Not Necessarily Telling the Truth is So Good 

Based on what we have been seeing this last few months in England, in the USA and now in Finland, not necessarily telling the truth is obviously a good thing because they all do it… that comment is meant to be very ironic…

The “they” here refers to the American President who the Financial Times describes to be a “pathological lier”, and the same title also appears to apply to most of his colleagues in the Republican Party! 

The same nomenclature can apply to the UK’s Prime Minister who has picked up the same habits from Trump. He will say anything, true or not, to lead his country to a glorious future… at least for him.

Naturally our friends in less democratic countries have developed the art of subterfuge to the highest possibly degree to achieve even greater riches, wealth and power.

Now we have here in Helsinki a similar group of political “fixers” who “play with facts” to attract supporters into their fold with little intention of keeping their promises… They have no hesitation to say things that are so far from the sort of honest straight forward politicians that we need. 

Finland is a small country with a high living standard, but we have growth and productivity problems, we need to invest more in industry and services, we need to improve productivity of the public sector and the basic public services, we need to get more people into the labour market, we need to care for a growing elderly population, and we need to increase the birth rate. These cannot be done if no political majority is willing to reduce the number of municipalities, to reduce unemployment benefits, to force fathers to take paternity leave and to shorten maternity leave to get women back faster in the labour market, to consolidate the pension funds, to help SME’s grow faster, to encourage immigration, and above all, to invest in education and training at all levels. 

But let’s look at this Finnish Post Office scandal and how the opposition has used it for no worthy cause. 

In the first place the board of the Post Office together with the agreement and support of the CEO decided to reduce unilaterally the wages of several thousand postal workers. 

This was against the expressed wishes of the PM who had spoken clearly with the former CEO before such a decision was made.

The board then went ahead with this plan but only after reducing the number of affected employees. The board claimed publicly that this was necessary because that part of the postal services was losing money and that their competitors were using cheaper work contracts. Neither fact was true and these were brazen lies.

Cutting workers’ wages unilaterally by 30% is immoral especially when management are receiving between €200 000 and €800 000 annual payments! This is no ordinary profit maximising stock exchange company but a 100% state-owned company with an important statutory function of delivering the mail and newspapers.

Cutting workers’ wages unilaterally by 30% is obviously going to cause strikes and labour market chaos for any government. 

The board must have known this would happen and one cannot help but believe that this was a deliberate provocation from the right-wing parties in opposition. 

There can be no doubt that the minister deserved to be sacked, that her failure to act in the right way when the board was made these decisions is a far smaller transgression than the cruel and inhuman way the board behaved. The opposition’s behaviour is nothing but noise now and they are trying to squeeze blood from a situation that they would never themselves have accepted. The Conservatives know full well that there would have been huge strikes and labour disruption if the Post Office board had made such a decision. They would have never accepted such a drastic action… and the True Finns rely on workers like postmen as their voters, so they would also never have accepted to reduce workers pay like this as well.

Countries like Finland do not need leaders who are not necessarily telling the truth, like the Finnish Post Office who seemed to have forgotten their mission statement: “Our main mission is to take care of the flow of commerce and everyday life…”

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