YLE A-studio: The PS reveals its anti-democratic credentials and loathing of press freedom

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Watching Thursday’s A-Studio talk show gave a very disturbing picture of what the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* think about democracy and the role of the media in society. Researcher Markku Jokisipilä exposed, however, with a diplomatic statement what’s wrong with this country and why a party like the PS has grown to become one of the biggest in Finland.

Even if the party’s third vice president Sebastian Tynkkynen row continued to dominate a part of the program, there were a number of comments that caught my eye.

One of these was how the press officer of the PS, Matti Putkonen, tried to dominate and tell the host what should be debated on the show. Putkonen claimed as well that MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation, is “one of Finland’s best authorities on migration.”

Even if Putkonen’s two-minute exit from the talk show surprised a lot of viewers, it was researcher Jokisipilä who shed light on why politicians, the media and public opinion in the country continue to give the benefit of the doubt to a party that is anti-EU, anti-cultural diversity and especially anti-Islam.

“I’m obliged to congratulate the PS for their [historic] election victory of 2011,” he said, “that was an excellent matter from the point of view of Finnish politics and Finnish democracy.”

For whom was the rise of a party that bases its support on labeling and victimizing migrants and minorities as well as fueling nationalist sentiment  a good matter? I doubt that many people of our ever-culturally and ethnically diverse Finland would agree that the rise of the PS is a “good” matter.

Is the rise of the Danish People’s Party, Front National of France and other nationalist populist anti-immigration parties a good thing for Europe?

I doubt it.

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Watch full A-studio talk show here.

Both Sampo Terho, the leader of the party’s parliamentary group, and Putkonen said that the PS will continue to be a social movement and never become a mainstream party.

“We are a different kind of party,” said Terho. “We are a social movement that speaks colorfully and challenges political correctness.”

Both PS politicians confirmed that the party will continue to victimize and label migrants and steer Finland towards Eastern Europe in spirit and foreign policy.

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Before being elected to parliament in 2011, Kaj Turunen was an ice cream salesman, wasn’t too happy with the A-studio talk show. He tweeted that YLE “attacks the PS and the party will attack YLE.” Turunen has made pretty incredible statements in the past like filing a complaint to the police for “ethnic agitation” after Social Democrat chairman Antti Rinne criticized the party. Turunen believed that the party is an ethnic group, which it isn’t.

*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.