How ideologically alike is the PS with the UKIP and BNP?

by , under Enrique

The recent local election victory of the anti-EU and anti-immigration UKIP of Britain is a good example of what Finland experienced with the rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) in April 2011. While the United Kingdom and Finland are vastly different countries, the knee-jerk reaction of the ruling parties to right-wing populism and rhetoric is strikingly similar.

Instead of challenging the anti-EU and anti-immigration stance of the UKIP or PS, the Tories of the UK and Kokoomus and Social Democrats of Finland bowed to the political threat by mimicking the UKIP’s and PS’ message, respectively.

In Finland, Kokoomus and the Social Democrats have paid a dear price for their lack of leadership in challenging an anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam party. The only party that didn’t parrot too much the PS’ rhetoric was the Center Party, which was the biggest loser in the 2011 election.

Apart from being aided by being in the opposition, the Center Party’s decision to not mimic the PS appears to have paid off handsomely.

A recent YLE poll showed the Center Party to be the most popular in the country today.  Cameron, Kokoomus and the Social Democratic Party of Finland prove that you pay a high political price if you don’t challenge a threat posed by parties like the UKIP and PS.

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Sweden offers a good example of how to deal with groups that rely on the far right extremist, anti-EU and anti-immigration vote.  All of the mainstream parties in Sweden have given the political cold shoulder to the Sweden Democrats. I am certain that in the long run, the Swedish answer to an intolerant party will pay off politically.

The political problem in Finland is the opposite to what is happening in Sweden. By accepting to sit at the same table as a party that promotes intolerance is synonymous to accepting their views and undermining your principles and values.

We must stand up for what we think is right. Accepting a society that basis itself on intolerance of immigrants, visible minorities and the outside world will end up doing more harm to a country than good.

What kind of country will Finland and Britain be if Timo Soini and Nigel Farage of the PS and UKIP, respectively, became prime ministers?

The answer: disaster.

One of the consequences of a UKIP and PS election victory would be to instigate a witch hunt against immigrants and visible immigrants.

That will happen in the UK when they reform Britain’s immigration system. Apart from regulating migrant access to the National Health Service (NHS), landlords will be able to check on immigrant tenants.

It is surprising that Cameron, who should know better, wants to scapegoat migrants and the EU to save his party’s hide from the UKIP.

Numerous studies show that immigrants use less social welfare than natives. This is logical since immigrants have to work twice as hard and be twice as good to match a native. Using social welfare would undermine a migrant’s competitiveness in the labor market.

Cameron will end up paying a costly political price for his anti-EU and anti-immigration stances.

Who are the PS?

One way of understanding who the PS is ideologically is by asking what are the differences between its close ally, the UKIP, and the far right anti-immigration and openly racist British National Party (BNP).

A survey published by The Guardian sheds light on this question.

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The ideological similarities between the UKIP and BNP are strikingly alike on how the PS markets itself politically and its relationship with far right groups such as Suomen Sisu and Suomalaisuuden liitto. Is it a surprise why the  far-right Islamophobic English Defence League supports the UKIP and why some members of the PS support the Finnish Defense League?

Writes the Guardian: ”UKIP is not a right-wing extremist party, but on the doorsteps of voters it is often pushing the same message as the extreme right, and this is reflected in our results.”

This latter conclusion unveils the PS for what it is: A party like the UKIP that attempts to give a moderate view of itself because it would lure more voters but appeals to the extreme right. Thus there are more similarities between the UKIP, BNP and the PS than there are differences.

That is one of many reasons why Soini has spoken in the past to three UKIP party conferences as in this video clip.

  1. PS voter

    I don’t know where to beging, as there seems to be so many things that I disagree with. I try to be short, so that Mark doesn’t get yet another excuse to censor my message:

    Anti-immigration and anti-Islam aren’t important themes for the leadership of Perussuomalaiset. Timo Soini has shown very little interest towards immigration issues and he has even said that the current immigration laws are OK. That is why I find it dishonest to claim that if Timo Soini would be a prime minister, that there would be “a witch hunt against immigrants and visible immigrants”.

    What is wrong in being anti-EU? Isn’t it valid political opinion to prefer less integration and more independence?

    It is grave error to use a study from USA to claim that immigrants use less social welfare than natives in Finland, when USA has quite different social security system and we have local information, which is gives quite opposite picture.

    I don’t think that this or some previous attempt (which tried to extrapolate some trends from local council election results) to analyse the political situation in Finland, was that accurate or had much insight.

    Although Sweden democrats have been given cold shoulder, you should remember that Sweden doesn’t use euro and doesn’t seem to be interested in starting to use it either. Sweden has also opposed some of the efforts of euro countries, when there has been some desperate attempts to solve euro crisis. In this sense, Swedish mainstream is anti-EU or at least anti-euro.

