By Enrique Tessieri
Perussuomalaiset (PS) party chairman, Timo Soini, appears more embattled every day as he watches with weary eyes polls. The latest one published by Helsingin Sanomat Saturday shows racism to be more acceptable among PS supporters.
The latest revelations, including other ones like PS party members belonging to neo-Nazi associations such as the Suomen Kansallinen Vastarinta (SKL), show that the ever-embattled Soini has fewer explanations to offer and prefers to blame the media for being biased against his party.
If we were fair, Soini knows better than anyone else that the greatest enemy of the PS isn’t the Finnish media but the likes of PS MPs like Jussi Halla-aho, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Juho Eerola, Tuomas Okkonen, a Perussuomalaiset (PS) party board vice president in Oulu, and others.
I’ve seen it many times happen during my long career as a journalist and foreign correspondent. Anytime a politician begins to blame the media for his problems, that politician or party is in deep water.
Ossi Mäntylahti asks on his Uusi Suomi blog why can’t anyone comment on Soini’s blog and if he is following Halla-aho’s policy of not speaking to the media?
Soini’s cover as the “good cop” in an unpredictable party like the PS has eroded in the eyes of many voters.
Another factor that will hit the PS are the horrific events that took place in Norway on July 22, which have been a a hard blow to far right and right-wing populist parties in the Nordic region.
In light of the party’s ever-growing problems, it is surprising that Soini has “nothing intelligent to say” as he points out on his blog.
He writes: “A political leader has two opportunities. To follow one’s plan or listen to other people’s plans. I have my own plan.”
It would be fair to Finland and to those who voted for the PS to have some idea what that plan is. At present it is entangled in a mess created by no one else but the PS.