Monday, 14 November 2011

Most of True Finn members racist, study finds

According to an opinion poll published in Helsingin Sanomat, a majority True Finn supporters agree with the following statement:
"People of certain races are unsuited for life in a modern society."
Another opinion poll by Taloustutkimus published in Iltalehti found that 72% of True Finn supporters want Finland to stay in the Eurozone, and a similar percentage want them to remain in the European Union.

Timo Soini, Leader of the True Finns, looking awkward

So what are we to make of this? Clearly the eurosceptic aspect of the True Finn party is greatly exaggerated. It seems to not be the major driving force behind the party. We can certainly draw some conclusions about the motivations of the "Immigration Critical" wing of the party, led by blogger and popular racist Jussi Halla-aho.

The President of Finland, Tarja Halonen commented on the findings of the poll by saying that racist people "seem to be drawn towards voting for the True Finns." MP Jussi Halla-aho was quick to point out on his blog that "Friends of GDR seem to be drawn towards voting for Tarja Halonen." President Halonen, a Social Democrat, has been elected President twice after previously serving in three ministerial posts and consistently gets an approval rating in excess of 80%, while MP Halla-aho has an illustrious two year career in the board of directors for Helsinki Zoo.

Leader of the True Finn party, Timo Soini has thus far declined to comment, saying that opinion polls are not a good gauge of opinion and re-iterating his previous stance of not personally being racist. For someone non-racist he certainly likes to actively seek out the company of racists. He also leads an organisation that plainly caters to racists and does not mind benefiting from racists voting for his party. One can assume that either he is lying about not being racist or (more likely) he is morally corrupt to the point of having no guiding principles in his political life and will seize on to any idea no matter how abhorrent if it gets his party a few extra votes. Does it make him any different from other politicians? Maybe not. Call me an idealist but surely the point of leading a political party vanishes if the program of the party consists only of an attempt to get as many votes as possible.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Timo Soini on Fox News

Timo Soini got interviewed on the fair and balanced Fox News last week. If you want to hear what a thick Finnish accent sounds like you might be a bit interested. Don't get your hopes up for great political genius though.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

True Finn MP's assistant in a neo-nazi row

Looks like the parliamentary assistant to True Finn MP Juha Eerola has applied to become a member of the neo-nazi group Finnish National Resistance Front. Assistant and apparently then city council member Ulla Pyysalo's application, leaked by hackers, goes as follows (translation from migrant tales):

I am a city council member of the Perussuomalaiset party and I understand your ideology. You have my support!!!…After you hear what we (Perussuomalaiset?) have planned, (you’ll see that) we are both fighting for the same thing…I sent you my contact information. Please do not distribute it if you are fighting for the fatherland.
Pyysalo has since said, she will resign her membership in the True Finn party, after she finds another job. The True Finn party is currently considering suspending her from the duties of a parliamentary assistant. That's nice.

Ulla Pyysalo, looking like a less classy Johanna Tukiainen

The word neo-nazi is sometimes used rather frivolously, but the National Resistance Front has conveniently declared itself to be a National Socialist revolutionary movement. Pyysalo claims she did not in fact realise that national socialists are the same thing as nazis, was drunk as she applied to join the group, it was a youthful error and she did so because she is quote a patriotic person unquote. Being unaware of recent history, current events and basic politics is basically a requisite of membership for the True Finns, so let's just give her the benefit of doubt for now. Youthful error is a bit amusing since the webpage where she applied has only existed for two years. Pyysalo has previously made herself known by cracking unrepeatable jokes about Jani Toivola (a black, gay finnish MP) and posing with an assault rifle on Facebook.

MP Jussi Halla-aho's racist webforum Homma has of course reacted by thinking this was all perfectly understandable, that Pyysalo was actually an upstanding person and that this was all media's fault for reporting it. In other words, exactly as they react to every other far-right lunatic ever.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Study: True Finns condone violence

According to an international study into extremist groups, some True Finn members condone political violence. This is part of a Europe-wide study on the rise of populist sentiment and seems to be a far-reaching phenomenon. The study mentions specifically internet sites which condone hatred and promote violence, without mention of blogger and popular racist Jussi Halla-aho's webforum Homma. Shockingly, the study was conducted after the Oslo massacre in which a radical racist targeted leftist politicians, leaving 77 dead.
Matti Putkonen, rapist, violent criminal, True Finn campaign manager
The study was swiftly condemned by the True Finns' campaign manager, Matti Putkonen. Putkonen is of course remembered as a violent criminal, having been convicted of aggravated rape to an eight-month custodial sentence. He also had to pay a €10,000 fine, presumably to cover medical harm. Speaking at a live radio show, Putkonen called for the female chief of staff at the Ministry of Interior who published the study to resign, and said that the True Finn party does not condone violence. Thankfully, things did not escalate further this time as mr Putkonen was safely at the other end of the telephone line.

