Why you should not call the Perussuomalaiset “the Finns Party”

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Finland will become the third country in the EU along with Belgium and Greece that will have a populist and anti-EU party in government, according to The Guardian of London. The daily describes the Finns Party as far right. Just like Migrant Tales, it uses the acronym PS but mentions the official English name of the party once in the story below. 

The reason for using the Finnish acronym for the party is simple: The name is horrible in English and has nothing to do with the Finnish name, which is the Perussuomalaiset and can be translated as “true” or “basic” Finn. Some have even translated it as “fundamental” Finn.

At Migrant Tales explain in all of our stories why we use the Finnish name of the party on our postings:

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names 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.

PS party secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo was asked about this on Ruben Stiller’s Pressiklubi  why the party had “kidnapped” the name to imply that all Finns are the party. She said it was a good name that other parties hadn’t noticed and was used because the PS represents all types of Finns from academics to workers.

Näyttökuva 2015-5-25 kello 10.46.28

  1. Toiset Soundit

    Please, Enrique, may I say, I am a little disturbed by the introduction of your article, which tends to a form of guilt by association? I mean from your introduction it seems as if the N-VA (nationalistic Belgian Flemish party, currently in the government), Syriza and the Persut are in any way all three ideologically connected. I mean, first: the N-VA (very right wing and populist to an extent indeed and absolutely not my cup of tea) is not as anti-EU as they seem at first sight (and has not the same amount of utterly racist trash members or incidents as the Persut have, although the N-VA’s stance on immigration is also very right wing). They are just right wing. They are as neo-liberal, as ultra-capitalist and thus pro-EU as can be (!). Even if they belong to Cameron’s fraction in EU-Parliament, then that is just because the N-VA hates Verhofstadt and the Catholics, not because they sustain Cameron’s opportunistic EU-bashing. Actually, before the N-VA was in the same fraction as the Greens and Basque and Catalan nationalists (all leftist) and since they are essentially right-wing they had to find another club to belong to, but again, since they hate Verhofstadt and since they hate the Catholics of the EPP, they chose Cameron’s club. That’s all. They actually are pro-Europe, since they regard it as the framework wherein nations and regions can thrive and prosper (their view).

    But then again, you try to portray it as if Syriza would be in any way similar to N-VA or the Persut, quod non. Syriza is a left wing anti-austerity party which has good reasons to oppose the neo-liberal ultracapitalist coup d’etat by the EU and the Troika and is in no way to compare with right wing parties such as N-VA or Persut, nor with right wing eurosceptics such as Cameron, the Polish government, the Front National, Orban from Hungary, Wilders in Holland or other opportunists (who only want the benefits from the EU-project , not the burdens or what they consider to be burdens, like e.g. taking in refugee-quota, like the gay marriage or like basic rights, media rights and so on).

    Please Enrique, try to avoid associations that are false.

    As to your post and about the Persut’s name: I agree. That is what rhetoric is all about: hijacking reality, which is always much more diverse and complex than a name can capture. But the choice of a name says a lot about a party’s/ organization’s ideology.