The Finns Party, Finland's populist anti-immigration (and anti-immigrant) political party is no stranger to political scandals that repeatedly show that the party is made up people who share far-right extremist ideologies.
Councillor Risto Helin donated a clock bearing the portrait of Adolf Hitler and the swastika to a known anti-immigrant extremist group in west-coast town of Vaasa. [Source] The councillor reportedly sees nothing wrong with what he did.
According to Image, a cultural magazine based in Helsinki, the extremist group in question is called "Kerho" (in English: Club). Its members are young men who call themselves patriots, skinheads, racists and neo-Nazis. The group meets in a big yellow building at Vaasa city centre, close to the central railway station. [Source]
It is disturbing that Risto Helin gave a Hitler clock to a group of troubled young men who are enchanted by blind nationalism and a deadly ideology that claimed millions of lives under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. But even more disturbing is the fact that Helin sees nothing wrong with donating a Hitler clock to men who shamelessly identify themselves as racist.
In my view, Risto Helin's action was a show of support for the racists at the so-called Kerho. The councilman aligned himself and the Finns Party he represents with a local extremist group. No one gives a gift to or donates to a group that he/she does not support.
This is not the first time Helin is linked to right-wing extremism.
He was spotted wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of Blood & Honour - a neo-Nazi organization banned in many countries. Helin later claimed he did not know what the logo means. It is like me, a supporter of Amnesty International, wearing a shirt with Amnesty's name and logo on it, then claim I do not know what it represents.
Knowing what I know now, it is plausible to conclude that wearing the Blood & Honour T-shirt was a move designed to show solidarity with neo-Nazis. Helin just lacked courage to admit it.
The councilman seems to be unaware of many things.
He wore a neo-Nazi T-shirt and claimed he did not know what it means; he gave a Hitler clock to an extremist neo-Nazi group without knowing the repercussions or seeing anything wrong with it.
The last thing a city council needs is a councillor who promotes extremism and neo-Nazism and who does not know right from left or wrong from right. The Finns Party is full of such politicians.
*Photo of clock: Yle.