Wednesday, 18 February 2015 10:07

Empty speeches and wrong opinions – the freedom of speech in Finland

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Hello, since during the last 20 days my site has been opened from 15+ different countries I’ve decided to write this weekly comment in English.

Last Friday 13.2.2015 I attended a conference called “Empty speeches and wrong opinions – the freedom of speech in Finland, translation from Finnish”:

It was a kind of discussion in which the main participants were: Risto Uimonen, Johana Korhonen, Matti Vanhanen, Niklas Kaskeala and a member of the Finns Party (the former True Finns), whose name I don’t remember, because he replaced Mr. Jussi Halla-aho practically in the last minute before the meeting started.

In general the whole meeting went in a way, where the leading speaker Mr. Niklas Kaskeala was asking the above mentioned panel questions and they were answering. At the end the audience (about 60+ people) was given the right to ask namely 4 questions, as Mr. Kaskeala chose the people who could ask.

Anyway during his speech Mr. Risto Uimonen said that lately Finland has been doing really well in freedom of speech comparisons and that in many regards it has over performed even countries such as UK and the US – in my view that was his and the panel’s (“conference’s”) general conclusion.

Well I was not given a chance to speak or ask, which is OK... almost no-one except for the panel was, but I think that in many regards the direct comparisons between UK, the US and Finland are a kind of vague, because of the great differences between the societies and the scope of the countries and their medias. For instance in the Anglo-Saxon World an open panel-conversation, like the discussed here, is more like real-life discussion, where the public is greatly involved and that according to me is freedom of speech and opinion for real! Also if we envision the facts, for example Bloomberg and Financial times are much more often cited than the other media world-wide instead of vice versa and please note that here is not the size that matters – for example Germany (80,62 mln. people) or Japan (127,3 mln. people) are much bigger than the UK (64,1 mln. people), but again it’s Financial times and the Economist that lead the news and are wildly cited not the German or the Japanese media.

And since the prime aspiration of my page and its content is the renewal of my Finnish society and country I think that the small individual here shall be given more chances to get really involved on his own into the social and economic life, which in my view inspires entrepreneurship and productivity in different than the collectively homogenous way typical for Finland. In that regard much better countries for comparison would be for instance Switzerland and Monaco, which are doing really well in almost all regards, regardless of their small size.

So thank you for your time and if you live in Finland please do join us and help the change happen.

P.S. After posting this article here I put in 2 Facebook forums “Foreigners and Finns in Finland”, from where I was almost immediately deleted without any note or so and “Americans in Finland” where we started a discussion.........!

Kind regards, Rosti 

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