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.