The old and new Perussuomalaiset: Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…

by , under Enrique Tessieri

After the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party imploded on June 13 into two factions, there’s been a lot of finger-pointing from members of the old and new PS. This is nothing new coming from a party that has a long track record in scapegoating migrants and minorities.

The old PS and the new PS, called today either New Alternative or Blue Reform, is the only party in Finland after World War 2 that is openly racist and Islamophobic to attract voters.

Don’t believe the new PS. They are the same thing but in different clothing and give justice to Malcolm X’s famous saying, “Racism is like a Cadillac. They bring a new model every year.”

The old and new PS are not just clowns and jokers to the left and right but hazardous to Finland’s political health.

Are we surprised that the deposed PS leader, Timo Soini, blames the far right and Suomen Sisu for the split in the party? What he sowed and reaped for many years ended up destroying him and the party.

Soini writes in his blog: “It’s silly to argue that a coup/job didn’t happen at the Perussuomalaiset party convention. Electing an anti-immigration hardliner [like Halla-aho] was for many too much. The stick that broke the camel’s back was when Suomen Sisu attempted to overtake the party council.”

Electing “an anti-immigration hardliner?!” Why didn’t he sack Jussi Halla-aho from the party in 2012,  when he promised to do so if a party member got convicted for ethnic agitation?

PS Espoo city councilperson Teemu Lahtinen, who is one of the founders of Suomen Sisu, a far-right association that is fighting tooth and nail against cultural diversity, laughed off Soini’s claim. He denied that Suomen Sisu was involved in any way shape or form in taking over the PS.

This poster could work well for the old and new Perussuomalaiset even it was made for the BNP-UKIP of England.

Just like Soini went soft on Halla-aho he went soft with Suomen Sisu, too.

Do you remember when Olli Immonen, the PS MP who declared war on multiculturalism and posed with neo-Nazis at Eugen Schauman’s grave? Immonen was elected chairperson of Suomen Sisu in 2013 and Soini’s response was the usual: see no racism, hear no fascism, say nothing.

Migrant Tales wrote four years ago about Immonen’s election as Suomen Sisu head:”Asking Soini to condemn Immonen for being a member of a Nazi-spirited association [Suomen Sisu] is like asking two foxes starved for many days to behave inside a chicken coop.”

The old or new PS’ view from the populist bubble always amazes me.

One recent example is the new MP from Lapland, Matti Torvinen, who took over after Hanna Mäntylä, who took on a job as special advisor to the European Council on youth radicalization.

Apart from asking if Mäntylä is qualified for the job considering her professional background and Islamophobic credentials as a politician, Torvinen said in Suomenmaa  that he’s against far-right groups that “put in danger” human rights. “I cannot accept these values [and that’s why I ditched the old PS],” he said.

Like Torvinen, Soini, Lahtinen, Mäntylä and a list of many old and new PS politicians, it is important to remember that when they speak of noble things like defending our Nordic values or human rights they rarely mean migrants or minorities in that group.

The end of the old or new PS is not over. One great fears for a long time is the political monsters that lurk behind Soini’s PS when the party implodes?

The answer came on June 10 when the PS national convention elected four hardliners to lead the party: Jussi Halla-aho, Laura Huhtasaari, Teuvo Hakkarainen and Juho Eerola.

Add the four together, and you have a hostile brew in the same ideological spirit as the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party and Sweden Demoncrats.

* 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.