Timo Soini (2013): “No. I’m a Catholic Christian by definition, I cannot be a racist”

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Check this interview dating back to 2013 in BBC’s HARDtalk when outgoing Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman plays down the party’s racism problem and defends MEP Jussi Hall-aho, who is going to purge him as foreign minister if elected as PS chairman. The PS elects over the weekend a new chairman with the two favorites being Halla-aho and Sampo Terho. 

Those who remember the HARDTalk interview can recall when Stephen Sacker grills Soini on his promise to fire any party member who is convicted for ethnic agitation. Soini backtracked and defended his decision not to sack Halla-aho, who had, according to him, suffered enough for his racist writings about Muslims.

Well, now, we’ve come full circle with Halla-aho appearing to be the favorite to become the next PS chairman. If elected, it spells trouble and humiliation for Soini.

A lesson to be learned?

For one, you cannot control racism and bigotry and keep it on a short leash, even if such a rabid dog attracts attention and lures voters.

Will we miss Soini as he bows out as chairman of the PS? Not at all. If you think of it, it’s him who gave Finland’s racist and anti-immigration groups a forum to lash out at our ever-growing culturally diverse community.

His rise and fall as PS chairman resembles the plot of the 1931 classic Frankenstein movie, where a monster is brought to life that later kills his creator.

Soini is Dr. Frankenstein and Halla-aho and a long list of others, the Frankensteins.

A good example of how journalists should handle politicians who use racism and bigotry to gain political power.

The official translation to Finnish of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is the Finns Party. In our opinion, it is not only a horrible translation, but one that is misguided. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Such terms like the Finns Party of True Finns promote as well in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and thereafter the acronym PS.