“True Finns” Try to Limit Public Broadcaster’s Independence

We have seen it happen in Turkey, Hungary, China, and Russia, and now we have the dangerous smoke signals appearing on the horizon here in Finland.

We have always been proud about our well-developed education system where we have good teachers and attentive students learning everything from mathematics to languages. We have always believed that the written word and culture in the broadest sense are the paths to democracy that is based on equality, knowledge and transparency.

We are also proud of our public broadcasting company we call YLE for short – that abbreviation is pronounced something like “youlay” – a typically tricky Finnish use of vowels!

Now we have a new political party lining itself up for joining a new government here together with the Conservatives, and they are called the True Finns. They are a populist party from the hard right. They see Finland as being some sort of blue-eyed, blond bunch of family-loving Christians.

Given that less than 5% of Finns go to church, some 50% of all marriages end up with divorce, and that Finns are a mixture of many Finno-Ugric people who appear to have migrated from many different parts of the continent, there is not much credibility to believe that the Finnish population represents some Germanic Master race of Aryans!

One of the True Finns brilliant representative in Parliament, one with three convictions for incitement against immigrants, has announced that our public broadcaster should have its funding cut and its content censured.

If the Conservative Party can live with that type of politics, then they certainly deserve to be in government, but not here – rather in Hungary or in some other far-flung fossil fuel country where the police can happily bash protesters on the head for walking on the streets…

We all know the expressions – “Out of the frying pan, into the fire…” or “Discovering that the light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an oncoming train.”

One cannot be too optimistic about the present negotiations to form a new coalition government just now…

Cartoon: Wikipedia  Cartoonistarif

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