Timo Soini’s fall from grace and the legacy of planting the political seeds of bigotry and racism in Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

One lesson we could learn from former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman Timo Soini is that the right balance between flattery and speaking in code will get you everywhere, well, almost everywhere. You can win big elections like in 2011 and ride, albeit momentarily, the crest of the popularity wave until you hit the wall in disgrace with your fingers badly burned. 

Treatment by politicians and the media of Soini, who ruled the PS for twenty years (1997-2017) and who gave nationalist bigots and the far right a political platform, is odd. The fact that some cannot see that fascism is flirting with them is worrying.

Soini’s rise and fall from power were possible thanks to the media and politicians who were afraid to challenge his populist anti-immigration ideas. His political program, if he ever had one, was nothing more than hot air. It all had to do with Soini grabbing power.

The fact that other political parties like the National Coalition Party and Center Party helped fuel the rise of the PS reveals a lot about these parties’ moral fiber. We are seeing this today in the government’s stiffening immigration policy, deportations, and the ever-growing inequality of our society.

Soini gained his place in Finnish politics this decade thanks to the political establishment and the media. Some naively still believe that you can have a quaint chat with bigots, fascists, and racists.

A proverb by William Blake highlights this predicament:

“The eagle never lost so much time, as when he submitted to learn of the crow.”

The only reason why some believe that you can have a sensible chat about cultural diversity with racists can happen is because they are white and not affected by the debate. Racism doesn’t affect white people directly because they benefit from it.


 

Soini speaking at a UKIP rally in 2012. It was his third visit to such a gathering where he said he admired the UKIP because they could state that they hate the EU and love their country “without shame and guilt.”

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage was/is a close political ally of Soini. Farage now speaks at far-right rallies.

Soini and his cast of eerie and odd political bedfellows throughout the years would make a great horror show. If you want to know and connect the dots, like in the video above and Farage at a far-right rally below, Soini has left a trail of lies, deceit, and contempt for our Nordic values.

If Finnish society gave Soini his moment of fame with its near-silence and cowardice, it was his unsustainable political program that brought him down in the end.

* After the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity.  One is more open about it while the other is more diplomatic. 

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.

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