on everything that has happened during the year. Unfortunately, the year of 2023 was harsh for Finnish democracy and human rights.
Far gone are the times when we could celebrate the realization of the May Day promise by Antti Rinne at the end of 2022. It was a promise made by the center-left government, and remarkably, they kept it. Sanna Marin’s government achievements were exceptionally noteworthy in Finland’s recent political history, and without exaggeration, it can be said that it was the best government since the era of building the welfare state. It wasn’t a perfect government, but with the current distribution of votes, one can’t hope for much better.
The parliamentary elections in the spring were a prelude and a sign of something worse. Racism and the violation of human rights became prominent, especially on social media, even before the elections. Although racism is not patriotic, nevertheless, enough people engaged in this unpleasant activity. At the same time, Riikka Purra dehumanized immigrants and laid the groundwork for future social security cuts, affecting both immigrants and Finns alike.
The Finns Party is not a party for the working class, and this was proven, especially after the elections. They are also a genuine threat to democracy. The other main party in the right-wing government, the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), surprisingly showed that democracy doesn’t interest them either, and they wanted to take control of the constitutional committee. In the fall, it was revealed, for example, regarding cuts to unemployment benefits, general housing allowances, and changes proposed to the livelihood support law, that the concern about the politicization of the Supreme Administrative Court was not unfounded. Orpo’s government cuts mean the end of the welfare state and, simultaneously, the end of democracy. The government’s actions also accelerate our path toward the Swedish model – not because immigration is a problem, but because people are being driven into deprivation and desperate actions.
Human rights no longer belong to everyone in Finland
In the development of human rights, Finland is no longer on Hungary’s path but has become Hungary itself. Constant targeting of the judiciary, vilification of journalists, and silencing of scientists are not democratic actions. Unfortunately, the mitten named Orpo doesn’t care about this, as long as he gets to privatize everything for his friends. Money comes from a magic wall, meaning the pockets of taxpayers.
For the unemployed, the situation has been dire, and the Finns Party, the definitely-not-a-workers’-party, has called the unemployed parasites in parliament. Meanwhile, tabloids produce numerous stories about lazy unemployed people, even though these stories don’t stand up to closer scrutiny. You can read analyses here, here, and here. Massive cuts to unemployment benefits are justified with silly reasons, and the sufferers are people who aren’t voluntarily unemployed. Meanwhile, the government increases wealth disparities by giving more money to the wealthiest.
Simultaneously, the state’s finances are accumulating significant debt. People are being categorized into higher and lower classes, and the humanity of everyone is not safeguarded. Halla-Aho and the Finns Party, at the same time, try to silence criticism by unjustifiably taking people to court. The waste of taxpayers’ money and similar behavior that one might expect from Russia or Hungary. Freedom of speech belongs only to the Finns Party; those with different opinions are put into concentration camps just like in communism.
The Blue-Black government has awakened dormant human beings, making 2023 a turning point
If there is something good to find from this year, it is that more and more people have started to take an interest in politics due to the racist blue-black government. In that sense, 2023 was crucial as many from the silent majority became active.
Many people who have not previously followed politics or been active in it have joined the activities of different parties or become active on social media. Various groups have emerged to oppose government cuts, and different meme accounts try to highlight issues through humor. Many still believe that fascism and cuts are not right. Since the government doesn’t listen to experts, it would be essential for them to listen to the people. They don’t, but the people cannot remain silent; otherwise, we’ll be on the path to Russia.
Opposition to the actions of the blue-black government will continue to be extremely important. I want to personally thank everyone for the positive feedback, constructive discussions, and the positive vibe that has remained throughout the year. I have also developed myself, and I especially thank the Sleepover 2023 demonstration for allowing me to be a expert speaker.
Let’s hope for a better 2024 and hope for a new, humane, and competent government!