Thursday, March 16, 2006

Free Speech - Maturity

When a small child uses indecent words, the responsibility rests on the parents and his teachers to correct the child.

When grown-up politicians behave in a similar manner, it rests on a Free Press with responsible journalists to bring them under control by exposing such immature behaviour.

When journalists behave in this manner, whose responsibility is it to bring them under control? Street mobs, fundamentalists, religious zealots, opportunist "politicians", etc.?

In this entry, I take up the issue of politicians. I draw attention to the behaviour of Finnish prime minister, Matti Vanhanen, who recently went on a jaunt to India.

Vanhanen spent valuable Finnish tax payers money to go and open a Nokia Oyj factory in Chennai, formerly known as Madras, in India.

Did any responsible Finnish media journalist ask the question as to how and why a Finnish prime minister spent this money to open the factory of a multinational whose Finnish ownership is less than 20%?

Not one!

The best joke I read about this was from the Finnish Foreign Ministry news source (STT) which said that the opening of the factory (conveniently) coincided with the visit of the prime minister in India!

If you believe that, maybe I have a bridge to sell you.

Vihantasalmi Bridge in Finland

Vihantasalmi Bridge in Finland

"In relation to Finland's small size, Mr Vanhanen's visit received ample press coverage in India.

The prime minister said the interest could be partly explained by the official opening of Nokia's mobile phone factory in Chennai, timed to coincide with the visit. The factory is the first of its kind in India and is seen to represent a significant step forward for the whole country." (STT)

More interesting was the speech that Vanhanen gave in New Delhi where he called on India to open up its markets to "Free Trade" and embrace "Globalisation".

Matti Vanhanen (Centre Party), the Finnish prime minister, strongly advocated trade liberalisation at a lunch meeting with businessmen in Delhi on Monday.

With Kamal Nath, the Indian trade and industry minister, among the audience, Mr Vanhanen said free trade and deregulation together constituted one of the cornerstones of Finland's current economic prowess. He added that the early deregulation of the telecommunications and energy industries had catapulted Finnish firms to global success.

"Today our lesson learned is clear: barriers create inefficiency in the economic system at all levels. Exposure to global competition has taught us a lesson, the fruits of which are visible to you all," Mr Vanhanen said.

He also urged India to actively participate in the liberalisation of trade at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

"All studies show that a successful Doha round would produce tremendous benefits for the world economy, for developed and developing countries. WTO negotiations would help countries to progressively open their markets to competition for the benefit of all. India has a vital role to play in the Doha Development Round."(STT)

This showed the ignorance and stupidity of a person who, in a coup, took over the Finnish prime ministership.

What the public thought of him was revealed in the recent Finnish Presidential election where he mustered just 18.6% of the popular vote!

Does this man, Vanhanen, know that the wife of an Indian engineer who works for Nokia OYj in Finland, could not get her visa to stay in Finland renewed but had to fly all the way back to India to able to get a permit to stay with her husband?

India has been the centre of Free Trade for generations. The spice markets of India have been known for thousands of years.

It was the western colonialists - Britain (British East India Company), Dutch, Portuguese and the French, who came to trade in India and then colonised the country for their personal benefit driving the Indians into poverty by exploitation - their version of “Free Trade”?

On the one hand, the Finnish media shows no restraint in highlighting the poverty in India.

On the other, the same media fails to question the drive of the Finnish Prime Minister towards the western powers agenda of Free Trade, which would result in causing greater discrepancy between the rich and the poor as the modern day colonialists want to drive the poor of India to greater poverty!

Luckily, India is a democracy, the world's largest, and there are enough political forces that will not allow Vanhanen type "politicians” to put Indians into deeper poverty under the guise of globalisation and free trade.

The Finns take great comfort in such utterances:

"Mr Vanhanen added that Finland's success in surveys about competitiveness, education, level of corruption and sustainable development might have something to do with the level of interest as well." (STT)

The Finnish bureaucracy and media is great at creating a polished image, an image far from the truth. They are masters of distortion to show the world that it it is progressive, corrupt-free country.

As Annikki, my better half has put it "Finns like to show the world a highly polished image of themselves, like a beautiful apple. But if one is to cut this apple open, one finds rather a rotten core inside!"

In my humble opinion, based on my personal experience over the last 22 years, Finland has a corrupt political system, aided by a corrupt law enforcement service and judiciary, but above all a totally corrupt self-serving bureaucracy.

The very fact that Vanhanen is prime minister today demonstrates the degree of corruption in the country.

An lady politician, Anneli Jääteenmäki, who took the Centre Party to victory in the last General Election, was dislodged by two viscous Finnish politicians - Paavo Lipponenn (Social Democrat) and none other than Vanhanen.

When Anneli Jääteenmäki was cleared of all charges by the Finnish Courts, did Vanhanen offer to give the lady back her rightful place as the Prime Minister of the country?

No way - as he is enjoying his power base.

And has the Finnish Media said a word - NOT ONE!


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