A Breath of Fresh Air Is Always Welcome!

In an Op-Ed column in the New York Times, (“Women’s Work Is Never Done”, Aug. 27, 2022) Maureen Dowd, a winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize, wrote:

“Sanna Marin, Finland’s 36-year-old prime minister, is under fire for dancing with her friends in a country that always gets named “the happiest country in the world” in the United Nations-sponsored World Happiness Report. What a grim, still-sexist world this is, when Marin is forced to tearfully apologize — and take a drug test — after video leaked of her letting loose.”

Our Prime Minister comes with the exuberance of a thirty-year old successful person… These are the people that fill the bars and restaurants on their own private time and dance and chat through to the early hours. Helsinki has several adult places where bankers, fund managers, doctors, consultants, and politicians are seen on a regular basis. 

The problem for many older folk is that they have seldom seen a national leader younger than 40 years old, and even less often has there been a woman. Most of them are older grey men between 50 and 80 years old, many of whom have indulged in boozing, adultery, wild parties, sexual harassment, and or other illicit or fun activities on the side! We all know who they are from Trump to Belusconi, Kennedy, Clinton, Johnson, and after a long list to former President Kekkonen, one of the outstanding Finnish Presidents of former times.

It is clear that it is impossible to defend the person who took the video and released it but you can be quite sure that the prime Minister did not intend to have this stuff published in the public domain – she may have some bad apple friends that have let her down, but she did nothing wrong and certainly nothing illegal.

Older folk who have never had fun will always send letters to the editor complaining about things they have missed, and the two big media companies here (Sanoma and Alma) look like they are paying their journalists fat bonuses to dig up any juicy story just to sell more advertising space on their tabloids à la Murdoch, that great Trumpian supporter… Can you think of a more ridiculous and duplicitous way to make an extra dollar!

As the Guardian stated recently, 24.08.2022 by Sirin Kale: 

“The social media savvy Marin was seen as a necessary breath of fresh air for her party, attracting a much-needed younger voter base… An efficient, competent administrator who lacks the wild charisma of a Clinton or a Blair, Marin prefers an unshowy, evidence-based approach to decision-making. She proved adroit at managing the complicated intra-party relationships required of Finland’s coalition politics, leading her coalition to agree a new budget in April 2021 after tense negotiation.”

What our hardworking Prime Minister does in private is her own business – she has done a good job, better than most PM’s in Finland, during Covid and during Putin’s brutal war against Ukraine. Together with our President and her ministers, she has organised Finland’s entry into the Nato fold and also brought much positive visibility to shine on Finland in the global markets.

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