This Week in Finnish Politics – Dirty

At last – Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU will end now and what a relief….

The political leadership has not had time to run the country properly and the opposition parties and the popular media have been poking around the most unimportant matters to prove that they know it all!

Two weeks ago we saw the selection of a new PM, Ms. Marin, who took over from Mr. Rinne, the former labour leader. He resigned because he stopped the Post Office board from implementing a 30% wage cut aimed at around 700 postal workers. His handling of the matter was not in strict compliance with “generally accepted” corporate governance policy.

Prime Ministers are not supposed to interfere in corporate affairs even if the government owns the whole company, even if the company has an important statutory duty to perform like delivering the post, and even if the board is destroying the very activities they are meant to support and develop. 

Let it be known that the board’s prior decisions to cut the salaries of newspaper delivery workers caused a flight of experienced employees who was then replaced by hard-working but inexperienced immigrants who could get no other jobs. The post office is paying them a pittance – high staff turnover and a lack of workers has meant that printed newspapers and magazines are not being delivered in accordance with contractual duty. It is the management on the board of the post office that should have been replaced…

But let’s get back to important matters…

You may have noticed that there was a climate change summit in Madrid that was basically dealing with saving the globe. It failed to agree on any concerted action yet again because the USA, China, India, Poland, and others think that burning fossil fuels is fine… The impact of non-action for all of the Nordic countries is a serious risk for us.

You also may have noticed that Mr Trump, a pathological liar, is being impeached for very serious abuses of his position, which for most of us are plainly in sight. He has also done everything possible to destroy the smooth flow of global trade. The impact of lower levels of trade are very bad for open economies like the Nordic countries, and he is setting a very bad example as a political leader when he tells blatant lies almost every day!

You also may have noticed that another pathological liar is running the British government who appears to be leaving membership of the European Union only to be trying to join it again with a trade deal that will certainly not leave them in a better position. The impact of Brexit is certainly not a good thing for any of the Nordic countries because free trade with the UK has always been important.

When you look at the newspapers or watch the news you would expect that the above three important matters should have made headline news here in Helsinki. But no…

… the main newspapers and other media have concentrated on the sex and age of the new prime minister and on the possible return of two or three orphan children from refugee camps where some 20 or 30 Finnish women imprisoned along with their children because they were either married or partners to ISIS fighters. (BTW – we have no criminals, fraudsters, sex offenders, drug dealers, thieves, rapists, etc here in Finland…)

The main opposition parties here in Helsinki seem to think that these two subjects are worth spending time and money discussing to the exclusion of climate change, the problems created by Mr Trump and the problems created by Brexit. For some reason the main newspapers and the main medium here in Helsinki have concentrated on this storm in a teacup. 

Our new prime minister, summed up the frustration of thinking people by accusing the opposition of shameless behaviour. 

And for the record it’s worth noting that both the True Finns and the Conservatives are today’s biggest opposition parties, and they were in power a few years ago when Finland saw the biggest number of immigrants come into the country and when the Post Office board decided to cut the wages of the newspaper delivery men and women. 

Hence one can only hope that these parties will realise that they could redeem themselves like Mr Scrooge in the Charles Dickens’ book by recalling that Christmas is a time of goodwill towards all men.

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