    Intolerance towards mass immigration is not synonym for intolerance for immigrants. Many immigration critics, me included, have supported fair treatment of immigrants that are permanently living in Finland. We don’t want to have any slums forming in Finland. What we do want, is limiting new immigration to a level we can handle. I and many immigration critics don’t feel that the integration of large percentage of immigrants is working that well at the moment. We should concentrate our quite limited resources to integration of those immigrants that are already here and not take more in, who we aren’t able to integrate properly, as the resources get too thin.

    It is dishonest to imply that Suomalaisuuden liitto would be some kind far right group. Persons like president Kekkonen or Riitta Uosukainen have been honorary members of Suomalaisuuden liitto. And although some member of Perussuomalaiset are immigration critics and some members are even fiscally right wing, on the average, even the opponents of Perussuomalaiset admit that it is left wing party and quite close to SDP or Vasemmistoliitto. It is just socially more conservative version and more critical towards EU.

    • Mark

      Mark doesn’t get yet another excuse to censor my message:

      When have you ever been censored 😀 Your comments are, if nothing, not short on verbosity or length!

      Anti-immigration and anti-Islam aren’t important themes for the leadership of Perussuomalaiset.

      Ugh…what universe are you living in? Both Tony Halme and Jussi Halla-aho have been extremely successful PS politicians who have campaigned almost exclusively on anti-immigration or anti-Islam propoganda! Stop insulting our intelligence and contradicting the publicly available voting data!

      Timo Soini has shown very little interest towards immigration issues

      And yet he has had to deal with these issues, willingly or not, throughout this parliament! In the midst of that, he has CONTRADICTED his previous stance that he would sack anyone CONVICTED of a racist offence. The bactracking and manoevering that this man has had to do to keep his party together has ALL been about the immigration issue and how he has handled it. Stop insulting the intelligence of our readers!

      What is wrong in being anti-EU?

      Sounds like an ideological question.

      It is grave error to use a study from USA to claim that immigrants use less social welfare than natives in Finland, when USA has quite different social security system and we have local information, which is gives quite opposite picture.

      Except it doesn’t give the opposite picture, does it PS voter? I remember some years ago reading a STAKES report that stated emphatically that immigrants used health services LESS than the native population. Cannot remember what it was called, but if you are interested in FACTS, I can did it out.

      Sweden doesn’t use euro

      Totally irrelevant point, as Sweden pegs its Krona to ±2.25% of the EURO.

      Swedish mainstream is anti-EU or at least anti-euro.

      Bollocks. Or at best, a massive oversimplification. Sweden is committed to joining the EUR and ALL parties except the Swedish Democrats think this will happen in the next ten years. The issue is how strong the Krona is, and how cheap products might be to import or export. Sweden is limited in its international trade expansions by having a Krona that is more or less the same as the EURO. If the Kron strengthens, then pressure will increase to join; if it weakens, then the cost of imports will increase, something that hits public opinion far harder than increased competitiveness from a weak Krona. In fact, public opinion has been INCREASING in favour of joining the EURO, being over 50% now, compared to 38% in 2008. So much for you knowing what you are talking about in terms of Sweden.

      Intolerance towards mass immigration is not synonym for intolerance for immigrants.

      Ugh, well, YES, actually. The only parties to be concerned with ‘mass’ immigration are also the parties that practice the MOST intolerence towards immigrants. To claim otherwise is to argue the earth is flat.

      We don’t want to have any slums forming in Finland.

      For which you typically blame the wrong thing: you blame the level of immigration, not the level of intolerance, and also you do not factor in ‘white flight’ or existing social deprivation into which immigrants are thrown at the deep end, thus easily becoming the scapegoats.

      What we do want, is limiting new immigration to a level we can handle.

      For which you have given absolutely NO FIGURES. 😀

      You haven’t a clue about immigration or what it costs in terms of integration. Therefore, you cannot offer a single statistic as to the ACTUAL realistically sustainable level of immigration. The only ‘statistic’ that you do offer is that it should be LESS than it is now! hahahahaha…fucking clueless, you lot are!

      don’t feel that the integration of large percentage of immigrants is working that well at the moment.

      …for which you have nothing but media and anecdotal examples!

      We should concentrate our quite limited resources to integration of those immigrants that are already here and not take more in, who we aren’t able to integrate properly, as the resources get too thin.

      The FUCKING irony of all of this is that it would take 10 people two years to figure all the problams of learning the Finnish language. The problem is that the 10 people the government and other agencies invariably choose to ‘solve’ this problem are the WRONG ONES. How fucking difficult can it be!??? Language is the single biggest factor – and the government stands virtually standstill on the matter, leaving it to outdated, outmoded, and totally ethnocentric solutions. In other countries like the UK and Germany, the impetus to learn the native languages has been ‘commercial’ and so it has been far more successful. While the efforts in Finland remain ‘academic’ and culturally myopic, then little progress will be made!!! Sadly! It would be so CHEAP, in terms of government outlay, to make progress. But again, it’s down to hiring the right people, i.e. IMMIGRANTS! YAWN!

