Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Timo Haapala on Soini's costly slip-up

Another piece of frankly brilliant blogging from Timo Haapala, our man from Arcadia hill. Take a gander:

In three weeks we know where we stand.

Or rather, we know where to begin. Begin to form a new ruling coalition, that is.

Three weeks seem to be the limit of Soini's sense of direction and speed, and accordingly he finally slipped up. Big time. 

Soini has raged everywhere that he and his party will always and everywhere vote against opting into the EU's financial fund and financial instruments, be they temporary or permanent. If Soini is to decide, not a cent will be given as collateral by Finland.


Yes, unless we agree that Soini will be in the ruling coalition but will still maintain a right for his party to vote against the bailout funds. Soini has always been at the throat of the Green Coalition, who have remained despite their own program in a coalition that authorised the building permits for two new nuclear plants. The Green Coalition voted freely against their coalition partners, and now Soini said in an interview with YLE (Finnish Broadcast Company) that he wants the same deal for his party.

The difference is huge however; the EU rescue funds are to do with the entire basis of the future coalition's economic policy, as well as their EU-policy. Soini wants to sit both in the government and the opposition at the same time, two chairs at the same time. A normal person would tear themselves apart trying a feat like that.

Soini wants to pick and choose which parts of actually being in the ruling coalition suit him. It does not work that way.

No wonder then that the other parties made a noise about Soini's brainfart. If you are in the ruling coalition, you are part of the ruling coalition. You are sitting in the back of a ministerial automobile, not out and about in the towns and markets, cracking crude jokes about the gov't decisions amongst your prospective voters. Would be nice though, but it just doesn't work that way.

A few have suspected that Soini is aiming to purposely set the bar of cooperation in a coalition so high, he will have another election cycle of cozy shouting from the opposition sidelines and no actual responsibility.

Soini's talk of the EU financial instrument reveal it's not that; it's more that he speaks whatever comes to his mind. Constantly putting his foot in his mouth.

In the same caste are Soini's lesser (depending on your circumstances) stances on issues like abortion and religion. Soini says he doesn't have to justify, or indeed even express his view on abortion because "other politicians are not asked such things". Yes you need to answer those, yes they are asked and indeed have been asked. And are being asked, especially now. "This is just the way it is" is not enough for a politician who seriously considers himself a contender for the next Prime Minister.

Four years ago, before the last election, Soini kept repeating the figure 10 to 12 MPs as a suitable goal for the True Finns. If they got more than that, Soini thought there would be 'too many contesting leaders' in the party. 

Well, remains to be seen if they can handle even one leader.

The True Finns' campaign manifesto and especially the art discussion therein has been criticised. Soini has proceeded to explain that it is in fact a wittily placed joke in their manifesto, expertly designed to provoke the cultural elite. You're having a laugh. A person with less of a sense of humour, such as myself would ask from Soini which exactly are the jokey part in the campaign manifesto and which are the serious ones. Would it be possible for the True Finns to produce a campaign manifesto with the joke bits in italics and the serious bits bolded? 

Or maybe the entire thing is a big joke?

x x x x x x x x

The decisions concerning the EU financial instrument and the bailout funds, which need to be made before next summer's EU summit will definitely affect Finland. A worthy task even for the Social Democrats, if they get into the coalition government and have to be involved in the negotiations. A permanent crisis fund seems to be easier to swallow for each party, as it delegates some of the responsibility to the banks. 

In all likeliness the people will be totally clueless about not only the temporary ERVV and permanent EVM/ESM financial instruments and the collaterals required et cetera. Even then.

Which is no wonder. Politicians are too, MPs and those wanting to be MPs.

This Monday A-Studio asked of the candidates and MPs what they know of the EU financial instruments. Nearly everyone - even current MPs! - were completely baffled by the concept, even though the media has been inundated with information about the subject for months on end and the parliament has used hundreds of hours speaking about them. It is no wonder that the citizenry does not know which parties are in the governing coalition, if the ruling political class is operating at this level.

In Europe it is being debated why Finland of all countries has become an eurosceptic nation just before the elections. 

In Finland the concept of Impivaara is being raised.

Who knows which is right and which is wrong.

One needs to remember though, speaking of Impivaara, that the seven brothers came back from Impivaara through snow and ice, in the biting cold when it caught on fire. This story is related in Seven Brothers by Aleksis Kivi. MPs and those wanting to be MPs would do well to read it after finding out for themselves what the EU financial instruments are all about. Who knows if a citizen might ask it in one of the squares and markets...