By Enrique Tessieri
Can Perussuomalaiset (PS) party head Timo Soini claim that his party does not “hate” anyone? I wonder if Soini, who made such a claim on Saturday when he was chosen near-unanimously to be the PS’ presidential candidate, ever heard of Freddy van Wonterghem, James Hirvisaari, Olli Immonen, Teuvo Harkkarainen, Juho Eerola, Reijo Tossavainen never mind Jussi Halla-aho and others?
If we look at Soini’s political balancing actbetween the extremists of his party and those that like populism, it’s clear that the PS head is playing good-cop-bad-cop with the public. Soini may want to portray himself to the public as the “good cop” but one fact remains: he is a cop, or the head of the PS.
Does the right-wing populist party hate anyone? Does Soini conveniently forget what he has said?
PS city councilman van Wonterghem wrote in June that it is a good matter when a Muslim girl is killed because there is one less to give birth to a new Muslim. Hirvisaari shed crocodile tears shortly after the mass killings in Norway but blamed poor immigration policy probably fueled killers like Anders Breivik to commit mass murder.
Even though the PS’ election victory on April 17 was historic, we cannot prove conclusively that it has fueled more racism in Finland. However, I don’t believe it has helped to undermine it either.
Soini claimed on Saturday that it was “ludicrous” to suggest that the PS was an extremist party since it has over 20% support. I wonder if the PS head has read history. There are many extremist parties that have gained power with over 20% support.
The PS’ greatest enemy are not as the party claims “the media and elitist political establishment” but itself. It’s own example and double-talk will cause it the greatest political damage.
Imagine what would happen to Finland if Soini were prime minister? Imagine what kind of society we’d turn into if the PS had its way?
Finland would turn into a shooting gallery with Soini’s cronies taking political potshots at immigrants, minorities and anyone else who doesn’t fit in their narrow-minded view of society.
As the shooting and laughs go on, Soini will assure us with a poker face and in colorful rhetoric that “the PS do not hate anybody – not anybody.”