Thursday, June 2, 2011

Junttilandia - in words and action

While our future government parties are having a party debating, the country stands without a clear vision and without a clear leader for the future. The longer they debate, worse it only gets.

There is a saying in Swedish that goes; the more the chefs, the worse the soup. And this soup is getting very very bitter. Now practically all parties have been negotiating with the lead negotiator. It does not matter if they won or lost the election - the lead negotiator is seaking for a majority coalition and nothing else seems to matter. Today they even speculate that the same parties as before the election would continue. Hello! People voted change! What is this?

Simoultaneously Nokia is dipping big time, specualtions about Microsoft buying our world famous mobile maker and doubts about its survival after 2012. It just seems like the elected politicians do not have a clue how to handle this. It is not business as usual anymore. ...They are promising to help Portugal (and Greece) while the government negotiations strand on how to finance our own debt...Worse it gets if Nokia is out of the picture. So far it has been the forestry sector sacking and closing mills. The lay off at Nokia has been a "temporary dipp". What if it is not temporary, what if Nokia and its all subcontractors are going downhill big time... unemployment, no more corporate tax income from this sector...I do understand that the politicians have problems to get ends meet in their financial calculations. Finland has been too proud for too long of the cell phone wonder from the 90's. From the 90's! Two decades ago! Imagine listening to those europop beats or Nirvana (although the latter would be better) nonstop on the radio for 15 years... talk about being creative after that...

Sadly enough, the only party winning on this (previously unheard of) negotiation rumba is of course the True Finns. They stand by their position on Portugal, which to me even starts to make sense, when the government negotiators cannot agree on how to decrease our own debt. They try to cover up their racist views by political anti-racism statements. Well, the statement did not gain too much credibility in the media, as the second part of the statement showed that they are not willing to stand by their word in action - wanting to abolish affirmative action for all minorities living in Finland. But these days it does not matter what the establishment (printed press, tv news) says about things. The True Finns gain street credibility no matter how much their elected members talk about "neekeriukot" or preach about the unfairness of Swedish speaking university degrees.

True Finns are not only gaining popularity in the post-election polls, they are gaining supporters who are more than willing to show their opinion in both words and action; Immigrant busdrivers get beaten up, immigrant mothers are told to shut up on the bus, Swedish speaking Finns are told they are not worthy to celebrate Finnish hockey gold. And then the latest I read about, a Finn (half Nigerian if I understood it correct) being insulted and almost dragged down a lake while peacefully reading a book on the first real summer day of the year (you can read his note here in Finnish, it is excellent:Sinä olet se miltä Suomi näyttää ).

Its only been a month since I had to explain the meaning of the word "juntti" to my husband (Finnish answer to American rednecks). Yes, we lived in Finland for five fortunate years, before he was confronted with the term. And I never felt the urge to introduce it to him either, did not seem to matter, as we are all living in Finland and I have no necessity to label people by the way they act or dress. Now, these junttis are popping up like mushrooms everywhere. They do not only reside in remote countryside villages or in the Karaoke bars of the cities. Young and old, man or woman; its just trendy to be a juntti.

So all of you who thought that Finland was winning practically every measurement of modern open society: its a fraud - the truth is out there, and it is not what it looks like in international comparative ratings.... we are going down, down the hill - and there is no Nokia (nor government) to the rescue!

But I do not want to end my long posting with a negative connotation. Instead, I confess to be a believer. I believe that the majority of people living in Finland are representatives of these open modern societies, where education is the core, pluralism is the norm and tolerance is a virtue. What we need is a big kick in our ass, to stand up and put an end to all this nonsense!

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