Veteran politician Timo Soini, who lead the Finns Party to become a major force in Finnish politics, who was a founding member of Blue Reform party, says he’s considering whether to start a new political party – or not.
In response to media reports this week that he might have something in the works, Soini tells News Now Finland “you never know.”
“Our current government is simply useless, Kokoomus toothless and the Finns Party merciless. I am tempted. I know how to play the game” explains Soini, citing the European Parliament election success of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the UK as his inspiration.
Soini says that people want “work, bread, family and security not cold capitalism or red-green mumbojumbo.”
The former foreign minister, an ardent Millwall supporter, lead the Finns Party – at the time called True Finns – to a 19.1% share of the votes at the 2011 general election. Soini himself got more votes than any other politician in Finland.
However when he stepped down from the leadership role in 2017 the party split in half with Soini joining other cabinet ministers to remain in government as the more moderate Blue Reform, while his rival Jussi Halla-aho took the remaining Finns Party in a more hard-line right-wing direction.
Blue Reform were entirely wiped out at the 2019 general election, with not a single MP. making it into parliament. Soini thinks that now in a moment of change for the continent, he could have some ideas about what would make a successful political party.
“Big changes are possible. In Europe, in Finland. I am an early bird who can hear weak signals before they are waves” he tells News Now Finland.
“Common sense is lost when we are getting rid of statues, Eskimo and Geisha labels” – referring to the possible re-branding of Finnish Eskimo ice cream and Geisha chocolates – “people want work, bread, family and security not cold capitalism or red-green mumbo-jumbo.”
The 58-year old politician – he still retains a seat on Espoo City Council – is playing his cards close to his chest but this week Finnish media speculated whether the Christian Democrats could be ripe for a merger with a new party that occupies a similar space in the political spectrum.
Christian Democrat leader Sari Essayah was quoted as saying the idea was completely new to her.