In Finland, you can publish racist blogs, ask MPs to be raped, shoot gays, downplayed the Holocaust and end up as speaker of parliament, like Jussi Halla-aho.
It’s amazing, if not magical, how quickly far-right politicians of the Perussumalaiset (PS)* party can whitewash and deny their far-right and neo-Nazi sympathies. I am not talking about fringe politicians, but ministers in Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s government.
You may ask how it’s possible to joke constantly, and for years, about the Holocaust, spread freely the great replacement theories and other ugly far-right things, and expect that everything is ok?
It may work most of the time, but it can backfire as happened with PS Minister of Economic Affairs Vilhelm Jussila, who resigned after eleven days of being minister.
The latest scandal to hit the PS only two days after Junnila resigned, are three PS ministers, party chair Riikka Purra (Finance Minister), Mari Rantanen, (Interior Minister), and Leena Meri (Justice Minister). All three tweeted that they do not believe in the great replacement theory.
Halla-aho, who has never apologized for his racist writings, is also in hot water.
If Rantanen, Purra and Meri don’t believe in the far-right conspiracy theory that led to the death of 77 people in Norway in 2011 and the Christchurch massacre, among others, why are they now denying it?
Interior Minister Rantanen, who is a nurse and has had police training, is one of the most active Islamophobes in the government. She has relied on the great replacement theory to attract voters. Before the April election, she infamously stated on her webpage that, “We mustn’t be so naive [naive in Finnish means being blue-eyed] that soon we won’t be blue-eyed.”
The original post by Rantanen can no longer be read on her Facebook and webpage.
Why can’t we read Rantanen’s posting anymore on Facebook?
“Exactly as you said. Let me be clear: I do not believe in conspiracy theories. Nor do I believe in the great replacement of the population. I believe in numbers and statistics. And I believe in democracy, where you influence things by changing laws.“
If Rantanen didn’t say what she said, why does she so strongly deny the far-right conspiracy theory? Why does she even go as far as to point out that she believes change can only happen through democratic institutions?
If you read her tweet carefully, she does not renounce the great replacement theory but now talks about “numbers and statistics,” which back her original replacement theory.
Moreover, Rantanen does not offer us any statistical information, never mind any links, to back up her ludicrous and racist claim.
Historian Jussi Jalonen summarizes in a tweet the three ministers’ change of heart.
To sum up: the renouncement of the great replacement theory by the three ministers means absolutely nothing. [It was done] hastily and with fear after of the resignation of a minister [Vilhelm Jussila]. Once the dust settles, it will be business as usual. It is a fact of life.”
So what did Purra and Meri say about the great replacement theory?
Tweet by Purra (left):
“The PS talks about the consequences of a bad immigration policy for Finland and other Western countries. We want to fix the problems and change the policy. We use official statistics.
We do not believe in or promote conspiracy theories. They seem to be of interest to the left and part of the media.”
Tweet by Meri (right):
“Well said [Riikka Purra]. Conspiracy theories such as the great replacement do not correspond to reality at all. I don’t believe in them, and I don’t recommend them to others.
Society is changing fast. You can get the right [demographic] picture from statistics, and I trust them. Let’s make [immigration] policy based on facts.“
Lying through one’s teeth and denial are one of the main political tricks of the PS.
It should be clear that Finland has a far-right party in government and a weak prime minister who cannot tell the difference.
We’re serious trouble because we are on a sinking ship.