This Week in Nordic Politics – Sick…

In Sweden the polls tell us that 20% of voters support the right-wing Sweden Democrats, down from 24% earlier in the year. Their sister political party the True Finns are also at around 20%. Both parties represent the strange belief that Swedish and Finnish values can only exist if we are all blond and blue-eyed. Both parties keep on repeating the same mantra that immigrants are often dangerous criminals, sexual predators and just here to take advantage of our welfare state. They also often claim that international aid is over-generous, and that the EU is killing our democratic values…

None of the political parties want to touch either party with a barge pole, but the fact that a large share of the population supports them is a sign that not all is good at home. This is understandable when unemployment is high at 10%. Many younger people are unemployed and are frustrated by the lack of job openings, like older folk, above 55 years, who have lost their jobs when big companies have closed their factories in small communities where other work is not available.

These two parties have reached out to these people who are angry and frustrated. In many ways Trump has designed his own speeches to attract the same “white silent majority” in rural areas where jobs are underpaid or hard to find. He speaks about making America great again, getting companies to open new factories in the USA, and keeping immigrants out, etc.

The sound bites are so similar to these two parties’ laments, and a great way to find a political base. Trump does not even hide his rich benefactors who pour money into his political machine, nor does he try to hide nepotism, open lying, bragging about his own “successes”, and his own swamp where donations bring big tax cuts and government contracts. His hapless supporters just see that they are supporting a man who thinks about them and who is beautifully successful – he epitomizes the American Dream. That dream is a parody of democracy, that everybody should immediately recognize were it not for the fact that so many are willfully blind or just simply unable to understand Trump is a conman because they are so desperate or unlucky.

It is then no surprise that the leader of the True Finns came out with another foul on the field. He said that the recent Nobel Prize award to the United Nations World Food Program was a political decision, and that Trump should have received it because of his efforts to secure world peace in the Middle East and with North Korea. His comments were just a shameless way to currying favour with Trump, although it is doubtful if Trump even knows where Finland is… the last time he was here he thought it was somehow part of Russia…

The other right-wing party here the Conservatives (the party is “Kokoomus” in Finnish, but they like to be officially translated into the “The National Coalition Party”– and Coalition here means they only like to have coalitions with themselves…) have been really grumpy this last months. Their special gripe is over face masks. Finland has one of the best records for an orderly management of the virus. We are one of the countries with the lowest death rates and we are far from being the worst for economic slumps. We have done better than most, but all the opposition Conservatives can talk about in Parliament is that the government has lied about the efficacity of face masks, meaning that only the Conservatives have known all along that face masks save lives and the rest of us have no idea…

You can be quite sure that the Conservatives would have been the first party to decry the obligatory use of face masks if the present government had ordered their compulsory use back in March or April! It is hard to be in opposition when a government is doing a reasonable job when faced with this dangerous pandemic.

Here are the latest relevant numbers from today 11.10.2020:

 

 

 

 

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