The truth about the “True Finns”

Dominic Browne reports on the electoral success of an anti-immigrant, homophobic party in Finland, and the wider rise of nationalist parties in Europe.

A nationalist, anti-immigration and homophobic party won 19 per cent of the Finnish vote last night to secure third place in the national elections and possibly a place in a coalition government. The “True Finns” party, led by Timo Soini, rose from winning 4 per cent at the last election.

The BBC’s Gavin Hewitt cited several factors to their sudden success: resentment at EU bailouts; anxiety about unemployment; fears of a jobless economic recovery; anger at pension reductions; and fears about immigration.

In Finland, parliament has the right to vote on EU bail out requests, meaning the True Finns’ strong showing in the elections may lead to the prospect of a delay to the rescue plan for Portugal. They have committed to vetoing bail-outs including the current deal for Portugal.

Jan Sundberg, Professor of Political Science at Helsinki University, said:

“The True Finns saw political potential among the neglected people in society. Their political message is two-fold: social-democratic welfare combined with nationalism and xenophobia…

“They believe that a low birth rate is not solved by immigration, as that results in problems and foreigners do not fit into Finnish culture. Instead, young women should study less and spend more time giving birth to pure Finnish children.

That is like a faint echo of Nazi ideology.”

A quick look at their manifesto reveals other disturbing aspects to their platform:

“True Finns do not accept same-sex marriage ceremony, because marriage is intended to (be) between man and woman… The right to adoption do not give the same sex couples. True Finns have not accepted either of infertility adoption for single women or female couples…

“When in integration policies should be underpinned by the principle of “when in Rome do as the Romans do”, because it is a migrant and the host society. Primarily to refer to the laws of Finland, but also cultural norms are part of our society.

“State granted cultural aid money must be controlled so that they strengthen the Finnish identity. Artsy post-modern experiments instead should be left to individuals and economically market responsibility…”

This fits in with a worrying pattern across Europe of support leaving mainstream parties and growing for nationalists. Yesterday, Left Foot Forward reported on the rise of UKIP in the UK, while Peter Spiegel writes in the Financial Times of the trend across Europe:

“We are witnessing Europe’s own Tea Party moment… [All the mainstream parties] tread lightly when confronting their populist opponents.”

This should be a wake-up call, and force mainstream parties to change this tactic.

25 Responses to “The truth about the “True Finns””

  1. modernity blog

    RT @leftfootfwd: The truth about the "True Finns": http://bit.ly/hHJSxi by @dbr1981

  2. Pucci Dellanno

    RT @leftfootfwd: The truth about the "True Finns": http://bit.ly/hHJSxi by @dbr1981

  3. Will Straw

    The truth about the eurosceptic & homophobic "True Finns" who came 3rd in the recent election: http://bit.ly/hHJSxi

  4. Rob Carr

    RT @wdjstraw: The truth about the eurosceptic & homophobic "True Finns" who came 3rd in the recent election: http://bit.ly/hHJSxi

  5. Anthony Painter

    RT @wdjstraw: The truth about the eurosceptic & homophobic "True Finns" who came 3rd in the recent election: http://bit.ly/hHJSxi

  6. Julian Glover

    RT @wdjstraw: The truth about the eurosceptic & homophobic "True Finns" who came 3rd in the recent election: http://bit.ly/hHJSxi

  7. Jonathan Phillips

    Different “far right” parties across Europe have different emphases. ‘True Finns” want to maintain the welfare state (unlike Sarah Palin); in the Netherlands Pim Fortuyn was actually concerned with some clearly liberal values (gay rights, for a start); and both felt that these features of their national life were threatened by immigration and specifically by the growth of the Muslim population. The Front National in France cosies up to the Catholic Church, other far-right groups are secular. It may be that they are all responding to the same kinds of concern, but they aren’t all doing it in the same way.

  8. Clive

    @leftfootfwd: The truth about the "True Finns": http://t.co/6Ch8d7Y by @dbr1981 homophobia among their attributes – Awake Finland!

  9. Ex Labour voter now UKIP

    Spare us the hysterics, folks!!!

    No matter how much you try and manufacture scare stories about “extremism” or “nationalism”, the True Finns are hardly, by anyone standards extreme.

    They believe in national Parliamentary democracy with firm controls on immigration – which is what most nation states buy into, Japan, New Zealand etc etc. They may be socially conservative on gay marriage, but so are muslims and jews and christians. It may be insular, but its not extreme.

    The trans national technocracy of the EU with its failed and divisive model of multi-culturalism has no soul, no point, no consensus and no identity and most importantly no voter mechanism for changing bad law.

    The whole supra national experiment is simply the realm of fantasy of the over active, out of touch minds of left wing elitists. You can’t control and micro manage populations in order for them to fit your un evidenced left wing prejudices, thats not how human beings are. The dinner tables of Islington, where the affluent and out of touch elitists indulge their small circles in this nonsense are not the working class estates of northern England, where this fantasy elitism has absolutely no resonance whatsoever.

    As a working class male and ex Labour voter, I might well be disgusted by the racism of the BNP, but that does not mean for a moment I am buying into the elitist nonsense of the left.

    The EU experiment is slowly but surely collapsing. It will fail and crumble into history and the long awaited return to self governing Parliamentary democracy will return.

