After over a year of following countless scandals, fines for hate speech, racism and exposures of their far-right ideology, a question begs an answer of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party: Who is Timo Soini?
If we asked Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, a social democrat, his answer would be moral weakness and opportunism.
Tuomioja writes a day after PS MP Jussi Halla-aho got fined by the Supreme Court for hate speech: ”Now Timo Soini, who three years ago threatened that anyone charged for racism had no place in the party, has [now] eaten all of his words. This could be best understood if Soini openly supported Halla-aho’s opinions. In light of the [municipal elections], it shows instead a party leader giving in to opportunism and being morally bankrupt.”
I would go further than Tuomioja and claim that in principle Soini does agree with Halla-aho on a number of points concerning the perceived threat of our ever-growing culturally diverse society. A column by Soini reinforces the latter. The big difference, however, between the PS chairman and the anti-immigration extremists of the party is diplomacy. Soini knows how to sugar-coat his words and play the good-cop role. How long will it take for mainstream politicians in this country to step up to the plate and admit what we’ve been saying all along on Migrant Tales: The PS is a racist, anti-immigration, anti-Islam and anti-EU party. In addition some members of the PS like Halla-aho want to turn the political clock of Finland back to the 1930s.
The sooner we understand the dark elements lurking inside the PS, where the far-right anti-immigration extremists are gaining strength over an embattled Soini, the greater our chances of saving our country from far-right nationlism.
One of the reasons why some still believe they can live with far-right extremists in parliament, who mock at our laws and institutions like Halla-aho did concerning the Supreme Court fine for hate speech, is because the PS isn’t still seen as a threat.
Why should they feel threatened by the PS? If you are a white Finn and have a stable job, the PS isn’t a threat because it is a party that excludes and victimizes immigrants and other minorities in Finland.
That’s now, but tomorrow may be a more perilous story if we don’t smell the coffee of far-right extremism.