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But seriously ...Finnish But seriously ...Finnish
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-03-07 09:43:16
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History is not written with ‘ifs’ and especially politics. However living in Finland and having often to deal with the less corrupted country on earth and the way Finns look at the rest of us from our corrupted world I’m somehow forced to work with some... ifs.

Let’s say that tomorrow you are reading in the British state news agency the all mighty BBC, that Gordon Brown calls the British people to boycott Sainsbury’s – a well known British supermarket and hypermarket chain – because they don’t have anymore his favourite PG pyramid tea bags! What follows is like domino reaction.

The very same evening the conservative party and David Cameron have an orgasm on the Westminster asking Gordon Brown if he’s applying for a job for PG tea bags maker since he’s soon losing his job. The Daily Mail will have a headline “The PM leads more people to unemployment with his attack to Sainsbury’s” and the Sun will interview British tea bags makers for their unfair treatment from the PM and the girls on page 3 will be covered with team bags.

The Times will be talking about the corruption in the Labour party and the Guardian will call the members of the Labour party to rebel and return to old values. The Sky News would organize special late evening panels and CNN would be the next one to follow. Of course Barrack Obama will cancel his invitation to Gordon Brown for breakfast in the White House and the Labour party would move quickly in the next two months to elect a new leadership on the way for the election.

The same time people stop shopping in Sainsbury’s and due to bad results the first quarter the supermarket chain has to do some hundreds of lay outs. Of course the Prime Minister apologizes to the public but …it’s too late.

I nearly forgot to add in my ifs that there is a funny case going on a few months now about the Party and the PM’s funding as well, suspicions that include funding from bankrupt state companies and organizations, something that has carefully been covered.

After CNN all international news agencies, state or not will pick the news and Gordon will wish he was somewhere in Scotland fishing and thinking how to write his memoirs. The Finnish news will most likely have huge photos of the British PM with tears in his eyes apologizing to the public and special reports would be in Finnish, Swedish, English, even in Sami language.

You don’t like the ifs with Gordon Brown? Let’s pick any other European nation and if you have the slightest idea of that nation put the same story there, think of Angela Merkel and what DW would say, think of Nicolas Sarkozy and TV1 or even Berlusconi! If Berlusconi, the European master of major gaffs, had said anything like that it would have become an issue for the European parliament with the Italian EPMs the first to do so and then he would have to come with a new change for the Italian constitution this time to save himself.

I don’t know what exactly Matti Vanhanen said due to the language barrier, but I know what the national news agency YLE reported in their English version site and I quote: “Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen says he is personally boycotting the S chain of grocery stores over their decision to phase out milk from Finland's biggest dairy group, Valio, at a few stores. Instead these outlets are selling Finnish milk under the Swedish-owned brand Arla Ingman. The SOK Group, which owns the S grocery stores, says the decision is based on price, availability and logistics -- and stresses that the milk on sale will remain 100 percent Finnish. The S group has been offering Arla milk for a year now.”

Please read carefully, the supermarket chain continues selling Finnish milk but “under the Swedish-owned brand Arla Ingman” and they don’t sell milk under a certain Finnish brand! Valio is a Finnish dairy private brand, perhaps the biggest among other Finnish dairy companies but still not the only one! So the PM didn't ...promote Finnish products but certain private brand products! 

I’m not going to make any further comment and please don’t bother to send me the usual mails about foreigners who live in Finland just think how you would have reacted if that was happening in any other country …with corruption!!!

 


    
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Emanuel Paparella2010-03-07 11:57:02
“Corruptio optima pessima” (the corruption of the best is the worst) is a paradoxical ancient Roman statement. It is paradoxical because the slogan aptly describes the final demise of the Romans at the end of the glory that was Rome. Even a Marcus Aurelius could not stop the final corruption and by the time we get to a Nero or a Caligula, all that the Romans could do is talk about the virtue of honesty and reminisce about the glory days of the republic, while Seneca commits suicide in sheer desperation at witnessing the corrupt behavior of a Roman emperor. Indeed, the fact that one has to proclaim and brag about one’s honesty means that one has already lost it. Those who have virtue do not talk about it; they just practice it and consider it a normal component of any viable society. On the other hand, even an inveterate liar, even a politician, has to tell the truth 90% of the time or in a short time nobody will believe him any longer and he will not be elected any longer. Some of them are honest 6 days a week and corrupt on Wednesday. Socrates would demur: virtue is not something one turns on and off like a faucet; one either has it or doesn’t have it. The tragedy consists in not in being corrupt and know it, but of being corrupt and not even being aware of it thinking oneself born without any original sin. Plato’s myth of the cave is instructive here: to became aware of one’s original corruption one has to escape the realm of shadows and appearances in the cave and encounter the light of the sun (the Truth) outside and after that one will have to transcend even the sight of the sun and arrive at the conclusion that even it is moved by “l’amor che move il sole e le altre stelle" (the love that moves the sun and the other stars).


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