Boyes's career is finished in Finland

The next time Roger Boyes, The Times’s Berlin correspondent, goes to Finland, he will either be in disguise or an armoured car.

He was sent there to cover the massacre at Jokela, where a teenage gunman shot seven fellow school pupils and himself.

His story, headed “Similarities to other massacres ‒ but this was a very Finnish affair”, has upset Finns who think Boyes was talking down their country by blaming its harsh winter days for the isolation that led ‒ along with the “third highest gun ownership in Europe” ‒ Pekka Eric-Auvninen to murder and suicide.

Boyes linked the killer’s YouTube manifesto to ancient Norse gods. “There is nothing very modern or YouTube-ish about that self-image. In ancient times the Finns used to worship Ukko, the mythic god of the sky and thunder,” he wrote.

Some 261 mostly angry people commented on the story. Daniel, from Tampere, Finland, writes: “This article is of exceedingly poor quality, containing mind-numbingly stupid, ignorant and subjective opinions and childishly simplistic and naive assertions which would bring disgrace upon even the most alarmist of tabloids.” Blimey.

In an interview with the Finnish national Helsingin Sanomat Boyes says: “Yes, soon I will be more famous in your country than Adolf Hitler.”

But never mind Rog, if you ever are in Finland again rest assured that Janne in Hollola has a “free bed for you”. In a comment she writes: “Maybe we can go shooting wolves or something?”

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