      Persons like president Kekkonen or Riitta Uosukainen have been honorary members of Suomalaisuuden liitto

      Which in the big sweep of history means fuck all! All were patriots and natiolists! But it says nothing of the direction or extremism of today’s nationalism, or even the extremism of yesterday’s nationalism. While Finland was struggling to balance the tensions of East and West and international borders that bridged Soviet and Western countries, it is perfectly understandable that Kekkonen would pin his colours to the ‘nationalist’ flag. Nationalism was an ideology that served as a kind of defensive foreign policy that was geared towards towards dettering any kind of Soviet expansion – what better than a population that was utterly drunk on nationalist fervour. It wasn’t like the Soviet Union had not already faced these problems – contrary as they were to Communist principles.

      even the opponents of Perussuomalaiset admit that it is left wing party and quite close to SDP or Vasemmistoliitto.

      Well, we have been over this ground many times already on MT. The tradition ‘right of center’ are in the position to lose the most as a party in Finland from the rise in popularity of the Far Right. As the core ‘
      sympathies’ of the Far Right are not so far removed from the traditional right (or further left, for that matter), the Right have little choice but to shift their policies further right. To outright OPPOSE the Far Right would alienate too many of their core support! That is the problem. The ‘right of centre’ have always benefited from a xenophobic, ethnocentric, ‘nationalist’ vote. The LEFT gave up on nationalism after 2nd WW.

      even the opponents of Perussuomalaiset admit that it is left wing party and quite close to SDP or Vasemmistoliitto.

      Clearly you see what you want to see, and you are not alone in PS in trying to ‘mainstream’ the party. The problem is that for all that you say these things, other people have different agendas within the party 😀 😀 Good luck!

    • Mark

      Gosh, to emphasis PS’s attraction the ‘extreme’ Left at the same time as deliberately dismissing or denying the party’s core support in the FAR RIGHT is naive and blinkered beyond belief. Nazism was known as ‘National Socialsim’, or did you forget! It was clear many many decades ago that if you go far enough right, you arrive at something extreme Left, and vice versa! This is not to turn politics into an inevitable spectrum, but rather to observe what was and has been the reality of the moment. Maybe in time the far Left and the far Right will abandon ‘extreme governance’ and the ‘control of freedom’ sufficiently that they will find they exist in a similar political space, but until that happens, we cannot ignore the dichotomy/polarisation of ‘extreme’ politics.

  2. PS voter

    Gosh, to emphasis PS’s attraction the ‘extreme’ Left at the same time as deliberately dismissing or denying the party’s core support in the FAR RIGHT is naive and blinkered beyond belief.

    Stop distorting facts. SDP is not extreme left. It is the biggest left wing party in Finland and it has been often the biggest party in the whole country and it is generally considered to be quite moderate. And Perussuomalaiset is sligtly towards right from SDP, but still left wing party.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      PS Voter, you are right in claiming that the SDP is not in the extreme left. There are some similarities with the PS when it comes to intolerance. Putkonen is a good example of how close the SDP and PS are. However, there is a debate going on in the SDP on how much we should mimic the PS. I personally feel that it was a big mistake to parrot the PS with that infamous “maassa maan tavalla” quote. Socialism is a movement that is supposed to take up the cause of exploited and oppressed people everywhere – this especially includes immigrants.

      The PS is a right wing populist party with a mixed bag of ideologies. A very general description of the party would be: anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam. We could find a lot of similarities with the Tea Party of the US, UKIP, BNP, Danish People’s Party, Sweden Democrats and a long list of others.

      The juggling act of the PS is the following: Try to give a moderate view of itself to attract mainstream voters but appeal to far right extremist.

  3. PS voter

    When have you ever been censored Your comments are, if nothing, not short on verbosity or length!

    Yes, I have been censored by you. When I presented facts that showed your claims to be wrong, you simply deleted them, instead of honestly admitting that you were wrong.

    Ugh…what universe are you living in? Both Tony Halme and Jussi Halla-aho have been extremely successful PS politicians who have campaigned almost exclusively on anti-immigration or anti-Islam propoganda!

    Read more carefully. I was talking about the leadership of Perussuomalaiset. Tony Halme was never anywhere close of being a leader or in any way influential person in Perussuomalaiset, although he did get high number of votes in parliamentary elections. He was generally considered to be embarrassment even inside Perussuomalaiset. Jussi Halla-aho has at least somewhat more political credibility, but even he isn’t that close to leadership of Perussuomalaiset.

    Sounds like an ideological question.

