Two groups of senior Finnish people are at loggerheads in two bitter disputes.
One is in Parliament and the other is between two Chairmen (current and former) of the board of Nokia. It is rare that Finns, especially men, loose their cool, but now we find that our glorious leaders cannot agree to disagree.
The first outbreak of bad temper started in Parliament right after a vote of no-confidence aimed at the Foreign Minister. This was voted down by the government majority. As readers will recall, the Foreign Minister had made time during a taxpayer-paid trip to Canada to protest against abortions. Whatever his personal views about abortion it is not good practice to claim the high moral ground when officially representing Finland in a foreign country. Finland has allowed legal abortions for decades as a women’s right and that is the law. Foreign Ministers are not smart if they make public statements opposing his own laws while travelling abroad.
The three parties in government were “encouraged” to vote against the opposition’s censor because a vote of no confidence would have caused the possibility of new elections. A few Conservative Party female MP’s could not bring themselves to vote and abstained, while the Centre Party, a party with strong Protestant traditions, was only too happy to vote against the motion! Some folk from the Conservatives started accusing the Centre Party of putting pressure on them to vote against the motion, and that caused the Centre Party to explode in utter disbelief. They claimed that they would never push their government party colleagues around!
This is a molehill in a tea cup – the government all appear to be hypocrites in the eyes of voters!
But there is a mountain in the teacup regarding the boys from Nokia. Mr. Ollila was Chairman of the board when they moved from being the biggest mobile phone maker to the smallest! It was well known that he did not suffer fools, according to his definition, which basically meant that, like Mr. Trump, his voice roared if anyone on the board or in the company dared to cross him or have a different opinion on strategy. Nokia had all the technology to continue to be a dominant force but he guided their self-destruction skilfully. This was well-known to industrial insiders for years but the current Chairman of Nokia’s board has just come out with a new book where his describes with plenty of colour Mr. Ollila’s “Scream Team”. Mr. Ollila, like Mr. Trump, was offended by this book and has responded accordingly! Mr. Ollila has never taken public responsibility for Nokia’s wrong strategy that led to its demise.
The media will be reporting these stories for the amusement of readers during the next couple of weeks as winter storms come with the first snow up in the Finnish north…
… and why are Finns like the Swedes?
The election in Sweden had the worst possible outcome with the Left and the Right blocks getting almost equal seats (144 and 143 seat respectively) in Parliament around 145, with the extreme nationalist Sweden Democrats having a big swing vote of 62 seats. The Right have decided not to work with the Sweden Democrats, but the latter have just voted twice with the Right and it looks like that the winter will be freezing cold in Sweden too! Even if the Right block does not want to be associated with the Sweden Democrats (SD), they can hold on to power by having them as secret voting partner – the SD are like ticks, unwelcome nasty insects and quite poisonous when they bite and suck your blood.