Laura Huhtasaari: Offending People is the Price of Freedom of Speech

The Finns Party (formerly the True Finns, Perussuomalaiset) is the most prominent patriotic and anti-immigration party in Finland. As one might expect, they are routinely characterized in the media, both in Finland and abroad, as “far-right”, “xenophobic”, “racist”, etc blah yak.

Laura Huhtasaari is the first vice president of the party, and the Finns’ candidate for president in the upcoming election. In the following panel discussion from Finnish television Ms. Huhtasaari talks about the inevitability of causing offense when freely expressing one’s political issues. She also discusses the fact that in the post-modern West, Muslims are accorded special treatment when they are offended by the free speech of non-Muslims.

Many thanks to KGS for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   A certain female politician said once that
00:04   My seat in the senate is not worth anything if I can’t vote according to my own beliefs.
00:10   So, I’m still of the opinion that my seat in parliament is not worth anything
00:14   if I don’t bring forth issues which I believe to be correct.
00:18   Where legislation is concerned…
00:21   Defamation…
00:22   It’s good that we have that on the books already.
00:25   Illegal threats
00:25   It’s good that we have that on the books already.
00:28   And where incitement of an ethnic group is concerned.
00:31   that should be changed.
00:33   It should be changed in a way that…
00:35   if you incite to commit a crime, or foment the committing of a crime…
00:39   or to violence…
00:40   then that would punishable.
00:43   But if you just, offend some group,
00:47   it’s too Interpretative.
00:50   That portion of the law should most definitely be changed.
00:53   I want to read this, I printed this just for this discussion
00:56   European Human Rights agreement, what it says…
00:59   Go ahead.
01:00   Thank you.
01:02   According to the European Convention on Human Rights
01:07   The freedom of expression is one of democratic society’s central pillars
01:12   And then it continues like this…
01:15   The freedom of expression doesn’t just touch information,
01:18   or thoughts…
01:20   that you deem approvingly,
01:23   or that you deem harmless, or inconsequential
01:27   but such expression that offends
01:29   shock,
01:31   and disturbs.
01:33   And then there’s always the question of who is offended.
01:36   Of course someone is always offended by an opinion
01:39   It’s a part of democracy.
01:41   It’s the price for the freedom of speech.
01:43   And what we politicians, lawmakers must ensure,
01:47   is that we are treated equally before the law.
01:50   And for an example, if you watched the (Tuomas) Enbuske show that I was on a few weeks ago,
01:57   If Enbuske had said the same things about Mohamed,
02:02   in the same style about Mohamed as he did about Jesus.
02:06   Would he have the protection of the police?
02:08   Would he be needing protection from the police?
02:11   Or would he be violating the sanctity of religion?
02:14   Facing a trial judgement?
02:16   We clearly have double standards
02:18   Conflict between individual or community moral requirements
02:20   And presently through hate speech, we protect taboos…
02:23   one is Islam,
02:24   and the other is this gender neutral ideology term.

6 thoughts on “Laura Huhtasaari: Offending People is the Price of Freedom of Speech

  1. She’s got my vote.

    She won’t win the coming presidential elections, and I’m sure she knows it very well, but I still believe she is first and foremost in the race to keep bringing up these unsavory topics that the other, more multiculturally biased parties do not wish to discuss.

    Very rare, and thus, very important voice of reason in todays Finnish politics.

    • No point me posting a comment because you have said all that I would want to say.

      Okay, I’ll add this: she is an eloquent and thoughtful spokesman for common sense. And the Finnish people would be out of their collective minds not to vote for her in her presidential bid.

      I am going to memorize her explanation of double standards re Islam

  2. Finland was great country, up to 1993. Then was taken over by homosexuals fascists, left feminazis, and Finland became a very racist country against all foreigners, white or black – whoever!

    I’m white English person; I experienced massive abuse, in Finland against me from 1993 onwards. Finland is also a very violent place, there was back then in early nineties a lot of attacks on all types of foreigners, discrimination was rife, and in your face!

    Finland is totally […] country now, with all the feminazis, pc, you offended me […]

    The leftists have poisoned what was once a dream place.


  3. I recall John Stuart Mill’s arguments in support of freedom of speech. They are a means to approach the truth – that is what freedom of speech is about. That is why freedom of speech is important.

    If any individual experiences a transient emotional reaction upon hearing another’s words, or reading a passage in a book, then that is neither here nor there.

    Are they closer to the truth?

    That is all that matters.

    Our society appears to have forgotten that.

    That is to say, the political elite running our country don’t want the people to remember it.

  4. What a strange language to hear is Finnish! I don’t believe I’d ever heard it spoken before watching this. Bits of it remind me of Gaelic, but only bits here and there. Other than that, it’s very new and even alien to my ears. But I’m intrigued, because of the connections with the Kalevala and so on, and if I remember right, Tolkien used Finnish as part of the basis for Quenya.

    A good friend of mine in former days lived in Finland for several years. She and I never discussed the language, more’s the pity, but she must have seen much of worth in it to work in it professionally.

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