    Labour has lost millions of its voters in the pursuit of its non existant utopia of EU fedralism and multi-culturalism. Ashamed to argued for this vision, they have sought to impose via legal means and transnational institutions, what they dare not put forward at the ballot box and for this Labour will be damned for years to come. We do not need or want the expenses fraudsters of Labour and Conservative to give our democracy away. Have you got that ?

  10. amydark

    he look like jean marie lepen from my crappy france they are brother or something hes into politics too and his daughter will be in the presidential election the next year god we are cursed we are in 2011 what the hell we dont want an hitler again for this century im algerian girl i just dont get it we are all human its sad that the kindness is dead human being is not a word i will used for this kind of person they dont behave like one
    the life is too short for this shit really its upset me too hear so much hate really i will add something silly
    but if the end of the world is for soon it will be a good things for the humanity cause the world is a mess full of Cruelty it will be a good cleaning lol ( sorry my english is awfull )

  11. Progressive Extremism « Outside In

    […] to say Left Foot Forward, that hub of ‘evidence-based’ blogging, have been amongst the first to activate their screech-box, and the old semantic stabs of the ‘progressive’ left are out in […]

  12. blogs of the world

    Dominic Browne reports on the electoral success of an anti-immigrant, homophobic party in … http://reduce.li/pny59m #true

  13. Tony Dowling

    RT @wdjstraw: The truth about the eurosceptic & homophobic "True Finns" who came 3rd in the recent election: http://bit.ly/hHJSxi

  14. OldTrot

    RT @wdjstraw: The truth about the eurosceptic & homophobic "True Finns" who came 3rd in the recent election: http://bit.ly/hHJSxi

  15. Noxi

    RT @wdjstraw: The truth about the eurosceptic & homophobic "True Finns" who came 3rd in the recent election: http://bit.ly/hHJSxi

  16. Tom

    And there’s more! True Finns intend to destroy polar bears from Finland. All of them!

  17. ASdfinlandrocks

    This is bullshit, I am from finland and come on…… how stupid you Americans are ;D

    None of this is true. 🙂

    Peace, dont vote Trump!

  18. Toni

    We don’t even have bolar bears here in Finland 🙂 True translation to perussuomalaiset is Basic finns.

    “True Finns do not accept same-sex marriage ceremony, because marriage is intended to (be) between man and woman”,

    Timo Soini is catholic , so you say that every christian is homophobic ?

    “They believe that a low birth rate is not solved by immigration, as that results in problems and foreigners do not fit into Finnish culture. Instead, young women should study less and spend more time giving birth to pure Finnish children.”

    And this is totally bullshit.

  19. keijo kakka

    “True translation to perussuomalaiset is Basic finns.”

    No it’s not. More like Regular finns. There’s a difference.
    True metal fan, basic metal fan, regular metal fan

  20. keijo kakka

    They don’t want Finland to end up like England, too many cooks to stir the soup. Will taste like crap. nobody likes it.

  21. lucifel

    I’m a National Coalition voter and don’t particularly like Soini, but I really have to point out that BBC has been tricked to publish false information. I don’t know how much you know about Finnish politics, but we have a long, bizarre, entertaining and bitter language debate, which strangely enough has coloured the BBC news. To explain it shortly:
    -We are bilingual nation and have forever argued about the language question, all sides using nazi cards. This debate has a lot of historical baggage
    -The “expert” BBC relays on, Mr Jan Sundberg is from Swedish speaking minority and from Swedish People’s Party. Naturally he is FOR the current system of compulsory Swedish in education, for which “True Finns: party and majority of Finnish population are AGAINST. Note, nobody wants to ban Swedish, the just want to make in VOLUNTARY
    -Jan Sundberg then, has his own agenda. He is only source BBC seems to use in the subject.
    -Therefore, BBC has been sucked, unknowing, into our language debate. If I was them, I would use multiple sources. Also, this makes BBC seem very unreliable
    -Lastly – if this country, with its roots on a rural populist movement from the 70’s, was actually extremist, why would other parties be happy to work together with them? Where are the suspicious origins ?(as all of European extremist parties have) Where is the militant rhetoric? Why are their politicians just like politicians from any other Finnish party?

    So this is what happened: In Finland we have complicated language debate. BBC doesn’t check its sources. Now debate rages on, with some arguments backed by the BBC (who enjoys undeserved reputation as being quality media). We still don’t have nazis or Ku Klux Clan.

  22. 6kle

    Came here to read the “truth” and I stopped after the first sentence because that’s where you started derailing from the truth.

  23. Jack Roberts

    “A nationalist, anti-immigration and homophobic party
    won 19 per cent of the Finnish vote last night….”

    So, the Finns want to rule themselves, don’t want to be race replaced by third worlders, and reject the Frankfurtists shoving faggotry down their throats.

    Good for them.

    Doubtless the True Finns would have done even better if not for the constant brainwashing by the Jewish controlled media.

  24. EU ministers shut the door on North African refugee crisis | Left Foot Forward

    […] the strong performance of the ultra-nationalist True Finns party and the rising power of the far-right Danish People’s party have added to […]

  25. Yet again, Tories fawn over the far right | Left Foot Forward

    […] again, we find the Conservatives fawning over members of the European far-right. This site has previously covered the True Finns party, and why they are such bad company for any UK politician, but in case you need […]

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