THIS STORY WAS UPDATED
While some reporters are hoping for the downfall of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s government, they are also rooting for the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, whom they see as a shoo-in to lead or be a member of Finland’s next government after the 2023 parliamentary elections.
If you look at the reporting of the PS, it’s easy to discern the Finnish media’s important role in the growth of this radical-right and xenophobic party.
Moreover, the growth of the PS could be seen as Finland’s racism problem’s coming of age and that all the media had to do was give it a platform at the right.
Even if racism was always present in Finland, it had no opportunity to grow since there were hardly any foreigners until the 1990s, especially from 1995 when we joined the EU in 1995.
If we look at the new PS leaders elected on Saturday, the answer is no. I have written that the worst enemy of the party is its radical-right and racist views.
Let’s briefly look at the PS leadership and why they will fail to transform Finland into a country that loathes diversity.
- Riikka Purra is an ethnonationslist who believes in far-right “great replacement theories.” Like her predecessor, Jussi Halla-aho, she will lie, kick and bitch to keep Finland white. As chairperson, she will fail at this. Tougher migration laws and xenophobia are not panaceas for the country’s ills.
- First Vice President Leena Meri is a former police officer with strong views against groups like Black Lives Matter, which she mispronounces. Meri is a raving Islamophobe who sees no wrong in hate speech.
- Second Vice President Mauri Peltokangas, charged with ethnic agitation, is a far-right Nazi-spirited Suomen Sisu organization member. In a 2:36-minute long monologue, he said every 20 seconds the following words: two times shit (paska); two times fucked (perssestä); two times what the hell, hell (mitä helevetti, helevetti); and two times the devil (perkele). He is an Islamophobic hothead.
- Third Vice President Sebastian Tynkkynen was charged for a third time for ethnic agitation. A social media Islamophobe, Tynkkynen wants to prohibit Muslims from applying for asylum, put asylum seekers in immigration removal centers, among other draconian measures.
- Party Secretary Arto Luukkanen finds himself in “good” company. Some of his most infamous arguments was accusing the conservative National Coalition Party of caving into communism because of its stance against hate speech. In Luukkanen’s world, racists from parties like the PS can say anything they want to minorities like Muslims.
Considering these two questions, the new PS leadership should be seen as a blessing in disguise.
Electing the wrong people and spreading hate like former party secretary Simo Grönroos hurt the party
The municipal election result, which was a disappointment, is a good example of how far-right xenophobes shoot themselves in the leg.