Halla-aho refuses to comment on controversial blog entries
Blog article from 2005 questions notion of human equality
Jussi Halla-aho, a nationalist politician from Helsinki, got 14,884 votes in Sunday’s Parliamentary elections, winning him a seat in Parliament on the True Finns party ticket. Halla-aho had established a reputation with his writings on the Internet.
In his dealings with the traditional media, Halla-aho operates in a manner that is different from that of other politicians. He does not answer all questions, but he writes about the background to his interviews on his internet forum in great detail and from his own point of view.
After the election, a piece written by Halla-aho in 2005 on the subject of human worth was circulated extensively on Facebook. In the article Halla-aho explains why he feels that not all people are equal. Helsingin Sanomat tried to ask Halla-aho on the matter on Wednesday.
In the text Halla-aho writes that “individuals can justifiably be placed in a hierarchy of values according to how the removal of their abilities or skills from the use of the community would weaken the community.”
He also writes that the notion of equal human worth is a typical proclamation of this age, similar to the notion from previous centuries that the sun orbits the earth, or the doctrine of Papal infallibility, that women have no souls, or that masturbation causes short-sightedness.
Your old texts on human worth, for instance, are being spread on the internet. Do you still stand behind them?
“What do you mean by standing behind them?”
Do you subscribe to them?
“I will not comment on my old writings. It’s rather ridiculous to dig up old writings. I would rather concentrate on discussing issues.”
Do you feel that all people are of equal human value?
“I don’t plan to answer this. You should try and find something better to write about over there at Helsingin Sanomat.”
You must certainly understand that this is of interest, now that you are a Member of Parliament?
“People can go and read them. I don’t want to comment on individual sentence fragments.”
Are all people of equal human value?
“A ridiculous question.”
Why is that?
“Because. Are we going to move forward, or shall we end the call?”
But could you still answer, as you have written that equality and tolerance...
“No point in harping on this, when I know exactly how you plan to handle this story.”
Are equality and tolerance silly relics of a bygone world in the same way as...
“I’m hanging up this phone now if you don’t stop harping on that.”
Later in the afternoon Halla-aho commented on his earlier article on the Homma forum – a site run by critics of immigration. “All that my article was about was that as the existence (and quantity) of human worth cannot be detected or measured by objective means, ‘human worth’, in the same way as ‘equal human value’ are cultural constructs bound to their time.”
He also wrote: “Hanna Kaarto from Helsingin Sanomat just called to ask if I really stand behind my views on human value, that are now being ‘spread in Facebook’. She also had a long list of sentences and sentence fragments which she wanted me to comment on. I had no comments.”
Earlier in the interview Halla-aho said that he would be willing to become a minister in the government, and that he would be interested in matters related to the Ministry of the Interior, such as immigration and firearms legislation. He was also ready to talk about his European ideological allies.
He said that he hopes that the victory of the True Finns will put Finland onto “the road of Denmark”. In Denmark, the nationalist People’s Party holds the balance of power in Parliament.
“I would hope that we could take the road of Denmark, where no major confrontations have emerged. Instead, critical thinking about immigration has spread to other parties, a little bit like green thinking has spread in Finland”, Halla-aho said.
In other countries where nationalist parties have won big victories, there have been riots in the streets over the immigration question. According to Halla-aho, possible rioting in Finland does not depend on the True Finns.
“The Greens have managed to poison the Finnish political atmosphere quite badly. It can be that some of the people will rile themselves up into such hysteria that stones will start to fly in the streets, but hopefully that will not happen.”
Previously in HS International Edition:
Helsinki councillor Jussi Halla-aho attracts dozens of supporters to courthouse (26.8.20009)
Soini defends True Finns party against accusations of xenophobia (9.10.2008)
COMMENTARY: Halla-aho and some uncomfortable truths (9.12.2008)
What does Jussi Halla-aho really want? (2.12.2008)