Finnish Politics This Week – Lot’s of Hot Air

Everything stops in Finland in June because the long dark days of winter stop, birch trees become green in a week and everybody starts thinking about jumping ion their car and going off to the summerhouse. It is the great social transformation that is regular as clockwork and cannot be stopped by anything other than rain…

This beginning of June is exceptional because 50% of the population is already ensconced in the summer houses with their outside WCs and weekly trips to the local supermarket for basic foodstuffs. Most of these supermarkets in the countryside have smaller selections than town. Avocados are rock hard, meat and fish is sold near to best by dates, and vegetables are sadly wilted. These supermarkets also have more pensioners playing on one-armed bandits. That is is big disadvantage of distance working with Teams and Zoom.

We had municipal elections on June 6th, or that is what we thought. The voting turnout was the worst ever at a touch above 50%, so it is probably better to say that we had half a municipal election! All the parties claimed a stunning victory, with no big changes except that the True Finns, Social Democrats, the Left, Conservative and Center Parties all claimed that they did very well – big yawn, and zzzzzz…

The populist leader of the True Finns also announced that he had secured and enormous victory and then decided to resign his post as the leader of the party – another big yawn. After being condemned to sitting in opposition, the fear of taking responsibility if forced to join a coalition government must have frightened the poor dear. 

… and the leader of the Conservative Party also appears to have taken his victory hard because he is now on sick leave for a month. It is hard to be a party leader with dozens of youngish enthusiastic neo-liberals snapping at your heels… Turmoil inside the Conservative party is caused by xenophiles, austerity hawks and lawyers who want to stop people demonstrating on the streets. These Conservatives never read articles by Paul Krugman or John Maynard Keynes – they prefer to talk about the sins of debt, unemployment benefits and the virtues of privatising basic public services to their mates…

The big problems today for us Finns is that we need to increase the employment, we need to get a much bigger export sector, we need to attract skilled foreigners and their families to move here – it is a lovely clean and safe country with excellent free education for offspring… 

Unfortunately for Finns, summers are generally quite short, and winter’s dark days will soon be upon us, and they will bring autumnal strikes and a weaker economy if we do not manage to agree of what needs to be done to revive employment and stimulate exports.

… and almost forgot to mention that the Green’s candidate for the Mayor of Helsinki was suddenly exposed to be allegedly a crook by the media by virtue of the fact that the authorities maybe investigating whether she had helped an acquaintance to get planning permission while sitting as the head of planning in Helsinki. Nobody knows if she will be charged, nobody knows what would be the outcome of the case if charged, but the innuendo was that “she must be a bad apple” did not help her election results. The whole matter was like one of those a Greek Trumpian dramas…  Thank goodness we do not see such tripe that often here.

Site Footer