A guest of the Finnish PS gives a Nazi salute in parliament

by , under Enrique

We all know how a political party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) has declared war against immigrants and other minorities in this country. The latest attack by the PS was against the Finnish parliament by a guest of MP James Hirvisaari, who was pictured giving a Nazi salute. 

UPDATE: Hirvisaari confirmed Thursday that it was him who took the picture of Lehto below.

Kuvankaappaus 2013-10-3 kello 0.36.10
Seppo Lehto, a guest of PS MP James Hirvisaari, gave a Nazi salute on Tuesday in parliament.

The picture of Seppo Lehto,* a far-right anti-immigration activist who was sentenced to a 2.5-year prison term for ethnic agitation, to support Jussi Halla-aho’s Euro MP candidacy, was widely distributed in social media and reported by the national media.

Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation like Hirvisaari, said that he had nothing to do with what Lehto published on his blog.

Dailies like Helsingin Sanomat speculate that the picture of Lehto making the Nazi salute could have been taken by Hirvisaari. The PS MP refused to confirm or deny this to Finland’s largest-circulation daily. 

Hirvisaari described Helsingin Sanomat’s attempts to get in touch with him as ”bullying.” As a general rule, the PS MP only answers journalist’s queries by email.

In an odd style of journalism, Helsingin Sanomat refused to publish Lehto’s name in the story.

What is probably the most incredible matter about the whole affair is the silence of the PS leadership.

Why is it so difficult for Finland’s third-largest party in parliament to openly condemn such publicity stunts? Is there silence a reinforcement of their declaration of war against immigrants and minorities in this country?

Absolutely.

*Seppo Lehto has visited and commented on Migrant Tales a number of times. His views are pretty clear: anti-Islam and anti-multiculturalism. Since we believed that it would be useless to have a meaningful debate with a person like Lehto, we decided to ignore him. The comments by him stopped and we never heard in writing from him ever again.

    • Mark

      Thanks Joonas for the update. Looks like the party will kick him out. I wonder how much the publicity and backlash of the Golden Dawn in Greece in the last few days has woken PS up to the dangers of keeping their own extremists on long leashes.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Hi Joonas, when the news came out there was silence. Things changed and the PS will expel James Hirvisaari from the party.

      One of the matters I find strange is that Timo Soini brought these characters to the PS and now is washing his hands of them. Naturally he’s doing this as if he were the victim, which he is not.