By Enrique Tessieri
The PS councilman Tommi Rautio scandal, where he stated on Facebook that he’d decorate the Finn who killed a Moroccan native in cold blood at a pizzeria Oulu, is turning into a messy Breivik-type watershed for the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The concern raised by PS chairman Timo Soini, and how the Rautio scandal has already impacted the party’s popularity internally and externally, is clear in its new non-convincing get-tough stance on racism.
Eyeing with concern the party’s delayed response to the Rautio scandal, the The PS of Köliö suspended on Sunday the councilman about a week before the party meets next weekend. Soini said almost two days after the scandal broke out that Rautio would be formally sacked from the party when the PS’ national executive board meet on March 4.
Should we believe the latest assurances that the PS is getting serous about racism? Certainly not. Rautio is a small fish compared with big PS fishes like Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari and others.
Why isn’t the PS equally concerned about their big fish like PS MP James Hirvisaari, who got fined for hate speech in December, as was PS MP Jussi Halla-aho in 2009 by a court for defaming religion? Remember PS MP Teuvo Hakkarainen?
Soini has repeatedly played down the problem of racism in his party. In December he said that there were only “one, two or three” such cases. Shortly after the April election, he said there were no racists running for office.
The Rautio case proves that small fish in the PS are expendable whereas big ones are not.