Always in the summer, particularly in August serious issues in the media have been replaced by the so-called “counter-irritants”. At present, in connection with, say, the war in Ukraine the moods aren’t perfectly holiday-like although the immortal Loch Ness monster is able to emerge in a different form, in disguise.
Following Finland’s recent accession to NATO the media, at first the social ones, then – the rest, were flooded with soap opera starring the country’s prime minister. Mrs Sanna Marin was seen in a video recorded with a cell phone while dancing among a group of friends in a private house. To tell the truth, it was more of fooling around than of a dance. The society – mostly composed of women – was grinning at the lens, singing refrains and cavorting around not too vulgarly, at least in comparison to most music videos. Unruly teenagers, maybe slightly too old but then again, who cares?
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The clip arrived in Poland together with Finnish reactions, rather surprisingly harsh. On Twitter user wrote that the prime minister (ministress?) was frivolous, should take her leather jacket and step down. The jacket is an allusion to another, prior recording of Sanna Marin from a rock festival. The electorate, or rather fellow MPs demanded that Marin be tested for drugs as in the sound background supposedly somebody spoke a word colloquially used for cocaine addicts. The Finns wrote that the country is in crisis and one shouldn’t do such things late at night, after work. Well, a crisis is what have in our part Europe because of the war in Ukraine, but the Finnish Twitter mentioned health system and senior care, etc.
In such a crisis there is every democratic country as the health system argument is repeatedly raised by every opposition in the US an EU. When, then, can the prime minister spend the evening with her friends, and drink alcohol? It was alcohol that the Finns seemed to be particularly outraged by – we are talking about members of a society that likes the hard stuff, which successive governments have fought against with various sales restrictions.
The Finnish indignation presented to the Poles along with the video gave rank, weight and emotion to this storm. The word “storm” used in such cases also consists of the first part, making up the whole epithet that we all know.
The series with Mrs. Marin is not a typical holiday Loch Ness monster. As a reminder, during the summer drought of important information, editorial offices in the British Isles, and those on the Continent after them, wrote that “Nessie” again leaned its head out of the Scottish lake. This ... storm with Sanna Marin, or rather the reactions to this “event”, tell a lot about the condition of the so-called public debate and politics as such.
We learned that in Finland the opposition has allegations against the prime minister in connection with an innocently juvenile party. Nothing new – the opposition already has it. But considerable concern was expressed by the party in the coalition with Sanna Marin’s social democrats, as it happens between (political) friends. As for friends in the original sense of the word, the party was among friends themselves and one of them, in a gesture of friendship to Marin, posted the recording on the Internet, or actually shared it with one of his Twitter accounts, which is one thing. Sanna Marin knew she was being filmed, so she recognized her phone as trustworthy. Prime Minister Marin’s friends are perfectly suited to the prayer – “Lord, protect me from my friends, I can take care of my enemies”.
Sanna Marin quickly apologized, promised to take a drug test – it is already known that the result is negative – but at the same time she started to defend herself that she didn’t do anything illegal, always leaves parties on her own and has never had a hangover. Congratulations, no matter if it’s a psychological feature or the result of self-control in consumption.