    Yes it does. And is it somehow wrong or unacceptable to hold different ideological or political view?

    Except it doesn’t give the opposite picture, does it PS voter? I remember some years ago reading a STAKES report that stated emphatically that immigrants used health services LESS than the native population. Cannot remember what it was called, but if you are interested in FACTS, I can did it out.

    I was talking about social welfare and not health services. Health services are typically used most during last few years of life and at the moment the average age of immigrants is probably less than the average age of Finns. I have seen figures that show how certain immigrant groups use social welfare many times more compared to native Finns. And it seems that higher number of children didn’t explain it as they had tried to take the number of persons in family in account and compare the costs per person.

    Totally irrelevant point, as Sweden pegs its Krona to ±2.25% of the EURO.

    You don’t seem to understand that it is not just the exchange rate that matters. For example, Sweden has been able to avoid many painful decision of helping crisis countries in the euro zone which Finland has been forced into, although they are against the original agreements. Sweden is also able to “print” more money, if it they feel that is needed, unlike Finland. And Sweden hold more economic independence, which enables them to manipulate the value of Krona, if they see it necessary.

    Bollocks. Or at best, a massive oversimplification. Sweden is committed to joining the EUR and ALL parties except the Swedish Democrats think this will happen in the next ten years.

    In fact, public opinion has been INCREASING in favour of joining the EURO, being over 50% now, compared to 38% in 2008. So much for you knowing what you are talking about in terms of Sweden.

    Where do you pull your figures? For example, Wikipedia articale called “Sweden and the euro” gives totally different numbers? Laters poll (surveys was taked November 2012) by state statistics agency says that 82.3 percent opposes joining euro and just 9,6 percent supports joining euro.

    The same page says that Sweden has no plans to replace krona in near future. And although Sweden has officially promised to join euro, in practise it is making sure that it doesn’t happen that easily or perphaps never. Sweden maintains that being part of ERM II is a required criterion and joining ERM II is voluntary, which gives Sweden a de facto opt out. And this is not just my opinion. For example: “The social democratic party stated in August 2011 that they write off a Swedish eurozone membership during a foreseeable future, for decades.”

    For which you have given absolutely NO FIGURES.

    There has been several police reports that warn that there is dangerous development starting to happen in Finland. There is sign of radicalization of Muslim youth, there has already been members of Muslim community leaving Finland to terrorist camps or to fight in some wars and some of them might return radicalized. There is also been alarm that international organized crime mey be starting to spread to Finland. Even Black cobras have had some plans to extending to Finland.

    Recent report by SUPO (Finnish Security Intelligence Service) warned that they lacked the resources to tackle radicalization of immigrants and that because of that, foreign security services may see the need to start operate within Finland without our permission to tackle the problem. For example, we know that at least French security services has planned (and perhaps committed) assasination of immigrants living in Sweden (see Aftonbladet article titled “Spionen: Jag skulle ta livet av en svensk”). I hope that we will not see similar development in Finland.

    You haven’t a clue about immigration or what it costs in terms of integration.

    Perussuomalaiset has tried to force ministers to release official figures about the true costs of immigration, but so far they have been refused to access to these figures. I wonder why is that… Of course, we can make some crude estimates even without official statistics, based on partial information.

    Therefore, you cannot offer a single statistic as to the ACTUAL realistically sustainable level of immigration. The only ‘statistic’ that you do offer is that it should be LESS than it is now!

    It is not just economic costs, but social costs as well. And as we are now starting to see that the integration has failed in so many cases, it shows that we don’t have resources to integrate even the current inflow of immigrants, therefore we must decrease the number. Going to terrorist camps, radicalization, high levels of unemployment etc are clear indicators that integration efforts are failing.

    Which in the big sweep of history means fuck all! All were patriots and natiolists!

    You again show your lack of knowledge of Finnish history. And for example, Riitta Uosukainen was nominated as a honorary member quite recently, and as far as I know, she is not known to be strong nationalist, but a respected figure among different parties.

    The tradition ‘right of center’ are in the position to lose the most as a party in Finland from the rise in popularity of the Far Right.

    I am not sure if I understand what you are trying to say, but I am pretty sure that I have not missed anything valuable information.

    • Mark

      PS Joker

      Yes, I have been censored by you. When I presented facts that showed your claims to be wrong, you simply deleted them, instead of honestly admitting that you were wrong.

      Yawn, yawn! You were not censored. You made reference to a Wiki page and then proceeded to cut and paste almost the entire page. Your reference to the Wiki page was retained and your ‘cut and paste’ removed and you were made aware of the ‘rules’ for the site. Later in the discussion ALL the points you were attempting to make were rebuked in detail.

      So stop behaving like a child and trying to win an argument through whining about censorship. You only show yourself ignorant of what the word censorship actually means.

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