By Enrique Tessieri
A number of far right anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) party MPs have seen an image facelift after they were elected. PS MP Juho Eerola has seen the biggest transformation.
I suspsect that after the April election, PS head Timo Soini called MPs like Eerola and told them to get a hair cut and look more respectable.
Even PS MPs like Teuvo Hakkarainen was learning how to use a tie after he got elected. PS MP Jussi Halla-aho, the leader of the party’s anti-immigration wing, changed his Facebook profile picture. It could not, however, stop him from making controversial statements like “multiculturalism sucks ass” or that the military should overthrow the elected government in Greece.
Even James Hirvisaari, one of the eeriest of the Suomen Sisu PS MPs in parliament, got a suit and tie.
No matter how many suits these type of politicians put on they cannot hide who they are. Despite his haircut and respectable look, Eerola was incapable of condemning his aide Ulla Pyysalo for belonging to a neo-Nazi association.
One of the matters that surprised the Allies when they caught former concentration camp SS guards and commandants was how much they looked like the next-door neighbor.
The PS may want to give a legitimate face to racism and exclusion.
What does not change behind the new persona is the questionable ideology.