By Enrique Tessieri
The resignation of Perussuomalaiset (PS) party aide, Ulla Pyysalo, didn’t come as a surprise. One of the most incredible matters about the Pyysalo case is the silence of the party and how PS MP Juho Eerola played down the Nazigate affair. Has Eerola and the PS made it clear that they will not tolerate neo-Nazi organizations? One wonders.
Let’s look at the sequence of events.
At first Eerola, who belongs to far-right associations like Suomen Sisu and who has praised Benito Mussolini’s economic system, plays down the whole affair by claiming that Pyysalo joined the neo-Nazi associaiton, Suomen Kansallinen Vastarinta (SKV), when she was a member of the Center Party.
The PS’ Nazigate scandal takes on a new twist on Thursday when Pyysalo decides to “sacrifice” herself by resigning as Eerola’s aide only if she finds a new job, according to YLE. Irrespective of her apparent neo-Nazi sympathies, she plans to remain a card-carrying PS member.
Does the Pyysalo case draw a clear line between neo-Nazi associations the the PS?
Sadly it does not, even Ossi Mäntylahti asks in his Uusi Suomi column if its ok to be a Nazi and a PS member.
The “big far-right fish” are still members of Timo Soini’s party and in parliament. Even though these PS MPs like Eerola may not directly belong to a neo-Nazi association, they do belong in Nazi-spirited ones.
The whole Pyysalo case reinforces as well that the PS is a wild card ideologically that can transform itself, self-destruct or inspire others to far-right causes.
Eerola’s aide is no stranger to the racist and homophobic world, when she published a “joke” in July on Facebook about Green MP Jani Toivola, who is black and gay.
I agree; what kind of lame response to this whole thing is that she starts looking for another job. That hasn’t got any sense of urgency. Again, PS is very tolerant party, but their tolerance is directed to ‘their people’ and these disgracefull things they seem to be unable to stay away from.
They really are hopeless at damage limitation.
All other things being equal, the obvious exit from this situation was to point out that Pyysalo never paid a membership fee to the Tiwaz organisation, nor was there any further activity or follow-up to this politically embarrassing membership application. Pyysalo is then at worst merely an ex-Nazi who has seen the light. If that’s good enough for the Pope, then it should be good enough for an MP’s assistant.
The present situation leaves open the question of whether it is acceptable for anyone to be a member of both organisations. PS really needs to be pressed on this point. Even Tiwaz was unable to show specifically where she disagrees with the manifesto of these fascists. She tried to argue otherwise, but was instantly exposed by her own record of contributions to this blog.
It appears that the PS manifesto is in no way inconsistent with the fascist manifesto, so it is quite acceptable to belong to both organisations and to pursue the aims of both organisations simultaneously. This is not unusual. For example many members of the Finnish League for Human Rights also belong to organisations like the Red Cross and Amnesty International.
So Enrique what you are saying, should Eerola have fired her?
Let me ask you a question: You don’t have any problems with her belonging to a neo-Nazi association? Is this ok if you are a PS member?
It doesn’t work like that in politics, but basically, yes. I.e., the pressure on her to ‘resign’ should have been unequivocable. This is exactly what the party don’t need, direct associations between party members, MPs and workers with a neo-Nazi organisation.
PS have two faces – a populist face (with various bows to socialism) and a fascist face (with its Far Right, racist, and anti-immigrationist, racial purity agenda). The Populist face is also the more public one, though much of their public support is because of their more private fascist face.
As anyone who knows anything about politics and the history of the Far Right and their latter-day re-emergence into the mainstream will tell you, as a Far Right organisation, they were completely unelectable, but as a more populist organisation that had ‘left all that stuff behind’, they suddenly find themselves able to tap into people’s sense of grievance once again.
While modern Far Right movements publicly deny any links to neo-Nazis (or play them down), they nevertheless devise manifestos that captures all of the spirit of these parties, but with populist credentialsstolen largely from the left to act as a foil to public criticism of their extremist face.
But you just cannot hide that kind of duplicity for long.
As so often. Black shirts under the white ones. The thing that bothers me most is the ease with which the public accepts the “less dangerous” ideas (it’s a joke, I was drunk, I didnot think) but do not see (or want to see) the far more dangerous ones.
The documentary The Wave should be shown in TV on Xmas to remind people of the ease to fall in the trap of “easy-living”.
I fully agree with your judgement on the dismissal. One of my arguments is the “black under white” reasoning. I remind the current embarrassement in German establishment to find themselves in a “Neonazi-Horror-Show” After 7 years and some 8 killings (including 1 police woman and excluding 2 suicides) the police cracked down a “facist ring”. Cool you know: these people steal the Monopoly Game, re-design in a kind of ConcentrationCamp Game (100 E). AND: NOBODY KNOWS!!
No justification for facist behavior!!