Thursday, March 11, 2010
What floats? The True Finns are all at sea.
Timo Soini, leader of the populist-nationalist True Finns party just can't catch a lucky break. Soini himself has developed a good reputation for being honest, witty, and willing to at least talk with all. Yet he is struggling to show the True Finns to be moderate populists and nationalists, not nasty racists like the British National Party and other European far-right parties. Soini was just last week bemoaning to Helsingin Sanomat that 'he was thoroughly fed up with having to answer for the doings of Internet troublemakers and a former “not-quite councillor”' who had been making death threats towards a Finnish government minister. Soini's problem is though that his supporters and party activists keep showing themselves to be idiots. Now we have the comically absurd story of a True Finns seminar-cruise on the ferry to Sweden which happened to coincide with large numbers of Iraqis resident in Finland taking the same ferry to Stockholm where they could vote in the Iraqi general election. Alongside reports of racist abuse to other passengers from seminar attendees, one True Finn MP even felt the need to perform on the ship's night club stage where he ended up getting his microphone cut off for singing racists songs. Ho hum. Soini's recent suggestion that candidates standing for his party will need to go through background checks seems sensible, but perhaps they should do a basic IQ test whilst they are at it.