So, Finland has gone the way of much of the rest of Europe and delivered an election result that is decidedly counter to the political and social zeitgeist that our leaders would have us believe they should have rightly endorsed. Unsurprisingly, the ‘progressive’ brigade have spluttered into action, and wild prophesies proliferate of the inexorable rise of the Far-Right and the certain doom of our enlightened European project.
And to be honest, not really knowing Finnish politics, I’m not really qualified to comment one way or another. The prophesies might be true, for all I hope they’re not. But then, a wise man once said that you learn a lot about a man from the calibre of his enemies, and the Finnish election has certain shaken to life that small and sanctimonious mob who like to view themselves as the guardians of ‘progressive’ thought and action.
Needless 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 force, taken from the mouth of a university Professor (so they must be true), to include nationalism, xenophobia, disturbing, fear, anxiety, Nazi, ‘pure Finnish children’, and much else besides.
Of course, and as one has come to expect, the ‘evidence’ offered by the ‘progressives’ for this decidedly worrying assessment seem to be rather, well, shaky, and more confirms their convictions than their case. Indeed, in their determination to inject their own progressive brand of divisive and hate-filled rhetoric into the debate, they rather over-play their hand.
To choose one example of several, what is the evidence that True Finns are, in the rather robust words of Left Foot Forward, a ‘homophobic party’?
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…[their emphasis]
Huh? This is a disturbing element? Belief that marriage is between one man and woman is homophobic now? But hang on a minute, that’s the same as what the laws of our land say. And the same as our national religion says. And the same as all mainstream religions say. And the same as rather a large amount of people with no religious affiliation say. And because they say that, that’s how people understand the term ‘marriage’. It is tautologous to say that marriage is between a man and a woman; there’s no other sort.
That’s rather a lot of unwitting homophobes.
Still, there was more ‘evidence’;
The right to adoption do not give the same sex couples. [sic]
Ahhh, gay adoption, that festering thorn in the side of Call Me Dave’s Big Society idea, which calls out desperately for more people to become involved in civic society whilst closing down adoption agencies and Christians trying to do just that.
Still, even this piece of ‘evidence’ requires a sleight of hand, and rather depends upon a caricature, that of a slathering goon hauling existential insults at those in same-sex relationships, that was almost entirely absent from the gay adoption debate, and was never taken seriously by either side on that odd occasion when it did rear its head, usually at the behest of journalists and broadcasters determined to spice things up a little.
No, most (if not all) of the opposition that I ever remember being presented tended to be rather different indeed, and focussed on a positive vision of parenthood, and a sincere belief that a vulnerable individual would do best with the love of a mother and a father (which lots of people will agree with), rather than on maintaining that gay people are without any parenting skills (which lots of people will disagree with). Or to put it differently, for many this was about childrens’ welfare, not gay rights, and a different vision of what it is that vulnerable children require when entering into an adoptive family.
To blithely dismiss this opposition as mere homophobia is emblematic of the arrogant and cloth-eared approach for which the ‘progressive’ left have become rightly renowned (and increasingly excoriated). They might disagree, and on principled grounds, but is the very argument homophobic? Not if one bothers to use that word with any shred of accuracy or honesty.
True Finns have not accepted either of infertility adoption for single women or female couples…
Which, if one dealt with this on the level of sober and rational reflection, is the entirely logical and rational extension of a previous position. If a party believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that people can be excluded from that on account of their sexuality (as the laws of this country maintain, incidentally), then the same logic can clearly and consistently be extended to the provision of fertility treatment, since it would be strange reasoning that would deny same-sex marriage whilst funding same-sex biological parenting (even whilst opposing same-sex adoptive parenting). Indeed, saying anything else would lead us all to scratch our heads and say ‘how on earth do they square that one?’, and might be a better indication of the kind of irrational thought one generally associates with the various -isms that the ‘progressive’ left like to throw at anyone who would gainsay their own deeply inflexible moral worldview.
So much for ‘evidence’ of that True Finn are a ‘homophobic party’, then.
Though it doesn’t stop there. Other ‘disturbing aspects’ of the True Finn manifesto include an approach to culture and immigration that most people in this country would agree with, being itself a rejection of the multiculturalism that segregates society with all that entails, as well as a demand for ‘cultural aid’ state funding to be directed toward the strengthening of Finnish identity, which whilst with sinister potential is also vague enough to be entirely harmless, as well as something that will find expression in this country, and often has, usually at or around the time of St. George’s Day, amongst other times.
To be clear, this isn’t me defending True Finns or anybody else, and if they turn out to be guilty of all those vices prematurely ascribed to them then it really is no skin off my nose. But seriously, the divisive and rancorous diatribe we get from the ‘progressive’ wing every time someone or something pops up that challenges their distinctly inflexible, and evidently extreme, doctrines and dogmas, is more than simple good patience can bear.
And be in no doubt, those who hold that perfectly normal people with perfectly mainstream beliefs, on marriage for example, are all actually homophobic, are the extreme ones. We should not let them forget it.