One of the great puzzles of our time is how busy leaders want to be even busier than before! The current Mayor of Helsinki, a Conservative Party person, has been a minister, a political appointee at the EIB, and a member of Parliament. Like many other politicians he has never held a job outside politics except for a couple of years running the Track & Field Sport Association. He had no special sporting bad ground other than running fast when caught doing something naughty in his wilder youth days…
Now he wants to be Chairman of the Finnish Olympic Committee – an ideal position for a politician who has his eyes on becoming the President of Finland when the present one retires.
The Olympic Committee does very important work like sitting in the best seats at the Olympics, handing out €20 000 and €10 000 sport scholarships, and shaking the hands of the ones that win medals. They also get to stay in good hotels, travel business class and have drivers driving them in nice black Mercs at these events.
As mayor of Helsinki he is on track for making some improvements, like increasing the fares of public transport, increasing the cost of resident parking, making sure that we have enough road works to stop traffic moving around. He has also promised to stop burning coal at some time in the future even though Stockholm managed this four decades ago!
He has also been criticising the government for its poor communication on how to deal with the Pandemic, even though they have been well understood by every other city, town and village in the country except Espoo, another Conservative party stronghold.
Helsinki, and Espoo are neighbours that form the metropolitan area with a third city called Vantaa, where we keep our main Helsinki airport, have been complaining that social distancing should not apply to them. They need to be kept open at any cost because they are the richest cities in Finland that produce huge tax revenues, and these beautiful tax revenues are being stolen by the rest of the country according to these two leaders. They behave a bit like like Trump in all of their arrogance…
In the heavily populated Helsinki & Espoo metropolitan area many of the largest companies have their head offices and this is the seat of government where the best paid live comfortable lives. It is little wonder that the two cities’ tax receipts are high – it has nothing to do with the charismatic leaders…
Finland is a small country that lives off consensus and coalitions between the parties and loud-mouthed politicians are not a useful addition to busy group running the country. Naturally we sometimes need a wake-up call to shake out some dust but that is not the case now with the economic and healthcare crisis.
It is time for these two to get on with quietly managing their cities and stop crying foul all the time. The job of the opposition is to be constructive, even with local elections on the horizon.
Photo: Wikipedia Commons from European People’s Party.