When the national media gave the racist narrative of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* the benefit of the doubt, Migrant Tales never did and never will. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? If you are naive you probably think you can.
Time magazine quoted Migrant Tales a day after at the 2011 parliamentary elections because we were one of the few who wrote critically about the PS. Time writes in its global briefing page for April 18, 2011:
“We are not extremists so you can sleep safely,” says the head the country’s ascendant ‘True Finns’ party (yes, that’s their real name). Of course, not everybody agrees: Far-right populism is an illness inflicting Europe at present and it now has a beachhead in Finland, writes Enrique Tessieri.”
Nothing has changed since April 17, 2011 except that the PS has today more power than ever before since it forms part of the government with the Center Party and National Coalition Party.
I stand firmly by what I wrote in 2011: The PS is and will continue to be an illness inflicting Finland that has already impoverished the country economically, socially and politically.
Some naively believe that the PS can be transformed into a “normal” party by getting rid of its worst racists like PS MP Olli Immonen, MEP Jussi Halla-aho and many others.
Not a chance. The PS grew from near-obscurity to become the second-biggest party in parliament thanks to its xenophobic rhetoric and promises.
Becoming a “normal” party would be synonymous to committing political hara-kiri for the PS.
Read quotes of the day here.
Sakari Timonen is one of Finland’s best anti-racism bloggers. In his latest blog entry he sheds light on why the PS constantly brings up its pet topic: immigration. I agree wholeheartedly with Tiimonen’s analysis: Since the PS is in government it has had to make some turncoat decisions like slash social welfare that hit the most vulnerable sectors of society as well as vote in favor of the bailouts for Greece.
Since most of the promises that it made to voters before the elections have been broken, attacking refugees and migrants is the way that the PS can save face.
What can you say about a populist party that bases its growth on promising voters that it will take care and rid Finland of Somalis, Muslims and all those who put in jeopardy their white Finland?
Xenophobic? Islamophobic? Racist? Far right? Fascist? Neo-Nazi? Ultranationalistic? Neoliberal?Undemocratic?
All of the above, like a mosaic, define what the PS is today.
In my book bullying, spreading racism and lies to victimize others in society because it suits your bigotry and power-hungry goals are the worst kind of cowardice that exists in this country today. Mark my words. These politicians, who inflate themselves with bravado and rattle their xenophobic sabers for the media and social media, are the first that will flee these country if we are attacked by a foreign power.
Another important point to remember is that the PS is copying the Islamophobic rhetoric of the Danish People’s Party as a strategy to maintain their popularity. This is a mistake because Finland is not a Denmark. Finland is Finland.
Finland will get a record number of refugees this year and the next. Some estimates put asylum seekers at 30,000 this year with the figure rising in 2016 to possibly 50,000.
Are these “huge” numbers? Why not see them as an opportunity like Germany?
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.