In a time of frenzied activism and fawning media attention for anyone speaking out about climate change, those who fall back on science or question progressive initiatives are often insulted and derided in the media. One lawmaker took things even further than usual when he shared his thoughts on climate deniers – and his opinion that they should be put to death.
Misha Dellinger, a member of Finland’s Left Alliance, resigned this week after some inflammatory tweets about “climate change deniers and fascists”. Dellinger alleged tweeted using an anonymous account; the tweets called for the death of those individuals and political opponents.
According to the Finnish press, Dellinger’s activities included using a Twitter account with the handle “huggywuggy2”. Despite the cute and fluffy name, HuggyWuggy2 called for the death of climate deniers and fascists, tweeting “Climate deniers should be shot” and “ I think we should kill fascists.”
The Finnish government was swift to denounce the tweets – but did know of a connection between Dellinger and the HuggyWuggy account. According to Li Andersson, who is the Education Minister and a leader of the Left Alliance, Dellinger denied making the tweets. Andersson, who serves under prime minister Sanna Marin, also said that Dellinger claimed that several people had access to the Twitter account in question, and that he was not responsible for the inflammatory and threatening tweets.
Despite claiming that “others” had access to the account, Dellinger does admit that he has access to it – the account dates from before he became a member of the Left Alliance. The messages in question were posted in 2016, and the account has remained active until these threats were uncovered.
Once news broke of the threats against climate change deniers, the account was swiftly cleared and deleted, though screenshots remain of the tweets. Dellinger’s reaction has also been puzzling. First, he locked his own, identifiable Twitter account. Next, he unlocked it and began posting again – about his stance against violence. Then he apologized, claiming the account and stating “the account does not live up to my values.”
“I sincerely apologize to the party, my fellow party members and the left-wing electorate for the uproar surrounding the issue,” he said.
This is not the first scandal to plague the Finnish government. A few months ago, another of the nation’s leftists made up a hate crime hoax, one he says he created because he was angry at the time. Democrat Abdirahim Husu Hussein first announced he was the victim of a hate crime, then later recanted, using anger as the excuse. In his original claim, Hussein said that a passenger in his taxi cab used hate speech and a racist tirade against him.
Finland’s leftists appear to be raging out of control and unable to determine fact from fiction. While this happens, the country continues to struggle with real issues like immigration and soaring violent crime against women.