Matti Putkonen, rapist and habitual political opportunist is probably the best example of the True Finn hypocrisy when it comes to their value base. Former member of the Social Democratic party, former media rep for a labour union, Putkonen grabbed at the chance to jump ship just as soon as the polls showed a double-figure rise in support for the True Finn party. In a civilised society he would be on some kind of a registry already, and barred from holding a political office.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

James Hirvisaari: No Viet Cong ever called me Persu

True Finn first term MP and a prominent signer of Jussi Halla-aho's racist election manifesto, James Hirvisaari has shocked but not surprised people with his recent blog post. James Hirvisaari says it is equally bad to call someone as "persu" (a name for the True Finn party, derived from the Finnish name PerusSuomalaiset) as it is to call someone a nigger or a yid. He also proceeds to call all reporters vultures and scavengers, and goes on to state that the media is out to get him and all other True Finn speakers of truth. On his blog. Which is hosted on the server of the newspaper Uusi Suomi.

persu party member James "persu" Hirvisaari
MP Hirvisaari's angry blog post comes right after the Finnish broadcaster YLE's "Hate Night Special" where they discussed hate speech. Evidently James Hirvisaari thinks it terribly unfair to only focus on the party which keeps spouting racist crap, when the topic of discussion is racist crap being spouted by politicians. The comments also come after the setting out of internal True Finn party guidelines on banned words. The guidelines contain a list of words to avoid, some of which James Hirvisaari chose to use in his blog post.

The True Finn parliamentary group leader, and one of the few two-term True Finn MPs Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner was reportedly 'frustrated' over Hirvisaari's remarks. She goes on to state there are vastly more important things to focus on, such as increased regional taxes. There is of course support for James Hirvisaari among fellow MPs. Having recently been expelled from the True Finn parliamentary group for calling for a military coup in Athens, MP Jussi Halla-aho compared the ongoing hate speech discussion to a "rise of a totalitarian, orwellian atmosphere in Finland." The irony remains duly lost on all his followers.

Regardless of what your political outlook might be, comparing someone using a word you don't like for your party to a racial slur is extraordinarily thin-skinned. Even more so when the vast majority of your own supporters think it a neutral term, if somewhat informal. Moreover the timing of the whole thing just shows an amazing degree of political insensitivity, coming just days after MP Halla-aho was temporarily expelled from the party over a Facebook post. It could of course be a part of a brilliant master plan by the Halla-ahonist fringe of the True Finn party, in which case all the co-signers of the racist election manifesto, James Hirvisaari, Olli Immonen and Juha Eerola, take turns to say racist stuff to get expelled. Brilliant is probably the wrong word to use though, it's all degrees of stupidity with these people.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Jussi Halla-aho expelled from True Finns

According to Uusi Suomi, leader of the True Finn party Timo Soini has proposed expelling blogger and popular racist Jussi Halla-aho from the party. This came after Jussi Halla-aho proposed replacing the Greek government with a military junta on his Facebook page. Here's a translation of the relevant post:

Simple fact is that democracy (=elections) prevents any political government to take such action as to be really "effective" in solving the bankrupt Greek economy problem. Right now what is needed is a military junta that could use tanks to force the strikers and rioters into submission.
Jussi Halla-aho later tried to play his post off as some kind of a joke, but it was too late. True Finn parliamentary group leader, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner confirmed that expelling Jussi Halla-aho as a "temporary measure" is "very likely." There has been speculation among followers of Finnish politics that this has to do with internal strife in the True Finn party, between Timo Soini's eurosceptic loonies and Jussi Halla-aho's racist loonies. Timo Soini, numerous as his other faults may be, is not actually racist and this move to disassociate his party from the most strident voice in the racist fringe was a long time coming.

Soon-to-become-irrelevant MP Jussi Halla-aho

It is generally assumed, that Jussi Halla-aho will be followed by his loyal cadre from radical racist Suomen Sisu. James Hirvisaari, Olli Immonen and Juha Eerola are all members of the movement, and will probably form a separate racist parliamentary group with their dear leader. This will spell the end of the extreme racist fringe playing any potentially major part in Finnish politics, so it's a cause for great celebration! I have a feeling things actually took a turn for the better today.

UPDATE 14:28: Jussi Halla-aho's expulsion from the True Finn parliamentary group was just confirmed in an unanimous decision. He is currently expelled for two weeks. This will probably not affect the bulk of his actual work in the parliament much, but he is unable to attend meetings of the True Finn parliamentary group.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

True Finn MP plays the Nazi card

You all might remember the quote "Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun." It's frequently misattributed to Hermann Goering, but it actually comes from a pro-nazi play called Schlageter. People usually quote this to point out the brutality and violence of the national socialist regime, well normal people do that. True Finn MP Jussi Niinistö whom I've blogged about before apparently uses the phrase completely without irony.
Jussi Niinistö, you can't see his hands but they're reaching for his gun

Helsingin Sanomat reported that in a parliamentary session this Tuesday, Jussi Niinistö said he is a strong proponent of expanded presidential powers, and that "whenever I hear the word parliamentarism, I reach for my gun". Let's just re-iterate that this quote is frequently raised as an example of the despicable brutality of the nazi regime, it's certainly not a phrase that is in common use in Finland and would probably be in itself enough to send you to prison in Germany. Needless to say, this caused quite a bit of a scene in the session, and probably will haunt mr Niinistö for months to come.